Press Releases

  • November 16, 2015

    Auberge Resorts Collection’s Mark Harmon Inducted Into Napa County Historical Society Lodging Hall of Fame

    Harmon Honored For Extraordinary Impact On The Destination of Napa Valley

    NAPA, CALIF. (November 16, 2015) – Mark Harmon, Founder and Managing Partner of Auberge Resorts Collection, was honored by the Napa County Historical Society and inducted into its Lodging Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 12. Named for the company’s Napa Valley flagship hotel, the five-star Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection has played a pivotal role in putting Napa Valley on the map as a destination that is world-renowned for hospitality and culinary excellence. Harmon, who formed the company in 1998, has led Auberge’s growth in Napa Valley and beyond, to destinations as far-flung as Fiji and Costa Rica. The group’s resorts have garnered the highest accolades, and Auberge was recently recognized in Travel + Leisure as one of the top 10 hospitality brands in the world.




    Nearly 300 celebrants gathered at Silverado Resort’s historic General Miller Mansion to recognize Harmon and nine other Napa Valley hotel icons, including Shelley Post of the Four Sisters Inns, Harry Price of the Napa River Inn, Jim Treadway of the Bardessono and Mark and Carolynne Wilkinson of Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort. Five other Napa Valley lodging pioneers of the past were inducted: Sam Brannan of the Calistoga Hot Springs, Sven Alstrom of White Sulphur Springs, Colonel Jackson of Napa Soda Springs, Owen Kenney of the Hotel Calistoga and Len D. Owens of Aetna Springs.

    “Lodging & Agriculture have always been the two pillars of prosperity and well-being in the Napa Valley, since the very beginning,” said Don Winter, Board Member, Napa Valley Historical Society. “With Auberge du Soleil, Auberge brought high quality, once again, to the Napa Valley,  similar to our grand resorts of the 1800’s. Today, we really do have a worldwide reputation. Many brands have entered the marketplace. But only Mark and the Auberge team have exported Napa style and luxury brands to the rest of the world.”

    “This is a tremendous honor for me – one I share with the entire Auberge Resorts Collection team,” said Harmon. “Napa Valley has been a source of great delight to our family throughout the years, both personally and with our hotels. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to share my love of this place with our guests. The lifestyle that is simply focused on the land is what inspires me. Our Napa Valley projects are, and forever will be, the benchmarks for everything we do as a company, wherever in the world we may be.”

    The pioneering boutique luxury resort Auberge du Soleil, which first opened as a restaurant in 1981, was conceived and built by Claude Rouas and Bob Harmon. Intimate and elegant, the “Inn of the Sun” was unlike anything the hotel industry had seen before – a modern interpretation of a French country inn, infused with the relaxed spirit of Napa Valley.  The only hotel in the Valley to have earned a Forbes Five Star rating, it tops nearly every list of best U.S. hotels and is acclaimed as an essential part of any wine country visit. The Auberge du Soleil was the inspiration for Mark Harmon’s launch of Auberge Resorts Collection in 1998.

    In 2007, Auberge opened Solage Calistoga and introduced sustainability and Michelin-starred casual dining to Napa Valley. Soon, the company will break ground on its newest project, VieVage Napa Valley, at Stanley Ranch. Conceived as a gathering place for families and friends, VieVage will celebrate contemporary themes of design, community, locally sourced food, sustainability, fitness and wellness together in a fresh, active and social environment.


    About Napa County Historical Society

    The mission of Napa County Historical Society is to discover and keep history alive through exhibits, lectures, and. We are a membership-based archival and educational organization events, as well as research, publications, and educational activities dedicated to the discovery, preservation and presentation of the people and history of Napa County and its place in California history. For more information, please visit

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  • July 20, 2015

    Travel + Leisure Readers Rank Auberge Resorts Collection One of the World’s Top 10 Hotel Brands

    MILL VALLEY, CALIF. (July 20, 2015) – California-based Auberge Resorts Collection is one the top 10 hotel brands in the world, luxury travelers say. The prestigious ranking in the new 2015 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards was recently announced by the magazine. Travel + Leisure readers also voted Calistoga Ranch and Esperanza two of the top resorts in their destinations. The annual readers’ poll celebrating the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and destinations is now available online at and will be published in Travel + Leisure’s August 2015 issue. 

