Salamander Hotels & Resorts President Prem Devadas said his Middleburg, Virginia-based company has plans to grow its portfolio to destination cities within the U.S. as well as in the Caribbean while sticking to the goals of its founder, Sheila C. Johnson.
MIDDLEBURG, Virginia—When Salamander Hotels & Resorts formed in 2005, CEO Sheila C. Johnson had a vision for creating an enriching workplace with a focus on diversity, which has been carried out over the years.
Prem Devadas, president at Salamander, who joined Johnson from the start, said the company is a reflection of its CEO and founder’s values.
|Prem Devadas, president, Salamander Hotels & Resorts|
“The people that know her, know her to be of the highest integrity (and) very focused on achieving goals,” he said, adding that the company as a whole is “very creative, but we also have tremendous respect for each other and for all those that work with us.”
To continue the growth of the organization, Devadas said Salamander keeps diversity at the forefront of the organization.
The company’s CEO is involved in other enterprises, and Devadas said Johnson “makes it a point to connect all of the dots,” which is one of the most distinguishing aspects of the management company.
“She has a wide varied interest and influence that spans sports and entertainment and philanthropy and corporations, and with everything that she does, she brings hospitality into it, so we actually interface quite a bit from a sports standpoint,” he said.
“Sheila speaks to many Fortune 500 companies around the country and around the world, and not just the Salamander brand, but all of the properties that we represent, that we manage, are properties that she’s constantly telling the story about and so it’s not a matter of (if it) overlaps, it’s actually something that happens every single day.”
The company’s Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, recently achieved the first Forbes Five-Star destination resort rating for a hotel in the Washington, D.C., area, which Devadas said was a long-time goal for the company.
Forty-nine residential luxury homes are being developed as part of the 340-acre resort, he said.
“It’s an important aspect of our growth because those homes will be branded as Salamander homes,” he said. “Many of them will be in our resort rental program, which will enable our guests to have more family-oriented experiences, but it also signals we will continue to develop more branded residentials in our projects as we grow.”
Salamander also opened the Hotel Bennett in Charleston, South Carolina, at the end of January, and took over management of the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 1 July, marking its first hotel outside of the U.S., he said. The company currently manages a portfolio of six hotels.
Devadas said the company is interested in becoming “a nationally known company in that we focus on finding the right opportunities on the West Coast, as well as in major cities in the United States, including New York.”
The company wants to continue its expansion into the Caribbean, he said, and recently appointed Chris King as chief development officer to help Salamander move forward with that goal.
There are a couple of high-end luxury projects in the works right now that would expand Salamander’s footprint across the country, but Devadas said the company will be ready to share more details on those projects by the end of the 2019.
Salamander also has a pipeline of projects in major destination cities in the U.S. that are “not yet projects we’ve secured, but they are ones we’re working on, so I certainly expect to be able to announce new projects for the next year.”
Devadas said the company prides itself on its hands-on involvement with all of its properties, and developers tend to select Salamander for ground-up projects because of its experience in development, which includes “supporting the entitlement process and then the design/development process, helping to oversee construction long before opening.”