Hyatt Lands on Beach

Hotel Mar Monte Officially Now Hyatt Santa Barbara

After a February 2010 announcement that the change was coming, the 80-year-old oceanfront property known as Hotel Mar Monte officially is now Hyatt Santa Barbara, company officials announced this week.

This hotel, at 1111 East Cabrillo Boulevard, is undergoing $9 million in renovations to all its guest and meeting rooms and public spaces, which started in February of this year, said general manager Barry Prescott, who has been on the job for five months. “It took us a little longer to start the renovations because we were waiting for the permits,” said Prescott. “The lobby and pool areas have been completely redone.”

Prescott said Hyatt Santa Barbara will offer a range of amenities and services, including 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor flexible meeting space. The newly renamed hotel has 171 guest rooms, each with ocean or mountain views, the “Hyatt Grand Bed,” a flat-screen HDTV, and iHome Stereo with iPod docking stations. Hotel amenities and services include a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, fitness center, spa, business center, and the Bistro 1111 restaurant.

The general manager said the first phase of renovations, including 92 guest rooms, as well as the hotel lobby, landscaping, and décor around the pool and deck area, has been completed. In October, the renovation will resume on the remaining 79 guest rooms and all function space. Renovations are expected to be completed by next year when the property will be refurbished to a fusion of Spanish colonial architecture.

The Hyatt at East Beach is the newest addition to a collection of 23 Hyatt brand properties offering contemporary rooms and the expertise of insiders to help guests make the most of their stay, Prescott said.

Founded by Jay Pritzker in 1957, the Hyatt Co. is more than 60 percent controlled by Chicago’s Pritzker family. A group of Pritzker family members operated the Mar Monte since 1986.

After about an eight-month delay, Hyatt’s name comes to the South Coast in the face of stalled building projects, including those at the defunct Miramar Resort, suspended El Encanto renovation, and the still uncertain completion of Fess Parker’s boutique hotel and half-finished hostel. Despite this, South Coast hotels are reporting an up tick in occupancy this summer.

Hyatt owns some 415 other hotels and similar properties worldwide. About 55 percent of Hyatt’s properties are overseas and the rest are in North America.

Pritzker founded Hyatt after he purchased the Hyatt House motel near Los Angeles International Airport. He and his brother, Donald Pritzker, worked with other family business interests, grew the company into a North American management and hotel ownership concern, which became a public company in 1962.

In 1968, Hyatt International was formed and subsequently became a separate public company. Hyatt Corp. and Hyatt International Corp. were taken private by the Pritzker family business interests in 1979 and 1982, respectively.

On Dec. 31, 2004, most of the hospitality assets owned by Pritzker family business interests, including Hyatt Corp. and Hyatt International Corp., were consolidated under a single entity, named Hyatt Hotels Corp.

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