Stop the presses, the mysteropis new owners of the prestigious Golden Door in Escondido, California, were just outted on Twitter, by Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Wellness and chairman and CEO of Global Spa & Wellness--who once worked at the health resort, is very reliable.
So are you ready? Susie announced that billionaire Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Carlyle Group, William Conway bought it for his wife Joanne who has been a regular guest at the Golden Door for many years. “She is thrilled,” says Susie’s tweet. According to Forbes, Conway is worth $1.9 billion, so the $26 million he paid for the prime piece of real estate is pretty much chump change from his wallet.
One of the world's most popular and exclusive resorts, the Golden Door, was founded in founded in 1958 by doyenne of spas, Deborah Szekely. It was her second health resort after she her late husband Professor Edmond Szekely opened Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. At the time of the Door's opening, the pair of spas gained nicknames as 'rich man's", "poor man's" spas. The Golden Door being the priciest of the two with its high profile celebrity clientele from RJ Wagner and the late Natalie Wood to luminaries, dignitaries and royalty.
Deborah sold the Golden Door in 1998 for an estimated $28 million to the Wyndham Group who actually bought the gilded name to use in day spas strategically placed in resorts around the world. Wyndham is part of a whole group of hospitality companies owned by Blackstone that owns Hilton and other brands. It's all a bit confusing. The Conways actually purchased the property from Blackstone, the company's chief private equity competitor. However, after Deborah sold the Door the ownership was listed as LXR Resorts (a luxury vacation subsidiary of Blackstone).
According to a spokeswoman at the Golden Door, the Conways will be upgrading the facility which is located on hundreds of sprawling acres of land, 20-minutes inland from Oceanside, California, and 45-minutes from San Diego in a valley near Escondio and San Marcus..
Days begin at the crack of dawn with heavy duty hiking for the super fit and moderate walks for others and continue with personalized programs guaranteed to shape you up and rejuvenate mind, body and spirit. It’s a personal favorite and I hope the new owners don’t go off the beaten track too much. However, it admittedly needs some tuning up.
Read more about the door at Pamper yourself with a glorious Golden Door spa break this summer; and about the Ranch, Rancho La Puerta where Angelenos (and others) escape reality for a week.