Another new hotel brand has arrived in South Beach: Tribute Portfolio, the latest from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
While the collection is brand new, its first property has plenty of history: The 393-room Royal Palm South Beach at 1545 Collins Ave., most recently known as the James Royal Palm, sold earlier this year for $278 million to Chesapeake Lodging Trust.
The publicly traded real estate investment trust owns several hotels that carry Starwood brands, including W and Le Meridien. After finding the South Beach property, the company approached Starwood to see if the Royal Palm would be a good fit for any brands, said Chesapeake Lodging Trust executive vice president and chief operating officer Rick Adams.
That’s when they found out about plans for the Tribute Portfolio, a collection of four-star independent hotels that would be linked into Starwood’s worldwide reservations system and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program.
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“They’ve just been a great partner over the years and to me, this is a brand that has been missing from their offering,” Adams said. “It just seems like a perfect fit for the Royal Palm.”
Dave Marr, Starwood’s senior vice president of brand management for North America, said the hotel’s prime location, upgraded condition, ownership group and management company made it an attractive prospect for the collection.
“As a brand leader, you could not ask for a better first hotel for the Tribute Portfolio than the Royal Palm,” Marr said.
Another four properties — in Asheville, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia and Nashville — are all to join the portfolio in the next couple years. By 2020, Starwood expects to have 100 Tribute Portfolio hotels.
Tribute Portfolio is Starwood’s 10th brand. The company already has The Luxury Collection, which focuses on independent five-star properties, and St. Regis, W, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and element.
The Associated Press reported earlier this week that the 10 largest hotel chains in the world now include a total of 113 brands, 31 of which have come along in the last 10 years.
In Miami-Dade alone, new brands including Hyatt Centric and Canopy by Hilton are in the works.
Earlier this year, Miami-based hotel consultant Scott Brush said in an interview that he has to frequently update the material on brand affiliations for his class at Florida International University.
“I’m going crazy trying to remember who’s what,” he said.
Brush said hotel companies are eager to launch new products in Miami because of its international reputation.
“It’s what they call a gateway city, and all these brands want to be in gateway cities,” he said.