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Each hotel on Collins has its own scene, and The Raleigh's is getting a whole lot more fashionable. Perhaps. Maybe. Possibly not. Tommy Hilfiger is hellbent on buying the Raleigh and turning it into a private club and hotel. The deal has not yet been signed, although it seems like it's a pretty done deal.
The Raleigh, which is the base for Mercedes Benz Swim Week, is currently run by David Edelstein, owner of the W South Beach, and Sam Nazarian, who owns the SLS South Beach. According to sources, the historic 1940s hotel could go for $100 million, which is roughly double what Nazarian and Edelstein paid for it back in 2012. In an interview with WWD, Hilfiger reveals "I'm in the process of buying it from them. I've always wanted a hotel property. We're going to turn it into a five-star chic hotel with all the amenities."
But how much change are we talking here, Mr. Hilfiger? Will you be turning it into a retreat better found on the beaches in Nantucket, or will it become another cold, modern hotel in South Beach, devoid of its history as an almost 75 year old hotel? In our opinion, The Raleigh is perfect as is, mostly due to the fact that its previous owners have left it in its original state. So change some furniture if you must. Add another boutique if you will. But please, PLEASE, don't touch the pool, and don't try to rename it into "The Hilfiger." That would be too much for us locals to bear.
· Tommy Hilfiger to Buy Hotel in South Beach [WWD]
· Tommy Hilfiger Entering Hotel Business with South Beach's Raleigh [Miami Herald]