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Marriott sells St Regis New York hotel to Qatar sovereign wealth fund
MARRIOTT International has sold the St Regis New York hotel for US$310 million to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, offloading a historic property that served as the launching point for an indispensable cocktail and a preeminent luxury hotel brand.
The purchase gives Qatar Investment Authority another trophy asset to add to an expanding portfolio across the globe.
The fund has been boosting its investments in the US, including purchasing stakes in properties in New York.
The St Regis hotel, located near Fifth Avenue, was opened by John Jacob Astor IV in 1904.
The 18-storey Beaux-Arts building contains more than 200 guest rooms and the King Cole Bar, a famous watering hole where the Bloody Mary is said to have been invented. Marriott, the world's largest lodging company, does not own many hotels, preferring to earn fees for licensing brands and managing properties for real estate partners.
Marriott acquired the Manhattan property when it bought Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016, a US$13.6 billion transaction that reshaped the global hospitality industry.
By then, the St. Regis name had been repurposed as a globe-spanning luxury brand with outposts in places such as Shenzhen, China and Bora Bora, in French Polynesia.
The Maryland-based company recently disclosed its US$206 million acquisition of the W New York Union Square hotel, a move intended to jump-start the update of a beloved but faded brand. BLOOMBERG