CGI Merchant Group Acquires Former Celino South Beach, Announces Plans To Reopen Under Hilton’s Upper Upscale Curio Collection


MIAMI, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — CGI Merchant Group, LLP (CGI) –  a global investment management firm with a focus on real estate and private equity – today announced its purchase of the hotel complex formerly known as The Celino South Beach. Located at 640 Ocean Drive, the property will reopen in fall 2021.

This deal marks the latest acquisition by the firm’s CGI Hospitality Opportunity Fund I, LP (H-Fund), closing only weeks following the reopening of The Gabriel Miami, Curio Collection by Hilton, located in nearby Downtown. The transaction also precedes the unveiling of CGI’s new hospitality concept this fall.

“This is a critical step in our mission to breathe new conscious energy into the hospitality space across the vibrant Florida market and beyond,” said Raoul Thomas, CEO and founder of CGI. “This deal, and The Gabriel Miami before it, exemplifies how our team’s unique perspective allows us to move on opportunities in ways that drive both profits and the greater good.”

Made up of four individual buildings – including the historic Park Central Hotel, Heathcote Apartments, and the Imperial Hotel – the complex is steps away from the world-famous Ocean Drive and features a bold Art Deco aesthetic and uninterrupted ocean views. The property encompasses 132 guest rooms, including 26 lavish suites, all newly renovated with modern South Beach touches. It also has multiple restaurants concepts and outlets well-suited for a wide array of cuisines.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Miami Beach family and to partake in the reinvention of Ocean Drive. The strip has such incredible history, and we all have great memories from visiting from afar or as locals,” adds Thomas. “We look forward to helping the area reach its full potential and sharing how it reflects our vision for the hospitality industry.”

Launched in late 2020, the $650 million fund looks to purchase 20 hotels across gateway cities in North America and the Caribbean. H-Fund assets are hand-selected and will be repositioned to form a first-of-its-kind hospitality collection, housed within the Hilton portfolio of brands. Aimed at today’s more conscious traveler, this new concept is driven by impact investment principles, offering authentic experiences while catalyzing positive change in host communities.

Founded in 2006, CGI Merchant Group currently holds assets across multiple alternative investment strategies, including value-add and opportunistic funds. These strategies have consistently delivered double-digit returns, and, in the process, allowed CGI to remain nimble, regardless of outside economic factors.

In addition to the Celino South Beach and the Gabriel Miami, CGI is also the owner of other marquee Miami properties, including 55 Miracle Mile, 550 Biltmore Way and 3480 Main Highway.

For more information about CGI Merchant Group, visit

About CGI Merchant Group, LLC
CGI Merchant Group (CGI) is a global investment management firm focusing on real estate and private equity. Through our people, unique strategies and investment platform, we work to create long-term value for our investors and shareholders and seek to improve the communities where we invest.

About Curio Collection by Hilton
Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 100 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories. Curio Collection properties offer guests authentic, curated experiences through distinctly local offerings and elevated amenities, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors. Experience a positive stay at Curio Collection by Hilton by booking at or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors appHilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about the brand at, and follow Curio Collection by Hilton on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.