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ORLANDO-A downtown hotel that was bought from foreclosure not so long ago is getting a second chance under a new flag. The 341-room Sheraton Orlando Downtown hotel is being rebranded as the Sonesta Hotel Orlando Downtown, effective January 17, 2010.

The hotel at 60 S. Ivanhoe Blvd. represents a few “firsts” for the ownership. It will be the first Sonesta-branded asset in the Orlando areal and probably the only one there for the foreseeable future. It’s also the first time that the hotel’s owners Glenmont Capital Management LLC and Resolution Services LLC have worked with Sonesta International Hotels Corp.

“We like Sonesta for a lot of reasons,” comments Glenmont Capital Management Managing Principal Larry Kestin. “They have a strong brand identification through an international and domestic luxury portfolio.” Another attraction, Kestin continues, is that Sonesta isn’t conflicted in Orlando, as this is the company’s first branded hotel. Sonesta also has a strong presence in Latin America, and the region has been known as the gateway between Latin America and the United States.

Sonesta was also fast and flexible. “We had three weeks to pull this transaction together; a relatively short period of time to acquire an asset and find and install a new flag,” Kestin tells GlobeSt.com. “Sonesta jumped right in. They were flexible with terms and quick and responsive to us.”

The structure has already undergone a $10 million renovation during the past couple of years, and Kestin says upwards of $4 million more will be put into areas such as back-of-house, maintenance and transition to soft goods. He says the hotel will continue to be operational during the transition.

Though this is the first partnership between Glenmont and Sonesta, Kestin says he’d have no trouble working with the company again. “This is a quality brand, a luxury hotel, and consistent with the types of assets we’re focused on acquiring,” he remarks. “We’ll be curious to see how the brand enhances the business of this hotel, but by all measures, we think it’s a successful brand.”

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