Qatar firm buys St. Regis Bal Harbour for $213 million

Butler Ewen Anderson strolls through the St. Regis Bal Harbour before the resort’s grand opening in January 2012.
Butler Ewen Anderson strolls through the St. Regis Bal Harbour before the resort’s grand opening in January 2012.
Emily Michot / Miami Herald Staff

St. Regis Bal Harbour

Opened: January 2012.

Address: 9703 Collins Ave.

Rates: From $450 a night.

More info:; 305-993-3300.

Starwood Resorts & Hotels spent about six years and $1 billion to build the high-rise, high-luxury St. Regis Bal Harbour, which opened in 2012.

On Wednesday, almost exactly two years after the hotel and residences’ grand opening, Starwood announced it has sold the property to a Qatar-based firm. The price: $213 million.

“We are proud to add this iconic resort to our growing property portfolio,” Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al Thani, chairman of buyer Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Co., said in a statement. “This acquisition complements our investment focus on world-class assets in prime locations as we continue to expand our presence around the globe.”

Starwood (NYSE: HOT) will continue to manage the resort, and Al Rayyan said it will remain branded as a St. Regis property.

Simon Turner, Starwood’s president of global development, called the St. Regis Bal Harbour a “trophy asset” but said the sale was in line with the company’s strategy.

Starwood will continue to “look to sell owned real estate at the right time to the right owners to create value for our shareholders,” Turner said.

The 27-story St. Regis Bal Harbour, 9703 Collins Ave., includes about 210 hotel rooms as well as about 250 private residences and condo-hotel units. The two- to five-bedroom private units range from about $2 million to more than $10 million; Wednesday’s announcement noted that those homes are “nearly sold out.” The $213 million sale price does not include the privately owned residences.

Standard rooms at the hotel, located across the street from the Bal Harbour Shops, fetch anywhere from $450 a night in the summer to more than $1,000 in season. Still, “standard” is subjective when considering an average St. Regis room is 650 square feet and includes marble accents, a balcony, and optional butler service.

The hotel’s presidential suite is 2,800 square feet, has a private elevator, two bedrooms, and a dining room; it costs anywhere from $5,000 (“on a Monday night in September,” general manager Marco Selva said in 2012) to $30,000 a night.

The ownership change is not expected to affect the hotel’s restaurant operations, which include star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s J&G Grill.

This is the second major purchase of a Miami-Dade beachfront hotel property by a Middle Eastern buyer this month.

Marriott International announced it is in the process of selling three of its Edition properties for a combined $815 million to companies owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Marriott already closed on the sale of its London Edition and said it had binding sales contracts on the 250-room Miami Beach Edition, set to open this year, and one in New York that is scheduled to open in 2015. Marriott (NYSE: MAR) will retain ownership of the 26 residential units of the Miami Beach property, located at 2901 Collins Ave.

Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Co., the St. Regis Bal Harbour’s new owner, is a subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding Company, one of Qatar’s largest private firms.

Al Rayyan focuses on the hospitality sector, including more than 25 hotels in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America. It also owns an industrial laundry service in Doha, Qatar, and the upscale First Mall in Cairo.

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