Tourism & Cruises

The Lord Balfour Hotel on Ocean Drive sells to become fourth Life House hotel in Miami

The Lord Balfour Hotel at 350 Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach sold to London-based private equity firm Henley Investments Thursday for nearly $35 million. Life House says it will reopen after renovations as Life House Ocean Drive in spring 2020.
The Lord Balfour Hotel at 350 Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach sold to London-based private equity firm Henley Investments Thursday for nearly $35 million. Life House says it will reopen after renovations as Life House Ocean Drive in spring 2020. Life House

The New York-based hospitality startup Life House just picked up its fourth hotel in the Miami area in less than two years.

The Lord Balfour Hotel at 350 Ocean Dr. in Miami Beach sold to London-based private equity firm Henley Investments Thursday for nearly $35 million. Life House says it will reopen after renovations as Life House Ocean Drive in spring 2020. The 1940s hotel has 81 rooms.

Life House provides upscale, design-focused digs for a cheaper price point. The company has an app where travelers can reserve rooms, check in and out, and chat with a concierge during their stay. The app also serves as a room key. The company is backed by Henley, Global Founders Capital, Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures.

“We are very pleased with Life House’s performance over the past 12-16 months throughout our existing Miami portfolio, whereby their advanced platform has enabled extremely efficient and profitable hotel operations,” said Ian Rickwood, CEO of Henley.

Life House opened its first 33-room hotel at 528 SW Ninth Ave. in Little Havana, formerly the Jefferson Hotel, in January, followed by its second, a 26-room hotel at 321 Collins Ave. in South Beach, formerly the Jazz, in November.

The company is currently renovating the 50-room mid-Beach hotel it acquired last year for $20 million at 2216 Park Ave., formerly the Eurostars Vintro Hotel.

This latest buy was brokered by Susan Gale with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. It marks Henley’s largest so far, the company said, as the company expects to spend more than $5 million on renovations.

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