US: Hilton Worldwide Holdings is preparing to relaunch a luxury soft brand called LXR Hotels & Resorts.
Last month it was reported that Marriott-Starwood would be losing the St. Regis, Westin and W hotels in Dubai. The owner of these hotels – Al Habtoor Group – has appointed Hilton to operate them.
It has also been reported that the W will be renamed V and become part of Hilton‘s Curio Collection and the Westin will be reflagged as a Hilton.
The St Regis, however, has become the launch property for the resurrected Hilton brand LXR Collection. It is now known and marketed as the Habtoor Palace Hotel, part of LXR Hotels & Resorts.
Back in 2005, Blackstone Group launched LXR Luxury Resorts, using the brand to reposition 14 high-end hotels the firm acquired when it bought out Wyndham International.
After Blackstone acquired Hilton in 2007, many LXR properties were reflagged under Hilton brands, including El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico and Casa Marina Key West, which became Waldorf Astoria resorts. Blackstone took Hilton public in 2013, and sold its remaining stake in the company earlier this year.
A Hilton spokesman confirmed that the company expects to launch LXR later this year. LXR appears to be a soft brand, with properties maintaining their individual identities.