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Preferred Hotels & Resorts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Founded1968 (1968)
United States
Number of locations
Nearly 40
Area served
Key people
  • John Ueberroth​ (Executive Chairman)
  • Gail Ueberroth​ (Chief​ Creative​ Officer​ &​ Vice-Chairman)
  • Lindsey Ueberroth​ (CEO)
  • Casey Ueberroth​ (Member​ of​ the​ Board​ of​ Directors)
Servicessales, marketing, distribution, quality assurance, and technology solutions[buzzword]
  • John Ueberroth
  • Gail Ueberroth
  • Lindsey Ueberroth
  • Casey Ueberroth
Number of employees

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 750 independent hotels, resorts, residences, and hotel groups across 85 countries. The company's corporate headquarters is in Newport Beach, California, and it has sales offices worldwide. Preferred Hotels & Resorts does not own, operate, or manage any of the hotels within its portfolio. All of the hotels, resorts, and serviced residences within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio are independent entities.[2] The organization's quality standards are measured by yearly anonymous on-site inspections[3] and real-time quality assessment scores pulled from social media sites.[4]


Preferred Hotels & Resorts was founded by 12 North American hoteliers in 1968, originating as a referral organization for hotels, under the name Preferred Hotels Association.[5] By the organization's 10th anniversary in 1979, the company had begun international expansion with 14 European hotel members as well as its first member in Asia Pacific.

In 1981, the association rebranded under the name Preferred Hotels Worldwide, and ended the personal referral system previously used for membership. The 1990s saw increased transformation as Preferred Hotels Association became a for-profit stock corporation. During this decade, the company also developed its award-winning Standards of Excellence, a 1,600-point inspection used to determine a hotel’s muster for inclusion in the group. Further advancements were made in the company’s electronic distribution platform, and Preferred opened its first international sales offices. In 2000, the company created a new holding company called IndeCorp (Independent Hotel Corporation).[6]

In 2004, John Ueberroth became the largest shareholder of IndeCorp and was named CEO and chairman, along with his wife Gail Ueberroth as vice chairman and his daughter Lindsey Ueberroth as executive vice president.[7] (Ueberroth was a travel industry executive who had previously been a major shareholder of the Ambassadors International travel company together with his brother, former Commissioner of Baseball Peter Ueberroth.[8][9]) By 2005, Casey Ueberroth had also joined the family business as a managing director for the western United States. That same year, the company decided that the IndeCorp name was lacking a connection to its business,[10] and changed its name to Preferred Hotel Group.[11] In 2014, the company entered its 10th year as a privately owned family business, implementing a succession plan with Lindsey Ueberroth as president and CEO,[12] John Ueberroth as chairman, Gail Ueberroth as vice chairman and Casey Ueberroth as chief marketing officer.[13][14] In March 2015, the company rebranded, with five distinct hotel collections: Legend, LVX, Lifestyle, Connect, and Preferred Residences.

Over the next nine years, the company made a variety of enhancements to its business model. In 2005, Preferred introduced its Preferred Boutique brand, the first major initiative spearheaded by Lindsey Ueberroth. One year later, Preferred introduced a guest benefit program called I Prefer that was implemented across all of its brands and offered soft benefits such as complimentary Internet and welcome amenities for travelers who enrolled in membership. Additionally, the company launched its corporate responsibility program GIFTTS, to recognize and reward member hotels within the hospitality industry in one of three categories: community, philanthropy, and the environment. In 2008, under Casey Ueberroth’s direction, Preferred Golf was born, tying together two common loves among travelers – luxury hotels and world-class golf. In 2011, the company launched its Preferred Pride program to highlight member hotels that are particularly welcoming to gay travelers. In 2013, recognizing the influence that the ability to earn points has on consumers’ buying decisions, Preferred re-launched its loyalty program to be a points-based scheme called I Prefer Hotel Rewards, which The Points Guy dubbed “a positive move… to attract travelers who might otherwise spread their spending across other boutique properties, or those who would sacrifice a touch of uniqueness in favor of earning hotel points with one of the major brands.”

In 2014, the company entered its 10th year as a privately owned family business, implementing a succession plan with Lindsey Ueberroth as president and CEO,[10] John Ueberroth as chairman, Gail Ueberroth as vice chairman and Casey Ueberroth as chief marketing officer.[11][12] 

In March 2015, the company made a bold move to go against industry trends by rebranding, a major undertaking that took its previous six-brand model to one master brand, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, inclusive of five distinct hotel collections: Legend, L.V.X, Lifestyle, Connect, and Preferred Residences.

In 2018, Preferred Hotels & Resorts named Kristie Goshow as chief marketing officer, and promoted both Michelle Woodley to president and Caroline Klein to executive vice president, corporate communications & public relations – expanding non-family members’ roles in the company and increasing women executives in its ranks.

Coming off its 50th anniversary in 2019, Preferred Hotels & Resorts instilled “Believe in Travel” as its brand promise to celebrate the power of travel and its ability to make people better versions of themselves – mentally, socially, and emotionally – and create greater tolerance globally. In response to this strong message, Afar named “Believe in Travel” one of its top travel trends for 2020.

"We believe travel positively impacts us as human beings. We believe it makes people mentally, socially, and emotionally richer, building confidence and opening minds. We believe it helps create greater tolerance across cultures, religions, beliefs, and so much more." (From the Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand promise media distribution.)

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is managed by parent company Preferred Hotel Group, Inc., which also manages Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.

Loyalty Program

In 2006, Preferred Hotels & Resorts launched the I Prefer Global Guest Benefit program.

In 2013, I Prefer switched to its current points-based hotel rewards program.

In 2017, Preferred Hotels & Resorts launched the I Prefer mobile app and member-only rates program.

Recognition and Awards

In 2014, Caroline Klein (at that time Michaud) is recognized among Hotel Management’s 30 under 30 Class of 2015

In 2015, Lindsey Ueberroth is named one of the top 10 noteworthy hoteliers in the world by HOTELS magazine and one of the 20 most influential women in lodging by LODGING magazine

In 2018, president Michelle Woodley is named among the “most influential women in hospitality” by Hotel Management. Preferred Hotels & Resorts was named #1 “Most Excellent” Large Hotel Chain by TripAdvisor, and the I Prefer Hotel Rewrard program was ranked No. 4 for “Best Hotel Loyalty Program” in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

In 2018, Executive Vice President, Europe, Philipp Weghmann is named among HSMAI’s “Europe Top 20” and Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Amy Butterfield, is honored as the “Most Inspirational Supplier” by BI Worldwide

In 2020, Preferred’s Chief Marketing Officer Kristie Goshow is named among HSMAI’s “top 25 most brilliant minds”.


This page was last edited on 27 June 2020, at 08:24
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