The Real Deal Miami

Riu Hotels CEO surrenders in Miami-Dade on charges of unlawful compensation

Allegations include promising discounted stays for passing building code inspections and permits
February 12, 2018 05:30PM

RIU Plaza Hotel  (Credit:

Riu Hotels & Resorts’ CEO Luis Riu Guell surrendered in Miami-Dade on Monday, as he faces charges of illegally compensating Miami Beach’s former top building official.

Allegations against Guell included giving city official Mariano Fernandez discounted stays at some of the company’s luxury resorts, according to the Miami Herald. Fernandez recently surrendered to authorities for the same charges. He was fired late last year.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office claims Guell worked with Fernandez to illegally help hotel executives pass building code inspections and get permits for the large-scale renovation of the company’s South Beach RIU Plaza Hotel, at 3101 Collins Avenue. Guell also allegedly provided the entire Miami Beach building department with discounted rates for retreats to Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

The Spanish hotel company’s regional vice president, Alejandro Sanchez del Arco, also surrendered, according to the Herald. Guell co-owns RIU Hotel & Resorts with his sister. The company oversees more than 100 hotels in 19 countries, including the resorts in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and South Beach. [Miami Herald] – Amanda Rabines