BERKELEY -- The landmark Claremont Hotel Club & Spa on the Oakland-Berkeley border has been bought by a group led by the Fairmont Hotel chain and financier Richard Blum, the buyers announced Friday.

The new owners will soon launch a multi-million-dollar upgrade of the historic hotel and resort, which has a prominent perch in the Oakland-Berkeley hills and commands sweeping vistas of San Francisco Bay.

The renovation will update the hotel's facilities and enhance the Claremont's stunning architecture, while at the same time preserving and protecting the character of the landmark, FRHI said.

FRHI Hotels & Resorts, together with Blum, bought the 279-room hotel. Terms weren't disclosed.

"Growth continues to be one of our top priorities, so we are extremely excited to be adding an asset as attractive as the Claremont," said Kevin Frid, president, Americas, FRHI Hotels & Resorts.

The purchase supports FRHI's growth strategy of acquiring strategic assets in key leading markets, the new owners said.

"We see this as an opportunity to grow one of our leading brands with the right product, in the right market," Frid said. "We firmly believe the hotel is a perfect complement to many of the other celebrated hotels in our portfolio."

The deal makes sense for the Fairmont chain, said Alan Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group, which tracks the lodging market in California.


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"The Fairmont chain is well-known for having iconic properties that are very hard to replicate," Reay said. "It is very hard to compete with that kind of quality and type of historic property. The Claremont is akin to the Del Coronado in San Diego. You will never be able to build that kind of 20-acre resort in the Berkeley area."

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow at twitter.com/georgeavalos