    “We are truly honored Auberge Resorts Collection has been named one of the top 10 hotel brands in the world by the trusted readers of Travel + Leisure,” said Mark Harmon, Founder and Managing Partner, Auberge Resorts Collection. I want to thank our entire team for their passion for service that has made this wonderful recognition possible, as well as our loyal guests who appreciate the extraordinary experiences our resorts deliver.”

    Auberge Resorts Collection was ranked No. 7 brand in the world with a score of 92.14. Auberge properties ranked in this year’s World’s Best Awards included; Napa Valley’s Calistoga Ranch was voted the No. 11 resort in the United States and No. 46 in the world with a total score of 93.66. Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas was ranked the No. 5 resort in Mexico with a score and No. 64 in the world with a score of 93.03.

    The World’s Best Awards are a result of an extensive reader survey conducted by Travel + Leisure each year and are among the most respected reader polls in the travel industry. The readers define excellence in travel by rating their experiences and evaluating hotels across the world on the following characteristics: rooms and facilities, location, service, restaurants and food, and value. Hotel brands are rated by the following categories: locations, rooms and facilities, restaurants and food, service, design and value. 


    Niki Jensen/Stacy Lewis
    Murphy O’Brien, Inc.

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  • February 10, 2015

    Houstonian Dan Friedkin Purchases Aspen’s Historic Hotel Jerome

    HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 10, 2015) – Houstonian Dan Friedkin, through his hospitality investment company Iconic Properties, has purchased Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort, from Chicago-based DRW Real Estate. The purchase is part of Friedkin’s further expansion in the hospitality industry, following his 2013 investment in Auberge Resorts Collection, in which he became a majority owner and assumed the role of Chairman of the Board. Auberge will continue its management of the luxury hotel.

    A Rocky Mountain icon, the 93-room Jerome completed a top-to-bottom revitalization in 2012 under DRW’s ownership and direction and re-opened as an Auberge Resort. Known since the 19th century as the social hub of Aspen, the re-envisioned hotel balances preservation and luxury with its beloved character and rich architectural details intact. Guest rooms and suites feature rich 21st century luxuries, and redesigned public spaces include Prospect, an American bistro; a relaxed new Living Room bar and lounge; a new Auberge Spa; and a refreshed look for the legendary J-Bar, an Aspen institution. First opened in 1889, the Jerome pioneered new levels of innovation and luxury at the height of Aspen’s boomtown silver-mining era and is often described as Aspen’s “crown jewel.” Hotel Jerome was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. 

    For Friedkin, a longtime Colorado property holder, Aspen has special significance. “My family and I have enjoyed many years of visiting and owning residences in Aspen, and it’s a very special place to me personally,” he said. “I could not be more pleased to welcome Hotel Jerome into our investment portfolio. It has an enviable and storied history as a landmark American hotel, and it is most certainly one of the flagship properties of the Auberge Resorts Collection. I commend Don Wilson, the Managing Partner of DRW Real Estate, for bringing the Jerome back to glory, and I’m honored to take stewardship of the hotel ensuring it remains one of the great hotels of the United States.” 

    “We fully support Dan Friedkin and Auberge Resorts in this transition” said Wilson. “Under Dan’s stewardship and Auberge’s management, Hotel Jerome has a very bright future.” 

    The Jerome purchase supports Friedkin’s strategy to develop a world-class hotel investment brand. On a personal front, it reflects his life-long passion for outdoor pursuits and adventure, an interest that dovetails with many of his business ventures. As Chairman and CEO of The Friedkin Group, Friedkin manages investments across a diverse array of private businesses, including entertainment, aviation, wholesale and retail automotive distribution and high-end hospitality asset development. Friedkin oversees Legendary Expeditions, a luxury adventure travel operator with access to more than 6 million acres in Tanzania. Under Friedkin’s leadership, his family directs substantial amounts of philanthropy to proven, tactical approaches in environmental stewardship, the preservation of wildlife, and community development both in their home state of Texas and internationally.

    About Iconic Properties

    Associated with The Friedkin Group, Iconic Properties is developing a world-class hotel investment brand, acquiring and operating one of a kind luxury properties across the globe.


    Niki Jensen/ Stacy Lewis
    Murphy O’Brien, Inc.
    310-453-2539  /

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