Editor's note: This article was posted on April 1 -- April Fools' Day. It is satire, and thus, while occasionally referencing reality, it does not represent the opinions or intended actions of any real people.
In 2012, Oracle founder Larry Ellison bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Three years later, he bought the Epiphany Hotel in downtown Palo Alto.
As it turns out, the purchases were related: Ellison is now putting in place plans to renovate the hotel, move in a new restaurant and convert the building at 180 Hamilton Ave. into an immersive, one-of-a-kind dining-and-travel experience in the heart of downtown Palo Alto.
News broke in March that Ellison plans to open an outpost of high-end Japanese restaurant Nobu inside the Epiphany Hotel. Sources familiar with the deal have confirmed that the space, once home to Casa Olga, a convalescent home, will this year be transformed into a multi-level dining, social and technology hub, drawing on Japanese and Hawaiian influences.
"Ellison loves spending time in Japan, Lanai and Palo Alto," the anonymous source, a close friend of Ellison, said. "He wanted to be able to have the best of all worlds in one place, close to home."
The bottom level of the new venture will be home to Nobu, sources confirmed, replacing current hotel restaurant Lure + Till. It will be the first Nobu in Northern California and will have several special menu items specific to the Palo Alto location, sources said. The architecture will reflect feudal Japan, sources added, with the facade on the bottom three stories renovated to resemble a tiered pagoda.
Inside, the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors will each have a theme based on a different Japanese, Hawaiian or Silicon Valley region, according to preliminary plans that were released Thursday. The third floor, for example, is Lanai. There will be a salt-water pool (in which visitors can scuba dive as well as swim), pineapple-plantation room and a local replica of the famous Lanai Cat Sanctuary. The cat sanctuary on the Lanai level will be opened up once a month to provide cat therapy to at-risk youths, seniors and despondent scuba divers.
Just above the Lanai floor is a replica floor of the Oracle campus in Redwood City. Employees will be able to enter a lottery to work there once a month.
On the penthouse level there will be a social and tech hub where Ellison will invite startups, tech leaders, celebrities and local business people to give talks; host networking events; and test out cocktails for a new cocktail book he's currently writing called, "A Drink With Larry."
Rooms at the new "seven-star hotel" (as the development is branded) are located on the fifth and sixth floors and start at $1 million a night. Customers who buy shares in Oracle stock will receive a 1 percent discount. Room service will be delivered by either Nobu Matsuhisa himself or his hologram.
Pending the City Council's approval, Ellison hopes to start construction by this summer and to have the building open by 2017, sources said.
Happy April Fools Day!