Billionaires and their million dollar investments in hotels and resorts
Billionaires amass their personal wealth and increase their corporate footprint in many ways, and one of them is investment in diversified business segments. From residential and commercial real estate, to media concerns, the palette is rather diversified when it comes to this niche group of the wealthy individuals. This current listing takes a look at a few of those billionaires, who have made their fortunate out of their investments in the hospitality and real estate segments across the globe:
1) Name of establishment: MGM Resorts
Investor: Kirk Kerkorian
The MGM is virtually synonymous with MGM Studios, but the umbrella concern of MGM International doesn’t own the studio anymore after 1990, since it sold of its stake to Sony Corporation. However, MGM Resorts still remain a part of this umbrella brand, which has diversified interests in gaming, entertainment and hospitality establishments like resorts and hotels. The crowning glory of the concern is the ultra modern setup called the ARIA Resort & Casino, where gaming and luxury accommodation go hand-in-hand. One of the benchmarks of this establishment is the strict adherence to American Gaming Association’s code of conduct for ethical gaming, which befits both the state as well as the visitors. The company has been decorated with numerous philanthropic awards for initiatives towards community development and diversity.
2) Name of establishment: Hyatt Regency Coolum Resort
Investor: Clive Palmer
Situated in the pristine surroundings of the Queensland state in Australia, this 324 room resort is a part of the holdings of Mr. Clive Palmer who has various interests in the mining sector and is worth a total of $5 billion, out of which he has spent $15 million for its world class sprawling resort. With 5 different themes of dining joints including its Bruscheta bar, along with 9 pools, gymnasium, and facilities for tennis, camp Hyatt and creative arts gallery, this resort has every component to become a world class recreation facility. The local attractions close by the resort include the Australian zoo, underwater world and the Noosa shopping markets.
3) Name of establishment: Kauri Cliffs
Investor: Julian Robertson III
Kauri Cliffs are a part of the same group which owns Matakauri lodge, which has been built alongside the bay region in the city of Queensland in New Zealand. The area is known for its peaceful ambience, natural beauty and a world class zone for golfers; professional and amateurs alike. Owned by Julian Robertson, this resort with its settings has been rated as one of the 101 best hotels in the world by Tatler Magazine, and many people have acknowledged the Kauri Cliffs to be rejuvenators to the human soul. Architect David Harman was given 2600 yards of space close to the cliffs to create a clubhouse and 11 luxury cottages, apart from landscaping the cliff area according to golfing needs. The 15-hole course covers a large 7100 yard space, with each hole in the midst of scenic beauty.
4) Name of establishment: Carlyle Hotel
Investor: Cheng Yu-Tung
The Carlyle Hotel is one of the iconic establishments in the hub of the Upper East Side, of Manhattan in New York State, USA. Some days back, Chinese billionaire Cheng Yu Tung spent $570 million to acquire this property, as a part of his garland of high profile purchases done through the New World Development Corporation. The hotel is known for its lobby based bar, Bemelmans where the big-wigs of the showbiz world and political circles mingle together. Also, the property highlights include the gold ceilings of this bar, the luxury suites, and also the opportunity to listen to Woody Allen on a weekly basis, for his jazz performances.
5) Name of establishment: Makepeace Island Resort
Investor: Sir Richard Branson
Located in the Noosa River near the province of Queensland in Australia, this island was bought by British entrepreneur Richard Branson in 2003, and opened to the general public much later. Currently open for hire at $8,000 a night, this natural heart-shaped island provides accommodation for 22 guests in its Bali house or Bures along with recreational opportunities in the 500,000 liter lagoon pool, bar, beach area, spa, and tennis court amongst others. As a matter of fact, this island was bought by Sir Branson for the purpose of holiday making for the Virgin Australia airline employees, but later business kept flowing in when the public was allowed to come in.
6) Name of establishment: Grimsstadir Farm
Investor: Huang Nubo
We had earlier told you that Chinese investor Huang Nubo has shown active interest in acquiring the Grimsstadir Farm in the North East of Iceland, which is currently reeling under a financial crisis. With active support from the Icelandic president who seems to have supported the project, there will be $8.8 million paid for the entire 300+ sq kilometers of land and more than $200 million for development of facilities within the resort. Based on eco-tourism concepts, the resort shall have a racing course, horse farm, golf course and several villas and cottages for accommodation. However, due to strategic and legal reasons, the project is on hold, but looking at the President’s eagerness, the project might as well become a major success in the future.
7) Name of the establishment: Billionaire’s Square
Investor: Flavio Briatore
Italian business tycoon Flavio Briatore, in joint partnership with Lebanese Pragma Group, is now developing a prime area in Dubai’s Media City which is going to be called Billionaire’s Square. Apart from having a boutique hotel, this area will feature Billionaire’s bar and grill, along with other sister restaurants and fitness clubs. The total investment needed to be put into the project is to the tune of $60 million, apart from the $150 million initially invested to acquire the piece of real estate in the prime location of Dubai.
8) Name of the establishment: Skorpios Island
Investor: Georgio Armani
Fashion icon Georgio Armani had spent more than $205 million to acquire this island, located near the western coast of Greece. Though much isn’t known about the island, a majority of it still remains in virgin condition, with no settlements developed. It is said that the former owner Aristotle Onassis, his son and daughter all spent their last days on the island and were buried there. Also, Mr. Onassis used this venue as his wedding spot to former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
9) Name of the establishment: Trump International Hotel and Tower
Investor: Donald Trump
As the name of the building suggests, it is named after its owner which is real estate mogul Donald Trump. Located in downtown Chicago, this building stands at a height of 423m, making it the current 10th tallest building in the world. The hotel provides a number of personalized services such as personalized stationary, personalized stacked up bar and room amenities. For recreations, there is the fitness center and 23,000 sq ft spa, apart from the 55 ft indoor pool which is pre-heated to suit the guests’ liking. As for dining, it has the famously known Jean Georges restaurant serving gourmet French cuisine, and the Nougatine restaurant, which is a casual dining space. There hasn’t been a particular signature known, but is supposedly worth more than $70 million in legal rights alone.
