[Photo Credit: Sonder]

Sonder expands operations into Seattle

US: San Francisco-based hospitality startup Sonder is moving into Seattle by offering units at modern development Solis.

The offering is at 1300 E. Pike St. in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood, a short walk from some of the city’s main tourist sites.

Sonder stepped in to replace planned office space in the building in January. It will now occupy the first two floors, while the rest of the building will remain as high end luxury apartments.

Emma Cahalane, Sonder Seattle general manager, told GeekWire: “Unlike peer-to-peer home share platforms, Sonder leases, licences and manages every space from booking to checkout. Unlike vacation rental platforms or listing services, Sonder’s local teams live and breathe every city — and they manage every Sonder directly from interior design, to check-in and clean-up.”

After cutting a third of its staff during March, Sonder was then able to receive a significant funding after closing a $170 million series E funding round.

Sonder is offering fully contactless features at its Seattle property, including check in and out as well as digital concierge services. The company also advertises an advanced air system that both cuts energy usage and circulates in clean air 12 times a day.

Cahalane added: “In a post-Covid world, we know that travellers are looking for this level of separation and privacy, and we’re confident these preferences will likely continue to for the foreseeable future.”

It has been able to use these programmes to retain high occupancy rates throughout the pandemic period relative to the rest of the industry. It has remained over 75 per cent occupied for months, ahead of both hotels and short-term rentals.

In recent times, however, Sonder has been faced with two ongoing early termination lawsuits. In San Francisco, the company is aiming to exit a lease early, while in New York, Sonder was sued by developer Metro Loft for an alleged lack of payment.

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