Hilton Signs With NCB Group for New Curio Collection by Hilton in the Cayman Islands

USA, McLean, Virginia. March 12, 2019

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) announces the signing of an agreement for a new Curio Collection by Hilton property in the Cayman Islands with NCB Group. Scheduled to open in 2021, the new-build 80-room hotel will usher in a new era of upper upscale accommodations focusing on sustainability and wellness, incorporating renewable and energy-efficient technologies throughout the property.

"As tourist arrivals in the Caribbean continue to increase, we have prioritized the region in our larger expansion efforts with Hilton's first property in Grand Cayman," said Juan Corvinos, vice president, development, Latin America and the Caribbean, Hilton. "In partnership with NCB Group, we are working toward embodying a retreat that caters to the needs of today's discerning travelers that prioritize wellness while at home and abroad."

Situated on the edge of George Town, the beachfront hotel boasts 80 suites with spacious floorplans ranging from one to three bedrooms, which will also be available for purchase. Each suite will feature energy-efficient technologies, in-room yoga mats and fitness equipment, and lighting that regulates circadian rhythm. Travelers will also be able to opt for executive and penthouse suites with premier private pools.

"We are elated to be partnering with an industry leader like Hilton and have the opportunity to introduce this internationally renowned, global hospitality company to the Cayman Islands," said Matthew Wight, Managing Director of NCB Group. "It's an honor that our hotel was selected to be a part of this exclusive collection of one-of-a-kind, independent hotels and resorts that are all celebrated for their individuality. Through this alliance we will be delivering an innovative wellness tourism product that also caters to the discerning business traveler."

Guests will enjoy farm-to-table dining at two of the property's restaurants and poolside cafe, offering local seafood, fresh produce, organic wines and craft cocktails. With a fully-equipped gym, rejuvenating spa and conference facilities, the hotel will also provide guests with a refreshing swimming pool complete with a swim-up bar and a fresh juice bar. The hotel will also have electric vehicle rentals and complimentary bicycles for eco-conscious guests to ride along and enjoy Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach.

Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism shared, "It's important for the destination to welcome accommodations that will provide exceptional experiences such as those offered by the Curio Collection by Hilton. Having a one-of-a-kind boutique property with wellness-focused offerings in our capital aligns with key segments of our visitor demographic and the strategic vision for tourism in the Cayman Islands. The property will be a welcome addition to room inventory and will further enhance our diverse product offerings and accommodations sector."

As a successful developer of sustainable residential communities, beachfront condos and commercial buildings, NCB Group is continuing its commitment in the design and operation of the hotel with sustainability at the core of the project. Renewable energy, environmental considerations and energy efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements are intelligently integrated. Solar panels, geothermal cooling, water recycling, SMART building management systems, LED lighting, and solar water heating will also be introduced to significantly reduce operating costs, lower the reliance on the electrical grid and reduce the carbon footprint.

The hotel will be a part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 16 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly 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, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.

Hilton currently has a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels and resorts open and welcoming travelers in 25 countries across the Caribbean and Latin America. The company is actively pursuing additional growth opportunities and currently has a robust development pipeline of more than 80 hotels throughout the region.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.