When it comes to travel suppliers that provide exceptional value and benefits to both travelers and travel affiliates, Epoque Hotels arguably ranks among the crème de la crème in this category.

There’s no question that Epoque has caught the eye of the discriminating traveler.  Starting out with 30 properties in 2002, today Epoque Hotels offers more than 350 “avant-garde, trendy-chic, and luxury-classic” boutique hotels in its global portfolio.  According to Hotels Magazine, the Company ranks 14th among the world’s 25 largest hotel sales and marketing consortia (based on total number of rooms systemwide as of year-end 2008), up one notch from the previous year’s survey rankings.  TravelDividends was unable to quantify financial numbers form published sources.

Epoque’s collection is divided in two distinct sub-brands: Avantgarde Hotels and Epoque Classic, it is rapidly establishing itself as the leading reference in the segment of boutique hotels. While Avantgarde focuses on very contemporary and trendy concept hotels, Epoque Classics can include properties that are either traditional dowager or newly-built modern ‘classics’.  Regardless of the sub-brand, the hotels in Epoque’s collection include some of finest boutique hotels in the world.

According to co-founder David Maranzana, since its founding,  Epoque’s mission has been to both become the de facto ‘reference point’ for those discerning travel consumers looking for unique classic or modern boutique hotels, and to provide independent boutique hotels the means to compete with the larger hotel chains that dominate today’s hospitality industry.

Addressing industry press at one of the Company’s European forums last year, Maranzana underscored Epoque Hotels’ continued commitment to this mission:  “In a world where everything tends to be ever more standardized and identical, our mission is to keep advancing the success of independent boutique hotels, wherever they may be,” adding that “If everything looks the same, if the traveler finds the same products everywhere, the magic of traveling is gone…Our wish is to prevent this from happening.”

They also seem to have hit a sweet-spot with travel affiliates, at least if one looks at the attributes of the core elements in their travel affiliate program.  For example, Epoque pays $15 per reservation; has a 30 day cookie policy; pays its travel affiliates on each $100 generated in revenue; offers reporting through its in-house Connect Commerce platform, and offers 3 affiliate partnership options: a link banner partnership through Google Affiliate Network (GAN), their own white label booking engine, and (coming soon) a XML Connection.

TravelDividends thinks Epoque Hotels might be a good strategic fit with those travel affiliates that work in the upscale sector of the travel industry, or those who would like to.  What are you views on boutique hotels and luxury travel suppliers like Epoque?  Please share your thoughts and experiences with our readers; you can leave us a comment or send an email.  As always, many thanks!