10) Name of the establishment: Las Vegas Wynn Hotel
Investor: Steve Wynn
Steve Wynn was one of the most crucial figures in the city of Las Vegas, and still continues to be so for his role since the 1990’s resurrection of the city. He has considerable interests in the area of real estate and gaming, and one of his crowning jewels in the Las Vegas is Wynn Hotel that spells sprawling luxury every bit of the way. Amenities on the property include the spa, salon, fitness center, golf course, multiple swimming pool and poolside eateries, shopping gallery, and also a wedding venue. Also, there are numerous show artists performing to keep the guests entertained. For accommodation, there are the Wynn & Encore deluxe rooms and towers. For dining options, there are specialty restaurants for French, Oriental, and Italian cuisine, along with a wine cellar containing some of the most exclusive wines.
11) Name of the establishment: Singita resort
Investor: Paul Tudor Jones
‘Singita’, which translates into ‘the place of miracles’, is one of the premier resorts offering authentic African Safaris to tourists visiting Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Ever since its inception as a hotel chain in the 90’s, it has carried community and conservation as integral part of its theme as it is based around eco-tourism principles. In South Africa, there are 2 kinds of lodges, namely the Singita Sabi Sand and Singita Kruger National Park. In Tanzania, there are the 3 Singita Grumeti Reserves, and in Zimbabwe there is the Singita Pamushana Lodge. Based around the local condition of environment, all the lodging establishments offer luxurious accommodation, dining, and recreation activities including African safaris.
12) Name of the establishment: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Investor: Sheldon Adelson
The Marina Bay Sands hotel is perhaps a little elaborate to be described in short, but is known to have several credits in its kitty, and one of them being host to the World’s 2nd most expensive casino. Apart from that, the hotel is known to have 2560 suite rooms, shopping malls, specialty restaurants, shopping plazas, exhibition center, and even an events plaza. Also, one of the world’s largest known infinity pools is known to cater to guests, located on the 57th floor of the hotel. What also strikes aesthetically about the property, is the unique design which makes it the hotel appear like a boat supported by 3 tall towers, along the pristine sea shore.
13) Name of the establishment: Port Ghalib Resorts
Investor: Nasser Mohammed Al Kharafi
Managed by Millennium Resorts of the Al-Kharafi Group, the Port Ghalib Resorts stand as some of the most unique ones in the Middle East, and more specifically, in North Africa. The Port Ghalib Resorts are situated on the banks of Port Ghalib which is a part of the south of the Red Sea. Based partly on main land and waters, the hotels are excitingly themed, and offer plenty for every kind of visitor of these hotels. Some prominent establishments include the Conference Center, Citadel Resort and Spa, Caravans and dessert based village, Coral beach diving resort, the Corniche, Entertainment Island, International Marina Hotel, and the Tower Village, all of which would allow you to indulge in different activities of the region.
14) Name of the establishment: Ritz Carlton, Chicago
Investor: Neil Bluhm
Ritz Carlton as a brand is under the aegis of the Four Seasons Group, known across the world for its various chapters of hospitality establishments, especially the premium variety. The Ritz Carlton in Chicago is one such prime example, which has 434 rooms divided into various varieties of guest rooms and suites. It is also known for the famous spa at the Carlton club which offers a wide variety of exotic treatments, and also is known to have some great value packages along with the main dining space in the hotel, the Deca bar + restaurant. This dining space, as per consumer needs, can offer various kinds of ambiance for a supreme experience, and not to forget the variety of food. Other amenities include the fitness centre, business and conferencing center, and also the golf club.
15) Name of the establishment: Seychelles Resorts
Investor: Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
The $145 million resort is managed by the Kingdom Hotel Investments Group, which is a sister concern of the Kingdom Holding Company, chaired by Prince Al-Waleed. The Seychelles Resorts is located with its face towards the Indian Ocean and the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, Vallee de Mai. This resort has 500 meters of beach space, along with 30 hectares for 86 villas. Also in the property would be the Raffles residential apartments, which will be available in 3, 4, and 5 bedroom options, and starting price of these residential spaces is $ 3.5 million. This project was launched after the group acquired significant properties across Europe, Middle East, Asia and North Africa.
16) Name of the establishment: Glacier 3000 Resort
Investor: Bernie Ecclestone
Apart from running his F1 interests, Bernie Ecclestone is known for his numerous real estate investments and luxurious properties. One of the them is the Glacier 3000- Les Debleretes Resort, which translates into ‘little devils’. This ski-resort is one of the unique ones because it allows for skiing from October to July each year without any trouble. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the place manages to get around 120,000 visitors each year but looking at the potential, the numbers need to go up further. Mr. Ecclestone is looking to further develop the project that shall aim to double the number of visitors in the years to come. One of the feature highlights of the resort are the restaurants which are located at heights of 3000 meters and the other at 10 meters above sea level, which also mark the path along which the skiers generally move around. Apart from that, there are numerous sporting activities such as snow bus, winter hikes, and dog sledge rides amongst others.