Statement from General Hotel Management (GHM) on The Setai South Beach Owner Takeover

Established in 1992, Singapore-based management company, General Hotel Management (GHM), has created some of the world’s most highly regarded intimate luxury resorts and hotels from their home base in Asia, including The Setai South Beach.  

At 2:30 AM on Saturday, March 31, 2012, owner representatives of The Setai South Beach arrived at the hotel and informed GHM they were taking over the property. According to Hans R. Jenni, President and Director of GHM, “Representatives from Lehman Brothers arrived at the hotel with armed guards and off duty sheriff officers in uniform in the early morning hours on March 31st. They informed us that they were taking over the property and that General Hotel Management (GHM) was no longer welcome on the property. These actions took us by surprise, as we had no prior indication they were intending to do this, nor were we under the impression that they were unhappy with our performance.  We had just achieved the second best financial performance year since the inception of the hotel, not an easy accomplishment in the current economic environment.” 

Jenni further comments, “At this time we are not in a position to comment on the specifics of their allegations. We are in conversations with our lawyers and will take the necessary steps to ensure that Lehman Brothers complies with the requirements of the management contract in place. The allegations shared by Lehman Brothers’ council are defamatory, damaging and without basis. Lehman Brothers have ignored a valid contract, stormed the hotel and have taken the law into their own hands. Their lawless behavior is sending the message that no contract is enforceable.” 

Since the opening of The Setai South Beach in August 2005, the hotel has been recognized as one of the top hotels in the world. Founder of Aman Resorts, one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands, Adrian Zecha, Non-Executive Chairman and Director of GHM, said “GHM is an industry leader with tremendous brand recognition in our industry. It was GHM that created the Setai concept and experience, leading the hotel to achieve numerous industry recognitions.” These have included prestigious awards such as 2012 Condé Nast Traveler "Platinum Circle Award" for inclusion in Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List for 5 consecutive years; 2012 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hotels in the USA,” “Top 50 Hotels in the USA,” and “#1 Best Hotel in Florida;” Travel & Leisure World’s Best Large City Hotels (2009, 2010, 2011) and Condé Nast Traveler UK Gold List (2007 to 2011). 

In addition to top industry accolades, “Under GHM management, The Setai South Beach has provided a strong resident experience that has been key to maintaining and increasing the value of the individual properties, creating record breaking prices for the property sales,” said Zecha
Source = GHM
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