The Ascend Hotel Collection, part of Rockville, Md.-based Choice Hotels International, Inc., has opened the new year by expanding its global pipeline, further establishing itself as a significant upscale soft brand.
The brand has awarded seven new agreements and added four new properties in Q1 2023, driving the global reach of the brand.
Recognized as one of the first “soft brand concepts” in the hotel industry, the Ascend Hotel Collection’s portfolio includes independent, resort, historic and boutique hotels globally. The brand now has more than 330 hotels open or in development worldwide.
Recent signings, which include properties from coast to coast in the U.S., are:
- Mayfair Hotel in New York — This hotel is the second Ascend Hotel Collection soon to be developed by Henry Zhang and Mark Arend and joins the nearby Blue Angel Hotel NYC.
- CityFlats Hotel properties in Grand Rapids and Port Huron, Mich.
- An 84-key property in Ellicottville, N.Y. — This is the second property in the Ascend Hotel Collection for William Paladino of 1378 Group LLC, who also owns and operates The Giacomo in Niagara Falls.
- Several locations across California, including in San Francisco and Livermore.
“Choice Hotels pioneered the soft brand concept in the upscale segment with the launch of Ascend Hotel Collection 15 years ago and continues to redefine how hotel companies operate and drive value for owners through our legacy of operational excellence,” said Mark Shalala, senior vice president, franchise development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels.
“It’s the value we deliver for our franchisees and the operational flexibility that helps drive profitability and continued interest in the brand. In the first quarter of 2023, we had the most deal signings in that quarter in the brand’s history. As we continue to grow the portfolio, Jamey Cua joins Pete Metzger and the rest of our development team as we build on this momentum throughout the year and beyond,” Shalala said.
Recently, Ascend Hotel Collection saw openings across several locations, ranging from apple orchards to wineries. These include:
- The Inn at Apple Valley, Ascend Hotel Collection in Sevierville, Tenn. — Located on the outskirts of Pigeon Forge at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the boutique hotel consists of 111 rooms. Developed by TWRS Apple Inc., the hotel features an onsite restaurant and indoor/outdoor heated pools. The property was initially a cattle ranch before being converted into an apple orchard.
- Abitta Boutique Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection in San Juan, Puerto Rico — Located close to the Condado Beach, Plaza Ventana del Mar and Casino del Mar, the art-deco style hotel offers 56 rooms, an onsite restaurant, a beach club with an outdoor pool and hot tub and bay view rooms. The hotel was developed by Lagoon Vista Hotel LLC.
- Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection in Albuquerque, N.M. — Built in 1937, the 24-key property is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and the New Mexico “State Register of Cultural Properties.” Located near the University of New Mexico and museums, the hotel includes a 5,000-square-foot banquet hall. The property was developed by Mark Cumbrow with Genesis Worldwide Resorts LLC.
- Inn on the Square, Ascend Hotel Collection in Greenwood, S.C. — Originally built in the early 20th century, the property was converted into a hotel in 1985. The 49-room hotel offers two onsite restaurants and a 3,000-square-foot meeting area. This is the second Ascend Hotel Collection-branded property that Edgewater Group, LLC has added to the brand portfolio this year, making it its fifth overall Ascend.
“The Ascend Hotel Collection provides travelers with the opportunity to experience some of the world’s most in-demand destinations while delivering the upscale experience our guests expect,” said Janis Cannon, senior vice president, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “We look forward to continuing to build on the Ascend Hotel Collection’s success this year as we welcome more properties to our collection.”