Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

Going forward, Monarch Beach Resort will now be known as Walford Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, as announced by the Hilton luxury hotel brand.

“We are incredibly excited about welcoming the resort and its team members to Hilton,” said Danny Hughes, Executive Vice President and President, Americas, Hilton. “We are already partnering with the team at Ohana Real Estate Investors as we transition the resort management, and we look forward to welcoming guests and members to Southern California’s premier luxury destination.”

It was previously reported in December, prior to the hospitality industry experiencing the impacts of COVID-19, that Ohana, a global financial services firm, planned to put $32 million into upgrades at the resort. However, this likely will not be the case in the near future. While significant physical changes are not anticipated over the short term, some new elements will be implemented in alignment with the Waldorf Astoria brand.

In 2009, Dana Point Times reported that St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort had defaulted on a $70 million loan from Citigroup Global Markets Realty Group. Ultimately, the resort’s owners defaulted on $300 million of its loans that year. This came a year after the hotel had faced negative press coverage when it hosted an executive retreat for American International Group just days after the insurer had received a federal bailout. In 2010, the hotel’s value was appraised as low as $100 million, the Orange County Register reported. In 2014, the property was purchased by Denver-based KSL Capital Partners.

The 400-room, AAA five-diamond hotel was purchased from KSL Capital Partners by Ohana Real Estate Investors in November for $497 million.

“It’s fitting that the storied Waldorf Astoria brand is coming to Dana Point—which is one of the most iconic beachfront communities in California,” said James Cole, Ohana Real Estate Investors partner. “The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club is a welcome addition to the Ohana portfolio of luxury properties. This partnership will elevate the entire resort experience.”

Culinary options, including Bourbon Steak Orange County, AVEO Table + Bar, and more, will remain part of the resort’s amenities. Guests can access additional benefits of Hilton Honors membership, the guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 18 distinct hotel brands.

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