Fashion brand Tommy Bahama pushes into hospitality

Capitalizing on their mutual strong presence in Coachella Valley—and a shared luxury customer profile—hotel developer Lowe has partnered with retail and restaurant operator Tommy Bahama to create the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif.  

Owned by Lowe since 2020, which held the property in the past, but sold it to an investor in 2014, the Miramonte will continue to be run by Lowe’s hotel management arm, CoralTree Hospitality. Tommy Bahama’s parent company, Oxford Industries, Inc., purchased a minority equity stake in the hotel. Lowe officials declined to say the exact size or dollar amount of Tommy Bahama’s share.  

Assuming success, which appears likely given Tommy Bahama’s strong brand following that includes island-inspired clothing and a host of branded restaurants, hotel enthusiasts can expect to see this partnership replicated in other markets.  

“We’ve talked to them about other opportunities in markets where we have a similar concentration and history,” said Mike Lowe, co-CEO of Lowe. “We focus on resorts nationwide, in Mexico and the Caribbean; Tommy Bahama is very strategic for that reason.” 

The Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif., will reemerge as the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa after an $8-million renovation.

Great Minds Think Alike 

The partnership came about, in large part, because executives from the two brands have a long-standing friendship, but also due to synergies between the brands.  

Mike Lowe has known Rob Goldberg, EVP of resorts, restaurants and bars at Tommy Bahama, for at least a decade. “When the company was thinking of building an interest in hospitality, he reached out to me,” Lowe said. Once Lowe acquired Miramonte in 2020, discussions began in earnest. 

Matt Walker, EVP of Lowe, noted the similarity in psychograph and demographic of Tommy Bahama customers and the existing Miramonte guest. “There is quite a bit of overlap,” he said. Tommy Bahama maintains an extensive database of affluent customers, particularly Southern California residents. “The brand’s loyalists have been asking for a Tommy Bahama resort for years, so there is plenty of pent-up demand,” Walker said, adding that the Coachella Valley market is maturing into a year-round destination driven by its national exposure from a growing calendar of music and arts festivals and sporting events. “We are fortunate to be launching a hotel brand in a drive-to resort market served by Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego,” he said. 

Lowe and Walker declined to state how much, roughly, the move will impact ADR or RevPAR, but their enthusiasm paints a picture.  

“Tommy Bahama brings a number of distribution channels, including its significant online presence and catalog, which will help drive business to the hotel,” Walker said. “We look forward to hosting the many couples asking for Tommy Bahama-themed weddings—we’ll be happy to outfit the wedding party.” 

“Tommy Bahama brings a number of distribution channels, including its significant online presence and catalog, which will help drive business to the hotel.” — Matt Walker, EVP, Lowe

Upgrades and New Features 

Set to undergo an $8-million renovation, the property will feature several touches of the Tommy Bahama brand by this fall. In addition to decor shifts, the Tommy Bahama Miramonte will feature a restaurant and a 12,000-square-foot retail store with exclusive items.  

“Tommy Bahama brings a lot to food and beverage,” Walker said. “The company takes a very high-level service approach and provides a resort vibe. And they combine that with their retail experience, which adds to the feel of the vacation environment. We expect the Tommy Bahama retail boutique and the new Tommy Bahama restaurant concept at Miramonte to be huge draws. 

The upgrade follows a $10-million spruce-up in 2022 that included a guest room update and the creation of an outdoor social space, complete with fire pits and bocce ball courts.  

Meanwhile, the property remains open while various sections are enhanced. When the upgrade is completed, there will be 215 rooms, including 23 decked-out suites, 35,000 square feet of meeting space and a 12,000-square-foot spa. Five of the suites will be revamped with products from the Tommy Bahama Home line.  

Why Retailers?  

Consumers have been increasingly interested in staying in hotels that are brand extensions from outside the hotel industry,” said Walker. “We feel there is an even greater cachet to stay in the first hotel under a new brand.” 

But the injection of fashion brands, restaurants and other retail businesses into the hotel space isn’t new. Fashion house Versace entered the market two decades ago when it opened the Palazzo Versace hotel in Australia. 

Armani has a hotel a piece in Italy and Dubai, while upscale Japanese restaurant Nobu has been in hotels since 1993 and is in 15 destinations, with more coming soon.  

The trend resurged in 2019 when Equinox, the fitness company, debuted a hotel in New York, and home decor empire Restoration Hardware followed suit in the Big Apple last year. 

Partnering with retail brands new to hotels is the next evolution for many properties, particularly in the wake of the last three years, said Emanuel Schreiner, founder of RVS Hospitality, in a HOTELS magazine guest column last January.  

“Due to COVID-19, the hospitality sector has been challenged… [Now], hotel operators need to adapt by developing new, engaging, innovative concepts and experiences to create love beyond reason so guests come back. Collaborating with like-minded brands provides customers with value-added services and enhances a property’s positioning in the market and overall identity.” 


Story contributed by Rayna Katz.