Fairmont hotel group in talks to buy Claremont Hotel

side view of the Claremont Resort & Spa

The Claremont Hotel & Resort is being bought by the Fairmont hotel group. Photo: Paula Steele

Update 1/29: The general manager of the Claremont Resort sent out the following email Tuesday night confirming that a sale of the hotel is in progress:

“The Claremont’s owner has entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with FRHI (The Fairmont/Raffles Hotels International group) and their Capital Partners.  It is expected that FRHI will complete the transaction on/about February 27, 2014.  The Claremont will become a Fairmont managed property at that time.”

Sincerely, Bruce Carlton
General Manager

Original story: A hotel chain that owns the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and many luxury resorts around the world will acquire the Claremont Hotel and Spa, according to internal Claremont Hotel communications and numerous employees.

FRHI Hotels and Resorts, a Toronto, Canada based chain owned by investors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, will take complete possession of the resort by Feb. 28, according to the memo, which was obtained by Berkeleyside. FRHI (Fairmont Raffles Hotels International) also owns the Raffles chain, (the Raffles in Singapore is considered its flagship hotel) and the Swiss hotel chain, Swissôtel.

“This will be the first time in about a decade that the Claremont will be owner-managed, rather than being a part of a big financial portfolio and managed by an outside management company (i.e. Interestate and Pyramid),” a top fitness manager wrote in a Jan. 22 email to the fitness staff. “They seek out unique properties like ours and understand what is entailed in taking care of them.”

The manager called the sale “exciting news.”

FRHI officials declined to comment on news that it had acquired the Claremont. The deal has not yet closed, according to the memo.

The 279-room Claremont, which was listed for sale for $80 million in May 2013, has changed hands numerous times in recent years. Its most recent owner was the Government of Singapore Investment Group (GIC). It obtained the Claremont and other resorts from the Paulson & Co. group in December 2012 for $1.5 billion.

While the new owners have not yet announced their plans for the gleaming white resort, The Berkeley Wine Festival produced by the Claremont, which was meant to kick off on March 1, has been canceled, according to a source, and the event’s website has been taken down.

It remains to be seen if FRHI will change the name to Fairmont Claremont Hotel. Its other hotels all have an affiliation with the three main brands, Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel.

FRHI has been expanding rapidly and has already announced plans to open seven hotels with 1,300 rooms in 2014, according to press reports. These include two hotels opening in Sochi, Russia in time for the 2014 Winter Olympic games.

The Claremont Hotel opened in 1915. It has a Berkeley mailing address, although most of the property is in Oakland.

Related:
Claremont Resort may go up for auction in November (10.19.12)
Investment group puts Claremont resort up for sale [05.23.12)
Claremont files for bankruptcy, operations unaffected [02.02.11]

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

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  • NAParish

    The Fairmont Claremont‽ That would be awful!

  • guest

    It looks like the main part of the hotel is parcel 48H-7670-27
 which is assessed for $50 million, and pays about $800k / year in property taxes, in Oakland. Looking forward to the post sale reassessment increase.

    COUNTYWIDE TAX 1.0000 % 510,495.38
    CITY OF OAKLAND 0.1985 % 101,333.31
    SCHOOL UNIFIED 0.1985 % 90,868.18
    SCHOOL COMM COLL 0.1780 % 21,389.76
    BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT 3,828.72
    EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK 3,981.86
    EBMUD SPEC DIST 3,369.27

    TOTAL 1.4403 % 735,266.48

  • guest

    Fairmont Claremont: a No-tell Hotel

  • Long term reader

    Remember some of the Prop 13 rules. Most of the time, commercial properties are owned by a holding company, which itself is bought and sold, thus avoiding increases in property taxes. This has been one of the unfortunate loopholes in the law.

  • John

    Wonderful news. Fairmont has a great culture and fits well with this timeless hotel.

  • chainsaw buddha

    God maybe that will help, the old girl really needs a facelift and a big staff flushing. The general manager is a turd and “The Club” really needs help.

  • b

    any news with this? theres been no press release , or confirmation , and we are into march now?

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    The Claremont sent out an email to its Club members on the evening of January 28 saying the following: The Claremont’s owner has entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with FRHI (The Fairmont/Raffles Hotels International group) and their Capital Partners. It is expected that FRHI will complete the transaction on/about February 27, 2014. The Claremont will become a Fairmont managed property at that time.

  • Ben

    Oh , thats good news, thanks . Must be a little delayed in switching to the Fairmont name though.