Is Starwood launching a new brand for independent hotels? published an interesting story today: Is Miami’s Royal Palm the first in a new brand for independents from Starwood?

The article picks up on a statement from Chesapeake Lodging Trust, recent buyers of The Royal Palm Miami Beach for $278 million. The James Royal Palm was a James Hotel until yesterday. Their web address for the James Miami now reads:

James Royal Palm

The Royal Palm South Beach is now listed on the Starwood Hotels site under the Luxury Collection brand tab as an SPG category 6 hotel property:

Royal Palm South Beach Starwood

The announcement of a new management contract with Starwood Hotels for the Royal Palm South Beach hotel indicates a new Starwood brand is coming.

“The Trust entered into a new management agreement with HEI Hotels & Resorts to operate the hotel, as well as a new franchise agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts where the hotel will be affiliated with Starwood’s new brand for independent hotels.”

Apparently the interim management agreement for the hotel is under Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection brand with the intent to affiliate with a new Starwood Hotels brand for independent hotels.

All the other cool hotel kids are into the independent hotel branding game. Marriott’s Autograph Collection is probably the fastest growing brand for independent hotels. Hilton launched Curio Collection in the past year with SLS Las Vegas as one of the initial hotel members. Choice Hotels has Ascend Collection and IHG has InterContinental Alliance Resorts with The Palazzo and the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Will Starwood soon have a 10th brand for independent hotels?

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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