Briefs: Reubens bringing Oetker to Palm Beach; Palace Hotel to Taipei

Reubens bringing Oetker to Palm Beach: The Chesterfield hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, sold for US$42 million to the London-based billionaire Reuben brothers this year by the Tollman hotel family, also out of London and owners of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, reportedly will be rebranded as the Vineta Hotel under the Oetker Collection, Baden Baden, Germany. It will be Oetker’s first property in the U.S. and its 12th “Masterpiece Hotel.” The property is expected to undergo a “no-expenses-spared” renovation and reopen in 2023.

Habitas gets infusion from KSA fund: Mexico-based lifestyle hotel company Habitas has reportedly increased its investment base after securing US$50 million from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and A&K Travel Group. The investors will receive a minority interest in the Habitas brand, which was co-founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Oliver Ripley and partners Kfir Levy and Eduardo Castillo. With seven properties in countries like Mexico, Morocco and Namibia, Habitas will use the funds to support its global expansion. Currently, Habitas has four more openings planned before the end of 2022, including Todos Santos and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, as well as a second site in Morocco. It reports to have a pipeline of some 25 hotels, including a site being developed on the Hudson River in upstate New York, and 10 more are set to open in 2023.

Biden targets “junk fees” charged by hotels: With the midterm election in the U.S. less than a week away, President Joe Biden said his administration wants to save consumers more than US$1 billion by reconsidering the legality of fees such as those hotels charge for various services. The so-called “junk fees,” Biden said, “are unfair and hit marginalized Americans the hardest.” Biden added that things like resort fees benefit big corporations, not consumers.

Rendering of Ambassador Hotel Taipei

Palace Hotel’s first overseas expansion: Palace Hotel Co. Ltd., the Tokyo-based independent hotel brand, has expanded internationally with the addition of Ambassador Hotel Taipei in Taiwan. After operating for more than five decades, the hotel has closed to be razed and reconstructed. Slated to open in 2028, the hotel will be renamed Ambassador Palace Hotel Taipei. After the six-year redevelopment, the hotel will offer 106 rooms and suites, events spaces and a lounge for in-house guests. The property will also include 73 private residences in an adjacent, 23-story building. The hotel and Japanese restaurants will be managed by Palace Hotel Co. The U.K.-based G.A. Group will design the hotel’s interiors, while Mitsubishi Jisho Design Inc. will lead the hotel’s architectural design.

Apple Hospitality acquires 2 Marriotts: Apple Hospitality REIT, Richmond, Virginia, has acquired the 156-key AC Hotel by Marriott Louisville Downtown for US$51 million, or US$327,000 per key, and the 134-key AC Hotel by Marriott Pittsburgh Downtown for US$34 million, or US$254,000 per key. Following these two acquisitions, Apple Hospitality’s portfolio comprises 220 hotels with 28,983 rooms across 37 states.

Auberge’s second in Texas: Jo Ellard, president of Bowie Place Properties, has selected Auberge Resorts Collection to manage Bowie House, a new urban retreat in Fort Worth, Texas. Scheduled to open in late 2023, the luxury boutique hotel will anchor a 30-block of restaurants, retail and museums. Located on Camp Bowie Boulevard, a major corridor, the four-story Bowie House, Auberge Resorts Collection will feature 88 rooms and 18 suites, including a 2,250-square-feet signature suite. Interior design and architect firm BOKA Powell will lead the hotel’s design. The hotel will be the brand’s second property in Texas, following Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection in Austin.

Springboard Hospitality adds to portfolio: Springboard Hospitality, Encino, California, will assume management of The Hills Hotel in Laguna Hills, California. The full-service boutique hotel features 148 rooms, a full-service onsite restaurant and a lounge, along with 11,000 square feet of event space. Earlier known as OLS Hotels & Resorts, Springboard Hospitality operates over 41 branded and independent properties across 11 states.

US performance update: Hotel performance in the U.S. dipped marginally from the last week even as comparisons from 2019 improved, as per STR’s latest data, October 16-22.

  • Occupancy: 69.9% (-0.5%)
  • ADR: US$157.43 (+16.7%)
  • RevPAR: US$110.11 (+16.1%)

Among the top 25 markets, Tampa posted the largest increases over 2019 in occupancy (+7.4% to 75.9%) and RevPAR (+39.2% to US$117.28). Tampa has been one of the markets in Florida that have seen a performance lift associated with post-Hurricane Ian demand. Miami reported the highest ADR rise (+32.8% to US$221.59). ADR fell only in San Francisco (-8.5% to US$234.06), while the steepest RevPAR declines were recorded in San Francisco (-22% to US$175.30) and Minneapolis (-13.7% to US$79.33).

Hilton Times Square reopens: Hilton has announced the reopening of the 478-key Hilton New York Times Square. The hotel is owned by affiliates and/or funds managed by affiliates of Newbond Holdings, The Witkoff Group and Apollo Global Management, and managed by Hilton. Pinnacle Bar, overlooking Times Square, is scheduled to open later this year.