NEW YORK — Starwood Hotels said it plans to invest up to $300 million in The Luxury Collection brand. The money will be used to expand and improve its hotel portfolio in North America. Part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection is investing in marquee hotel conversions and landmark renovations in diverse U.S. destinations, including Key West, Lake Tahoe, San Antonio and San Francisco, as it continues to grow around the world. A milestone year for the brand, The Luxury Collection is on track to surpass 100 hotels in more than 30 countries by the end of 2015.
“As we look to accelerate Starwood’s growth, we are shining an ever brighter spotlight on our world-class hotel brands to further incite innovation and create compelling guest experiences,” said Adam Aron, interim CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “We fully recognize the enormous untapped potential of The Luxury Collection, and with these new hotel openings and impressive renovations, Starwood is setting out for The Luxury Collection to become the world’s largest luxury hotel brand by year’s end.”
“Domestic demand for luxury travel is at pre-recession levels, which makes this an excellent time to invest in The Luxury Collection hotels in the U.S.,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts. “Additionally, we continue to see increasing demand from owners of independent luxury hotels who find tremendous value in partnering with Starwood to take advantage of our powerful distribution, loyalty and sales platforms. We expect this to be a period of significant growth for The Luxury Collection both in the U.S. and abroad as we sharpen the brand and drive profound consumer awareness around the world.”
Marquee Conversions Drive Expansion in North America
With an uptick in U.S. luxury travel, The Luxury Collection is using conversion opportunities to expand its portfolio in North America. Most recently, the brand welcomed Sunset Key, a private island with 40 luxury cottages nestled off the coast of Key West, in addition to signing Conrad Chicago, which is slated to join The Luxury Collection with a new name following its renovation this fall.
Later this year, The St. Anthony, Texas’s crown jewel in San Antonio, will officially reemerge after a multi-million dollar restoration that reflects the hotel’s enduring legacy while infusing a modern allure. In December, the legendary Cal Neva resort, situated on Lake Tahoe, will debut as part of The Luxury Collection after a complete renovation that will bring the glamour of the Rat Pack era back to the hotel. The brand will also make its long-awaited arrival in Napa Valley’s idyllic St. Helena in January 2016 with the opening of Las Alcobas, following a multi-million dollar transformation that will restore the historic Acacia House and add several contemporary multi-room cottages overlooking the vineyards.
Landmark Renovations Reimagine Legendary Hotels
As The Luxury Collection expands, the brand is also focused on restoring its existing hotels in North America. The Royal Hawaiian, known as the Pink Palace of the Pacific, recently unveiled its enhanced Mailani Beach Tower, offering a private haven in the epicenter of Waikiki Beach. Later this summer, Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis will conclude a comprehensive renovation of the hotel, including a new restaurant concept; and in September, San Francisco’s iconic Palace Hotel will reveal a striking, all-encompassing restoration, featuring redesigned guestrooms, suites, and public spaces as well as a renewed Garden Court. Early 2016, The Liberty, one of Boston’s most celebrated landmarks, will debut all new designs for its 298 guestrooms. Rounding out the renovations, The Phoenician, The Luxury Collection’s renowned resort located at the base of Camelback Mountain, will unveil a complete redesign next year of all its guestrooms and public spaces.
The investment in The Luxury Collection’s portfolio in North America follows a successful $500 million restoration program to breathe new life into some of brand’s most iconic European hotels. Over the past three years, hotels including the Gritti Palace in Venice, Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, Prince de Galles in Paris and Hotel Imperial in Vienna, were brought back to their original splendor.