Fairmont takes full ownership of Sonoma Mission Inn

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, the historic hotel and spa in Boyes Hot Springs, has been sold to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the Toronto-based company that manages the property and held a 20 percent ownership stake.

Crescent Real Estate Equities Limited Partnership had owned the 228-room landmark since 1996 but defaulted on a $55 million loan late year. No sale price was announced, but industry experts put the tab at about $100 million.

“The timing is right to support strategic acquisition opportunities and fund future growth of our brand,” said Jennifer Fox, president of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The company contracted to manage the Sonoma Mission Inn in 2002, when it acquired a 20 percent stake in the property and added its name to the historic marquee.

The Fairmont operates 60 luxury properties around the world.

Fox said the company has been actively looking to expand. “The markets are increasingly presenting very attractive opportunities and we want to ensure we are poised to take advantage and grow our luxury portfolio,” she said.

The purchase of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn is “an ideal demonstration of our strategy moving forward,” Fox said.

Crescent invested some $36 million in renovating the hotel and expanding the spa. But it’s default on a $55 million loan put the property into foreclosure, subjecting it to possible sale by auction. Another Crescent holding, the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe, was sold at a foreclosure auction last summer.

The local deal reportedly does not include the Sonoma Golf Club, which Crescent owns in a separate venture.

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