Oram Hotels, Azul Hospitality Group to open San Diego's The Guild

A guestroom in The Guild. Photo credit: Oram Hotels

Alvin Mansour’s Oram Hotels and Azul Hospitality Group plans to open a new luxury San Diego hotel in early 2019 with the debut of The Guild. The 162-room Marriott Tribute Portfolio property is housed in the city's historic Army-Navy landmark building, and is being reimagined by San Diego native Mansour.

San Diego's Army-Navy YMCA building was developed in the 1920s. During that period, as an increase in the number of military bases in San Diego were being proposed, the need to provide the rising population of uniformed men and women a place for community and recreation in the city also grew. The Italian Renaissance-inspired building at 500 West Broadway would become that home as the Army-Navy YMCA, hosting tens of thousands of guests within months of opening its doors. Throughout its history, the Army-Navy YMCA building would provide services to more than 125 million military personnel, making it the largest such organization in the world. In 2007, the site was officially registered as a Historic Place by the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service. Upon The Guild’s 2019 debut, the building will be celebrating 95 years since its doors opened, presiding over Broadway.

In 2014, independent real estate maven Mansour relocated to the city’s downtown center and took an interest in the landmark YMCA building.

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“The YMCA building has always been a jewel in the middle of a long overlooked part of the city and I knew it had the potential to become something unique from the start,” Mansour said in a statement. “Downtown San Diego has so much to offer, not only to tourists, but locals alike, and we are committed to creating something new, unexpected and authentic to the city we call home and its evolving cultural imprint.”

Mansour and his Oram Hotels co-founder, Kevin Mansour, took ownership of the building later that year and began the process of transforming the property into an eight-floor hotel with an assortment of various sized guestrooms, an al fresco restaurant, lobby and bar, grand ballroom, private penthouse, garden courtyard and event spaces. Azul Hospitality Group is the management partner on the project, overseeing hotel operations, brand development, programming and more.

“Collaborating with Oram Hotels to bring The Guild to life has been a tremendously rewarding experience,” Rick Mansur, president & CEO of Azul Hospitality Group, said in a statement. “The iconic building provided a foundation to create a truly unique lifestyle hotel. We are proud to be part of ensuring that this oneof- a-kind property is once again the consummate place to be in San Diego.”

Interior designer Sormeh Azad of Incommon Design will renovate the property into an experiential boutique hotel. The exterior Italian Renaissance-style detailing, facade and grand staircase of The Guild will be left largely untouched. Guestrooms will consist of European-inspired accommodations and a two-bedroom penthouse suite with private rooftop deck. A signature restaurant will offer a Mediterranean-inspired menu. The YMCA’s former basketball court with elevated running track will be transformed into a grand ballroom, consisting of original brick wall inlays and hardwood floors. The underground pool on the basement level will be reimagined into an event space with original design elements.

The Guild is a Tribute Portfolio property, sitting alongside a curated collection of independent hotels within Marriott. The Guild is scheduled to open in early 2019 and is located at 500 West Broadway in San Diego.