Locals do not expect Marriott-Starwood merger to affect Virgin Island hotels

Marriott's purchase of Starwood is not likely to affect hotels from either company in the Virgin Islands, local insiders claim. Four hotels in the territory fall under Marriott International or Starwood Hotels & Resorts brands, including Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort, The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas, the Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa and the Westin St. John Resort.

Only one hotel on St. Croix - Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa - is involved in the merger, so the island is not likely to be affected, Margi Levy of the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association told the Virgin Islands Daily News. While Carambola is part of the Marriott chain, the franchise could not discuss the aspects of the deal specifically.

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Marriott's Frenchman's Reef is also unlikely to be affected, according to spokeswoman Chappelle George. The Ritz-Carlton, which has been a part of the Marriott Brand since 1998, has not yet received any information at the individual property level, according to public relations manager Andrea Bruce, who said she did not believe the hotel would be affected and that the merger is slated to be implemented in mid-2016.

The Westin St. John Resort, a Starwood hotel, did not return the News' calls for comment.

CBRE Hotels, a realty company that also is overseeing the sale of a three-hotel portfolio that includes Caribbean properties—Courtyard By Marriott in San Jose, Costa Rica, The Courtyard Port of Spain in Trinidad and the Courtyard Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic—is not commenting on the merger, according to CBRE corporate communications senior director Robert McGrath.

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