TORONTO — The Drake Hotel and the Drake Devonshire have partnered with Design Hotels, signing a licensing agreement that will provide distribution, sales and marketing support.
Ana Yuristy, executive director of Corporate Services at Drake Hotel Properties, says the partnership has been a long time coming as The Drake Hotel becomes just the second hotel in Canada to associate with the Design Hotels brand.
“The thing that is most exciting for us is the opportunity to partner with them as we expand,” says Yuristy. “The Drake is adding 32 hotel rooms, which will be finished in 2020. Soon we will have more hotel rooms and we’re starting to look at corporate group bookings.
“We’ve always had a foothold in international markets and have been very fortunate with how the small-but-mighty Drake name has travelled internationally, but one of the things that becomes important is corporate group bookings and that presence,” she adds. “What [Design Hotels] offers, as part of its distribution channel, is relationship building with a lot of its corporate partners.”
Yuristy and Jeff Stober, founder and owner of Drake Hotel Properties, met with Markus Schreyer, vice-president – The Americas at Design Hotels, at an industry event at the Drake Commissary earlier this year and an agreement was reached between the two sides shortly after, Yuristy says.
Drake Hotel Properties will also become part of Design Hotels’ membership community as it continues to expand and grow its industry profile. With the Drake Hotel in Toronto and the Drake Devonshire — located in Prince Edward County, Ont. — looking to expand over the next few years, the partnership gives the independently owned hotel group a chance to bring in international corporate bookings.
“We’ve always had a lot of interest, due to the location near Liberty Village, from like-minded corporate groups in Toronto [and the surrounding areas],” says Yuristy. “Those relationships continue, but now we’re able to tap into the whole world that Design Hotels has to offer from a corporate group. There’s an interesting opportunity in bringing new international markets on stream and they’re a very well-regarded brand.”
Established in 1993, Design Hotels currently has more than 300 hotels in more than 50 countries under its banner of independently owned boutique hotels. Hotel St. Paul in Montreal was previously the only Canadian hotel signed under its brand. Design Hotels is also one of Marriott International’s 30 global brands.