With a portfolio made up of distinctive lifestyle hotels and resorts, finding growth opportunities can be challenging—particularly amid a pandemic and reduced hotel demand—but CoralTree Hospitality seems to have overcome such obstacles with a flurry of deals in the back half of this year.
The Greenwood Village, CO-based company just announced it has completed a deal to manage five Florida hotels, including the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina in Fort Lauderdale, FL, which will bring its portfolio to some 30 hotels. In addition, CoralTree has officially opened the Lake Nona Wave Hotel in Orlando, FL, just a few weeks after taking over operations at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa, CA, in early December.
Furthermore, the company—which was launched in 2018 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Lowe following the acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality by Hyatt Hotels—in September acquired a controlling interest in the Magnolia Hotels brand from Stout Street Hospitality adding another 6 hotels.
Tom Luersen, President, CoralTree Hospitality, acknowledged the management firm is looking for additional opportunities to expand, but emphasized it’s not necessarily a top priority.
“We will continue to have strategic growth and we will do that based upon the continued success of what we operate today. I don’t have a growth plan to have a certain amount of properties, I want to do it strategically and do it based upon relationships. A lot of our growth is contingent upon positive relationships that we’ve had with ownership groups for a long time as they invite us into new projects,” he said, later pointing out the transaction market is heating up throughout the lodging industry.
The company’s collection includes independent, branded and soft branded properties such as Terranea Resort on the California coast; Hotel Lincoln in Chicago; The Woodlands Resorts in Houston; the new Eddy Taproom & Hotel in Golden, Co; and Suncadia in Cle Elum, WA, which was added in August.
Luersen went on to tout the 234-room Lake Nona Wave Hotel in Orlando, which the company helped develop. The hotel features more than 12,000 sq. ft. of tech-infused event space, as well as three restaurants.
“I think it is the most technically advanced unique hotel that I’ve ever experienced. It’s got technology in places that the guests can really feel and touch and the culinary experience is unprecedented in my opinion. We’re just really excited about this hotel and it will be an absolute showcase of what CoralTree does with an ownership group in building a unique hotel. So to me it’s a really great story,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina is expected to open in 2024, according to Luersen, who called it an “iconic property,” which will also include condos, vacation rental units and a spa & fitness facility. The luxury property will be located on 32 waterfront acres at the gateway to the beach in the prime Harbor Beach district of Fort Lauderdale where the well-known boat parade takes place.
“It’s right on the intercoastal waterway and has one of the best marinas in the country,” noted Luersen.
The company was also recently tapped to manage the 253-room Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa, CA. Luersen was effusive in his praise of the property, which is located near the Historic Railroad Square and downtown Santa Rosa.
“That entire region is one of those regions in the country that has done relatively well despite the impact from COVID and the pandemic,” he said, adding it’s a “great hotel with really good spaces.”
Luersen noted some of those spaces, such as outdoor vignettes, represent significant upside for the hotel as the company takes over operations.
“I think what we can do there is really elevate the guest experience and go after a more robust group market based upon our experiences in Southern California and Northern California. We’re really excited about this one,” he said.
Meanwhile, after acquiring controlling interest in the Magnolia Hotels brand in September CoralTree is managing four of its Magnolia branded properties in Denver, Houston, St. Louis and Omaha, while licensing the name to the New Orleans and Dallas properties.
Luersen emphasized that the unique nature of the properties in the portfolio—which include a bank conversion and historic building—among other factors, made the deal particularly appealing for CoralTree.
“We have a lot in common with the ownership, which is the Holtze family. It’s a family business much like our family business of Lowe and CoralTree. They have got a real personality in each of their hotels that’s pretty well connected to the team members and the employees, as well as to the community. Each of the hotels is very unique much like we always aspire to,” he said.
According to the company, CoralTree has built its reputation on a non-traditional approach to hotel management, effectively rethinking how independent resorts and lifestyle hotels are marketed and managed. As such, Luersen went on to further tout the potential of the Magnolia portfolio and the partnership.
“We think it has the ability to be strategic in how we relate our service, how we do our food and beverage and the uniqueness of the buildings. We think the ability to grow that and have other Magnolia hotels in other locations is very real. And we’ll continue to try to do so as we’ve done in the past,” he said.