The case studies below represent a few of the projects that the principals of Hartland Hotel Group developed and or operated in the US. In each case, the principals had a managing partner role in the creation of and later the management the hotels described. These were selected because they started out as either independent hotels or they were one of the first in that particular brand’s creation.

Hotel Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA

This is a 268-room historic hotel located adjacent to LA Live and the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles. The hotel was acquired in July 2014 and was operated until December 2015 while the strategic and renovation-planning processes took place. It was then closed for a total renovation and repositioning.

The Hotel Figueroa was originally built and operated in 1926 by an all -women investment group, representing the largest real estate investment for an all-female group in the United States at the time. The Principals of Hartland Hotel Group found the deal, put it under contract and found the third sponsor for the group. The sponsors then sourced the equity partner and closed on the acquisition.

During the 16 months the hotel was operated prior to closing for renovation, under the asset management of the sponsors, the hotel average daily rate doubled from the preceding 12 months under the previous owner, with occupancy usually exceeding the occupancy of the competitive set. It was also rated the Second Best Pool Party in LA and a Top 10 Sunday Brunch in LA. Just prior to closing, the Figueroa was selected by FX Studios to host the launch party for the TV series American Horror Story staring Lady Gaga, thus beating out some of the most visible and iconic hotels in LA.

The Hotel Figueroa fully re-opened in June 2018 to worldwide acclaim. Some of the most important awards won since reopening include: One of the Top Ten Historic Hotels in the World (US A Today, 2020), Top 10 Hotels in LA (#5) Travel and Leisure Magazine July 10, 2019, Best New Lifestyle Hotel in the World - Public Spaces, Hospitality Design Magazine, July 2019 and Best Hotel Bar (Veranda), LA Weekly, January 17, 2020. The press regarding the hotel has exceeded one billion impressions since the re-launch of the hotel.

Potawatomi Casino, Milwaukee, WI

The Issue: The Forest County Potawatomi Community owned and operated the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They wanted to add a 400-room first class hotel and amenities to the development but did not have the expertise to develop a project this large or complex. Furthermore, they did not know how to operate a hotel although they did not want a third party management company to do it.

Our assignment: One of the Principals of HHG was retained as part of a development advisory group to perform the following services:

Results: The Potawatomi Hotel, Casino Resort opened in June, 2014 to immediate financial and customer success. The hotel has beat its financial projections every year since opening.

Liberty Hotel, Boston, MA

This property (former Charles Street Jail) was built in 1851 and in the mid 1990’s it was condemned and ordered closed by a Federal Judge for being ‘cruel and unusual punishment’. The property was purchased by Kennedy Associates in a fund managed, and in-part owned, by Jack vanHartesvelt in 2005. In conjunction with a local development company, Carpenter and Company, Mr. vanHartesvelt oversaw the architectural and interior design of this hotel. Post-opening, he oversaw the asset management of the hotel on behalf of its pension fund investors. In 2007, the Liberty Hotel was placed on the National Historic Register. In 2008, the Liberty Hotel’s first year of operation, it was voted as being that year’s World’s Best Hotel Design and Best Lobby Design by Interior Design Magazine. Within 18 months it has received over 300 million free mentions in magazine and newspapers around the world. In 2008, it was voted as the best historic renovation in both Boston and the State of Massachusetts. Other awards or recognitions include: Best Chef in Boston, 100 Best Suites in America, Top 10 Business Hotels in the United States (Fortune Magazine), Top 12 Sexiest Hotels in America (Forbes Magazine), Grand Prize for Modernization (Buildings Magazine), Award for Excellence (Urban Land Institute) and Best Hotel (National Housing and Rehabilitation Association. As a result of these awards and acknowledgements, the Liberty Hotel was one of the only hotels that had greater income in 2009 than it did the year before. A remarkable achievement considering the hotel had no brand affiliation - other than what we were able to create for the hotel itself. The Liberty Hotel was sold in 2012 for $60 million more than its cost to develop and is currently part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection.

W Union Square, New York, NY

This is a 270 room hotel located at 17th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan. The total cost was $100 million and was built all-equity. One of the Principals of HHG represented the sole investor in the hotel (Multi-Employer Property Trust) and as such made all final decisions on the design, construction and operational oversight of this award-winning hotel.

The hotel was converted from an empty office building to a luxury hotel in 11 months and was delivered on-time and on-budget. The property was placed on the National Historic Register upon opening.

It opened in 2001 and became the top performing W Hotel in the chain in terms of guest satisfaction and profitability. Its restaurant was awarded the Best New Restaurant in New York City in 2002 and Best Restaurant in a Hotel in 2003. We sold the hotel in 2006 for the highest price of any hotel sold in America in the prior 20 years ($1,055,000 per room).