Carlyle Partners With Urgo to Buy Miami Hotels

The Carlyle Group and Urgo Hotels have teamed up to buy two landmark hotels in Miami Beach, Florida, paying $26.7 million. The Blue Moon Hotel and Winterhaven Hotel – both in South Beach – will undergo major renovations over the next six months. Urgo is based in Bethesda, Md.


Urgo Hotels, a major operator, developer and owner of upscale hotels, today announced that it has acquired in a joint venture with The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager based in Washington, D.C., two landmark hotels in Miami Beach, Florida for $26.7 million. The hotels are the 75-room Blue Moon Hotel and the 71-room Winterhaven Hotel, both located in the historic art deco district in the heart of the fabled South Beach area.

Both properties are scheduled to undergo significant renovations over the next six months, which will include upgrades to the public spaces and all guest rooms. The food and beverage operations at both properties will be repositioned as signature restaurants, which will play a key role in upgrading the ambiance at the hotels. The renovations will be done in phases to minimize disruptions to guests. Once completed, the hotels will be brought to “like- new” condition in the four-star segment.

The acquisitions double Urgo’s Florida portfolio, marking the 11(th) and 12(th) additions in the past 18 months. “The Winterhaven and Blue Moon are irreplaceable properties and locations that we sourced off-market,” noted Kevin Urgo, principal of Urgo Hotels.

“This is our first joint-venture transaction with Carlyle, and we look forward to the opportunity to build on this new relationship,” Urgo added. “Joint ventures are an important growth vehicle for our company, as well as third-party management and wholly-owned acquisitions. Florida continues to be an acquisition market of great interest for us. We have considerable expertise in the state and significant funds available and flexibility to acquire additional assets. We also continue to source attractive acquisition candidates throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

“We continue to have a keen interest in hotel acquisitions and in partnering with top operators like Urgo Hotels,” said Carlyle Principal Thad Paul. “With more properties expected to come to market in the near term, our focus is on finding attractively priced, quality assets with repositioning and upside potential.”

Built in 1939 by Art Deco architect Albert Anis, the Winterhaven is located across the street from South Beach’s famed beachfront park and boasts significant historic art deco features, as well as a roof-top sun deck overlooking the ocean.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Blue Moon was developed by Merv Griffin, who named the urban retreat after the Rogers and Hart ballad. Also situated within the Art Deco district of South Beach, the hotel features a refreshing splash pool, as well as an indoor/outdoor patio restaurant and lounge.

Jordan Ray, managing director of Mission, represented Carlyle and Urgo, placing the debt with a super-regional bank reentering both the lending market and the Florida market after a long hiatus. “This deal underscores banks’ interest in lending to premier sponsors again,” Ray said. “We were pleasantly surprised by the interest from regional banks in this transaction. It certainly expands our clients’ options prospectively for both acquisition and renovation projects.”

About The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $107.6 billion of assets under management committed to 84 funds as of March 31, 2011. Carlyle invests across three segments–corporate private equity, real assets and global market strategies–in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America, focusing on aerospace & defense, consumer & retail, energy & power, financial services, healthcare, industrial, infrastructure, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 990 people in 19 countries. Web:; Case Studies:; Video:

About Urgo Hotels

Urgo Hotels is a Bethesda, Md.-based hotel company that develops, owns and operates 29 distinctive and unique hotels and resorts, aggregating nearly 4,123 rooms, in major markets and resorts in Canada, the Caribbean and the United States. The company develops, builds, and operates for its own account, as well as provides third-party management and asset management services.