Ascend Hotel Collection Expands in Europe, Adds First Hotel in Australia

PHOENIX, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascend Hotel Collection from Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, continues its global expansion with the announcement today that two boutique hotels have joined the portfolio. These properties are the gibson hotel, Dublin, Ireland and Lindenwarrah at Milawa, Australia. The announcement was made to industry insiders at the 19th annual meeting of The Lodging Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ascend Hotel Collection is a portfolio of upscale independent hotels with rich local character. With its latest additions, the group now has 108 properties in North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Australia.

"Ascend Hotel Collection continues to gain prominence as it grows internationally," said Michael Murphy, senior vice president of upscale brands at Choice Hotels International. "The Collection offers hoteliers and guests the best of both worlds – a unique, upscale experience coupled with the backing of one of the world's largest hospitality franchisors. With each property offering its own local flavor and an uncompromising commitment to service, these newest member hotels align perfectly with our distinctive portfolio."

Since the beginning of this year, Ascend Hotel Collection has opened 38 hotels, many in top business and leisure destinations like Napa Valley, Miami and Cape Cod. Newly signed agreements call for continued growth during the next two years internationally and in key domestic markets, including New York City and the Caribbean. Members of Ascend Hotel Collection maintain their individuality while being able to leverage Choice Hotels International's robust global distribution, sales, marketing and technology platforms. Member hotels also benefit from Choice Privileges, one of the industry's fastest growing guest loyalty programs.

Gibson Hotel
Located in Dublin's new cultural hub, the gibson hotel is 10 minutes from the airport and a short stroll along the Liffey River to the city center. The 252-room property features cutting-edge design, high energy ambiance and guest comfort. Visitors to the hotel can enjoy a destination restaurant and bar; state-of-the-art gym; relaxation areas; courtyards; business center; and extensive square feet of meeting space with sweeping views of the Dublin cityscape.

Spanning two floors, the conference area has nine contemporary meeting rooms accommodating up to 300 people and is equipped with free Wi-Fi and the latest audio-visual technology. An experienced team of event planners assures impeccable, memorable affairs. Also part of the gibson hotel experience: a relaxation area with sauna and steam room; Japanese copper baths on the terrace with mountain vistas; and courtyards, with towering bamboos and water features. Guests can enjoy a Zen-like atmosphere in the heart of the bustling city.

Guestrooms feature custom furnishings, a soothing neutral color palette, plush beds and natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. Many rooms include private balconies with stunning views of tranquil interior courtyards or the Dublin skyline.

Lindenwarrah at Milawa
Lindenwarrah combines the distinctiveness of a boutique hotel with the tranquility of its mountain and vineyard setting. Food and wine play a prominent role at this retreat in the heart of the renowned Milawa Gourmet Region. This hotel exudes laid-back luxury with 40 individually decorated guestrooms and suites, a fine dining restaurant, bar, spa, lounges areas with Australian artwork, rooftop terrace, sunny courtyards and state-of-the-art meeting and event space.

Guestrooms feature contemporary furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of sunrises and sunsets. Rooms open onto balconies or peaceful gardens. The bright, airy Restaurant Merlot serves breakfast and dinner featuring fine regional cuisine. At the Spa at Lindenwarrah, guests can enjoy massages or relax in a sauna and outdoor solar-heated swimming pool. Bringing a touch of the outdoors in, meeting and banquet space accommodates up to 120 people in modern, light-filled rooms that open onto a large terrace. 

Lindenwarrah is next door to the famous Brown Brothers Winery and Epicurean Center and within walking distance to other regional culinary delights. Or, hop on a bike and pedal past acres of vineyards to villages with small producers to fill your basket with nuts, honey, wine, olives and more.

About Ascend Hotel Collection 
The Ascend Hotel Collection membership program made its debut in late 2008 and now has 108 hotels open throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, Australia and the Caribbean. The eclectic portfolio of upscale, independent hotels appeals to the growing number of people who like to immerse themselves in the destination and live like the locals when they travel. Member hotels include The GEM Hotels with three boutique hotels in New York City; Postcard Inn, on the white sands of St. Pete Beach, Fla. on the Gulf of Mexico; Grand Hotel Costa Rica, in downtown San Jose's Cultural Square; Hotel Royal William in the chic New St. Rock district of downtown Quebec City; Nordic Light Hotel, Stockholm. For more information, visit www.ascendcollection.com.

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,200 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories.  As of June 30, 2013, 365 hotels, representing more than 29,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 83 hotels, representing approximately 7,200 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.

Choice Hotels International offers the Choice Privileges rewards program. With nearly 18 million members worldwide, it is one of the fastest growing hotel loyalty programs in the travel industry.

Additional corporate information can be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain matters discussed in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Generally, our use of words such as "expect," "estimate," "believe," "anticipate," "will," "forecast," "plan", " project," "assume" or similar words of futurity identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current beliefs, assumptions and expectations regarding future events, which in turn are based on information currently available to management. Such statements may relate to projections of the company's revenue, earnings and other financial and operational measures, company debt levels, ability to repay outstanding indebtedness, payment of dividends, and future operations, among other matters. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements do not guarantee future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors.

Several factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements of both the Ascend Hotel Collection and the company to differ materially from those expressed in or contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to, changes to general, domestic and foreign economic conditions; operating risks common in the lodging and franchising industries; changes to the desirability of our brands as viewed by hotel operators and customers; changes to the terms or termination of our contracts with franchisees; our ability to keep pace with improvements in technology utilized for reservations systems and other operating systems; fluctuations in the supply and demand for hotels rooms; and our ability to manage effectively our indebtedness. These and other risk factors are discussed in detail in the Risk Factors section of the company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 28, 2013 and our quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Choice Privileges, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection and SkyTouch Technology are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

© 2013 Choice Hotels International, Inc.  All rights reserved.

SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.



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