Since 1937, when real estate mogul A.M. “Sonny” Sonnabend purchased the Preston Beach Hotel in Massachusetts, Sonesta has transformed into a global brand with 280 properties in eight countries (and counting), putting an emphasis on excellent service and authentic experiences for over 80 years.

Sonesta’s growth includes such milestones as the purchase of The Plaza Hotel in 1953 and its first Nile River cruise ship in 1989. It retains a presence in countries such as Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, along with key North American destinations such as Boston, Chicago, Hilton Head Island, Toronto, and San Francisco.

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Sonesta Hotels Evolution Timeline:

  • 1937: A.M. “Sonny” Sonnabend purchased the Preston Beach Hotel in Massachusetts with 6 other investors.
  • 1953: A.M. Sonnabend purchased the Plaza Hotel in New York from Hilton. This was followed by the sale of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC and long-term lease on the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. 1st specialty restaurant in a hotel opens; the Rib Room at the Somerset in Boston.
  • 1959: 1st International hotel built by Sonesta opens in San Juan.
  • 1964: A.M. Sonnabend passes and sons Roger, Paul and Stephen redirect the company to be a hotel management company, rather than a real estate or finance company. Charterhouse/Hotel Sonesta/Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston opens.
  • 1969: Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans opens.
  • 1982: Sonesta Hotel Cairo opens.
  • 1989: 1st Sonesta Cruise Ship - Sonesta Nile Goddess is launched.
  • 2002: Sonesta Hotel & Suites Coconut Grove opens in Florida.
  • 2009: Sonesta Hotel Valledupar opens in Colombia. Sonesta Hotel Osorno opens in Chile.
  • 2012: Sonesta International Hotels Corporation sold to a Newton-based affiliate of Hospitality Properties Trust.
  • 2015: Sonesta Bee Cave Austin opens.
  • 2017: The Chase Park Plaza, A Royal Sonesta - St. Louis opens in June.
  • 2018: The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco, CA opens in May.
  • 2021: Sonesta acquires Red Lion Hotels Corporation and a new era begins in Hospitality.


The Sonesta Work Suite

The latest evolution for Sonesta, the Sonesta Work Suite is an experiential meeting space concept offering a multi-zone and tech-enabled meeting experience. Guests receive an elevated experience with an innovative meeting room design and services intended to enhance collaboration. Developed from guest feedback, Sonesta Work Suite combines the qualities of traditional office and coworking space with best-in-class hotel amenities.