Freehand Hostel


The Sydell Group is a New York based owner and developer of lifestyle oriented hotels. Sydell’s core expertise is an ability to identify fresh talent within the hotel, food & beverage, and retail communities and align them with best in class development, management and financial discipline in the creation of compelling new business models in lifestyle hotels. The heart of the company lies in its collaborations.

Our first collaboration was with Ace International in connection with the development of the 275 room Ace Hotel New York and the 180 room Ace Hotel and Swim Club Palm Springs, California.  Upon acquiring the assets that were to become the hotels, Sydell identified Ace International as having a unique voice in the lifestyle hotel space that would resonate with the contemporary traveller and tapped them to oversee the design, marketing and management of both  hotels with support from Sydell as required. Sydell acted as developer of the two projects and worked closely with Ace International to create an organic development process. At the Ace Hotel New York, Sydell and Ace International worked together to create partnerships with Ken Friedman and Michelin Star Chef April Bloomfield for the food and beverage, Opening Ceremony and Project No. 8 for the hotel’s retail, as well as with Stumptown Coffee and  No. 7 Sub. (Ace Group International LLC is not an affiliate of Sydell and is the sole owner of the “Ace Hotel” brand and its affiliated trademarks)

Our second collaboration was for The NoMad Hotel in New York with Will Guidara and  Michelin Star Chef Daniel Humm, the creative team behind the award winning Eleven Madison Park restaurant in New York (2011 James Beard Award winner for the most outstanding  restaurant in The United States). The NoMad will open in the first quarter of 2012 and will be managed by Sydell with a seamless connection to the extensive food and beverage offerings of Guidara and Humm.  Dining and beverage will be fully integrated into the fabric of the hotel in the style of the grand European hotel.

Our third set of collaborations was with Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JDV) for The Saguaro in Scottsdale, Arizona and in Palm Springs, California. Sydell acquired the assets which were to become the Saguaros and brought in JDV to manage the hotels as well as James Beard Award winning Chef Jose Garces to oversee the food and beverage at both hotels. Sydell acted as developer of the hotels and oversaw their design working closely with architects and interior designers, Stamberg Aferiat, known for their bold use of color

Sydell continues to develop exciting new collaborations through its recent acquisition of the 388 room Wilshire Hotel in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles which will be transformed into the first lifestyle hotel in the United States with a strong connection to Korean culture. Several new projects are in the works in New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco.

Sydell has two joint ventures with Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies. Yucaipa was founded in 1986 by Ron Burkle and has completed mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $30 billion. The mandate of the first venture is to acquire and develop urban lifestyle oriented hotel properties. The strategy is to deploy approximately $1 Billion (total capitalization) into the lifestyle hotel space with flexibility on brand and management. The mandate of the second venture is to develop and operate premium youth hostels in major U.S. cities. This venture plans to open ten new premium hostels over the next few years designed by Roman and Williams. Each hostel will possess local design influences and will feature a consistently safe and social environment while enriching the experience through connectivity and innovative use of social media.

Sydell was formed in 2006 by Andrew Zobler, former Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for North America for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, Principal of Lazard Freres Real Estate Funds, and Chief Investment Officer at André Balazs Properties.