Renato Alesiani Has His Eye On It All At Fairmont Breakers Long Beach

When it comes to expertise overseeing luxury hotels – both in construction and in operation – it’s hard to find anyone better qualified than Renato Alesiani.

Renato is the vice president of real estate and hospitality for Fairmont Breakers Investco, LLC, the owners of the historic Fairmont Breakers Long Beach building on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach. Renato is overseeing the extensive restoration and renovation project taking place there now.

Sounds like a big job, and it is, but last year, Renato also involved in the   restoration of a second historic building, the Ocean Center Building near Fairmont Breakers. The Ocean Center, built in 1929, was refurbished into luxury apartments, which opened October 2023.

Now his focus is solely on creating Fairmont Breakers Long Beach to be the top luxury hotel in the area. The waterfront location and opulent history when it was the Hilton Breakers are huge pluses in that endeavor.

“I fell in love with the Breakers,” Renato said about his involvement with Pacific6, the parent company for Fairmont Breakers Investco, LLC. “It is my first historic restoration of this caliber. There’s so much potential in the region, but it will only work as a luxury hotel.

“It’s key to have an investor like John (Molina, founder of Pacific6) who cares about the city and its history.”

Early Experiences

Renato was born and raised in Italy. He went to the Italian Army School and served two years as a lieutenant of artillery, deployed along the Yugoslavia border. (Military service was  required in Italy.)

“I learned a lot there,” he said. “It was very rewarding.”

But his passion as a young man was travel. So he graduated from the National Institute for Tourism  and then started his hospitality career in a hotel in downtown Rome.

In January 1989, the lure of the sea came calling. Princess Cruises was hiring, and when Renato applied, he was offered a job on the spot. He would work for Princess for three years before being hired away by one of the top luxury cruise companies in the world, the Cunard Line. At Cunard, he worked his way up to chief purser and was offered the job on the Royal Viking Sun, the No. 1-ranked cruise ship in the world at the time, when his career took another turn.

Time To Settle Down

As part of his job with Cunard, Renato crossed paths with a young woman named Christine. She worked for the high-end Golden Door SPA, a Health and Wellness Retreat outside of San Diego.

The love connection solidified and the couple married, with Renato shifting his base to the West Coast of the United States. In 1997, Christine told Renato she was pregnant.

“I quit Cunard cold turkey,” he said. “We lived in San Diego, and later moved to Carlsbad. We’re still there today.”

A job with the Four Seasons restarted Renato’s land-based hospitality career, with a rapid rise in management ranks for a series of companies.

Hands-on Manager

Renato’s hospitality management acumen became widely known. An organization called Aegis Living, which owned and operated assisted living centers, brought him on to help revive their operation.

“I was the architect of a paradigm shift from a medical emphasis to a hospitality approach,” he recalled. “The medical service remained, but the treatment of residents was one of guests, not patients.”

Renato’s career took off and eventually became the company SVP of operation, overseeing 13 buildings and 1200 employees, and served on the company’ s strategic development board.

Today, Aegis Living is widely regarded as one of the leading companies in the country for quality senior care.

Not surprisingly, Renato next decided to start his own company, WaveCrest Hotels and Resorts, as a management firm. He took over management of the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach and was contracted to oversee the construction and  operatation of the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa , a four-diamond hotel now named Cape Rey.

Over the next five years, as WaveCrest CEO, Renato was responsible for every aspect of the two hotels operations with  more than 300 employees. And he became a partner in the McKinney Capital Group, advising on investments in hospitality and multi-unit dwelling properties.

Fairmont Breakers Time

It wasn’t long after John Molina and Pacific6 completed purchase of the historic Breakers Hotel building when they contacted Renato and asked him to consult on the restoration project. He quickly became the point person for financial plans and negotiations.

After six months of consulting, Renato came aboard fulltime as the vice president of real estate and hospitality. He has overseen construction while negotiating the operating agreement with Accor, the international hospitality group whose brands include Fairmont, a top-of-the-line luxury chain.

“We knew from the start that this would only work financially if it was a luxury hotel,” Renato said. “It is a high-risk, high-reward proposition. We’ve got all the pieces in place (for success).”

And Renato has been able to put a bit of his own touch into the hotel’s food and beverage mix. In addition to restoring the famous Sky Room at the top of the hotel, the main restaurant off the lobby will be “the only truly authentic Italian restaurant in the  city.” He promises it will bring foodies from near and far to sample the cuisine.

Fairmont Breakers Long Beach is scheduled to open later this year. It is being touted as one of the most anticipated openings of the year by multiple travel and industry magazines.

When the doors open, Renato will be in the background, keeping an eagle eye on everything from the finish on the tiles to the actions of the front desk manager. And Fairmont Breakers Long Beach will be the better for it.

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