Historic Coastal Retreat That Once Housed Infamous Cult Is Transformed Into Luxury Hotel

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After a multi-million-dollar renovation, the historic Marconi Conference Center in West Marin has been transformed into Lodge at Marconi, a luxury hotel property located within the 62-acre Marconi State Historic Park just south of Marshall.

The Marshall site has a storied past. Originally home to native Coast Miwok, it was turned into a signal-receiving station in 1912 by Guglielmo Marconi, often credited as the inventor of radio. (Though the 270-foot towers that once anchored a mile-long antenna are gone, many historic buildings constructed for the Marconi Wireless Company remain.)

Then, in the 1960s, the Marconi property became the headquarters for Synanon, a drug rehabilitation program that turned into an “alternative lifestyle community” before eventually becoming the Church of Synanon in 1975. After allegations of violent activity and subsequent investigations that led to the controversial cult’s demise, the property was purchased by the philanthropic San Francisco Foundation and was eventually gifted to the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1989, to be used as a nonprofit conference center.

After its moment of infamy, the West Marin property and its conference center have remained unknown to many. In 2022, the grounds were acquired by Nashville-based Oliver Hospitality, as part of a 55-year lease agreement. The hotel and restaurant management company then started the process of renovating the existing hotel rooms and event spaces tucked away on the 62-acre property.

Content retrieved from: https://www.sonomamag.com/historic-coastal-retreat-that-once-housed-infamous-cult-is-transformed-into-luxury-hotel/?gSlide=9.

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