Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Virgin Voyages | September 08, 2023
Virgin Voyages announced a $550 million funding round led by Ares Management for global expansion.
Founder Tom McAlpin transitions to Chairman of the Board, while Nirmal Saverimuttu takes over as CEO, bringing extensive experience from Virgin Voyages' early days.
Virgin Voyages looks forward to continued success and collaboration with investors, including Ares Management, to drive future growth and innovation.
Virgin Voyages, the award-winning cruise brand backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has announced the completion of a $550 million fundraise led by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. This funding, including contributions from existing investors such as Virgin Group and Bain Capital, is poised to propel Virgin Voyages into international markets while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group, Aaron Rosen, remarked,
With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry.
[Source - Cision PR Newswire]
Established as a leading player in the industry, Virgin Voyages has swiftly gained recognition and accolades with a fleet serving various destinations and recent wins like topping the mega-ship category in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards and sweeping all five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Alongside this development, Tom McAlpin, the founding CEO, is transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board. Nirmal Saverimuttu is taking the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer, having formerly served as President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition, Nirmal Saverimuttu has been a foundational figure at Virgin Voyages since 2014, when he joined as Chief Commercial Officer after securing initial investments from the Virgin Group. His role expanded in 2021 to President and Chief Experience Officer, making him well-prepared to guide the brand into its next phase of growth and innovation.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said,
I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman.
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
Virgin Voyages is a trusted brand due to its crew's dedication and passion for offering remarkable experiences for its guests. Nirmal also expressed his anticipation of collaborating with the Ares team and Virgin Voyages' current investors to execute growth and expansion plans as the company contemplates its promising future.
PR Newswire | October 04, 2023
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., is pleased to announce the launch of a new international marketing campaign, speaking to the continued evolution of the brand. Created in collaboration with longtime agency partner Team One, the Leave Better campaign invites guests to embark on a powerful journey of self-discovery through thoughtfully tailored experiences and the genuine comfort and care offered by a stay at The Ritz-Carlton. With the promise of a transformational experience, guests will check out of The Ritz-Carlton greater than when they arrived.
Marking a fresh new direction for The Ritz-Carlton, the multi-million dollar marketing campaign captures how travel across the brand's hotels and resorts can become a catalyst for personal evolution. Leave Better illustrates that travel not only results in enriching memories but also has the power to evolve ones' sense of self. The Leave Better campaign will roll out in several languages across international markets, including the United States, Japan, China, Germany, the UAE and Saudi Arabia through a special partnership with Condé Nast network, truly tapping into a global audience. It will be seen across digital video, print, digital display and paid social.
"We are thrilled to introduce the Leave Better Campaign, which reflects our commitment to not only honoring our heritage as a luxury hospitality icon, but embracing the desires of our discerning guests," said Jamie Kerr, Senior Director Global Marketing, The Ritz-Carlton. "Through Leave Better, we invite travelers to journey with The Ritz-Carlton to places, moments and spaces that are marked by genuine care only we can deliver, and will encourage self-growth and discovery, staying with them long after they depart."
The campaign's central question, "How will a stay leave you?", inspires consumers to envision the lasting impact of an experience at The Ritz-Carlton. It encourages guests to consider the memories they'll create, the connections they'll forge, the inspiration they'll draw, and the level of revitalization they'll experience that can only result through genuine comfort and care. Whether through enriching classes, cultural programming, hands-on culinary experiences, or more, there are endless opportunities for guests to tap into moments of exploration and discovery. Through a series of visually captivating advertisements across print and digital content, the campaign captures the brand's commitment to providing unforgettable and transcendent journeys.
Leave Better is the latest phase in the brand's thoughtful evolution, which has seen The Ritz-Carlton expand into exciting global destinations such as Mexico City, Melbourne and Fukuoka, buzzing neighborhoods including NoMad in Manhattan, and the industry redefining launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. The new debuts have rolled-out alongside a collection of comprehensive renovations, signaling The Ritz-Carlton's ongoing transformation as it welcomes travelers across generations and geographies. The evolution has also seen the unveiling of a new website for the brand, introducing an elevated digital experience that speaks to the future of The Ritz-Carlton.
