By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Starwood Capital Group’s Groupe Du Louvre has sold four premier luxury hotels in France as part of the company’s ongoing plan to monetize the GDL hotel portfolio. Luxembourg-based Constellation Hotels Holding Ltd. is the new owner of the 1,700-room collection of assets, which includes Concorde La Fayette and Hotel du Louvre in Paris, Hotel Martinez in Cannes and Palais de la Méditerranée Hotel and Casino in Nice.
It was in 2005 that Starwood came into possession of the GDL assets with the $3.2 billion acquisition of Société Du Louvre, an entity with a group of subsidiaries that included perfume producer Annick Goutal; Groupe Taittinger, parent company of champagne producer Taittinger CCVC; a budget hotel chain; and crystal company Baccarat, which will make its entrée into the hotel business with the opening of its first flagship hotel and residences in New York City in 2014.
The hotels will now operate under Hyatt Hotels Corp., and will be rebranded to reflect the change in management. The 950-room Concorde La Fayette will be known as Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile; Hotel Martinez, which features 490 guestrooms, will become Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez; Palais de la Méditerranée Hotel and Casino, offering 188 rooms, will be rebranded Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée; and following a two- to three-year renovation, the approximately 150-room Hotel du Louvre will ultimately be reinvented as an Andaz brand hotel.
Since Starwood’s commencement of the monetization program, the company has sold in excess of $3 billion in assets. That list encompasses Taittinger CCVC, Annick Goutal and the majority of its luxury hotel properties, including the 231-room Hotel Lutetia in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres district of Paris, which was acquired by international real estate company Alrov in 2010.
With the recent disposition of the four hotels, the GDL portfolio now consists of 19 luxury lodging properties.