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Lauderdale's B Ocean hotel rebranding as Sonesta under new owner

Sun Sentinel


The B Ocean Fort Lauderdale hotel name is going away.

On Friday the 240-room oceanfront hotel will become Sonesta Fort Lauderdale. Insite Group, a Weston-based investment firm, recently sold the property at 999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. to an undisclosed buyer, a B Hotels & Resorts executive confirmed Thursday.


The hotel will remain open during the transition, according to a notice on its website.

The new owner is reportedly Hospitality Properties Trust of Massachusetts. Company president John Murray this week declined comment on the transaction citing confidentiality agreements.

In a May 6 earnings release, HPT did however acknowledge it had entered an agreement to purchase a 240-room Fort Lauderdale hotel for $65 million, excluding closing costs, and had plans to convert it to a Sonesta brand.

Insite purchased the former Holiday Inn hotel in 2009 for $13.75 million after it was vacant for several years following damage from Hurricane Wilma.

After undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation, B Ocean opened in early 2011 as the first property under the new chic "B" lifestyle hotel brand for Weston-based B Hotels.

It got rave reviews

"Our goal was to bring a new category of innovative, approachable lifestyle hospitality to travelers seeking a unique branded experience," said Ayelet Weinstein, B Hotel's founder and CEO, of the hotel's upgrades.

Rooms at the flagship B Ocean hotel featured panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and white leather-front designer furnishings. Other amenities include two restaurants, an infinity edge pool, free wireless Internet service and 8,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.

During the past three years, B Ocean earned the distinguished AAA Four Diamond rating and other industry accolades and also attracted the interest of potential buyers "looking to capitalize on the location and transformation we were able to achieve," Weinstein said.

"The sale of this hotel is a successful conversion story for us and validates the repositioning effort we undertook, creating substantial value for the owner."

Looking ahead, B Hotels plans to open B Resort & Spa in the Walt Disney World Resort this summer, Weinstein said.


8:36 pm, May 29, 2014


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