After extensive renovations, the historic Breakers Hotel will officially open as “Fairmont Breakers Long Beach” in March 2024, Mayor Rex Richardson announced Thursday during a presentation touting new development in Long Beach.
The plan is to open the hotel and all of its amenities, except for the swimming pool, to the public and hotel guests by the spring of 2024, Pacific6 vice president of real estate Renato Alesiani and founding partner Todd Lemmis confirmed in an email.
After initially opening in the 1920s and surviving the destructive 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the hotel was considered a sought-after destination for celebrities and other notable figures, hosting Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable, among other famous guests.
Aviator and military officer Charles Lindburgh’s notable 1928 Long Beach landing was also thanks to the Breakers— he reportedly told reporters that he was able to spot Long Beach by the big electric sign atop the Breakers Hotel, which Pacific6 looks forward to relighting, they said in the email.
Apart from its famed Sky Room, which was utilized by Navy officers during World War 2 for daily business and planning, the Breakers was home to fashionable boutiques, a Turkish bath, beauty salon, barber shop, roof garden and an elaborate dining room known as the Hall of Galleons.
Designated as a historic landmark in 1989, renovations, such as the addition of an elevator, were approved by the Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission, but the building’s owners have preserved as many historical elements as possible.
The Sky Room and rooftop bar, for instance, have been renovated to mirror their original concepts.
According to Alesiani and Lemmis, the open-air deck will also host morning yoga classes, weddings, and in the evenings, it will be a “high energy nightclub.”
“The Sky Room will be exactly what the residents of Long Beach expect: a high-end fine dining restaurant reminiscent of those that existed in the 1930s and 1940s, during the hotel’s heyday, complete with a maître d and tableside preparations,” Pacific6 said in the email. “We feel a tremendous responsibility to deliver the restaurant that the city expects.”
A bar in the lobby will offer cappuccinos, pastries and breakfast sandwiches and transition as the day progresses to serving Aperol spritzes, negronis and other specialty cocktails.
“Our lobby bar will be like the bars that one finds throughout Italy,” the company said.
Additions to the hotel include a terrace pool, and an “authentic” Italian restaurant featuring fresh, local ingredients highlighting various regions in Italy.
“This will not be just another New York-type red sauce and meatballs joint,” Pacific6 said.
Adjacent to the Italian restaurant will be a live music venue, which according to the company, “will transform each night like the Swiss Army knife of entertainment rooms, featuring a mix of jazz, comedy, acoustic, singer-songwriters, and other talent, in an elegant, eclectic space with a comfortable, casual feel.”
The hotel, which will have 185 units, also will include a ground floor spa, which will be open to the public, and will offer a quiet relaxation lounge as well as eight treatment rooms. A limited number of spa memberships are expected to be available.
Before its purchase by Pacific6 in 2017, the building served as an assisted living facility from 1991 to 2015.
Renovations for the hotel cost nearly $200 million. Construction began in late 2018 but was paused until late 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In 2022, the organization partnered with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, which will act as the operating manager in charge of hiring, services and accounting, for a percentage of the hotel’s revenue.
The partnership also marks an expansion of Fairmont’s California portfolio, which currently includes locations in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, San Francisco and Sonoma.
It is estimated that the hotel will provide jobs for more than 230 full and part-time employees, Alesiani previously told the Business Journal.
The news of the hotel opening was included during Richardson’s Grow Long Beach event, which included announcements from across Long Beach’s economic sectors: health care; aerospace and aviation; ports, logistics, and supply chain; housing and education; tourism, arts and culture. Richardson noted the city’s emphasis on expanding its hotel capacity ahead of the 2028 Olympics.
Editor’s note: Pacific6 is the parent company of Pacific Community Media, which owns the Long Beach Post. You can read more about the Post ownership here.