Luxury brand rates on the rise

Four Seasons Hotels Inc. expects nightly rates at some of its properties will climb to the peak levels of 2008 by the end of this year as demand for luxury accommodation picks up.

The Four Seasons hotel in Washington, DC will achieve or “come extremely close” to 2008 rates. Luxury hotels were hurt most by a decline in business and leisure travel during the global economic slowdown. The industry is now starting to revive as companies spend more on accommodation, making it easier for hotel operators to raise rates.

Occupancy at Four Season’s U.S. hotels with the most expensive rooms climbed to about 63 percent in the first quarter from 57 percent a year earlier, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. That was second only to the next-tier level, described as “upper upscale,” which had a rate of about 64 percent.

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