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Preferred Hotel Group™ Announces Winners At Sixth Annual Giftts Initiative

October 22, 2012

Program’s “Pineapple Leader Award” Recognizes Hotels and Resorts that Embrace Community and Social Responsibility

CHICAGO –– October 22, 2012 –– Preferred Hotel Group™ is pleased to announce the winners of its 2012 GIFTTS (Great Initiatives for Today’s [Tomorrow’s] Society) program – Montage Hotels & Resorts (Laguna Beach, CA, USA; Beverly Hills, CA, USA; and Park City, UT, USA) and Utah, USA), Gondwana Game Reserve (Mossel Bay, South Africa), The Tongsai Bay (Surat Thani, Thailand), and Draycott Hotel (London, England). These properties were presented with the coveted “Pineapple Leader Award” for taking the meaning of genuine hospitality beyond their front doors and showcasing an outstanding commitment to philanthropy, community service, and environment. The sixth annual GIFTTS awards ceremony took place this past weekend during Preferred Hotel Group’s annual conference in New Delhi, India.

“It is imperative for hoteliers to embrace community and social responsibility, and we are proud to recognize these exemplary member properties for their leadership,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, President of Preferred Hotel Group. “The proactive initiatives of our independent hotels not only positively impact local communities, but also set inspiring examples for the travel industry worldwide On behalf of the Preferred Hotel Group family, I want to thank every member for their efforts in making a difference.”

Below are highlights of the winning programs:

  • Philanthropy Leader – The Tongsai Bay
    Tongsai Bay’s philanthropic endeavors crossed borders. Locally, the hotel presented scholarships and sporting supplies to schools, and served food and beverage to local flood and evacuation rescue services teams. Expanding its impact to other Asian regions, associates donated personal clothing and the hotel’s gently used towels and sheets to hilltribes in Northern Thailand, and also provided monetary support to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
  • Community Service Leader – Draycott Hotel
    A true example of community service that crosses continents, Draycott Hotel lent its resources and time toward the betterment of Ghanaian communities through the Ayoma Vision project. During the past three years, Draycott Hotel has supported a village in Ghana by sending crates filled with children’s books, school supplies, clothing, and more. In addition, the hotel facilitated the implementation of the village school’s first computer lab.
  • Environment Leader – Gondwana Game Reserve
    Gondwana Game Reserve showcased green and energy-efficient practices through four year-round initiatives, including: the Gondwana Goes Greener program, which decreased the Reserve’s carbon footprint; the Thrattle the Wattle event, which saved natural vegetation; and the Endangered Species Protection and Fynbos Conservation programs, which protected the environment for endangered flora and fauna.
  • Pineapple Award Hotelier of the Year – Montage Hotels & Resorts
    Team members of the Montage Hotels & Resorts collection volunteered countless hours of time and service throughout 2011, setting an honorable example across all three areas of philanthropy, community, and environment. On behalf of the company’s “Hearts of Montage” program, accomplishments ranged from the LEED certification of Montage Deer Valley (Park City, Utah) to the donation of thousands of volunteer hours, with initiatives including beach cleanups; team walks for worldwide causes; mentoring programs; clothing, toy, food, and blood drives; and others. For its environmentally-friendly efforts in 2011, Montage Laguna Beach was named a city winner in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2012 “World Savers Awards”.

Preferred Hotel Group is also proud to recognize the following members for their recurring efforts on behalf of GIFTTS since the program’s inception, proving that every step can make a big impact on social and community responsibility:

  • Overall: The Royal Palm Plaza Resort Campinas (Brazil) reduced its electricity consumption by 50 percent and provided educational internships for aspiring hoteliers.
  • Environment: The Bunga Raya and Gayana Eco Resort (Malaysia) participated in Marine Awareness Month to highlight the importance of protecting endangered sea species, specifically the Giant Clam.
  • Community: In Summer 2011, The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek (USA) established the Brush Creek Ranch Staddle Camp: Science Enrichment Program, which provided interactive on-site educational programming for 65 at-risk middle school students.
  • Philanthropy: Employees of Royal Plaza on Scotts (Singapore) made significant contributions to the SHARE program, benefitting child-, family-, and senior-related causes, which the hotel matched dollar-for-dollar.

For specifics on each property’s winning submission and more details on Preferred Hotel Group’s GIFTTS program, please visit

About Preferred Hotel Group™
With a global reach extending into more than 85 countries, Preferred Hotel Group represents more than 650 of the finest hotels, resorts, and serviced residences in the world. Preferred Hotel Group’s brands include Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, Preferred Boutique™, Summit Hotels & Resorts™, Sterling Hotels™, Sterling Design, and Summit™ Serviced Residences. Travelers gain valuable benefits through branded programs that include Preferred Residences™, Preferred Golf, I Prefer global guest benefit program, and Preferred Family, a collection of hotels and resorts certified to provide a rich experience for travelers of all ages. For more information, visit us on the web at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maria Gemskie
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Preferred Hotel Group
Tel: +1 312 542 9271

Caroline Michaud
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Preferred Hotel Group
Tel: +1 312 542 9218

Aysem Monaco
Senior Manager, Public Relations – EMEA
Preferred Hotel Group
Tel: +44 20 7647 5184

Peggy Yip
Director, Marketing – Asia Pacific
Preferred Hotel Group
Tel: +852 2511 8758

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