The sun shined brightly on sunny Key West for LaSalle Hotel Properties this winter.

“Key West had a great quarter,” LaSalle CEO Mike Barnello said on the real estate investment trust’s recent Q1 earnings call, citing rising rates.

Given our relentlessly cold and stormy winter, people flocked to tropical Key West – the southernmost point of the USA – for a break from freezing temperatures.

The company’s first-quarter revenue per available room increased by 4%, LaSalle’s CFO Bruce Riggins told investors, but LaSalle’s resorts – led by Southernmost – exceeded that with RevPAR growth of 12.9% driven overwhelmingly by an increase in the average daily rate.

LaSalle, based in the Washington D.C, area, last year bought its way into the market with a $185 million acquisition. The REIT bought the Southernmost Hotel Collection, which consists of three hotels: Southernmost on the Beach, Southernmost Hotel in the USA and La Mer Hotel & Dewey House located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Highgate Hotels manages the operation. Barnello expects the collection to continue to be popular with travelers.

“Quite frankly, we expect that to be one of the better performers at every quarter,” he told Wall Street analysts on the call.

The REIT’s other top performers, according to Barnello, were Hotel Monaco and Villa Florence in San Francisco; Los Angeles hotels Chamberlain, Le Montrose and Amarano; L’Auberge Del Mar in San Diego, and the Hyatt in Boston Harbor. LaSalle owns 45 hotels, according to its website.

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Readers: Where do you like to stay when you’re in Key West? (I hope to get there someday! Hubby and I lived in Miami for three years when we worked at the Miami Herald and NBC, respectively, but sadly we never made it down.)

Photos courtesy of Southernmost Hotel Collection.