In Miami Beach's popular South Beach area, the Hotel Victor has just completed an $8 million renovation, and its owners are turning the adjacent Versace manor into a boutique hotel and extension of the iconic property.
In Colorado Springs, the majestic Broadmoor is launching the final phase of $100 million upgrade that will include a new restaurant, a refurbished lobby, renovated rooms and suites, even a new exterior facade.
In Atlanta, Starwood hotels has just finished a $20 million renovation of a W hotel that never did well in the Buckhead section of town into a European-flavored Le Meridien property geared toward upscale business travelers.
And in Australia, the luxury island resort Hayman, Great Barrier Reef. Hayman will undergo a multimillion-dollar transformation and be relaunched as One&Only Hayman Island in April, One&Only's first resort in Australia.
As luxury travel continues to lead the sector's recovery, these are just a few examples of hotels and resorts that are pumping their rising revenues into capital improvements to meet the booming demand and to tap into a once-again seemingly unquenchable thirst for only the best.
While the heady years before the recession were marked by seemingly unparalleled growth in new brands and a building boom that eventually crashed, the recovery may well be remembered more as the era of renovation and redevelopment.
In the U.S. especially, Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman of the travel, hospitality and leisure practice for Deloitte & Touche, says he does not expect to see much new growth in luxury supply in the near-term as it is still difficult to make the numbers work for financing.
He says new construction really needs to be a mixed-use project for it to happen, and for that the condo market needs to come back. He does note, however, that the condo market is showing signs of new strength in Miami, San Francisco and New York.
In the meantime, travelers should be able to look forward to improvements at their old favorites.
"I do think we will see more spent on deferred maintenance that had been put on hold, but now with the better operating statistics owners and operators can reach agreement to put back into budgets," Weissenberg says.