Industry Update
External Article26 July 2021

Luxury Hotels Are Building Hundreds of New High-end Vacation Homes

More hotels are getting into the real estate game, selling private vacation homes that come with all the bells and whistles.

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When the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami opens in a 100-story tower on Biscayne Bay sometime in the mid 2020s, it'll be one of the tallest hotels in the United States. The downtown skyscraper will turn heads for another reason, too: around 60 percent of the hotel will be private residences that each start at $1 million. That's quite a hotel bill, even for a Waldorf Astoria.

But the iconic brand, owned by Hilton, is hardly alone in selling rarefied real estate. As the pandemic has prompted travelers to increasingly seek out privacy and exclusivity — and a roaring stock market has padded portfolios — hotels around the world are building more and more residences into their plans.

In fact, nearly 200 branded residential projects have launched since 2018, according to the real estate firm Savills. "The sector will continue to grow over the coming years as travel restrictions ease and the allure of a retreat remains at an all-time high," says Riyan Itani, director of global residential development at the firm. Numerous hotel groups are joining established players like Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and the Ritz-Carlton, which already have dozens of properties with residences. One striking example is Accor, which has 80 such hotels and resorts in the works, including the Fairmont Century Plaza, in Los Angeles, Raffles Boston, and SLS Residences Dubai.

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