Hotel Online  Special Report


 Gencom Spending $500 million to Transform the Lodge at Rancho Mirage
to The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage; Adding Spa and Residential
Components to 244 room Hotel
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Jan. 24, 2007 - The ultra-affluent enclave of Rancho Mirage, known as the Beverly Hills of the Coachella
Valley and a resort playground to generations of politicians and Hollywood personalities, is about to shine even brighter in the Palm Springs area spotlight. A comprehensive $500 million, 40-acre project is set to transform the venerable Lodge at Rancho Mirage into the area's premier, five-star resort under the banner, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.
Featuring a 244-room resort, a multi-million dollar internationally-branded spa and a 154-unit luxury residential community, the development is situated 650 feet above the Coachella Valley, offering one of the area's most awe-inspiring views. The first phase, the 244-room hotel, will open in December 2007. The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, to be offered in late January, along with the spa, will be available for occupancy beginning in May 2008.
Miami-based Gencom Group purchased the property and an additional 15 acres adjacent to it in 2005 from hotel operators RockResorts.
"This is the most significant development project in our area in many years," said Richard Kite, mayor of Rancho Mirage, referencing the strength of The Ritz-Carlton brand and the caliber of the development team, whose credentials comprise top-tier projects for the world's leading luxury hotel operators.
Virtually every aspect of the project considers the property's prominent site elevation and the area's temperate climate. Its hillside
location provides spectacular and unparalleled views of the Coachella Valley and the rugged Santa Rosa mountains, while its climate -- renowned for 350 days of sun per year -- inspires a dramatic property blueprint distinguished by plentiful gardens, patios, pools, terraces, courtyards and fire pits.
"Despite its reputation as a favored resort destination for many of the world's most affluent travelers and celebrities, the Palm Springs area does not have a true five-star luxury property," said Karim Alibhai, principal of Gencom Group. "We are committed to making The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage the preeminent resort and residential property in Southern California."
Nearly 100% of the existing hotel will be renovated and an additional 23,620 square feet of new construction added. The hotel's facade will be transformed through the integrated use of multi-hued stone and highly-saturated colors that mirror the inherent beauty of the area's
desert surroundings. Stacked-stone columns, bronze-lined doors and oversize windows and deep-toned wood eaves add texture to the facades. Both the hotel and residential design will underscore the primary focus of indoor/outdoor living.

The Lodge at Rancho Mirage

In July, 2005, a Gencom-led partnership acquired The Lodge at Rancho Mirage from Vail Resorts. The resort spans 24 acres in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains overlooking the Coachella Valley. Under a new luxury hotel flag, the property will be restored to its former level of preeminence within the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley. This 244-key property will undergo a major renovation and a significant residential expansion. The comprehensive renovation will include a new 23,620 square-foot spa, expanded meeting space (including a second ballroom), additional swimming pools, food and beverage venues, and enhanced landscaping and recreational amenities. The renovation and residential pre-sales are expected to commence in 2006.

  • 2006 commencement
  • 244-key hotel
  • New 23,620-square-foot-spa
  • Additional meeting space
  • New branded signature restaurant; chef to be announced.
  • 154 Condo/Hotel Villas
  • Residential sales are estimated to be in excess of $250 million
Empty Nesters, Extended Families: A Retreat for Every Luxury Homeowner
For homeowners, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage introduces three ownership opportunities: The Spa Suites, a collection of 18 condominiums attached to the Spa; The Residential Suites, comprising 86 one- to three-bedroom hotel suites; and The Residences, 68 two- to four-bedroom villas with private plunge pools. In total, The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage will offer 154 residential units -- averaging in size from 844- to 3,000-square feet -- with interiors envisioned by renowned interior design firm Wilson & Associates.
Owners will have complete access to the full range of luxury amenities and world-class services of The Ritz-Carlton hotel and spa, as well as a concierge building with dedicated owner check-in. The residences will also have their own pool and clubhouse building.
A perfect complement to the spa, the 18 studio, one- and two-bedroom Spa Suites offer a private connection to the spa and easy enjoyment of the adjacent infinity edge swimming pool. Crisp white stones accented by multi-hued blues reflect the desert sky and mirror the color palette of the spa, creating a serene design that seamlessly blends inside and out. Generous living rooms lead to private terraces and courtyards, many with firepits, outdoor soaking tubs and large outdoor living areas.
The property's 86 Residential Suites range from one- to three-bedrooms. All have chef's kitchens and private terraces and many feature courtyard entries and outdoor showers. Several of the suites have lock-offs.
The Residences comprise 68 two-story villas spread graciously over a sloping hillside. Offering sweeping views of the Coachella Valley, the
villas include a full complement of luxurious details from private backyards with secluded plunge pools and firepits to fully appointed
gourmet kitchens and terraces off of the bedrooms. With a palette of colors and textures including travertine stone floors, rich walnut cabinetry and modern furniture with clean, simple lines, The Residences marry casual luxury with refined Desert Modernism. Averaging 2,534 square feet, The Residences range from two- to four-bedrooms.
Destination Dining and Amenities
A world-class restaurant will feature an exhibition kitchen and wine bar with over 50 wines available by the glass. For more casual dining, "The Edge" will provide outdoor seating amid dramatic billowing fabric sails; an engaging contemporary pool bar and grill by day and a dazzling destination restaurant under the stars at night.
A significant feature will be the new multi-million dollar spa under an internationally-branded name. Unrivaled in Southern California, the
two-story spa will house a fitness center with yoga studios, 16 private treatment rooms and a health bar and cafe.
The region's reputation as a recreational playground -- with more than 100 golf courses and 500 tennis courts, the Valley area has been called the "golf and tennis capital of the world" -- makes recreation a primary focus. Guests and residents will enjoy the services of a golf/tennis concierge who will handle all arrangements at the area's most prestigious golf and tennis clubs.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage will feature two "signature" pools, an Olympic size pool framed by cabanas and an infinity pool. Among the
development's 72 pools, there will be a series of reflection pools, "relaxation pools" and private plunge pools. For more information log on to
Founded in 1987 by Karim Alibhai, Gencom Group, an investment and development firm, is a major player in the hospitality and related real
estate industries. When the company was originally formed, its activities primarily focused on acquisition, ownership, development and management of full-service properties under the Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson and Wyndham brands throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. As Gencom established a name for itself in the full-service market, it began to seek new opportunities and ventured into new market segments. In 1997, Gencom shifted its focus to developing and acquiring luxury mixed-use hotels, including The Ritz-Carton and Hyatt properties, with ancillary residential components in key resort and urban markets.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., (USA) currently operates 62 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Over 30 projects are under development around the globe with hotel openings planned for Moscow, Tokyo and Ireland over the next year. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes outstanding customer service.

Gencom Group

Also See: Gencom-Led Partnership to Develop The Ritz-Carlton Rose Island, Bahamas in the Caribbean / November 2006
Investment Group Acquires the 548 room Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; $40 million Renovation Planned / March 2006

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