Choice Hotels Ascend Hotel Collection Welcomes Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and Its Fabled "Fountain Of Youth"
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Choice Hotels Ascend Hotel Collection Welcomes Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and Its Fabled "Fountain Of Youth"

LAS VEGAS, May 14, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Ascend Hotel Collection from Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's leading hotel companies, today announced the addition of the stately and historic Safety Harbor Resort and Spa to its rapidly expanding and impressive list of distinctive upscale hotels.

Ascend Hotel Collection is an international portfolio of independent hotels that uniquely reflect the character of its host city. For guests, Ascend hotels deliver a richly local experience. For hoteliers, the great appeal of Ascend is that the Collection allows operators to maintain their individuality while giving them access to the firepower of Choice Hotels International's robust distribution system, industry leading Choice Privileges loyalty rewards program and support from a vast network of other member hotels around the globe.

As a National Historical Landmark and Florida Heritage Landmark, Safety Harbor Resort and Spa offers guests a unique experience that embodies the essence of Ascend Hotel Collection's tagline – let the destination reach you.

"Safety Harbor is truly a remarkable addition to the Ascend Hotel Collection. This upscale, historic property offers guests an authentic experience delivered by a staff committed to the highest standards of service," said Michael Murphy, senior vice president of upscale brands at Choice Hotels International. "We are proud to call this property a member of the Ascend Hotel Collection."

A Rich History

Nestled on 33 acres on the west shore of the quaint coastal town of Safety Harbor, Florida, overlooking the peaceful waters of Tampa Bay, this iconic estate-like resort is home to Florida's only Natural Mineral Spring Spa. The spring was once heralded the legendary "Fountain of Youth," which earned it a reputation as Florida's first spa and a place "where healing waters flow."

The mineral spring has inspired folklore and wonder for centuries. Believing the springs held mystical powers to maintain youth and heal the sick, Indians inhabited what is now the Safety Harbor area almost 12,000 years ago. In 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto reached the shores and believed that he had found the celebrated "Fountain of Youth." The natural spring water was eventually bottled and shipped to eager consumers worldwide who believed it was a remedy for physical ailments with restorative properties. In 1926, the Safety Harbor Sanatorium opened and, nearly two decades later, the springs and sanatorium were sold and converted to a health spa that still stands today.

"We are extremely proud of our history and nearly 90 years of exemplary hospitality and wellness that Safety Harbor Resort and Spa has provided to discerning travelers from across the globe," stated General Manager Ajith Dissanayake. "We offer a one-of-a-kind destination steeped in history, health and hospitality and look forward to a long lasting relationship as part of the Ascend Collection."

A Relaxing Guest Experience

Visitors to Safety Harbor are attracted by the mineral springs, peaceful waterside views and its serene, secluded location that offers guests a welcome retreat while still being only a short trip from St. Petersburg and Tampa.

For several years Safety Harbor's 50,000-square-foot spa has been named among Spa Finder Magazine's top ten U.S. spas. Spa guests can choose from an array of treatments, ranging from nail care to massages that rejuvenate and revitalize the mind and body. At Safety Harbor guests are encouraged to take part in a lifestyle enrichment program that offers guidance on topics such as nutrition and stress management. A fully equipped fitness center features more than 70 weekly classes as well as access to certified personal trainers.

Safety Harbor's timeless elegance attracts both leisure and business travelers. Depending on their needs, guests can choose from five types of spacious rooms that all include granite surfaces, marble flooring, flat-screen plasma TVs and free wireless high-speed internet. Most guest rooms feature French doors leading out to a patio or balcony that can feature views of Tampa Bay, the pool or Tranquility Garden. Guests may also enjoy roomy Junior or Full Suite accommodations.

Safety Harbor also boasts more than 30,000 square feet of flexible event space that can easily accommodate groups as large as 1,000 people. By offering both indoor and outdoor venues, Safety Harbor Resort is able to provide a unique experience with spectacular views of Tampa and Tampa Bay.

Healthy Dining

The dining options at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa are equally refreshing and unique. Guests will enjoy contemporary cuisine at Fountain Grille restaurant with an innovative selection of dishes that prepared with fresh ingredients and featuring flavors of the Mediterranean. Fountain Grille offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and befitting of its name, natural mineral water drawn straight from the historic springs. Should guests crave something lighter, La Sardine Lounge, just off the lobby, offers cocktails, light fare and complimentary snacks. Poolside, Tiki Bar serves energizing smoothies, frozen treats and a light lunch option. Room service is also available.

About Ascend Hotel Collection

The Ascend Hotel Collection membership program made its debut in late 2008 and now has 125 hotels open throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, Australia and the Caribbean. The eclectic portfolio of upscale, independent hotels appeals to the growing number of people who like to immerse themselves in the destination and live like the locals when they travel. For more information, visit

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,300 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 35 other countries and territories. As of March 31, 2014, 398 hotels, representing more than 30,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 95 hotels, representing approximately 8,900 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 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, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.

Choice Hotels International offers the Choice Privileges rewards program. With more than 19 million members worldwide, is one of the fastest growing hotel loyalty programs in the travel industry.

Additional corporate information can 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 Hotel Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International Inc.

© 2014 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ascend Hotel Collection.

SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.


Sarah Lee
Tel: (301) 628-4397



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