Fairmont Hotels parent FRHI Hotels & Resorts and California-based investment banker Richard Blum have acquired the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, Calif
The 279-room hotel will fly the Fairmont flag following a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 99-year-old property.
FRHI and Blum, the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), are equal partners in the acquisition. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The hotel likely sold for about $155 million, according to Alan Reay, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Atlas Hospitality Group.
The Claremont, which also includes a 1,500-member tennis club, was built in 1915. The property was notably in the path of the 1,500-acre Oakland Hills fire of 1991 before the blaze was put out nearby.
Fairmont now will have luxury properties on each side of the Bay Bridge. The 591-room Fairmont San Francisco opened on the city’s Nob Hill in 1907. That property was sold in 2012 by Maritz, Wolff & Co. and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to Woodbridge Capital Partners and Oaktree Capital Management for about $200 million.
At about $555,000 a room, the Claremont is changing hands for substantially more than the $338,000 a room paid for the Fairmont San Francisco. That premium isn’t surprising given the improvement in the lodging market as well as the fact that the Claremont sits on 22 acres.
“The market has jumped dramatically in the past two years,” said Reay. “And this building is irreplaceable.”Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.