In advance of its acquisition by Marriott, Starwood is looking to pare down its owned real estate, including the St. Regis hotels in New York and San Francisco, which are attracting attention from a deep-pocketed Middle East investor.
The Qatar Investment Authority is reportedly eyeing the two hotels, which insiders suggest may be worth $1 billion. And while Real Capital Analytics estimates that the QIA has invested $7.5 billion in hotels since its 2005 founding, this combined purchase would be a significant chunk of change. (The Authority purchased the St. Regis Rome in 2014 for just under $151 million, in comparison.)
Last year, Qatar said that it plans to invest $35 billion in the U.S. over the next five years in an effort to diversify its holdings. To that end, the Doha-based fund opened a New York office in September.
The other three hotels that Starwood is looking to sell include the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta and the Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile. It is also trying to sell the leasehold on the W New York - Times Square.