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Laguna Beach Motel Reopens as Woods Cove Inn

A 1940s-era motel in Laguna Beach, previously known as the Laguna Beach Inn, has reopened following a two-year renovation project.

The 25-key Woods Cove Inn, which sits on Coast Highway and Diamond Street, about a block away from Woods Cove Beach, is the newest addition to the Orange County portfolio of Colorado-based Sonder Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: SOND).

Renovations included an overhaul of the inn’s guest rooms, public spaces and its exterior.
Woods Cove is owned by a Laguna Beach entity Lbire LLC, which paid $7.4 million for the hotel in 2020, property records indicate.

The new owners’ exec team includes principal Blake Marriott, a member of the Marriott hotel family, and Spencer Samuelian, his brother-in-law. Marriott, a grandson of Chairman Emeritus J.W. Marriott Jr., previously worked for Marriott International, and partnered with Sonder to bring the property back to market.

He also owns the Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel in Laguna Beach which is currently under construction.

Woods Cove marks the third Orange County hotel for Sonder, a hospitality firm that partners with landowners and landlords to lease, manage, and operate hotels and multi-unit apartment buildings.

Its local portfolio includes Sonder La Ensenada in Laguna Beach and Sonder Solarena in Newport Beach. Both locations were also fully renovated before opening under the Sonder flag in 2022.

“Orange County is a good epicenter in Southern California,” Sonder Area General Manager Scott Blakeslee told the Business Journal.

The region is a top market for the firm’s expansion plans, Blakeslee added, noting OC has proven “travel is here to stay.”

So far, Woods Cove is “performing very well,” Blakeslee said, pointing to high customer satisfaction ratings. Rooms start at $176 per night.

“This market has always made sense to me,” Blakeslee added. “I’m a huge believer in Orange County.”

Worldwide Reuses

Woods Cove is one of three Southern California hotels that Sonder recently added to its collection.

The Winfield and The Craftsman join the group’s five existing properties in Los Angeles. Both were historic buildings converted to hotels via adaptive reuse in partnership with other developers.

“We’re keen to explore further opportunities in SoCal including takeovers of existing hospitality assets, office conversions, historic building renovations, and new developments,” said Senior Director of Real Estate Zach Okyle.

Sonder, founded in 2014, operates in over 40 markets across 10 countries and oversees approximately 17,400 hotel and apartment units worldwide in its portfolio as of June. It has served more than 1 million guests, according to officials.

The company went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger in January 2022 and is currently trading at $7 per share with a market cap of $79 million. The hospitality company reported that revenue more than tripled in the two-year period ending in 2022, with revenue hitting $461 million.

Sonder opened approximately 850 new units during its second quarter.

“You can still provide an upscale, wonderful product but make it a value to people so they can access it,” Blakeslee said.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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