Sonesta opens The James brand to franchising

The James Nomad, New York will be the brand’s franchise template. Image © Sonesta International Hotels
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation is expanding its global development strategy to include The James brand as part of the Sonesta Franchise portfolio in the US and Latin America.

The luxury boutique hotel line will now offer franchisees a high-end lifestyle option in major urban and resort destination markets.

New York prototype

Currently, The James Nomad, New York is the prototype for future properties under its licence agreement. Sonesta will reflag two of The Royal Sonesta properties from its managed portfolio later this year to The James brand – The Royal Sonesta Chicago River North and The Royal Sonesta Washington DC Dupont Circle.

The James brand caters to both visitors and local guests, offering a unique experience at each property. Each hotel will partner with restaurateurs, transforming each site’s restaurant into a destination. The strand became part of the Sonesta portfolio in 2021 after the group acquired Red Lion Hotels Corporation.

High quality experience

Elizabeth Harlow, chief marketing and brand officer of Sonesta, said: “The James is a lifestyle brand that provides guests with a unique hospitality experience based on high quality services and amenities supported by a timeless design.

“The James’ ambiance is locally inspired, influenced by each hotel’s local community to provide each traveller with a memorable guest experience. The James’ hallmark is its commitment to creating an emotional connection with each guest.”

Upscale lifestyle expansion

Brian Quinn, chief development officer of Sonesta, added: “Adding The James to our franchise portfolio meets our goal of expanding our upper-upscale and lifestyle market offerings and helps position Sonesta as an industry leader in franchising.

“The James is a sophisticated urban retreat that appeals to a broad, affluent and multigenerational audience. The introduction of this brand is another example of the exciting ways we are developing and evolving Sonesta’s growing franchise portfolio.”

Franchising drive

In September 2021, Sonesta Franchising debuted in the US with a complete platform of franchise services, hotel operations and franchise support. Featuring 14 brands, Sonesta Franchising offers a range of hotel services to fit travellers’ needs.

Prior to The James, Sonesta’s latest franchising brand addition was Royal Sonesta towards the end of 2022.