This is your one free issue for the month.

Subscribe today for full access.

North America

Marriott’s Massive Expansion Across the Caribbean and Latin America

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

February 26th, 2024

hotel lobby with a seating area

Skift Take

Marriott International announced a year of robust room signings and additions across the Caribbean and Latin America in 2023. The Company nearly doubled its number of organic deal signings in the region versus the prior year.

The DJIA was down 62 points, while Nasdaq fell 21, the S&P 500 was down 19% and the 10-year treasury yield was up .04 to 4.30%. Lodging stocks did not repeat Friday’s spectacular performance but HLT and H did hit new highs. SOND was up another 17%, VCSA was up 8%, and AINC rose 6% on the day.

JLL’s U.S. Hotels latest chart of the week shows record-high pricing for full-service hotels is indicative of rising investor demand, as evidenced by the elevated levels of $1 million per key trades. Following the impact of the pandemic in 2020, the number of single-asset hotel transactions in the U.S. with an average price per key exceeding one million has experienced a remarkable surge, reaching record-high levels over the last three years. Hotels that command prices above $1 million per key include trophy assets of renowned international hotel brands located in major global cities as well as luxury hotels in prime urban or resort destinations. By the end of 2023, the total number of such transactions stood at 13, which is 53.9% higher than the long-term average since 2015. This notable increase in the number of transactions with an average price per key above $1 million signifies a strong market demand for full-service hotels, particularly in urban markets that are experiencing a resurgence in group, business, and international demand. In 2023, the average price per key for these hotels reached $381,000, surpassing the previous peaks in both 2019 and 2015 by 15.2% and 13.1%, respectively. This trend suggests that the full-service hotel sector will continue to attract investors over the long term, especially as global wealth is forecasted to reach $629 trillion over the next five years.

Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. provided an update on its previously announced plan to pay off its strategic financing which has a final maturity date in January 2026. This plan includes raising capital through a combination of asset sales, mortgage debt refinancing, and its non-traded preferred capital offering. The Company currently has three assets under Purchase and Sale Agreements and three additional assets under Letters of Intent. The combined sales prices of these six assets total more than $220 million. Additional assets are at various stages of the marketing process, and the Company plans to provide further updates in its earnings release this week.

Marriott International announced a year of robust room signings and additions across the Caribbean and Latin America in 2023. The Company nearly doubled its number of organic deal signings in the region versus the prior year, signing 57 transactions and nearly 7,300 rooms in 2023 to reach a pipeline of 24,000 rooms across the region at the end of last year. In 2023, the company added over 170 properties to Marriott’s portfolio in CALA, growing its footprint to nearly 500 properties, including hotels and residences, and nearly 87,000 rooms across 37 countries and territories. At year-end, Marriott’s hotel pipeline in CALA stood at 155 properties and 24,000 rooms. In 2023, the Company positioned CALA as the launch pad for the Company’s entry into the high-growth affordable midscale segment with the acquisition of the City Express brand portfolio. With 150 properties and approximately 17,500 rooms across Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Chile, the deal increased Marriott’s footprint in the region by approximately 45%. In 2024, the City Express by Marriott brand is expected to further expand with new properties across the region. Hotel conversions continue to have momentum in the CALA. Nearly 35% of Marriott’s room signings in the region in 2023 were conversions. Marriott’s all-inclusive resort portfolio in the region continues to meet consumer demand. With 31 open all-inclusive properties in CALA located across nine markets, four brands, and 18 additional properties in the signed pipeline, the company is providing guests more all-inclusive offerings than ever before. Expected all-inclusive openings for 2024 in the region will bring Marriott’s global all-inclusive roster to 49 open and pipeline properties across 12 markets and 10 brands. Six of the pipeline properties are slated to open in 2024. Branded residences in CALA are experiencing a surge of customer demand. Marriott currently offers 15 open locations in 11 markets across the region with 4 additional branded residences to open in 2024. Globally, the company has a pipeline of 115 residential projects.

The growing Waldorf Astoria brand is adding another new resort in the Caribbean Basin this year, with the planned debut of the Waldorf Astoria Costa Rica Cacique. The new resort, the first for the brand in the Central American country, is expected to make its debut in the fourth quarter of this year. The Guanacaste-area property will be a residential resort with a mix of 190 rooms and 41 branded residences. It will be the third Waldorf-branded resort in the Caribbean-Mexico region. The resort had initially been pegged for a 2025 debut, so the 2024 opening will be ahead of schedule.

TPG announced the Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa is slated to open on Thursday. Developed and managed by Highgate, the 39-story Renaissance hotel boasts 187 rooms, 112 residences; an eighth floor Sky Deck with a full-service Uhiwai Spa, a modern gym, 25-meter lap pool, heated saltwater pool, two hot tubs, cabanas and barbecue pavilions. The hotel also offers multiple food and beverage venues.

The Westin Harbour Castle hotel, in Toronto, is about to get a $50 million facelift, just in time for its 50th anniversary. The first stage of the renovation, which is already underway, will see 450 of the hotel’s 977 guestrooms updated. The renovation also includes an expanded gym that includes a yoga and meditation studio. The property also features a revolving restaurant atop its tower that has not rotated since the early 2000s and will remain motionless for the foreseeable future.

A proposed Courtyard by Marriott hotel is planned to be built in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana. The project is set to begin this summer at the site of the former Vigo County School Corporation office, which is being demolished. According to the Terre Haute Mayor, they are taking land that is not being used and turning it into two hotels and there’s room for two commercial stores. There’s not a set timeline for completion, and this hotel is just phase one, the other hotel will go in as step two of the plan.

