André Balazs plans to convert hotels into private clubs

Hotelier says having familiar clientele can assuage health and safety concerns during pandemic

TRD NATIONAL /
Jul.July 28, 2020 12:30 PM
André Balazs and the Chateau Marmont (Getty, Wikimedia) 

André Balazs and the Chateau Marmont (Getty, Wikimedia)

The coronavirus may have made travelers wary of staying in a hotel with strangers, but hotelier André Balazs is betting that private clubs with familiar clientele will be able to overcome some of these concerns.

Balazs is planning to convert Los Angeles’ historic Chateau Marmont into a members-only model by the end of this year, and may then introduce the concept in other cities like Milan, Paris and Tokyo, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While the 63-year-old hotelier said he had been considered such a move for the past three years, coronavirus has accelerated those plans. “There is something to be said for knowing people,” Balazs told the Journal. “You can chat with them; you know where they have been.”

Another idea under consideration is the sale of ownership stakes in Balazs’ properties to guests who become club members.

Balazs also owns the Mercer Hotel in Lower Manhattan and the Chiltern Firehouse hotel in London. He sold the Standard High Line for $400 million in 2014 and stepped down as chair of the Standard hotels brand in 2017.

The Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, long popular with actors and musicians, laid off nearly all of its employees in March while only providing them with health benefits until the end of the month. Balazs later donated $100,000 to an ex-employee fund, a spokesperson said.

While many hotels have considered alternative business models as a result of the pandemic, lodging analysts told the Journal that few would be able to pursue the same approach as Balazs, whose hotels already have a dedicated clientele and function like private clubs in many ways already.

“We have always screened our guests,” Balazs said. “Guests are never more than one degree of separation away.” [WSJ] — Kevin Sun


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Paseo de la Riviera and Brent Reynolds

Developer completes $225M Paseo de la Riviera mixed-use project

Developer completes $225M Paseo de la Riviera mixed-use project
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Joel Hoffman (Credit: Robin Hill)

Vizcaya needs money to operate, launches $1M fundraising campaign

Vizcaya needs money to operate, launches $1M fundraising campaign
From left: 1900 Collins Avenue (Top), 229 19th Street, 1925 Liberty Avenue and 227 19th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Contractor alleges unpaid work at Lennox Miami Beach hotel, amid legal battle between father-in-law and son-in-law

Contractor alleges unpaid work at Lennox Miami Beach hotel, amid legal battle between father-in-law and son-in-law
Map of priciest condo sales and Bayview Fisher Island (Credit: Google Maps)

Weekly condo sales fall again in early August

Weekly condo sales fall again in early August
Jeff Ardizon and Robert Suris with 950 West 49th Street, Hialeah

Estate Companies buys shuttered Hialeah Ramada for $15M

Estate Companies buys shuttered Hialeah Ramada for $15M
South Florida Resi Contracts Up in July (Credit: iStock)

South Florida resi contracts continued to rise in July

South Florida resi contracts continued to rise in July
WeWork Lincoln Road with Sandeep Mathrani (Google Maps, WeWork)

WeWork’s Lincoln Road landlord seeks $20M in unpaid rent

WeWork’s Lincoln Road landlord seeks $20M in unpaid rent
Matthew Kramer, Victor Petrescu, Sebastian Jaramillo and Gov. Ron DeSantis (Getty, iStock) 

Florida’s piecemeal extension of foreclosure, eviction ban “better than nothing, but only deferring the inevitable”

Florida’s piecemeal extension of foreclosure, eviction ban “better than nothing, but only deferring the inevitable”
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...