Finance & DevelopmentDevelopmentDriftwood Capital Opens Element by Westin Melbourne Oceanfront Hotel

Driftwood Capital Opens Element by Westin Melbourne Oceanfront Hotel

MELBOURNE, Florida—Driftwood Capital announced the grand opening of the Element by Westin Melbourne Oceanfront hotel, a 130-key hotel in Melbourne, Florida. Part of a $1 billion pipeline of properties Driftwood Capital is developing throughout 2024, the hotel is the firm’s fourth investment in Florida’s Space Coast.

“As we continue our disciplined approach on hotel developments nationwide, the Element by Westin Melbourne Oceanfront will serve to complement our existing portfolio of investments, especially in the Space Coast, as an indicator of our team’s best-in-class experience in hotel developments,” said Carlos Rodriguez Sr., chairman and CEO of Driftwood Capital. “With this latest beachfront hotel development—the first waterfront hotel in Brevard County since 2020 and the first beachfront Element by Westin in the brand system globally—we look forward to continuing to expand our presence and investments in this compelling market. We are proud to deliver the hotel on time and on budget, a significant achievement in today’s challenging development market.”

Driftwood Hospitality Management (DHM) will assume management operations and responsibilities of the hotel, which is the first Westin beachfront property in the brand’s global system. With the addition of the Element by Westin Melbourne Oceanfront, DHM now oversees 90 properties within its portfolio.

“With our broad range of expertise in managing and operating hotels domestically and abroad, the DHM team is thrilled to continue delivering the highest brand standards for business and leisure travelers alike visiting Florida’s Space Coast,” said David Buddemeyer, founder and president of Driftwood Hospitality Management. “We look forward to expanding our presence on another beachfront property in Brevard County.”

Multiple economic categories have elevated demand for hotel rooms in Melbourne and Brevard County, with increased tourism on the horizon. In 2023, nearly 750,000 passengers flew through Melbourne Orlando International Airport reported the city of Melbourne, with 7.3 million cruise passengers expected to embark via Port Canaveral through 2024 reported the Port Canaveral 2023 State of the Port. In 2024, more than 40 rocket launches have been launched year-to-date, and 111 missions are projected throughout the year per Florida Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez, putting the Space Coast on track to break last year’s record of 72 launches. These trends, coupled with the confirmed Brightline station location in Cocoa at the Cocoa Curve near State Road 528/US-1 interchange, are continuing to create market fundamentals for hotel development in the region.

Built with wellness in mind, the hotel offers amenities and services for business and leisure travelers. The Hotel includes “Rise” breakfast with a variety of culinary options, along with a Motion Fitness Center and complimentary bike rentals. Guests can enjoy Melbourne’s beach setting on the hotel’s saline pool deck, offering food and beverage options at Ebb & Flow. The hotel is also currently applying for Green Key Certification.

The hotel sits adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Melbourne, another hotel asset owned by Driftwood Capital. The property’s prime location places guests near multiple attractions and entertainment venues. Melbourne Orlando International Airport and Patrick Space Force Base are less than 20 minutes away, with Brevard Zoo less than 25 minutes away.