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Ascend Collection from Choice Debuts in Central America while Continuing
North American Expansion with Two New Canadian Properties

The Gran Hotel in Costa Rica, the St-Christophe Hotel & Spa in Quebec
and the Hidden Valley Resort in Ontario Join the Portfolio

SILVER SPRING, Md. (Feb. 28, 2012) – The Ascend Collection membership program from Choice Hotels International makes it debut in Central America with a new member hotel in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica, the company announced today. Expansion continues in Canada as well, with new properties in Québec and Ontario.

The lodgings are Gran Hotel, San Jose; St-Christophe Hotel & Spa, Granby, Québec; and Hidden Valley Resort, Huntsville, the company’s inaugural property in Ontario.

“Each hotel is in a prime location,” says Stacy Ragland, vice president of operations for Ascend Collection. “We are thrilled to offer our guests these exceptional properties and new destinations to explore and enjoy. We look forward to continuing our international expansion in the coming year.”

In 2011, membership in Ascend Collection rose nearly 35 percent over the previous year, Ragland reports. As a member of this elite portfolio, each hotel remains independently owned and managed, while also leveraging the power of one of the world’s largest hospitality companies. The lodgings gain international reservations and distribution systems. They enjoy visibility before a network of more than 14 million Choice Privileges rewards members worldwide. And they acquire a presence on, one of the hospitality industry’s most visited websites. Ragland offers the following information on the network’s latest additions.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
Travelers immerse themselves in Costa Rican culture at this national historic landmark hotel in the heart of downtown San Jose, steps away from the city’s top museums, theaters and historic sites. The hotel’s open-air patio restaurant fronts the street musicians and activity of the Cultural Plaza. It’s a favorite spot to people-watch over lunch in the tropical sunshine or dine before a show down the street at the National Theater. The Gran Hotel also houses 107 guestrooms and suites, a full-service spa, piano bar, art gallery, coffee shop, business center, fitness center, meeting rooms and gift shop. Guestrooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, minibars, flat-screen TVs and comfy beds with pillow-top mattresses. Many rooms also have separate sitting areas, hot tubs and balconies with splendid views of the Cultural Plaza below. [Through April 30, 2012, rates start at $79 (U.S.) plus tax per night. For the JFK Presidential Suite, where the late President stayed during his trip to Central America, nightly rates are from $250 (U.S.) plus tax.]

San Jose’s premier landmarks are right outside the hotel doors. Beneath the Cultural Plaza, the wondrous Gold Museum is a three-story underground museum showcasing thousands of pieces made by aborigine artisans in pre-Columbian times. Steps away, housed in a 19th-century palace, the National Theater treats visitors to world-class opera, concerts, theater and art. History buffs in particular enjoy displays of Costa Rica’s past and present at the National Museum. For a change of pace, guests stroll over to the Central Market for eclectic treasures, including clothes, jewelry and crafts. Here, eateries offer luscious Costa Rican fare from homemade tortillas to guava marmalade, figs, mangoes and fried plantains.

St-Christophe Hotel & Spa, Granby, Québec, Canada
This boutique hotel boasts a lakefront, city-center location at the foot of the Laurentian Mountains; guests are just a few minutes from excellent shopping, dining and year-round recreation. The property’s classic European architecture and hand-carved mahogany furnishings create a warm and elegant atmosphere. There are 50 guestrooms and suites, a restaurant, spa, business center, heated indoor pool, exercise room and three meeting rooms for conferences and banquets of up to 70 people.

Spacious guestrooms have plush beds, free Wi-Fi and luxurious robes. Some rooms and suites also come with double spa tubs, large sitting areas and balconies with striking lake views. The onsite Bistro Le Picollo offers classic French cuisine with Mediterranean flair. For relaxation, guests duck into Spa St-Christophe for everything from paramedical treatments to massages and facials. (Rates are from $129 plus tax per night.)

St-Christophe Hotel is close to all the attractions. Guests enjoy direct access to the scenic Green Route bike trail. Additionally, less than five miles from the hotel are the acclaimed Theatre Palace, Galeries de Granby shopping mall, and the Granby Zoo. Also nearby, Parc de la Yamaska draws outdoor enthusiasts for hiking, backcountry skiing, boating, fishing and spectacular Laurentian scenery. Bromont mountain resort offers year-round recreation too, with its snowy slopes in the winter and waterpark in the summer. Another favorite, Quebec’s Wine Route, is set amidst mountains and hilltops, showcasing fine wineries, regional cuisine, art galleries and more.

Hidden Valley Resort, Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
This year-round resort is perched on the shores of Peninsula Lake with the rugged Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area as its backdrop. Guests are just a short stroll to the hotel’s private beach and to some of Ontario’s premier skiing and snowboarding terrain.

Ninety-three newly renovated guestrooms welcome travelers with stunning lake or mountain views, luxurious linens, flat-screen televisions and complimentary Internet access. Some rooms have fireplaces or jetted tubs too. The resort’s Birches Restaurant boasts stunning lake views and options to please all palates, from light bites to gourmet fare made with locally sourced ingredients. Hidden Valley Resort also has a fitness center; lounge; indoor and outdoor pools; a business center; and four meeting rooms, accommodating up to 400 people. (Rates start from $89 plus tax per night.)

