Starwood sells The St. Regis, Rome, continues asset-light focus

One of Rome's most luxurious hotels is now under new ownership. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has sold The St. Regis, Rome to subsidiaries of Constellation Hotels Holding Limited for €110 million or approximately $150.7 million.

Starwood will continue to operate the hotel under the St. Regis brand flag as part of a new long-term management agreement.

“The sale of The St. Regis, Rome further advances Starwood’s asset-light strategy as we continue to seek the right owners and partners to create value for our shareholders and focus on growing our global fee business, and we are delighted to collaborate with Constellation Hotels Holding to ensure the future success of this extraordinary hotel,” said Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood.

The sale of the hotel could be a precursor to more high-profile assets being sold by Starwood. “With the benefit of favorable market conditions, we are seeing strong interest in our remaining assets from a broad array of investors around the world,” Turner continued.

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For Constellation, which last year acquired the InterContinental Hotel on London’s Park Lane for $460-million, it's another addition to its growing portfolio of high-end hotel.

“The St. Regis, Rome is an outstanding addition to our growing global portfolio of world-class assets in the world’s most desirable destinations,” said Zaki El Guiziri, CEO of Constellation. “Building on its rich legacy, The St. Regis caters to the next generation of luxury travelers with its uncompromising elegance, modern amenities and bespoke service. I take this opportunity to express our thanks to our advisors Hogan Lovells and BNP Paribas for their assistance in the closing of the transaction."

The St. Regis, Rome was originally opened as the Grand Hotel in 1896 by hotelier César Ritz. Following a $35-million refurbishment completed in 2000, The St. Regis, Rome became the first St. Regis hotel to open in Europe.

Subject to obtaining the required administrative authorizations, Constellation will reportedly complete further renovations to the hotel, including upgrades to all 161 guestrooms and suites and a redesign of the restaurant and lounge. In addition, improvements will be made to the hotel’s lobby, meeting space, business center and exterior façade.

The sale comes on the heels of another high-profile European hotel gaining new ownership. Earlier this month, Hong-Kong based Kai Yuan Holdings acquired the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysees for an estimated $468 million.

"This sale confirms the increasing interest from Asian capital for assets in Paris and the attractiveness of European key gateway cities for high-profile real estate investments," Nihat Ercan, EVP of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group in Singapore, said.

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