Breaking Travel News

Blackstone Form LXR Luxury

Having finalized the acquisition of
Wyndham International, Inc., affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors
today announced the formation of LXR Luxury Resorts, an extraordinary new
collection of luxury properties that will include some of the most treasured
luxury hotels, resorts, spas, golf clubs and marinas in the U.S., Puerto Rico
and the Caribbean.  LXR Luxury Resorts will be comprised of 14 of Wyndham’s
premier owned and operated properties as well as seven hotels and resorts from
Blackstone’s Boca Hospitality Collection and Prime Hospitality holdings.Among the prized hotels and resorts that will join the LXR Luxury Resorts
collection are the El Conquistador Resort and Las Casitas Village, El San Juan
Hotel & Casino and Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino in Puerto Rico; The Boulders
Resort in Carefree, Arizona; The Peaks in Telluride, Colorado; Bel Age in Los
Angeles, Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, California; Rose Hall Resort & Country
Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Park Shore Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii; The
Reach Resort and Casa Marina Resort in Key West, and The Buena Vista Palace in
Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  The world-renowned
Golden Door Spa brand will also become part of LXR, including its flagship spa
in Escondido, California, and its three spas at the El Conquistador, The
Boulders and The Peaks.  Each of these landmark properties will return to
their original names.
  The five properties of the Boca Hospitality Collection that will join LXR
Luxury Resorts effective immediately are Florida’s famed Boca Raton Resort &
Club in Boca Raton, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort and Bahia Mar Beach Resort &
Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, The Registry Resort & Club and Edgewater
Beach Hotel & Club in Naples, and the Rihga Royal in New York City. Also
featured in this collection will be premier golf clubs including the renowned
Naples Grand Golf Club in Naples and Grand Oaks Golf Club in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, and marinas in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.  The Saratoga resort
in Saratoga Springs, New York, will also join LXR from Blackstone’s Prime
Hospitality group.
  Commented Bill Stein, Managing Director of Blackstone’s Real Estate Group,
“The creation of LXR Luxury Resorts provides a tremendous opportunity to take
an incomparable collection of prized properties, each of which has enormous
potential, and turn them into true luxury showpieces.”
  Blackstone Real Estate Advisors has a history of significantly reinvesting
in its assets and dramatically improving services and facilities. The same is
anticipated for LXR Luxury Resorts, with over $400 million anticipated to be
invested into these properties over the next several years to ensure that they
become or continue to be the finest resorts and hotels in the luxury
marketplace.  Through its acquisition of London’s Savoy Group in the 1990s,
Blackstone transformed some of the city’s most loved yet neglected hotels—
including Claridge’s, The Savoy, The Berkeley, and The Connaught—into
vibrant, thriving properties, commissioning a veritable “who’s who” of
internationally-acclaimed architects, interior designers, chefs and
restaurateurs to inject a new and exciting energy.
  For the prized hotels and resorts that will comprise the LXR Luxury
Resorts collection, there will be an equally talented and accomplished roster
of creative and culinary talents to help reinvigorate, re-imagine, and
reposition each property, evoking its own unique personality and locale.
Among the architects and designers already secured include the veritable
“dream team” of Thierry Despont, Alexandra Champalimaud, Tony Chi, Andree
Putman and Bentel & Bentel, who are each lending their design mastery to the
recreation of the legendary Boca Raton Resort & Club, much of which will be
completed by Summer 2006.  On the culinary front, some of America’s and
Europe’s finest chefs and restaurateurs will be opening outposts in LXR
properties in the coming six to eighteen months, details of which will be
announced soon.
  The seasoned management team of LXR will include co-Presidents Joseph
Berger and Jean-Jacques Pergant and President of Sales and Marketing John
Tolbert, all of whom had been previously with Boca Hospitality Collection.
  “We are incredibly excited at the opportunity to assemble such a unique
and stellar collection of properties under the LXR name,” commented Mr.
Tolbert.  “And with the help of the world’s top creative talents, we will
ensure that we offer an extraordinary guest experience that offers
unparalleled style as well as substance.  The concept of luxury today is not
only about the finest quality and most exquisite surroundings, but also the
true pleasures of personalized yet unobtrusive service, absolute comfort and
unforgettable moments.”
  The goal of the aggressive capital investments in each property within LXR
will be to help realize the true potential and convey the innate personality
of each, including a strong sense of place, an across-the-board upgrade in
services and amenities, and, in many cases, a return to the particular
property’s original “DNA,” albeit reinterpreted for the 21st century traveler.
“We aim to respect the integrity and unique offerings that each of these
trophy assets has to offer,” commented Mr. Tolbert, “and will strive to
heighten the distinct personality of each while offering our guests an
unfailing commitment to excellence and a consistent, highly personalized
standard of service throughout each property.”
  The new LXR group will benefit from an incredible synergy among its
properties, including a streamlined management infrastructure and a dedicated
sales and marketing team intensely focused on the luxury business and leisure
market, in addition to the meetings and incentive industries.