Small Luxury Hotels sees Q1 growth but room rates fall

oked has been recorded by Small Luxury Hotels of the World in the first quarter of the year.

But average room rate fell by 4% year on year to £213 per night as consumers continue to demand value for money from their luxury hotel experience and remain careful with their spending, the group said.

SLH plans to open a Chinese website this summer on the back of growth in membership of its loyalty scheme The Club and the addition of almost 20 hotels across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Chief executive Paul Kerr said: “In 2012 we had a lot to talk about – to have our most successful year to date in the middle of a global recession is no small feat.

“The team this year has lofty goals, and that is to build on the success of 2012. Fortunately, we are reaching those goals, mainly thanks to our guest recognition club.

“We have welcomed over 19,000 Club Members in quarter one this year, a 52% increase on last year, bringing us to a grand total of over 216,000 members. Reservations from members have also grown by 11% from last year, which is remarkable.”

SLH is monitoring search results from its website in order to identify locations where it needs to add more properties to its existing portfolio of 520 hotels.

Hawaii was the most sought after destination followed by Ibiza, Las Vegas, Bahamas, Bermuda, Tokyo, Sydney, Washington, Fiji and Montreal.

Kerr said: “In many of these locations we do not have a hotel in the brand because we won’t add a hotel just for the sake of it. Our brand depends on us choosing only the finest, small, independent hotels around the world, and we are exploring these destinations