The Montage Laguna Beach, one of California's most luxurious resorts, has been bought for $360 million by a Chicago real estate investment trust in one of the priciest hotel deals in years.
The deal works out to a cost of $1.4 million per room, and "shattered the price barrier for California hotels by a wide margin," hotel consultant Alan Reay says.
Montage Hotels & Resorts will continue to operate the Forbes Five-Star site, which opened in 2003 on South Coast Highway. The craftsman-style buildings stand on a bluff overlooking the Pacific.
"We are thrilled to acquire Montage Laguna Beach, a truly iconic luxury hotel located on one of the best resort settings in the continental United States," says Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, chairman and chief executive of Strategic Hotels & Resorts.
Reay of Atlas Hospitality said stakes in the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego have traded at values of more than $1 million per room in recent years, but only a handful of properties, including the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii and the Waldorf Astoria New York, sold for more than $1.4 million per room.
The Montage Laguna Beach's location in one of California's premier resort cities and the difficulty of getting similar competing hotels approved make the Montage especially valuable, Reay says.