Anyone who has been to Miami knows there is little to define as “soft” in the Magic City. Miami is glitz, glamour, beautiful people and beautiful beaches. The city is a lot of things, but rarely soft.
Choice Hotels International is trying to flip that script a bit through its soft brand, the Ascend Hotel Collection, which includes the Hotel Breakwater South Beach, Casa Victoria Orchid and Hotel Ocean properties. Choice Hotels is one of the world's largest hotel companies with over 6,500 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories.
Choice Hotels said the Ascend Hotel Collection is the “first and largest global soft hotel brand,” featuring boutique and historic independent hotels and resorts.
“Soft brand membership with Ascend makes operating an independent hotel less complicated. We provide essential tools—such as technology, distribution, loyalty, revenue management, search—designed to help drive business for independent hotels while still having a local, unique offering,” said Eleonora Tarzibachi, who leads the Ascend Hotel Collection for Choice Hotels.
The Ascend Hotel Collection, said Tarzibachi, offers “strong but silent support” for owners of independent hotels to provide lower costs and higher value through behind-the-scenes firepower.
“The Ascend Hotel Collection does not dictate how properties should look, feel or operate. Instead, membership enables hoteliers to maintain their local identity and individuality, to keep doing what they do best, which is delivering an exceptional, authentic guest experience,” said Tarzibachi.
She added, “Choice pioneered the soft brand concept with the Ascend Hotel Collection because we recognized and seized an opportunity. We saw there were independent hoteliers looking for the backing and support of a global network and guests seeking unique experiences backed by a proven, reputable company that could reward their loyalty.”
Through the Ascend Hotel Collection, said Tarzibachi, Choice Hotels offers “cutting-edge technology” that makes it easier for hoteliers to operate their properties and, for guests, to search for and book their stays.
“Innovation and agility are in Choice’s DNA, so culturally, addressing this demand by developing and launching the Ascend Hotel Collection made good business sense,” said Tarzibachi.
The three Miami boutique hotels each have distinctive South Beach experiences. For example, Hotel Breakwater South Beach, located in South Beach’s historic Art Deco District, features a rotating art program and aquarium-style pool; the Casa Victoria Orchid property is situated on the legendary Española Way and features inspired European charm; and Hotel Ocean has some great ocean views.
“Miami—especially South Beach—is a vibrant destination,” said Tarzibachi. “Visitors here are looking for a distinctive experience. We are so proud to offer guests not just one, but three exceptional Ascend Hotel Collection properties in the market—Hotel Breakwater South Beach, Casa Victoria Orchid, and Hotel Ocean. Each one is a true gem reflective of the different flavors of Miami.
“Miami is a dynamic city with a cosmopolitan mindset. The people of Miami embrace its local history, culture and diversity. These three Ascend properties have captured that, each in its own unique way.”
Each of the properties serve an essential role in the history of Miami Beach. The storied facades of Hotel Ocean and Hotel Breakwater South Beach are considered icons on Ocean Drive as they were originated during the colorful Art Deco epoch, affording travelers a glimpse into the past while still maintaining modern amenities and charm. Tucked along pathways of the Española Way, Casa Victoria Orchid takes guests back in time via its European-inspired stucco building.
“These hotels are a true representation of what the Ascend Hotel Collection is all about,” said Janis Cannon, SVP of upscale brands for Choice Hotels. “South Beach is a hotspot for travelers seeking an experience that’s reflective of the community, and now guests can immerse themselves in this vibrant South Florida city.’’
In addition to Miami, the Ascend Hotel Collection is on a growth trajectory that encompasses more than 190 hotels open worldwide and many more in the pipeline. The Collection recently announced new members in key destination markets, including San Francisco, Maui, Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Buffalo.
The Collection already has a strong presence in Florida with 14 properties in Orlando, the Florida Keys, Daytona Beach, Tampa and St. Augustine. “We will continue to look to expand with the right properties in the best markets,” said Tarzibachi.