Big plans are on the horizon for Sam Nazarian’s rapidly expanding hospitality group SBE, and you’ll be able to read all about it in Lodging’s October cover story. While on a recent business trip in China, Nazarian set aside some time to discuss his big international growth plans for SLS Hotels, the progress of the Las Vegas and New York City properties, and the performance of SLS South Beach, which opened in June.
Founded in 2002, SBE now has 40 properties with an additional 31 in development. Nazarian fills his hotels with SBE’s proven restaurant and nightlife brands, such as The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya by Starck, and Hyde Lounge. “That’s one of our main differentiators,” Nazarian said. “That’s the way we designed the company to compete.”
You can get the full scoop once the issue drops, but for now here’s a sneak peek of the cover:
I also wanted to hear more about SLS Hotels’ “cool younger brother” Redbury, a boutique hotel that opened in 2010 at the convergence of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles. Nazarian said he is getting a lot of inquiries about Redbury, and is excited about potentially growing the brand.
“Redbury has really resonated with a lot of our customer base,” he said. “Some people actually prefer Redbury more than SLS.”
I spoke to Matthew Rolston, who is most known for his photography of film, music and TV stars, about his role as Redbury’s creative director. To prepare for the project, Rolston looked at some of SBE’s other Hollywood properties, and determined that the group as a whole is like a “playland for grownups.”
As he created Rebury’s top-to-bottom concept, Rolston wanted to build on SBE’s fun and playful identity while also maintaining a high level of service and attention to detail. “The level of service is very special to the SBE group, so it must be a reflection of Sam’s personality,” Rolston said. “He’s very warm, very embracing and very thoughtful.”
I highly recommend this mini documentary from Rolston, which shares the story behind the brand. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for more from Rolston in October.