HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – The Hotel Granduca, a 122-key upscale hotel in the Uptown Houston district has been acquired by Transwestern Hospitality Group, which is part of the Houston-based Transwestern real estate organization.
Borlenghi Arrived From Milano in 1978
The hotel, which opened in 2006, was developed by Giorgio Borlenghi, a prolific developer who moved to Houston from Milano, Italy in 1978. And then he made his mark on the Houston skyline.
Borlenghi, founder of the Interfin company, developed a number of high-rise office and residential towers in the Uptown area near Houston’s Galleria.
$879 for a Two-Bedroom Suite – Plus Tax
The boutique hotel, where rooms were going for $309 and up for Thursday night and $879 for a two-bedroom suite, will undergo an extensive redo.
Transwestern said Borlenghi will remain as a “stakeholder” in the Granduca, which sits on 3.5 acres at 1080 Uptown Park Boulevard.
“Our good friend, Giorgio Borlenghi, as master developer of Uptown, designed and built this iconic hotel some 17 years ago with his signature quality standards and remarkable eye for detail,” said Transwestern Chairman Robert Duncan. “We are privileged to have this opportunity to further elevate the Granduca hospitality experience for our guests. And we are delighted that Giorgio remains a stakeholder who will consult with us to unleash the full potential of this extraordinary property.”
Planned updates to the Hotel Granduca include the design, guest experience, amenity package, and food and beverage program at the property. The ground floor will be transformed into a vibrant gathering place and include a destination restaurant. Enlarged and improved event spaces, new workout facilities, and curated programming are planned.
Serving English High Tea
Hotel Granduca has been known for serving English High Tea with an Italian twist.
The sales price to buy the Granduca was not disclosed. THG partners Tyler Lavin and Thomas Duncan, supported by Transwestern’s investment team, facilitated the transaction and will lead the repositioning and remodeling of the hotel, which is near the Four Oaks office park developed by Interfin.
“Hotel Granduca is an irreplaceable five-star property located in an amenity-rich, walkable enclave situated between the River Oaks and Galleria submarkets,” Lavin said. “In a world where travelers increasingly expect a memorable, authentic experience, this is a rare opportunity to embrace the individuality of one of the city’s most distinct hospitality spaces.”
THG is collaborating with Ring on Hook, which specializes in hospitality renovations and venue activations, as well as other placemaking consultants, on a repositioning of the asset that will begin mid-year 2024. Design firm Kara Childress Inc. will lead interior design for the project.
Westmont Hospitality Group has been selected to operate the hotel, which had been named to Conde Nast’s Gold List. It was also noted in Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice “Top 15 Hotels in Texas,” and received Forbes’ Four Star rating.
Granduca’s Austin Adventure
Interfin had developed a second Granduca hotel, which opened in Austin in 2015. And it was soon reporting an average rate of $340 a night – one of the top four hotels in Texas.
At that time, Borlenghi was entertaining ambitions of taking the Granduca brand across the nation.
“We believe in Texas – and outside of Texas – there are quite a number of cities that would be perfect locations for something like this,” Giorgio Borlenghi told Realty News Report in 2014. “Our hope and our goal is to start expanding in other markets because it’s a great concept and it works.”
However that was before Covid devastated the hotel industry. By 2020, Downtown Austin hoteliers saw RevPAR (revenue per average room) plummet to a phenomenal low of $3.62 a night.
So at the end of 2020, Borlenghi sold the 194-room Hotel Granduca Austin to the Pacific Hotel Group of California.
The news of the national Granduca expansion never surfaced again in Realty News Report.
Jan. 11, 2024 Realty News Report Copyright 2024
Photo by Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report, copyright 2024
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File: Transwestern Buys Hotel Granduca from Borlenghi