Why Buy Hotel Condos?

by Janet Krahling (thanks Janet):

People often ask “Why buy a private residence at the Four Seasons, St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco?” Here’s the simple answer: Imagine having exceptional high-end services in your home every single day and the potential investment upside associated with real estate, but without any of the headaches normally associated with home ownership. There’s a new lifestyle being created atop condo towers in San Francisco.

Here are a few other reasons, excerpted from a recent Wall Street Journal article and recent Business Times article:

-Helping to simplify residents’ lives. As people are working more hours, increasingly frazzled by the daily grind of their careers, traveling more

frequently, [homeowners] want what limited personal time they do have to be free of the nuisances of daily life and home ownership, like mowing the lawn,

maintenance issues or managing a staff of butlers.

-Purchasing homes isn’t just about granite countertops and marble baths

anymore. Buyers now ask “How easy are you going to make my life if I buy


-With increasing competition among luxury condominium developments, top-end

amenities like on-site wine storage, in-house spas and twice-monthly

housekeeping, not to mention 24-hour concierge services, are becoming the


This ease in lifestyle explains why hotel-branded condominiums are

performing better than the overall housing market. For example, “The Four

Seasons condominiums are getting more than a 90% premium over comparable

apartments that aren’t a part of a luxury hotel….the synergies are

fantastic…” Buyers are happy to pay a premium for amenities but also

want them to pay off at re-sale.

3 thoughts on “Why Buy Hotel Condos?

  1. This is a fantastic topic, which has been debated by my colleagues and I for a while. When you get to a stage in your life where you have a family, or make enough money, you realize life is all about SERVICES to help simplify your life. You start asking yourself, what’s the point of making money, if you’re not going to use it? You have way more than enough to provide the basic necessicities in your life.

    Condo Hotels are absolutely a fantastic idea. I recently bought a condo at The Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe (www.squawcreek.com) this year from a motivated investor. It was either I spent a million bucks on a nice 3/3 home, perhaps 2,000sqft, or I spend a similar amount at The Resort, for smaller space, but get all the amenities (3 pools, 3 hot tubs, remodelled gym, remodelled condos, 4 restaurants, onsite golf, game room, locker room, free-wifi, sk-inout, sledding, and very importantly ZERO maintenance such as buying and replacing furniture (came with everything), no shovelling of snow, no fixing of pipes, room service, laundry, free valet parking etc).

    I came to the conclusion that a 2bed/2bath 1,025sqft condo at The Resort was the way to go, and I am loving it during the summer so far. Can’t wait for the winter. Yes, the HOAs are expensive (think $1,500/month+), but what people forget is that your condo can also be rented out by yourself ($700/night during winters), or be thrown in the rental pool (again, no work on your part needs to be done), and you come out averaging $3,000+ a month (peak and slow seasons) based on an average occupancy of about 50-55%. This means for the 12-15 days the place is not rented a month, you and your family and friends can go up there. If one were to rent out themselves, you can get even more rental income.

    Although SF property prices are up, it is evident that the outlying areas, and Tahoe have taken a hit. I am so thankful that this market has slowed, and investors have bailed to allow me to get my place for under that million bucks i budgeted for my vacation home.

    [Editor’s note: You can save on snow shoveling fees by allowing me to stay there when it dumps! I’ll be up before light and have your walkway clean enough to eat off of before you even know it snowed…provided I get first tracks down West Face. ;-) ]

  2. If you have the money, Condo Hotels are what it’s all about, especially for vacation rentals. If you can throw upside to the property, all the better. It’s that point in your life when you no longer think spending $80-120 for a massage is a waste of money, where you like buying Condo tels :) Life is too short.

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