The International Luxury Travel Mart - an annual hodgepodge of travel advisors, media, hotels and luxury planners - took place last week in Cannes.
During the week, hoteliers discuss plans and make exciting announcements about the coming year, including partnerships and new properties. Among some of the highlighted speakers, Chris Gabaldon, Chief Marketing and Sales Office for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels, announced some exciting initiatives from the luxury hotel group.
On Dec. 12, the Ritz-Carlton will open its first Reserve property in the Americas, the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. In addition to it being a top-tier escape offering a breadth of exclusive experiences, Dorado Beach will also host the newest restaurant by Chef Jose Andres, Mi Casa.
Mi Casa, according to Andres, will feature locally-caught seafood, small plates and farm-fresh ingredients inspired by the culinary landscape of the island. In true Puerto Rican style, Mi Casa will also offer 30 unique rum varieties for guests to try.
But this wasn't the end of the Reserve news. Gabaldon also announced at ILTM that the Ritz-Carlton is expecting to open at least 10 more hotels under its Reserve brand in the next several years, according to a report from Elite Traveler. The Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand is eyeing properties in Los Cabos, Muscat, Morocco and Southern Africa.
As for Asia, where the hotel group had the biggest boom over the past few years, the exclusive experiences continue to reign supreme. The Ritz-Carlton is partnering with Mercedes-Benz to offer Mercedes-Benz owners an upgrade to a suite when they book a Club Level room at any one of Ritz-Carlton's Chinese properties.
As part of Ritz-Carlton's loyalty program, Ritz-Carlton Rewards members traveling in China will get access to Mercedes-Benz benefits including complimentary access to the Mercedes-Benz VIP Lounge and Airport limousines in Beijing and Shanghai. Reward members will also have the opportunity to attend exclusive events including various fashion weeks and auto shows sponsored by the luxury car company.
In true Ritz-Carlton fashion, it looks like 2012 is ending with a bang and 2013 is starting on a high note. Ritz-Carlton insiders tell me there's more exclusive partnerships being announced in 2013, so stay tuned to see what the luxury hotel group has in store.This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com