Ashford completes acquisition of the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas

The Ritz-Carlton Exterior (PRNewsFoto/Ashford Hospitality Prime, Inc.)

Ashford Hospitality Prime completed the previously-announced acquisition of the award-winning 180-room Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas for $64 million ($355,000 per key) from Marriott International. Concurrent with the completion of the acquisition, the company has financed the hotel with a $42 million non-recourse mortgage loan. This loan is interest only and provides for a floating interest rate of LIBOR + 4.95 percent with a two-year term with three, one-year extension options subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. The property will continue to be operated as a Ritz-Carlton under a long-term management agreement with Ritz-Carlton.

On a trailing 12-month basis as of November 2015, the hotel achieved RevPAR of $441, with an average daily rate of $556 and 79 percent occupancy.

“We are excited to complete the acquisition of this iconic U.S. Virgin Islands hotel as we believe it is a very attractive acquisition for our shareholders,” said Monty J. Bennett, Ashford Prime’s chairman and chief executive officer.  “With the extremely high quality of this resort, strong cash flow, and meaningful growth opportunities, The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas fits perfectly with Ashford Prime’s strategy of investing in high-quality, luxury assets in gateway and resort markets. Located in a stable market with high barriers to entry, where tourism trends remain positive, and having recently undergone a comprehensive renovation, this property is poised to continue the strong operating performance it has realized over the past year.”

Located on 30 pristine oceanfront acres along Great Bay, The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas is recognized as one of the best hotels in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Opened as The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas in 1996, the resort recently completed a comprehensive $22 millionrenovation of guest rooms and public space.

These include upgraded and additional food & beverage offerings, expanded wedding venue capacity, as well as an expanded desalination plant and new electricity generator enabling the hotel to operate independent of the island’s electricity system.

The property boasts 180 luxurious guestrooms, all featuring a spacious private balcony or terrace with dramatic ocean views or dazzling garden views. Newly remodeled bathrooms feature large double vanities, soaking tubs and separate glass showers. The resort offers unparalleled amenities including a beachfront infinity-edge pool and access to a traditional pool. The property features the signature Bleuwater Restaurant and three other distinctive oceanfront dining options, as well as more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and function space offering stunning views of Great Bay and neighboring St. John, a 7,500 square foot award-winning spa and a 2,000 square foot fitness center.  The resort also offers Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment eco adventures for children and adults, a comprehensive aquatic center and day sails, sunset cruises and private charters aboard Lady Lynsey, the hotel’s 53-foot luxury catamaran.