Venture bets big on full-service with DoubleTree in Orlando buy

AWH Partners, a real estate investment, development and management firm, in partnership with Building and Land Technology, a real estate private equity, development and property management firm, made the off-market acquisition of the 1,004-room DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at Sea World.

The Wall Street Journal puts the acquisition price at around $60 million, or $59,670 per key. Investors have tedned to shy away from full-service properties, opting instead for select-service hotels where yields can be higher and operating costs lower.

This is the second hotel acquisition for the partnership following the acquisition of the 536-room Dallas Westin Park Central. The firms plan renovations, to the tune of a reported $30 million, to the guestrooms, meeting space, public areas and resort grounds, and will add approximately 30,000 square feet of upgraded facilities and premier ballroom space to enhance the hotel’s conference center. AWH Development will oversee the renovations and Spire Hospitality will manage operations under a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide.

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“AWH is delighted to make our second investment in Orlando and our second deal with BLT following the Dallas Westin Park Central transaction. This opportunity comes at an attractive basis, with a terrific brand, and is an opportunity to apply the combined experience and leadership of our development and operation teams,” says Chad Cooley, principal of AWH Partners.

“We are excited about our second acquisition with AWH Partners. Together, we have crafted a compelling value-add strategy for the asset and believe the property will be very well received in the marketplace once the improvements are complete,” says Carl R. Kuehner, III, chief executive officer of Building and Land Technology.

“This full-scale resort is an attractive, cash-flowing asset in a market that consistently attracts both leisure and commercial travelers,” says Jonathan Rosenfeld, principal of AWH Partners. “This investment is consistent with our aggressive strategy to expand into large markets with hotels that offer substantial meeting space and present an opportunity for value-add through renovation.”