By Mark Chesnut
Not every Best Western hotel is created equal. Since unveiling its new tiered brands in recent years, travelers can choose from three different categories of price, amenities and ambiance. In general, Best Western and Best Western Plus tend to have lower rates, while the top-of-the-line Best Western Premier targets travelers seeking a more upscale experience. And the Premier brand continues to expand on a global scale.
There are now a total of 150 Best Western Premier hotels around the globe, including 21 in North America. Among the newest in the United States is the Best Western Premier Saratoga Resort Villas, a full-service, resort-style property in Kissimmee, Florida. A quick survey of the hotel’s amenities proves that this is not your grandfather’s Best Western; every villa is equipped with private balcony, a fullkitchen, 37-inch television in the bedroom and 42-inch TV in the living room.
“We have several exciting Best Western Premier properties opening in North America that not only exemplify the upscale experience offered by the Best Western Premier brand, but also illustrate the flexibility in design and unique characteristics that define each Best Western Premier property,” said Mark Williams, the company’s vice president of North American development.
Overseas, one of the newest properties is the Best Western Premier Hotel 115 Kew in Melbourne, Australia, which opened in June. The 112 guest rooms at this Melbourne hotel are furnished with 42-inch LCD televisions and Apple iMac Minis for guests to use. The hotel also has a concierge and valet parking.
In Canada, the newest Premier property is the Best Western Premier Hotel L’Aristocrate, in Quebec City. Rooms here are furnished with 37-inch LCD televisions, refrigerators and iBoom radios with iPod docks. A health club, on-site restaurant, meeting space for 100 and shuttle to Old Quebec City round out the offerings. And at the Best Western Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort, located near the city of Victoria in Sooke, British Columbia, you just might feel like you’ve walked onto a private estate, complete with indoor pool, an ocean-view athletic club, convention facilities and four dining venues with an award-winning wine list.