When Frenchman’s Reef Resort on St. Thomas makes its highly anticipated reopening next year, it will be under new management.
Longtime operator Marriott will be replaced by Aimbridge Hospitality, a hotel investment and management firm, joining its existing portfolio of over 880 hotels worldwide.
The property is owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Company, and the newly appointed Managing Director Kurt Wiksten will oversee the project for Aimbridge Hospitality. DiamondRock has not yet announced a brand under which the resort will operate.
“I am thrilled to be part of the re-opening of this legacy property and to take part in the rebuilding of St. Thomas,” said Wiksten. “I share in DiamondRock’s commitment to the St. Thomas community and look forward to leading the charge for this important project.”
The resort is scheduled to reopen during the first quarter of 2020, after closing in 2017 due to damage from Hurricane Irma. It is estimated to contribute more than $100 million to the Virgin Islands’ economy annually.
DiamondRock’s $200 million rebuilding effort is officially underway. The 502-room resort will include cutting-edge design by architects Kollin Altomare and Whitespace Interiors, featuring an expansion of infinity edge pools, enhanced wind resiliency measures, restaurant concepts by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, and upgrading the Morning Star portion of the property to what he described as a “premium” resort.