Guests can find plenty of nearby things to do. There are skiing, fishing, and complimentary canoes, kayaks and paddleboats on property. Less than a mile away, Hidden Valley Ski Area offers trails, from beginner to advanced; ski and snowboard lessons; kids’ camps and more. Also nearby are golf courses, shops, theater, and Muskoka Pioneer Village, a favorite with families and history buffs. For additional options, Algonquin Provincial Park is not far away. Here, visitors find woodsy trails for snowshoeing, skiing, hiking and biking and meandering rivers perfect for paddling and fishing.

About Ascend Collection
The Ascend Collection membership program made its debut in late 2008 and now has hotels open and under development in the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Costa Rica. The network appeals to the growing number of travelers who like to discover upscale independent hotels with local flair when traveling for business or leisure. Member hotels include The GEM Hotels with three boutique hotels in New York City; Inn of Chicago, one-half block from The Magnificent Mile; Greenlinks Resort, situated on two championship golf courses in Naples, Fla.; Zona Hotel and Suites Scottsdale in Ariz;; and Inn on the Lake, just outside Halifax, N.S. For more information on this collection of Historic, Boutique and Unique and hotels, visit

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,100 hotels, representing more than 495,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of December 31, 2011, more than 400 hotels were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 30,000 rooms, and approximately 80 hotels, representing approximately 7,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in 20 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.

Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. Web site, which may be accessed at

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Choice Privileges, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.


Sharlet Brennan
Ypartnership Public Relations

Karlee Kunkle
Ypartnership Public Relations


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Also See: Choice Hotels Opens 5,000th Domestic Franchised Property with the Opening of the Comfort Suites in Katy, Texas / February 2012

Choice Hotels International Appoints Barbara T. Alexander to its Board of Directors / February 2012

Choice Hotels Names Simone Wu as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary / February 2012

Choice Hotels Promotes Sarah Searls to Vice President of Business and Analytic Services / February 2012

Choice Hotels Launches Plan to Redefine and Redesign its Comfort Brand Family / January 2012

Choices Hotels Appoints John Tague to its Board of Directors / January 2012

Membership with Ascend Collection from Choice Up by Nearly 35% over 2010 / December 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Adds The Wesport Inn in Connecticut and the GreenLinks Golf Villas at Lely Resort in Naples, Florida / November 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Adds Three New Properties in October 2011 in California, Michigan and Pennsylvania / October 2011

The 431-room Xona Resort Suites in North Scottsdale, Arizona Becomes Zona Hotel & Suites Scottsdale as Part of Multi-Million Dollar Renovation and Reflagging; With Membership in Choice Hotel's Ascend Collection, the Property is Owned by Sunstone US Hotel and Operated by O'Neill Hotels & Resorts / October 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Debuts in Washington, D.C. Market with the 261-suite Virginian Suites Arlington Owned by Virginian Associates, LLC and Operated by Modus Hotels, LLC / September 2011

Choice Hotels International and Foulger-Pratt Companies Break Ground for New Choice Hotels Corporate Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland / August 2011

Choice Hotels International Opens 28 New Hotels in July 2011 / August 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Debuts in Arizona with the 431-room Xona Resort Suites in North Scottsdale Owned by Sunstone US Hotel and Operated by O'Neill Hotels & Resorts / July 2011

Choice Hotels Executes Lease for New Corporate Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland / July 2011

Choice Hotels International Opens 27 New Hotels in June 2011 / July 2011

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Debuts in New Hampshire with the 40-room Lane Hotel in Keene Operated by Colwen Management / June 2011

99-key Ben Lomond Suites Historic Hotel in Ogden, Utah, Joins Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels / March 2011

New Owner of XONA Resort Suites in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sunstone Realty Advisors, Chooses Tower Rock Hotels and Resorts to Manage Property / February 2011

Ascend Collection by Choice Hotels Continues Growth with Addition of Eleven Properties in Final Months of 2010 Bringing Total to 70 Open or Under Development / February 2011

Three Canadian Properties Join Choice Hotels Ascend Collection; The Château Moncton and Château Saint John, New Brunswick, and Hotel Royal William, Québec / January 2011

Choice Hotels International Opens 33 Hotels in November in 14 States and Seven Countries Adding More than 2,500 rooms / December 2010

Choice Hotels International Opens 24 New Hotels in October Adding More than 1,600 rooms / November 2010

Choice Hotels Offers Significant Incentives for Hotel Owners Interested in Converting an Existing Hotel to the Quality, Clarion or Econo Lodge Brand; Incentives Include Discounted Application Fees, No Royalty Fees and Cash Back Upon Opening / August 2010

To Stimulate Brand Growth Econo Lodge Offering Up to $25,000 in Incentives for Conversion Properties / Aug 2003

Choice Offers Development Incentive for Conversions to Quality Brand; Up to $85,000 in Savings for Conversion Properties / Aug 2002

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