The Stoneleigh Hotel changed hands yet again over the weekend, and it will become a Le Méridien on January 31, to be owned by private equity hotelier HEI and managed by Starwood. According to Starwood's website, the hotel will be called "Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh."
A hotel staffer confirmed that the hand-off had already taken place. "I believe it took place on the 7th," he said. "The new company seems very nice. As far as any changes, it's too early to tell."
HEI Inc is a player in the hospitality industry that focuses on full-service and select service, upper upscale, and luxury properties located in large metropolitan markets. It owns more than 44 properties in 16 states. Brands include Westin, Sheraton, Le Méridien, Aloft, Marriott, Renaissance, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Hilton and Embassy Suites.
The company has been the target of a boycott at the Le Méridien in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where 94 percent of the hotel staff says that working conditions have not gotten better since they were acquired by HEI three years ago.
Around Dallas, HEI already owns three hotels, two by the Galleria — Le Meridien Dallas and the Sheraton — and, in Fort Worth, the Dallas-Fort Marriott Hotel & Golf Club at Champions Circle (whoo).
Starwood oversees dozens of properties around DFW. Le Méridien is a Paris-born chain with 100 properties in 43 countries worldwide. The company pushes the whole "art" thing, calling its team "a group of cultural innovators and artists who define and enrich the guest experience," with a "global array of visionaries, from painters to photographers, musicians to designers, chefs to architects."
HEI acquired the Stoneleigh from Luxe, the company headed by California hotel impresario Efrem Harkham. Luxe owned it for only a year; the Stoneleigh still appears on Luxe's website, and the phone still auto-greets you with "Luxe Stoneleigh."
Harkham did not respond to an email inquiry.
The Stoneleigh has undergone some big changes in the past few years. It was closed in 2006 for a $36 million renovation and reopened in 2008 with a new restaurant called Bolla. In November, Bolla was replaced by a new entity, T/X Restaurant, with Southwestern cuisine.