Liberty Hotel gets new co-owner, Starwood affiliation

By Katie Johnston Chase
Globe Staff / January 12, 2011

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The Liberty Hotel in Boston has a new co-owner and has become part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Luxury Collection, its owners said yesterday.

HEI Hotels & Resorts bought out an ownership share held by Multi-Employer Hotel Partners LP in Seattle for an undisclosed amount and entered into a partnership with co-owner Carpenter & Co. in Cambridge, the original developer of the hotel.

Carpenter and HEI will run the business together, with HEI assuming day-to-day management of the 300-room hotel.

The Liberty consists of remodeled pieces of the former Charles Street Jail as well as a new high-rise. It has been home to fashion shows and music awards and houses the chic Italian restaurant Scampo, run by chef Lydia Shire and restaurateur Patrick Lyons.

“This is a fantastic hotel,’’ said Richard Friedman, chief executive of Carpenter & Co. “It’s got big potential, and I’m very committed to it.’’

Carpenter co-owns several other hotels in Greater Boston, including the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square.

The company also developed the Westin Boston Waterfront at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hilton Boston Logan Airport.

The Liberty will remain an independent hotel but has entered into a franchise agreement to become the 11th US hotel in Starwood’s Luxury Collection. Guests who are members of Starwood’s loyalty rewards program will earn points when they stay at the Liberty.

The Liberty previously held a marketing affiliation with the Leading Hotels of the World booking group.

No personnel or property changes are expected at the Liberty because of the new partnership, but the Starwood affiliation may drive up room rates, said Reed Woodworth, vice president of the Boston office of Colliers PKF Consulting USA, a hospitality consulting firm.

“One would expect that people would pay more to have access to Starwood points,’’ Woodworth said. “It’s a move away from a true independent, because now they’re picking up the value of the marketing of the brand, that corporate reservation system, and the affinity program that’s good at all Starwood properties.’’

Katie Johnston Chase can be reached at

Inside the Liberty Hotel

Inside the Liberty Hotel

Scenes from the hotel from it's 2007 opening in Boston.