The Leading Hotels of the World
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Andrea Kracht, chairman|
|Owner||Hotel Representative, A.G.|
|Parent||Hotel Representative, A.G.|
The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) is a consortium of more than 375 luxury hotels and resorts in over 75 countries. It is headquartered in New York City, and maintains offices in 25 cities worldwide. The consortium is owned by Swiss-based Hotel Representative, A.G.. As of 2011[update] Andrea Kracht, proprietor of Baur au Lac in Zürich, Switzerland, is the chairman of Hotel Representative, A.G., and Theodore (Ted) Teng is the president and chief executive officer.
The company was established in 1928 under the name "Luxury Hotels of Europe and Egypt". It initially had 38 member hotels, including Hotel Negresco in Nice, the Mena House in Cairo and the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Leading Hotels of the World started as a reservation service for independent hotels, and later supported sales and marketing, advertising and public relations, financial services, quality control, and hotel inspections for its member properties. The company does not own hotels; some member hotels are independent, others are part of chains.
In the early 2000s, LHW created Leading Trust in joint-venture with Trinity Hotel Investors, a $1 billion fund to acquire hotel members of the LHW network. Its first acquisition was The Cadogan in London. The joint-venture Leading Interactive Reservations was also created to strengthen LHW's web presence in 2001. In 2003, LHW launched on its website a section for agents to book guests and receive full commissions.
Since 2016, the company has partnered with WayBlazer to make recommendations about which of its hotels might fit potential customers' desires. WayBlazer uses artificial intelligence based on the Watson’s cognitive computing technology to recommend destinations.
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