Sister brands Montage, Pendry in expansion mode
Sister brands Montage, Pendry in expansion mode
12 DECEMBER 2019 9:30 AM

Operator Montage Hotels & Resorts projects multiple openings in next few years for ultra-luxury Montage and “new luxury” Pendry as it looks to expand outside the U.S.

NEW YORK—Montage Hotels & Resorts is in expansion mode for both its Montage and Pendry brands with nine properties set to open in the next two years, President and COO Jason Herthel said.

The Montage brand portfolio has six operating hotels, with three in the pipeline: a 2020 opening in Healdsburg, California, with properties in Big Sky, Montana and La Quinta, California, projected for 2021.

The Pendry brand includes a hotel in San Diego and one in Baltimore, with properties under development for West Hollywood (2020); and Somerset County, New Jersey, La Quinta, Calif., New York City and Park City (all 2021).

Herthel said the company is also looking at possible development in the Caribbean to extend the company’s international footprint. Montage Los Cabos opened in 2018.

The La Quinta, California, development will be adjacent Pendry and Montage properties, sharing a golf course but no other facilities. That kind of arrangement is a first.

Pendry was launched five years ago because there were “great locations” that were not the right fit for a Montage for reasons of space or market, Herthel said.

For example, he said, those locations would not be able to accommodate a hotel with a spa or five-fixture bathrooms. A typical Montage guestroom is approximately 500 square feet while a Pendry room is about 400 square feet.

Herthel said Pendry offers a “new luxury” with the same quality of furnishings, but with a different style that is “design-driven.” He said it was important to create a different brand because a guest who had stayed in a Montage and expected a product with similar amenities might be “disappointed,” although Pendry is also a luxury brand with the same service culture.

Pendry has been able to get a jumpstart because of its affiliation with Montage, which has established networks, operational strength and other resources, Herthel said. Operationally, the brands share several back-office departments.

Montage has always been a management company, although it has small stakes in a number of properties. An exception is the Pendry in San Diego, where more equity was taken to help get the brand going. Herthel said the brand has several multi-property owners.

All Montages include residences, but Herthel said this is not a brand standard.

Residences are also an option at Pendry and will be available at several upcoming locations, he said.

Herthel said both brands can work for urban and resort locations. For instance, a Pendry resort will open in Somerset County, New Jersey, on a property that was the former estate of the King of Morocco. It will debut in 2020 with 68 rooms and a spa.

The development opened the possibility of a “town-and-country” vacation, coupled with stays at Pendry hotels in New York and New Jersey, he said. The resort is called Natirar, which is Raritan spelled backwards; the resort crosses the Raritan River.

Montage has had a longstanding affiliation with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which serves as a distribution channel. Also, all hotels are members of Virtuoso, the luxury travel advisor network.

Michael Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of Pendry Hotels, agreed the connection with Montage has been “a huge benefit” in getting the brand off the ground and helping it grow.

“It gave us instant credibility,” he said.

He said there are many opportunities for growth, but the company is being about where it operates.

Fuerstman said he has been surprised to see the resort market adapt to become more innovative. He cited as an example the Park City Pendry, which has a rooftop pool and a nightclub, unusual for a luxury ski resort.

For the Pendry brand’s entry into New York, the plan was to originally convert a historic building, he said. However, when the opportunity arose to develop in the massive Hudson Yards development, he said, “we realized it was a chance to purpose-build a hotel and incorporate everything travelers seek today in the way of design, health and wellness.”

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