One of Southern California’s most luxurious resorts, the Montage Laguna Beach, has been bought for $360 million by a Chicago real estate investment trust in one of the priciest hotel deals in years.

At a cost of $1.4 million per room, the deal “shattered the price barrier for California hotels by a wide margin,” hotel consultant Alan Reay said. Only hotels in Hawaii and New York have traded for more per room, he said.

Montage Hotels & Resorts will continue to operate the upscale Laguna Beach inn, which opened in 2003 on South Coast Highway. It has a meeting rooms, a spa and a five-star rating from Forbes. The craftsman-style buildings stand on a 50-foot 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,” said Raymond L. “Rip” Gellein, chairman and chief executive of Strategic Hotels & Resorts.

“The Southern California market generally, and the coastal Orange County market specifically, have been among the highest-rated markets in the country and are poised to continue their strong growth,” Gellein said.

At $195 million, the Beverly Hills estate is one of the most expensive residential properties for sale in the nation.
Consultant Reay of Atlas Hospitality said stakes in the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego County 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.

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1. Palazzo di Amore, $195 million
Setting the record for the most expensive publicly listed home, the Mediterranean-style villa sits behind three sets of gates on a 25-acre expanse in Beverly Hills with a vineyard and expansive views.

2. Owlwood, $150 million
Owlwood, the 10-acre property in the Platinum Triangle — the area encompassing Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Holmby Hills — has a 12,000-square-foot main residence, a tennis court and a pool house and swimming pool.

3. The Manor, $150 million
The Holmby Hills mansion once known as “Candyland” has been shown privately since this summer. Formerly the estate of Candy and Aaron Spelling, the 56,500-square-foot residence on 4.7 acres was purchased by Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone in 2011 for $85 million.

4. Beverly House, $135 million
Continuing its off-market ebb and flow, Beverly House has reentered the fray at $135 million, furnished. Alternatively, the estate can be had for $114 million, unfurnished and without the separate, adjacent property that completes the compound. The estate is on five acres in Beverly Hills.

5. Rancho San Carlos, $125 million
Owned by the same family for the last 90 years, the prized 237-acre equestrian estate in Montecito centers on a Reginald D. Johnson-designed Monterey Colonial residence with hand-painted period murals, barrel-vaulted ceilings and 20 rooms in about 29,000 square feet.
Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. bought the 250-room Montage Laguna Beach from an affiliate of Ohana Real Estate Investors, a Redwood City investment firm funded by Pierre Omidyar, the founder and chairman of eBay. Ohana still owns the Travelodge Laguna Beach and the Montage Beverly Hills, among other properties.


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