Lamont Companies, the developer behind the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Montrose that will open within Colorado Outdoors this spring, is planning a second brand-name hotel within the campus. The developer plans to break ground in Montrose, Colorado in 2025 after operating the Marriott location for a year to get a sense of the local market. The exact hotel chain has not been named, but meeting documents say it will be a Home2 Suites by Hilton, or a comparable chain. The developer’s initial presentation cited plans for a 90-room hotel.

Pandox AB entered into an agreement to divest the 595-room DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal in Canada. The sale includes both the hotel property and hotel operations with a total transaction price of approximately MCAD 80. The closing is planned to take place in the second quarter of 2024.

IHG Hotels & Resorts, in collaboration with owner Guru Hospitality, celebrated the opening of a newly converted Holiday Inn hotel in Ontario, OregonHoliday Inn Ontario offers 97 fully renovated guestrooms, more than 3,500 square feet of meeting and event space, two onsite restaurants, an indoor hot tub, and a heated outdoor pool.

A distressed San Francisco hotel has lost 25% of its value in less than a year, according to special servicer reporting. The Club Quarters in the North Financial District was worth $160 million in October 2022 and appraised at just $120 million in June last year. Blackstone bought the San Francisco hotel along with three others in Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia from Masterworks Development, an affiliate of Club Quarters, for $283 million in 2016. It got nearly $274 million from CMBS on the deal in 2017, but stopped payments just months into the pandemic, and the loan has been in special servicing ever since. Masterworkbought $61 in mezzanine debt on its former properties at a discounted price last year.

Choice Hotels International, Inc. announced the opening of Cambria Hotel Burbank Airport. The new hotel offers 150 rooms and a host of upscale amenities.

Tracy and Scott Wagner, owners of The Oaks Waterfront Hotel in Easton, Maryland, announced the reopening of the hotel following a $10 million renovation. Included in the renovations were interior and exterior changes to the main building, an additional four cottages were built on the property, and over 200 mature trees were planted. They also installed an elevator, created accessible handicap rooms, and renovated the dock to make it easier to use for everyone.

Snelling-Midway Redevelopment LLC, owner of Minnesota United FC, is planning to build a hotel, restaurant, and parking garage at the team’s stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota. The developer is planning an 8-story, 150-room hotel with a full-service restaurant. The complex would also include a five-story parking ramp with 300 stalls and office space. The developer hopes to break ground on the hotel this year.

Woodlands Development Group, in collaboration with Taylor Hospitality, announced the opening of the Tygart Hotel in Elkins, West Virginia. Opening inside the newly remodeled 1905 building that anchors the Downtown Elkins Historic District, the boutique hotel features 56 unique rooms, a small conference room, and a lobby cocktail bar and restaurant slated to open in March. The property is part of the Ascend Boutique Hotel Collection, an upscale brand from Choice Hotels.

HVS Asset Management & Advisory has been selected as the Asset Manager of The Lodge at Schroon Lake, located in Schroon Lake, New York. Following a $21 million renovation, the resort features 116 units, including hotel rooms, standalone cabins and chalets, and upscale glamping sites.

Montage International received a strategic investment arranged by Luxor Capital Group. In addition to investments by affiliate funds of Luxor, the investment group is comprised of significant commitments from funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Inc. This investment represents a new chapter in the ongoing development of Montage International. The partnership will spur the next stage of the Company’s growth in the United States and beyond for both the Montage and Pendry brands. In connection with the transaction, Moelis & Company LLCserved as financial advisor to Montage International and Denton acted as its legal advisor.

This is a bit of a strange one as CoStar has been sued in a proposed class action lawsuit, accusing it and a group of luxury hotel operators, including HiltonHyatt, and Marriott of conspiring to keep room rental prices artificially high. Seven people filed the lawsuit in Seattle federal court seeking damages under the US antitrust law for alleged room price overpayments. The lawsuit accuses the hotels of sharing competitively sensitive, commercial information through CoStar’s STRreports that show performance benchmarking and comparative analytics for the industry. The suit said this allows participating companies to use rivals’ strategic information to inflate prices in DCSan FranciscoNYNashvilleChicagoBostonAustin, and other cities.

Apple Hospitality REIT dismissed Ernst & Young LLP as its independent accounting firm following a competitive selection process. The REIT selected KPMG LLP to serve as its independent accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31 as part of the selection process. E&Y was dismissed effective Thursday following its completion of its audit for Apple Hospitality for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2023.

Personnel News

Meyer Jabara Hotels appointed Ian McAuley as the new Chief Investment Officer. In this newly created role, McAuley will leverage his experience in real estate and hospitality to drive the company’s growth. His responsibilities include identifying new investment opportunities, fostering relationships with equity investors and lenders, and securing third-party management contracts. Previously, McAuley co-founded VM Hotel Acquisition Corp., serving as CEO, president, and director. He also held the position of Canadian president at Aimbridge Hospitality.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

February 26th, 2024

Companies: Marriott International, Aimbridge Hospitality, Apple Hospitality REIT, Ashford Hospitality Trust, Cambria Hotels, Choice Hotels International, City Express, Club Quarters, Courtyard by Marriott, DoubleTree by Hilton, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Goldman Sachs, Highgate, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Home2 Suites by Hilton, HVS, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Montage International, Sonder Holdings Inc., TPG, Vacasa, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Chile, Colombia, Colorado, Costa Rica, Honolulu, Indiana, Los Angeles, Maryland, Mexico, Montreal, Nashville, New York City, Oregon, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington DC

Photo credit: A City Express by Marriott lobby.  Marriott International

You've Read Your Free Issue for the Month

Subscribe today to get access to 20+ new issues a month and our entire archive.

Already a subscriber? Login

North America


Per Month

Charged $495 per year.

APAC + NA Combo


Per Month

Charged $795 per year.