Eye-popping opulent seaside hotel in Southern California sells for record-shattering $360M

Industries Associated Press

An exceedingly opulent seaside resort in Southern California has sold for an eye-popping $360 million.

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That price tag for the Montage Laguna Beach — which comes to $1.4 million per room — "shattered the price barrier for California hotels by a wide margin," hotel consultant Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1LrB4t2) on Friday.

Only the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii and the Waldorf Astoria in New York sold for more per room in the U.S. The historic Hotel Coronado in San Diego County sold for more than $1 million per room.

Chicago real estate investment trust Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc. bought the Montage from Ohana Real Estate Investors of Redwood City. Montage Hotels & Resorts will stay on as operator.

The craftsman-style hotel, which opened in 2003, sits on a 50-foot seaside bluff along the South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach on some of the most sought-after real estate on the West Coast.

Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, chairman for the new owner, calls it "one of the best resort settings in the continental United States."

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The hotel caters more to a spa-and-yoga than a bling-and-caviar crowd, with a sunburst-bottomed pool that overlooks the ocean.

Rooms go for $900 a night with bungalows and private villas along lamp-lit walkways that run even higher.

The property was formerly home to a very different entity: The Treasure Island Trailer Park, where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz shot the movie "The Long, Long Trailer" in 1954.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/