Sonesta launches new upscale focused-service brand

Sonesta International Hotels Corp. has launched its latest brand—the upscale focused-service Sonesta Select—with nine new properties. Newton, Mass.-based real estate investment trust Service Properties Trust, which commonly goes by its Nasdaq symbol SVC and has a 34 percent stake in Sonesta, rebranded these nine hotels from Marriott flags as part of a significant reshuffling of its portfolio from legacy brands to Sonesta.  

The new brand will join Sonesta's four other brands in the U.S.: Royal Sonesta, Sonesta Hotels & Resorts, Sonesta ES Suites and the recently introduced Sonesta Simply Suites. Early next year, the company expects to open more than 60 additional locations, adding to Sonesta’s presence in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Fort Worth, Texas; and Washington, D.C., while also expanding its footprint to include Raleigh–Durham, N.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Spartanburg, S.C. 

Related: SVC looks to rebrand 122 Marriott hotels to Sonesta

SVC entered short-term agreements with Sonesta that expire on Dec. 31, 2021, to manage these hotels. In addition to the nine new Sonesta Select hotels, a further three hotels transitioned from IHG are now operated under the Royal Sonesta and Sonesta ES Suites brands. 

“We're excited about the continued rapid growth of our portfolio of hotels and the launch of our newest brand, Sonesta Select,” said Carlos Flores, president and CEO of Sonesta International Hotels Corp. “This upscale focused-service brand is designed to be a prudent choice for travelers seeking affordable comfort, modern convenience and Sonesta's signature hospitality.”

Related: REIT threatens to terminate agreements for 103 IHG hotels

“We are excited about the launch of the Sonesta Select brand and the transitioning of 12 additional hotels to Sonesta, which follows the transition of 99 hotels to Sonesta successfully completed earlier this month,” said John Murray, president and CEO of SVC. “We believe that as a 34 percent owner of Sonesta, SVC will benefit from Sonesta’s growth as well as share in more of the upside from the recovery of these hotels. The rebranding of these hotels with Sonesta will also create greater flexibility for us in managing through these challenging market conditions and give us improved decision-making control over possible dispositions or alternative uses.”
Thanks to several agreement terminations by SVC in recent months, Sonesta’s portfolio has spiked 350 percent, and the company expects to have close to 300 Sonesta properties across seven brands operating in the U.S., Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Peru and St. Maarten.