Wow, Starwood is really keeping their word on the “asset light” strategy they shared as part of their plans to prepare for the Marriott merger. The good news is that both of these hotels will continue to be operated by Starwood under “long-term management agreements” and presumably that means that their participation in the SPG program will remain as is. Nozul Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of the Qatar-based Jaidah Holdings, is the buyer. Nozul also recently bought Starwood’s Gritti Palace in Venice and owns the W Doha.
“The sale of the St. Regis Florence and the Westin Excelsior Florence hotels following our recent sale of The Gritti Palace in Venice to Jaidah Holdings highlights our ongoing commitment to dispose of our owned assets to the right long-term partners to create both immediate and long-term shareholder value,” said Simon Turner, president of global development at Starwood, in a brand statement. “We see strong interest in our remaining assets from a diverse array of investors worldwide with other potential transaction discussions ongoing.” “As we work to prepare for the close of our merger with Marriott International, we continue to vigorously compete in the market, grow our brands, and execute against our strategy to create value for Starwood’s shareholders,” said Thomas Mangas, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “Asset dispositions remain a key part of that strategy and, following a year where we exceeded our target, we have already disposed of nearly $500 million of assets this year, including this sale, the sale of Hotel Imperial, and the transfer of five properties as part of Vistana Signature Experiences’ separation from Starwood,” he said.
The St. Regis Florence was originally built in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi and is considered to be one of the most significant buildings in the city for its artistic and historical value. The hotel on the banks of the Arno River was converted from a Luxury Collection to a St. Regis Hotel in November 2011. It features 99 guestrooms, including 19 suites, approximately 6,500 square feet of meeting space, the Iridium Suites Spa My Blend byClarins and three restaurants and lounges. Partially renovated in 2014 and again in 2016, The Westin Excelsior Florence features 171 rooms, including 15 suites, approximately 5,700 square feet of meeting space, a WestinWORKOUT® fitness center and two food and beverage outlets, including the rooftop bar and restaurant SE-STO on Arno.
Full press release here.