First & Foremost Hotels and Resorts, a bespoke hotel asset, development and operations company joined forces with Ernie Els in 2015 to launch First & Foremost Family Hotels in partnership with Leading Family Hotels & Resorts.
Ernie said, “I am delighted to partner First & Foremost to launch Family Hotels. Family holiday time has always been a priority for me and I have experienced a lot of 5-star hotels worldwide that do not really offer a complete family holiday experience. You want a fun and relaxing environment for everyone! We are going to provide that with First & Foremost Family Hotels. In addition, we are going to ensure a safe environment for families on the spectrum and also create substantial employment opportunities for adults with autism.”
First & Foremost Family Hotels chose Ernie as the perfect fit for this exciting new venture due to his wealth of expertise within the hospitality industry and, naturally, his experience as a discerning traveller staying in the world’s leading hotels during his 25-year professional tour career. Ernie also has successful business pursuits off the course in the realms of golf course design, wines, academies, hospitality with The Els Clubs and Big Easy Restaurants, and apparel, amongst many others.
Of great consequence is the fact that all First & Foremost Family Hotels will be autism friendly thanks to input from Ernie himself and The Els for Autism Foundation. Expertise and the latest systems from The Els Center of Excellence, currently under construction in Florida, will be utilised to produce highly trained staff. The new family hotel concept will also offer unique employment opportunities for adults on the spectrum across departments such as accounts, maintenance, sport and recreation, and administration amongst others. Ernie was keen to stress that, “hopefully our lead will encourage other organisations to follow suit”.
A trend within the travel world is community sharing whereby residential accommodation is rented through the likes of AirBnB. This has shaken up the industry, as Mike Scully, Managing Director of First & Foremost Hotels and Resorts points out. “To achieve double digit returns, hotels need to have their point of difference,” explains Mike. “This can be location, hospitality, entertainment and/or leisure. This is key for a strong return on investment for owners. First & Foremost Family hotels will incorporate all of the above. Combined with the Leading Family Hotels ‘Edutainment’ offer – specialising in kids from 0-5 age group – this makes us unique. We’re not reliant on school holidays and we can focus on achieving the highest room rates and occupancy levels all year round.”
Due to their unique partnerships, bespoke approach and the opportunities that exist in the family sector, Mike Scully, who has been instrumental in the development of over 70 hotel openings and food and beverage concepts is confident of ensuring success to owners and developers that work with First & Foremost Family Hotels. “Through our partnership with Leading Family Hotels and Ernie Els,” says Mike, “we shall assist owners and developers of resort hotels to achieve higher than average returns on investment while maintaining risk awareness and being unique in product and service quality.”
Mike Scully, Managing Director, First & Foremost Hotels & Resorts
A bespoke hotel asset, development and operations company. With almost 30 years managing and developing hotels and resorts on three continents Michael has achieved remarkable successes through achieving above market average return on investment for owners. Mike has one daughter who is on the spectrum and is therefore uniquely aware of the need for employment opportunities for those with autism.
Mayer Family Hotels
Mayer Family Hotels GmbH is a company incorporated in Austria who owns, operates and develops premium hotels & resorts specialised to families with children. Ernst Mayer, the company’s CEO, is considered the pioneer of family vacation, member of the board of the Kinderhotels Europe group, founder and shareholder of Leading Family Hotels & Resorts. Mayer Family Hotels’ key involvement will bring the expertise in areas of design specifications, operational standards, staff training and client database with over 350,000 families.
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Nick Smith, Account Manager, Professional Sports Group
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