Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach to change name, management

The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach will change names and management beginning July 1 following a two-year legal dispute between the owners and Marriott International, which operates the Ritz-Carlton chain.

The 270-room hotel in Manalapan will be re-named Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, owners RC/PB Inc. announced June 11. The firm said the resort will continue to be operated as a luxury resort.

“We anticipate an efficient and smooth transition that will carry on the tradition of luxury and service our guests, employees and the Palm Beach community have come to expect from our hotel,” said Eva H. Hill, president of Britannia Pacific Properties Inc., which owns RC/PB, in a statement.

RC/PB bought the property in 2003 and has invested $120 million in improvements. The resort closed for more than a year in 2006-7 as the lobby, terraces and entry were remodeled, a second swimming pool installed and the restaurants remodeled.

Later a 24-room guest tower was erected, a 40,000-square foot spa built and meeting space added.

The owners sued Marriott and Avendra, a major vendor, in 2011, claiming it was cheated of $75 million in profits through fees and kickbacks to Avendra, of which Marriott is a majority owner.

Hill said most of the employees would be retained in the management changeover.

— Tim O’Meilia

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