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LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO - Snapshot Report), a real estate investment trust (REIT), has recently acquired a 120-room full service luxury resort titled L’Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar, California. The property was purchased from an unnamed seller for $76.9 million.

Set on 4.5 acres overlooking the picturesque Pacific Ocean, the hotel is strategically placed in close proximity to several leisure and business demand drivers of the region. These include the Del Mar Beach, Torrey Pines Golf Course, the Del Mar Racetrack & Fairgrounds, besides other upscale shopping and dining hotspots. In addition, the hotel is also close to the University of California, San Diego, which is one of the leading research universities in the U.S.

Other notable tourist enticements for the hotel include the strategic placement of the University Towne Center in the vicinity. University Towne Center is one of the highest rent office markets in San Diego with 3.4 million square feet of Class A office space. The affluent region is dotted with several business and research facilities, along with biotech, technology, and pharmaceutical companies.

In addition to the locational advantage, the hotel offers refreshing dining options, a cozy spa, a private path to the beach, and a peaceful pool area that are all reminiscent of a private coastal estate. The signature restaurant of the hotel, KITCHEN 1540, blends energy and intrigue with a fresh and lively atmosphere. The hotel also showcases six indoor meeting rooms and six outdoor areas spanning 16,500 square feet of meeting and function space.

LaSalle owns luxury and upper-upscale hotels in high barriers-to-entry markets throughout the U.S. The company specifically focuses on owning, redeveloping and repositioning upscale full-service hotels in urban, resort and convention markets. LaSalle currently owns 10,300 guest rooms in 13 markets in 9 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia.

We maintain our Neutral rating on the stock, which presently has a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term Hold rating. We also have a Neutral recommendation and a Zacks #3 Rank for Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST - Analyst Report), one of the competitors of LaSalle.

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