The Beginning | Founded by a group of 38 forward-thinking hoteliers, The Leading Hotels of Europe was formed with the goal of courting an elite stratum of international travelers emerging in the United States. The group’s ingenious strategy attracted the attention of hoteliers across the Mediterranean Sea, and by the end of decade, the company’s hotel portfolio expanded to Egypt under the name The Leading Hotels of Europe and Egypt.
Visionary Leadership | After the war, the travel industry experienced a dramatic resurgence and the group’s hoteliers once again sought to capture the attention of an elite American traveler. In a landmark move for the company and industry, the hotelier committee appointed the United States-based Edith Turner, a highly respected travel expert and former member of its New York office, as the collection’s first president.
Leading Innovations | In a pivotal move, the company opened membership to distinguished hotels and resorts on all corners of the globe. Driven by the demand of an international jet-set traveler, the company became the first hotel brand to move from a manual reservations system – telex and mailing reservation confirmations between hotels and clients – to an instant computer satellite-based system. As the company continued to grow to over 150 hotels in 32 countries, the decision was made to rebrand HRI to The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
Trials of War | At the beginning of World War II, the company shuttered its office in the United States as many member hotels closed their doors or shifted operations to the war effort. In Paris, the group’s esteemed member hotels became the home of both the American Embassy and American nationals in Paris. In 1944, Ernest Hemingway, a passionate and faithful guest of The Ritz, famously “liberated” the building to chase out the last remaining of the occupied Germans.
Representing Excellence | Renamed Edith L. Turner Hotel Representative, Inc. (HRI), the company experienced a prosperous era of record-breaking growth under Ms. Turner’s leadership. As the HRI collection grew to nearly 100 member hotels in 20 countries, the company remained steadfast in its commitment to excellence, exclusively servicing independent hotels and resorts of the absolute highest caliber.
Leading Quality | At the turn of the 21st century, the company grew to become the largest collection of independent hotels in the world. Evolving to further enhance its respected position in the luxury market, the brand developed a series of subsidiaries and joint ventures aimed at ensuring the highest quality of service to both its hotel members and guests. Many of these companies – such as Leading Quality Assurance (LQA), which conducts anonymous property inspections for the world’s most prestigious hospitality organizations – remain the gold standard for hospitality today.
Our Collection Today
Today, our impressive collection boasts over 400 of the most distinguished hotels spanning across more than 80 countries. We remain the only global collection comprised entirely of 5-star luxury brands and the largest global collection of 5-star luxury independent hotels.
Our collection, including founding members Le Negresco, Hotel de Paris, Hotel Hermitage, El Palace Barcelona (Formerly Hotel Ritz), and The King David – have been hallmarks of luxury hospitality since 1928.