Luxury hotel operator Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will soon take over management of San Diego’s top-rated hotel and rebrand it as the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The highly regarded resort will soon join a distinctive hotel collection that includes the iconic Fairmont San Francisco, world-famous The Plaza in New York, and landmark The Savoy in London.
Upon closing of the deal, which will see affiliates of private equity firm Blum Capital take majority ownership of the resort, Fairmont will oversee day-to-day operations of the award-winning property under a long-term management agreement. Manchester Financial Group and Fairmont’s parent company FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) will both hold a minority interest in the AAA Five-Diamond hotel.
Today’s Grand Del Mar announcement follows another high-profile California hotel deal between Fairmont and Richard Blum, which last year saw the two acquire the landmark Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California.
Following that acquisition, a multi-million dollar refurbishment project was undertaken to revitalize the hotel and enhance the Claremont’s stunning architecture.
“With the beauty and climate of San Diego attracting travelers from all over the world, we’re extremely pleased to be adding an asset of this caliber to our hotel collection,” said William Fatt, chairman and chief executive officer, FRHI. “We’ve aligned with some great partners and are very happy to be working with Blum Capital and Richard Blum on this very exciting deal, which will further expand our already strong presence in the California market.”
“The acquisition of the Grand Del Mar, one of the most revered luxury hotels in the United States, aligns with our investment strategy and perfectly complements Fairmont’s unrivaled portfolio of hotels in the California market and abroad,” said Richard C. Blum, chairman and president, Blum Capital. “We look forward to showcasing this remarkable asset to an even greater audience and working with a celebrated brand like Fairmont to further enhance the property’s award-winning reputation.”
Featuring Spanish and French influences, and a design reflecting the Mediterranean style of famed American resort architect Addison Mizner, the property is well suited to San Diego’s warm climate and outdoor lifestyle. Set amidst the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in Southern California, the resort features 249 guestrooms, counting a high mix of luxurious suites, plus 8 two-story 4,500 square foot villas.
Key features of the luxury resort include a 21,000 square foot spa, which received a Five Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide in 2015; 18-hole Tom-Fazio designed golf course and clubhouse; six food and beverage venues including Addison, the resort’s AAA Five Diamond rated signature restaurant; and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The resort also houses boutique shopping outlets and 27,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000 square foot ballroom, perfect for both large and small scale events.
“We’re truly fortunate to have one of our cherished assets joining the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts under the leadership of Richard Blum,” said Papa Doug Manchester. “Manchester Financial Group, and I personally, have enjoyed the emergence of the Grand Del Mar as one of the world’s most beautiful and recognized resort and spa destinations. This new relationship assures that the property will continue on the world stage in perpetuity.”
“The Manchester team, led by ‘Papa Doug’ Manchester, have built an incredible hotel product and coupled it with an expertly trained and highly engaged group of hotel colleagues. This formula has established the Grand Del Mar as one of the country’s truly outstanding hotels,” added FRHI’s Fatt. “We are excited to become stewards of this wonderful hotel and to continue this amazing performance, while also working with our partners – majority owner Blum Capital and minority partner Manchester Financial Group – to further strengthen and grow the resort’s luxury positioning.”
Fairmont Grand Del Mar is located near the coast in Northern San Diego, and surrounded by the pristine coastal communities of La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. It is conveniently located close to the San Diego Airport and a short drive from word-class beaches and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.