Preferred Boutique has growth spurt in its inaugural year
By Michael Milligan
Preferred Boutique, Preferred
Hotel Group’s marketing network
for boutique properties, is a year
old, and it’s growing, well, like a
The brand specializes in representing what it calls “intimate”
properties of 100 rooms or less
that offer something “unique in
design and decor.”
Preferred Boutique recently
added six hotels to its roster of
nearly 100 properties. Managing
Director Lindsey Ueberroth is on
the road about three weeks out of
every month, scouting out prospects and doing site inspections.
In between trips recently,
Ueberroth told Travel Weekly,
“There are a lot of high-end, boutique properties that didn’t have
A guest room at Fifteen
Beacon in Boston, a member
of Preferred Boutique.
any representation in the past.
But as the market has changed
and grown, a lot of international
properties want a stronger U.S.
As a result, boutique hotels are
turning to representation companies like Preferred Boutique
and its competitors, such as Small
Luxury Hotels and Small Leading
Hotels of the World, to expand
their marketing reach.
Based in Newport Beach, Calif., Preferred Boutique is part
of a company that includes the
Preferred, Sterling and Summit
Ueberroth’s father, John Ueberroth, acquired Preferred Hotels
Group in 2004 and is chairman
and CEO of the company, which
represents 340 independent hotels in 62 countries.
Preferred Hotel Group has 24
sales offices around the world.
“We are a strong, local sales organization,” Lindsey Ueberroth
“I think hotels are waking up
and saying, ‘We need the additional sales support.’ ”
To that end, Preferred Boutique has been signing up hotels
in markets not generally known
for boutique hotels.
“Mexico has been a big growth
area for us,” Ueberroth
“You are starting to
see [boutique proper-ties] in the larger city
centers like Hong Kong
and Tokyo, as well. People are recognizing that
when travelers do not
want to stay in a really Lindsey Ueberroth
large hotel, they might Managing Director
like the small, unique, Preferred Boutique
high-service, personal-touch type of properties.”
In the U.S., independent boutique hotels are attractive to hotel
developers, Ueberroth said.
“You have greater control over
the management, and the personality of the owner tends to show
through in the property,” she
“If you have a smaller number of rooms, you are able to do
some really unique things that
you would not be able to do in a
much larger hotel.”
Essentially, that’s what Ueberroth looks for when she considers new hotels for membership in
Boutique hotels are commonly
associated with urban locations,
but Ueberroth said Preferred
Boutique’s roster is “a lot broader
The company groups its hotels
in four categories: classic, design, adventure
“We decided we
wanted to create a brand
that encompassed all
types of travel,” Ueberroth said.
“If you are on business and you are staying in a city-center
property and you like
we have something for you. If you
want to take a romantic weekend
with your spouse, we’ve got fantastic resorts for you to go to. If
you want to go on an adventure
travel with your family, we’ve got
that as well.
“The thing that will ring true
with all of them is the standard
they had to meet to join, the level
of service and the uniqueness,”
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By Michael Milligan
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The Department of Homeland
Security said it was working to
get the passport readers in place
by Oct. 26.
That’s when travelers from
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international e-passport symbol
on the cover and have a “
contact-less” chip embedded inside with
the passport holder’s biographic
information and a biometric
identifier, such as a digital photograph of the holder.
All e-passports issued by Visa
Waiver Program countries and
the U.S. also have security features to prevent the unauthorized
reading or “skimming” of data
stored on the chip, Homeland Security said.
Countries participating in the
Visa Waiver Program are Andorra,
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,
Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Portugal,
San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and
Participating countries reciprocate by permitting U.S. travelers
to visit without visas, as well.
Homeland Security said 13 million people each year travel to the
U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program to study, conduct business,
visit family or tour the country.