Hilton Resurrecting ‘LXR Collection’ and Picking Up 1/3 Of Starwood’s Dubai Portfolio

Earlier in the month it was reported that Marriott-Starwood would be losing the St. Regis, Westin and W hotels in Dubai all at once. The same owner of these hotels — Al Habtoor Group — also pulled the St Regis Habtoor Polo Resort and Spa out of the chain.

Dubai was one of Starwood’s most important markets, they had a legacy Emirates partnership similar to their Delta partnership in the US and a UAE co-brand credit card.

Marriott’s loss, though, appears to be Hilton’s gain according to correspondent Vineet Shrivastava.

  • St Regis will become the launch property for a retread Hilton brand LXR Collection

  • W will be renamed V and become part of Curio

  • Westin will become a Hilton

W Dubai Al Habtoor City

When Blackstone acquired Wyndham they took some of the best Wyndham properties and branded them LXR Luxury Resorts collection. That’s how Hilton wound up with hotels like The El Conquistador Resort (Puerto Rico) and The Boca Raton Resort and Club (Florida) which are now Waldorf=Astoria properties. (Blackstone acquired Hilton two years later.)

It’s interesting to see a W become Curio, nearly a decade ago Hilton had sought to launch a competitor lifestyle brand to W called Denizen but the executives they hired from Starwood to do it were accused of stealing thousands of documents representing the Starwood blueprint.

Could Curio just be a temporary resting place for the hotel? Hilton’s agreed-to injunction against a lifestyle competitor to W has long since lifted. Would they need the new brand ‘V’?

Ultimately Hilton has a substantial footprint in the area already. They have a weaker loyalty program that Marriott will in mere weeks. It’s not clear how Hilton will fill rooms for Al Habtoor Group that Marriott was unable to. Hyatt remains without nearby rooms.

One source suggests though that the issue was management fees as much as occupancy (though occupancy for these properties has been low) so Hilton is likely taking less for their flags than Marriott was willing to.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sounds like a lot like Luxury Collection…Hilton and “luxury” just seem to fail to mix.

    (hey at least no more DCS rants on this site!)

  2. Hahahahahahahahahaha V? Seriously? That’s hilarious. I’m just picturing some poor guy wandering around the hotel, painting over half of every “W” in sight. Vhatever. Vhenever. Vet deck.


  3. @UA-NYC

    As soon as they reflag, I’ll report back on their suite upgrade policy at all 3 and we can compare the exact same hotel under exact same owner 1 day apart implementing Honors vs SPG 😛

  4. I can’t help but think some of these might be temporary reflags as Hilton further fine tunes their own brands and/or these properties are updated to meet brand standards of other Hilton flags.

  5. ” It’s not clear how Hilton will fill rooms for Al Habtoor Group that Marriott was unable to”

    Easy. Hiltons are almost always notably cheaper in price that Marriotts

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