News

Ellison to transform Epiphany Hotel into tropical 'resort hub'

Billionaire's new development looks to blend Hawaii, Japan into downtown Palo Alto

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."

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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.

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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!

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Ellison to transform Epiphany Hotel into tropical 'resort hub'

Billionaire's new development looks to blend Hawaii, Japan into downtown Palo Alto

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Apr 1, 2016, 9:53 am

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!

Comments

Down the street
Professorville
on Apr 1, 2016 at 10:47 am
Down the street, Professorville
on Apr 1, 2016 at 10:47 am
5 people like this

April Fools....I hope! But we are talking about Larry E.!


Hahaha!
College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2016 at 11:26 am
Hahaha!, College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2016 at 11:26 am
5 people like this

When my eyes turned from a cringe, my mouth then cringed... after which, it preceded to hit the floor in over the top "are you kidding me!" fashion. Then.... da.da.da.... the LIGHT BULB moment due to the absurdity level in this piece.

Ha! APRIL FOOLS'! Good one! Hey... ya never know with Billionaires! They even run for President! EGO's

GOOD ONE!! Hahahahahahahaha ~ Almost tops me running out the house with one sock on and one off because my son had said someone was stealing my car!! Ha-Ha... yeah, he got me too!


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2016 at 11:59 am
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2016 at 11:59 am
3 people like this

Why do you assume this a joke? What better time is there to bury this kind of news in plain sight?


Becky Sanders
Ventura
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm
Becky Sanders, Ventura
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm
Like this comment

Oh gosh, I guess I am an anachronism... out of step... yearning for the olden days when that posh place was Casa Olga, a low income apartment house for the not so lucky, fallen on hard times crowd, and yes, some addicts and sad people. I knew a fine lady that used to live there. And she would have been on the streets but for that place. She tolds us so and was so grateful for her billet there. An exotic getaway right in the heart of Palo Alto... that's business and that's what we value and call progress. Larry's project sounds fun. I hope it works out for him and enhances our collective experience of downtown.


stephen levy
Registered user
University South
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm
stephen levy, University South
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm
3 people like this

Gosh, I was still musing on city hall as housing when this story popped up. Posters have been calling for SV execs to build housing for their workers. Why not ask Larry to lead on this?

Happy April 1.


Got it
Menlo Park
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:32 pm
Got it, Menlo Park
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:32 pm
6 people like this

It was the scuba diving comment that gave it away for me. Scuba diving on the third floor? What a brilliant idea! Great job!


julianne
Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm
julianne, Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm
7 people like this

loved the "therapy" cats in the pool. thanks for the chuckle


tenant
Midtown
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:53 pm
tenant, Midtown
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:53 pm
Like this comment

Guess I'm just dumb,

Is this an April fools joke or not?


Paul
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm
Paul, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm
Like this comment

April fools jokes like this are just stupid.


bob berry
Los Altos
on Apr 1, 2016 at 5:01 pm
bob berry, Los Altos
on Apr 1, 2016 at 5:01 pm
1 person likes this

I just talked with Larry, and you are almost right. They miss stated room rates.
it is $1.00/night with the purchase of 1,000,000 shares of Oracle stock.


Sea Reddy
College Terrace
on Apr 2, 2016 at 5:13 am
Sea Reddy, College Terrace
on Apr 2, 2016 at 5:13 am
Like this comment

Larry Ellison is one of the smartest people on earth.
Let us enjoy his creative investment, and this hotel and property flourish.
We just need to relax and enjoy.

Palo Alto will gain from this venture.


respectfully


Jenna
Southgate
on Apr 2, 2016 at 7:58 am
Jenna, Southgate
on Apr 2, 2016 at 7:58 am
Like this comment

That wasn't funny. I freaked out when I read Nobu was coming to town. That would be an incredible addition to downtown and I had quickly planned on spending every Friday night there. Next time, pick a different restaurant for your joke. Now I don't like you guys.


resident 1
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 2, 2016 at 2:55 pm
resident 1, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 2, 2016 at 2:55 pm
Like this comment

Hey - don't forget that the Hawaiian theme has been very popular in San Francisco and elsewhere - the Tonga Room. And the Matson Lines were the usual method for getting to the islands. Cruises are coming back. That is what funded Filoli.

If you spend any time in the islands there are very high end eating experiences and very high end hotel décor.

I say we could use more of that and reduce the air time getting there. We could see a Roy's Restaurant, or a Duke's. There is Fleetwood's on Front Street - Maui. Follow the money - it knows where it is going.


Voter2
Jordan Middle School
on Apr 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm
Voter2, Jordan Middle School
on Apr 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm
2 people like this

Editor: can future editions limit the number of articles published as April Fool's Jokes? 1 article is understandable in the spirit or the day, 2 is okay, but Palo Alto Weekly has taken it too far with so many false articles. It makes it difficult to determine which article to read, or if the article will be another satire. This detracts from the credibility of the publication.


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