Despite some concerns that new management might put a damper on the unadulterated chicness of the Gansevoort South Hotel on South Beach, The Wall Street Journal reports that the hotel is still tragically hip.
Though the hotel portion of the complex was reportedly very successful, slow sales on the condominium side forced Credit Suisse to take ownership of the property from the founder and owners of the rest of the Gansevoort chain, William and Michael Achenbaum. The management contract was awarded to Naples, Fl based Coral Hospitality, though the Achenbaums have filed a lawsuit hoping to retake control.
Travel writer Laura Landro reports that guests and local frequenters of the mega-hotel shouldn't be worried that the hotel is headed in a new direction.
The Gansevoort seems to be working pretty well using the original playbook. The hip touches are still there, like the sleek contemporary décor and striking public spaces, but so are some annoying ones conceived by the original owners, like little cards in the rooms detailing extra charges for things.
Column Financial is contesting the Achenbaum suit, saying it had the right to end their agreement. A Column spokesman says the bank is highly confident Coral can run the hotel, and Coral Chief Executive Lee Weeks, with whom I spoke after my stay, agreed: Coral's hotels are highly rated in their market categories, he says, and his background includes a high management post at the behemoth Atlantis resort and casino in the Bahamas. "If you can run the Atlantis, you can run anything," he says. Coral might eventually try to join with others to buy the Gansevoort property, he adds, and plans to spend where necessary to maintain it as a "pristine property."
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The Achenbaum's had previously said that Coral couldn't provide "the clientele, style, cachet and vast array of amenities" that the hotel was known for.