Sonesta launches US franchising platform

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 29 September 2021

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US: Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta) has launched its franchising platform in the United States, debuting with four Sonesta brands.

Following the recent acquisition of Red Lion Hotels Corporation (RLH), Sonesta has become the eighth largest hotel company in the States with around 1,200 franchised and managed properties. 

The launch of Sonesta Franchising will see the group now offer a platform of franchise services, hotel operations and franchise support. The brands available on the platform includes Sonesta Hotels & Resorts, Sonesta ES Suites, Sonesta Select and Sonesta Simply Suites. 

Sonesta president of franchise and development, Keith Pierce, said: “We can scale our franchising efforts quickly and efficiently by leveraging established tools and resources we have through our acquisition of RLH. As a result, franchising with Sonesta is seamless and flexible. We are easy to work with, friendly and we offer a flat fee franchising model for some of our most popular select service brands. With new franchising capabilities, growth momentum and an expanding global footprint, Sonesta’s future is exceptionally bright.”

Chief development officer at Sonesta, Brian Quinn, added: “Sonesta approaches franchising with a clear understanding of the challenges facing hotel owners and operators because we own and operate hotels ourselves. We care about our franchisees’ bottom lines. Although new to domestic franchising, Sonesta has a growing, robust development team staffed by seasoned leaders.” 

Last year, Service Properties Trust (SVC) – which owns a 34 per cent stake in Sonesta – announced the decision to transfer 103 IHG properties and 98 Marriott properties to the Sonesta portfolio. This took the group’s property count from under 100 to nearly 300.

The Red Lion acquisition brought the overall Sonesta footprint to approximately 1,200 properties across 15 brands. Some of the brands under Red Lion include Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, and GuestHouse Extended Stay.

Currently, 12 of Sonesta's 15 brands are available for domestic franchising.

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