Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide yesterday announced that it closed on the sale of The St Regis Florence and The Westin Excelsior Florence to Nozul Hotels & Resorts, the owner of The Gritti Palace, Venice, and W Doha Hotel, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jaidah Holdings for €190mn (approximately $213mn)
Starwood will continue to operate the hotels under the St Regis and Westin brand flags under new long-term management agreements.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide chief executive officer Thomas Mangas said, “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.
“Asset dispositions remain a key part of that strategy and, following a year where we exceeded our target, we have already disposed of nearly $500mn 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.”
Starwood president (global development) Simon Turner said, “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. We see strong interest in our remaining assets from a diverse array of investors worldwide with other potential transaction discussions ongoing.”
Dr Mazen Jaidah, Jaidah Holdings executive chairman, said, “Based on our long-term value creation strategy, we continue to invest in high quality assets that are resilient to market fluctuations. As with our previous acquisition in Venice, the Florence properties are destinations for their cultural and historical values.”
Nawaf Jaidah, executive vice chairman of Jaidah Holdings, said, “We are very pleased to expand our presence in Italy with Starwood by acquiring these two beautiful properties. The addition of the St Regis and Westin in Florence to the Gritti Palace in Venice emphasises our commitment to establish a portfolio of trophy assets in major European destinations.”
“I am delighted that Jaidah Holdings have purchased these landmark Florentine assets as they have proven to be excellent owners and partners with whom we now collaborate on four wonderful hotels, including W Doha, the first W Hotel in the Middle East, and The Gritti Palace in Venice,” said Michael Wale, President, Europe, Africa and the Middle East for Starwood.
The St Regis Florence was originally built in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi and is considered 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 some 99 guestrooms, including 19 suites, approximately 6,500 square feet of meeting space, the Iridium Suites Spa My Blend by Clarins 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 centre and two food and beverage outlets, including the rooftop bar and restaurant SE-STO on Arno.
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