The Ritz-Carlton has long stood as the gold standard of luxury hospitality. With a steadfast dedication to providing unparalleled service and impactful getaways, The Ritz-Carlton remains rooted in its commitment to innovation and to thoughtful evolution, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of the luxury travel space.
The Leave Better Campaign will roll out across various media platforms, captivating audiences worldwide with its innovative approach to storytelling. A link to the video campaign can be found here.
About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Bethesda, MD, part of Marriott International, Inc., currently operates more than 100 hotels in 32 countries and territories. For more information or reservations, visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com, for the latest company updates, visit news.marriott.com and to join the live conversation, use #RCMemories and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR). The Ritz-Carlton is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.
AboutMarriott International, Inc
Marriott International, Inc. is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,600 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 133 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy™, its highly-awarded travel program.
Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Business Wire | October 16, 2023
Hilton celebrated the grand opening of Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton, solidifying the company’s foray into the premium economy segment. With more than 400 opportunities in various stages of development, the first-ever Spark by Hilton made its debut just eight months after Hilton announced the new, conversion-only brand in January of this year.
Located less than half a mile from I-95, Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton is nestled in the historic maritime town of Mystic, Connecticut, with iconic landmarks including The Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum, Olde Mistick Village and the Mystic Bascule Drawbridge nearby. The hotel is also less than two miles away from local shops and restaurants in Mystic’s quaint downtown.
“In partnership with Distinctive Hospitality Group, we are thrilled to welcome guests into the very first Spark by Hilton. This breakthrough premium economy brand builds on Hilton’s continued work to develop new brands and provide a hotel for every traveler and every stay occasion,” said Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer, Hilton. “Spark is our fastest announcement-to-market brand in Hilton’s history, and we are excited to grow our portfolio of world-class brands with many more Sparks on the horizon.”
Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton features 120 comfortable and relaxing guest rooms and a seasonal outdoor pool. Other signature elements of Spark by Hilton hotels include:
A 24-hour retail market and a simple, complimentary breakfast, featuring premium coffee, juice and a signature bagel bar with spreads.
Public space with multi-functional seating from communal tables to rocking chairs, offering plenty of options for guests to enjoy breakfast, socialize or work throughout the day.
Guest rooms outfitted with practical amenities, including simple, streamlined furniture, an open closet, an in-room refrigerator, a multi-purpose work surface and a bright bathroom.
Simple, inspired design with splashes of color, vibrant exterior statement walls and energizing artwork.
“At Spark by Hilton, our approach to hospitality is all about ensuring that every traveler can enjoy exceptional quality without sacrificing affordability,” said Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton. “As we celebrate the opening of our inaugural Spark in Mystic, it marks the start of a journey to reshape travel and disrupt the premium economy segment while expanding our customer and owner base.”
The grand opening of Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer, Hilton; Alissa Klees, brand leader, Spark by Hilton; and Lou Carrier, president, Distinctive Hospitality Group. Photos from the grand opening event can be found here.
“Needless to say, we’re thrilled with being the first Spark by Hilton to be opened,” said Lou Carrier, president, Distinctive Hospitality Group. “We’re extremely confident the Mystic/Eastern Connecticut marketplace will present the diversified business drivers to allow our 120-room hotel to flourish. Additionally, we are already seeing an incredible mix of Hilton Honors members giving trial to the new brand as well as never before Hilton Honors members signing up to join the loyalty program. Hilton is clearly redefining the economy segment with Spark!”
Spark by Hilton Mystic Groton is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.
About Spark by Hilton
The newest addition to the Hilton portfolio, Spark by Hilton is a premium economy hotel brand at the intersection of value and consistency. Spark by Hilton provides a reliable and comfortable stay with friendly service for every guest, all at an accessible price. Spark by Hilton hotels provide a welcoming sense of arrival with colorful accent walls and inspiring artwork. The public spaces provide multi-functional seating, from communal tables to rocking chairs, and guest rooms are comfortable and relaxing with simple, streamlined furniture. In the morning, travelers can enjoy a complimentary signature bagel bar and premium coffee.