ORLANDO, Fla. - Hilton Worldwide has acquired the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek from a consortium including affiliates of GEM Realty Capital, Farallon Capital Management and Blackstone. The closing follows an announcement last week that Hilton Worldwide signed agreements to acquire the two hotels.
Opened in October 2009, the 498-room Waldorf Astoria Orlando and 1,000-room Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek together form a 482-acre resort that is surrounded by a private nature preserve and is conveniently located on three sides by Walt Disney World®. The resort features a 3-acre Florida-style lazy river pool, Rees Jones-designed championship golf course, Waldorf Astoria Spa, fitness center and nearly a dozen dining and lounge options, including the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek's award-winning La Luce® and Waldorf Astoria Orlando's signature restaurant, Bull and Bear®.
"These two properties are a great addition to our portfolio of owned assets and a testament to the power of strong partnerships, teamwork, vision and devotion," said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide. "The previous ownership has played a pivotal role in the success of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and we will continue to build on their legacy of providing guests with outstanding experiences."
"GEM has had a longstanding relationship with Hilton Worldwide through both GEM Realty Securities and GEM Realty Properties," said Norman Geller, Senior Managing Partner of GEM Realty Capital. "Over more than a decade, we have worked with Hilton Worldwide's exceptional management team, and we are thrilled that Hilton Worldwide will own and continue to manage this world-class resort."
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek have achieved a number of firsts and extensive awards. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando was the first newly built Waldorf Astoria property since the original Waldorf was opened on the same day 82 years before. Since then, the properties have received 62 "best" awards including Conde Nest Traveler Gold List, Travel & Leisure World's Best, US News & World Report on Travel, Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and Hilton's own Connie Award.
The property's ownership entities have worked closely together and focused on ensuring the hotel team had the tools they needed to maintain the highest standards. "Built during difficult global economic times, ownership persevered and continued the commitment to stay on course, delivering on time and on budget," said Peter Kacheris, managing director of the resort. "They always responded to the ever-changing needs of our customers by reinvesting into the property."
"We are gratified by this result," said Rocky Fried, Managing Member at Farallon. "This is an excellent outcome for our investors, with credit to our patient approach and collaborative work with our partners at GEM and Blackstone as well as the management team at Hilton Worldwide."
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About GEM Realty Capital
Founded in 1994, GEM Realty Capital, Inc. (GEM) is a Chicago-based real estate investment company that invests in private-market real estate assets and publicly-traded real estate securities through two lines of business, GEM Realty Properties and GEM Realty Securities. GEM has approximately $4 billion of assets under management on behalf of pension plans, endowments, foundations, financial institutions and private clients. GEM is currently investing capital for its fifth discretionary private real estate fund, GEM Realty Fund V, L.P.
About Farallon Capital Management
Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. is a global institutional asset management firm founded in 1986. Farallon manages approximately $19.5 billion for institutions, including college endowments, charitable foundations and pension plans, and for high net worth individuals. Farallon employs approximately 180 employees. Farallon is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sao Paulo. Farallon is currently investing capital for Farallon Real Estate Partners, which targets income-producing office, multifamily, retail and industrial properties. More information about Farallon may be found at www.faralloncapital.com.
About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is a portfolio of 26 iconic properties in the world’s most sought after destinations. Unified by their inspirational environments and True Waldorf Service, Waldorf Astoria hotels deliver unparalleled, bespoke service from the moment a guest books through check out. Waldorf Astoria is a part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company. Experience Waldorf Astoria by booking at www.waldorfastoria.com. Learn about the brand by visiting http://news.waldorfastoria.com or following the brand on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 4,900 properties with over 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.