This story originally appeared in the Sonoma Index-Tribune.


MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa at 29 E. MacArthur St. in Sonoma has been sold to IMH Financial Corporation of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to MacArthur Place owners Suzanne Brangham and Bill Blum. The price was not disclosed.

In a press release announcing the deal, IMH is described as a “hospitality investment company”; it also manages two luxury inns in Sedona, including L’Auberge de Sedona and Orchards Inn.

Brangham developed the 5-acre property at the corner of Broadway and MacArthur over the last 20 years with the help of investing partners, starting with the now 150-year old Victorian Good home, a barn (now Saddles Steakhouse), and a caretaker’s unit in to a 64-room luxury inn with a spa, swimming pool, conference facility and garden spa.

“This was to be a 10-year venture for us and we are now nearly 20 years old,” Brangham said.

After several other offers came and went, Brangham said that she felt most confident that IMH was the best group to preserve and even improve the integrity of MacArthur Place.

Brangham says IMH plans to retain all of the hotel’s current employees – many, Brangham says, have been with the hotel for more than a decade.

Lawrence Bain, chairman and CEO of IMH said via press release, “The historical significance and provenance of MacArthur Place are precisely the attributes we seek when acquiring a boutique property and we look forward to investing our future efforts into building on what Suzanne has created, bringing the hotel to a five-star level experience as we have done in Sedona.”

Under the guidance of Brangham and investor and managing partner Blum, MacArthur Place has been voted one of the “World’s Best Hotels” in the annual Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards and has been rated the top hotel in Sonoma on TripAdvisor for many years.

“The transition to a new owner will be difficult for me as the hotel is the longest held real estate venture of my career,” says Brangham. “I’m looking forward to getting to spend more time with my family back east and on my passion of art and painting.”

Contacted Tuesday morning, Bill Blum described the new owners as “the nicest people.”

“I think they plan to enhance the bar area and make it a little more pleasant,” said Blum about any prospective changes.

Brangham also built the Ramekins Culinary School, turned the historic Scheiblich family’s Victorian home into the General’s Daughter restaurant, built several other rammed earth and other homes in Sonoma Valley, and is known for remodeling 72 houses and buildings in San Francisco.

The agents who represented MacArthur Place were Henry Bose and Mark McDermott from CBRE in San Francisco.

According to their press release, since 2003, IMH has invested over $1.4 billion in real estate projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico and Texas. IMH’s primary expertise is in acquiring, financing, or developing commercial, residential and hospitality real estate, primarily in the southwestern United States, as well as the management of several existing commercial operations.

Among its properties are Cress on Oak Creek, Etch Kitchen Bar, and 89Agave Cantina, all restaurants in Arizona.

This story originally appeared in the Sonoma Index-Tribune.