The hotel division of travel-and-hospitality giant Carlson moved forcefully into the luxury market Monday with the addition of three “five-star’’ properties in the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
The upper-end hotels in London, Scotland and Kuwait were announced as the inaugural members of the Quorvus Collection, a new concept from the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group that ultimately will consist of 20 luxury hotels by 2020.
“It’s important to have a luxury play in our portfolio because it gets us to the table for other opportunities with other developers, owners and investors,” said Gordon McKinnon, Carlson’s chief branding officer.
The three hotels, ranging from Roaring 20s chic to 21st-century modern, are the May Fair Hotel London, the G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh and the Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait.
Minnetonka-based Carlson currently has just a handful of five-star hotels in its portfolio of 1,340 properties, located primarily in the Asia-Pacific market. In the U.S., Carlson’s highest-rated property is the Radisson Blu chain, which falls in the upper upscale segment.
Hotels in the Quorvus Collection will remain independently owned but become part of the Carlson Rezidor network for marketing purposes.
Carlson in turn will collect royalty and management fees as well as fees from reservations.
“They will link into our system,” McKinnon said. “They will get access to a global distribution system, our Web platform, our loyalty platform, our sales teams.”
The Quorvus Collection is part of a trend in the hotel industry where name-brand chains are affiliating with distinctive and independent properties to broaden their reach.
“Everybody’s doing it,” said Kirby Payne, president of HVS Hotel Management. “Starwood has its own luxury collection. Marriott has several upscale hotels. It’s a franchise with looser rules.”
Carlson Rezidor officials want the Quorvus Collection to include an eclectic variety of destinations for the frequent global traveler.
The May Fair Hotel London was opened by Great Britain’s King George V in 1927. It’s been described as “host to some of London’s most extravagant society events.”
Edinburgh’s G&V Royal Mile Hotel is located in the heart of the city and includes an award-winning restaurant and spa.
The Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait is in the main shopping and entertainment district of Kuwait City with stunning views of the Persian Gulf.
The Edinburgh and Kuwait properties immediately become members of the Quorvus collection; The May Fair will join the group later this summer.
Other hotels in the Carlson Rezidor group include Radisson, Radisson Red, Park Inn by Radisson, Park Plaza and Country Inns and Suites by Carlson.