Meeting and incentive groups who recognize Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as Asia’s leading luxury hotel group don’t have too much longer to wait for the brand to debut in North America and Europe. In 2008, the first Canadian property will open in Vancouver and in 2009, the Shangri-La group will open a hotel in Chicago—its first in the U.S.—and in Europe with the Shangri-La Hotel, Palais d’Iena, Paris.

In the ensuing three years, the chain expects to open in Miami, Las Vegas, New York, London, Vienna, and Toronto. Most hotels will have a room count between 150 and 250 guest rooms and many will include CHI, the Spa at Shangri-La, the group’s signature spa brand based on traditional Chinese and Himalayan traditions.

On the green meetings front, Shangri-La was an industry leader in environmental procedures even before its hotels began to receive ISO 14001 certification, the international Environmental Management System Standard. The group has an extensive list of internally developed environmental best practices that all hotels have implemented, with inspections to monitor for compliance. The inspection results affect each hotel’s annual performance and development review scores. The hotel opening in Vancouver will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

In 2007, Shangri-La launched Signature Events, a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to simplify proposals and contracts for meeting planners, speed response time, dedicate audiovisual professionals, and secure savings through Super Value Dates at