NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is adding a new career to his resume: hotelier.
The American clothing mogul purchased the Raleigh Hotel in Miami’s South Beach for $70 million dollars in 2014, with plans to convert it into a membership-based luxury boutique hotel, offering exclusive benefits to those who pay a yearly fee.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” said Hilfiger. “I thought for many years it would be exciting and challenging to find the perfect location, the perfect hotel, and to bring it back to its original glory and charm. And I found that with Raleigh.”
Hilfiger plans to expand the size of the current rooms, taking the hotel from 109 rooms down to 88 rooms. Members will have access to a spa, health club, and restaurant. The landmarked hotel will close for renovations later this year. Hilfiger estimates the renovations will take 18 months. Until then the hotel is open and taking reservations.
Why Miami? Hilfiger says he falls more in love with the city with every visit. He and his wife Dee Ocleppo own a home in North Miami.
“It’s really one of the most exciting international cities in the world,” he said.
The Raleigh’s members will have first priority to rooms and to the hotel’s amenities. There are plans to join a reservation network for non-members to accumulate points.
While exact prices have not yet been determined, the membership will be slightly more expensive than the neighboring Soho Beach House’s $2,000 dollar annual membership, Hilfiger said.
As for the traditional red, white, and blue Tommy Hilfiger branding — it won’t be so obvious in the hotel.
“It will be owned and created by Tommy Hilfiger the person, but not the brand,” he said.
There are nearly 50 luxury hotels in Miami to choose from. According to travel research firm STR, average rates for luxury hotels in January 2016 were $406 dollars a night. The Raleigh’s average rate is currently $435 dollars a night, and Hilfiger says prices will increase after renovations.
Hilfiger says he has plans to expand the Raleigh into a chain of hotels in other cities.
“We’ve identified other cities that I think would be a natural progression for us,” said Hilfiger. “If you look at LA, Aspen, New York, London, these are also great cities for us and if and when we get the right locations we will expand into the cities.”