Earlier this month, Recommend attended the dedication event for the Royal Palm South Beach Miami, the first property to join Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ newest brand—Tribute Portfolio.
The event showcased the property’s social media hashtag, #OurLikes, which is a Tribute Portfolio brand initiative used to tell the story of the unique elements at the hotel, and highlight the property’s “Stay Independent” initiative. The #OurLikes locations include secret spots and must-see experiences at each Tribute Portfolio property. We took a tour of the property and spotted some of these distinguished spaces along the way, from the art deco design of the architecture (dating back to 1939) to the Florida Cockery Patio, an outdoor patio area serving poolside lunch.
The Royal Palm South Beach Miami, located on Collins Avenue, offers guests direct beach access and is steps away from Ocean Drive and the area’s shopping district. The 393-guestroom property offers 164 suites and 2-bedroom suite options that connect to an additional guestroom, making it a 3-bedroom oceanfront suite. The resort also features two pools surrounded by cabanas, a spa and a gym, as well as the Byblos restaurant opening this July.
Recommend also had the opportunity to sit down with Starwood’s CEO Adam Aron for a one-on-one about the new brand.
“A stylish hotel, an exciting and vibrant location, the exterior architecture and interior design that made Miami Beach a great destination decades ago, water views, the beach, beach service for about 400 people daily, and the view from the guestrooms,” are a few of the reasons Aron points to why the Royal Palm South Beach Miami was the perfect fit as Tribute Portfolio’s first hotel. “It’ll always be a fond spot [as our first],” he adds.
The Tribute Portfolio brand was created to help independent hotels get the attention they deserve, and offer travelers an independent hotel option with unique offerings that aren’t part of a large chain—all while still being able to use their SPG reward points. “Hoteliers are in a tough business world,” says Aron. Adding that, “Starwood has a large distribution system and loyalty program. This allows hoteliers to stay independent, but gain value from the strength in our loyalty program. The hotels get power from the SPG client base.”
The only requirements from Starwood for these independent hotels is that they “meet all safety regulations, offer quality to guests, and keep a high standard,” notes Aron. Aside from the requirements, they’re independently run, which is where the “Stay Independent” initiative comes in; hoteliers stay independent from Starwood and “run as they wish,” says Aron, while “we help them sell rooms.”
Starwood plans to add approximately 100 hotels to its Tribute Portfolio brand in the next five years. However, additional properties are already in the works in Asheville, Charleston, Nashville, and Savannah. Aron also mentions that they expect to have a total of 10 or so additional properties by this time next year, and are also currently speaking to hotel owners in Europe and Asia with hopes of opening one abroad by the end of the year.
Now if you’re wondering who is the perfect guest for a Tribute Portfolio property, well, so were we. Aron says “a guest who appreciates quality and wants something special and different. They want a place that creates a memory—experiences are to be had and memories are to be created.”
As for the agents’ role in this? Aron says that, “they’ve been the life blood for a better part of a century. They know the quality and trust Starwood.”