SOURCE: Luxury Institute

May 20, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: Wealthy U.S. Consumers Rate Most Prestigious Hotel Brands: Small Luxury Hotels of the World, RockResorts and Peninsula/Ritz-Carlton

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 20, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated Small Luxury Hotels of the World the most prestigious luxury hotel brand in the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). Respondents who would recommend Small Luxury Hotels of the World say, "They take special care of you and know you by name and go above and beyond a normal resort," and "They strive for excellence." RockResorts ranked second; Peninsula and Ritz-Carlton tied for third place.

"Our clients tell us that they appreciate the fact that our impartial surveys deliver quantitative and qualitative insights for every brand in the category," said Milton Pedraza, CEO, the Luxury Institute. "This year we added one more critical question: Other than price, if you had the power to change ONE thing about the brand, what would it be? The candid and creative responses from wealthy consumers are priceless and point out major opportunities for each brand."

Following are the 23 luxury hotel brands that were rated (alphabetical order):

1. Club Med
2. Conrad Hotels & Resorts
3. Crillon Hotels
4. Fairmont
5. Four Seasons
6. InterContinental
7. JW Marriott
8. Le Meridien
9. Leading Hotels of the World
10. Loews
11. Mandarin Oriental
12. Orient Express
13. Park Hyatt
14. Peninsula
15. Regent
16. Ritz-Carlton
17. RockResorts
18. Rosewood
19. Small Luxury Hotels of the World
20. Sofitel
21. St. Regis
22. W Hotels
23. Waldorf Astoria Collection

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,642 wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $349K and average net-worth of $3.7 million, was surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net-worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings, reviews and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.LuxuryInstitute.com.

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