By Mary Thurwachter
Although Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa was placed on the market earlier this year, owners have since decided not to sell. The five-star hotel is destined for renovations, however, according to Eau spokesman Nick Gold.
The owners, a family based in London, met with the hotel’s 400 employees on Feb. 21 to announce they had decided that after 16 years they felt “the timing was right to actively market and sell the hotel to a new owner,” Gold said.
But after an extensive search, Gold said, none of the parties that submitted bids met the terms of the owners, the Lewis Trust Group. The asking price was not disclosed.
Gold said employees were relieved that the Eau would remain with the Lewis family.
Hotel renovations are expected, Gold said.
“Like all hotels, renovations are always being discussed and planned,” he said. “Now that the hotel is no longer for sale, a master renovation plan will be developed and implemented in the near future.”
The 309-room resort has a 3,000-square-foot oceanfront terrace, two sleek pools, a huge fitness center and a deluxe spa.
Eau Palm Beach was a Ritz-Carlton that the Lewis family purchased for $67.5 million in 2003. The family poured more than $100 million into the property. Rooms were last renovated by Jonathan Adler in late 2014. The Lewis family and the Ritz parted company eight years ago over money and control issues. The property was rebranded as Eau (French for water) in 2013, taking its name from its highly regarded 42,000-square-foot spa.
While some speculated that the recent attempt to sell the property may have fallen short because of its lack of a major hotel brand (such as Marriott), Gold said as far as he knew that was not a factor.