Three of the nation’s landmark hotels are to undergo major changes in a period of upheaval for the industry.
Perth’s historic Palace Hotel, built in 1896 by US prospector John de Baun on the site of the colony’s first licensed premises, will be reborn as The Meat & Wine Co. restaurant.
The National Trust-registered hotel on the corner of William Street and St Georges Terrace was one of Australia’s most luxurious hotels before it was redeveloped by Alan Bond as a bank and office building in the 1980s.
A $2 million interior fit-out masterminded by Architect Callie Van Der Merwe of Design Partnership will marry the heritage-listed Federation building’s interior with the restaurant’s contemporary, South African-inspired aesthetic.“We have been working for years on securing what we believe to be the most iconic restaurant site in the Perth CBD,” said Laurence Thorpe of owners Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group.
“The grand heritage room retains all the history within its walls and makes for a unique dining experience.”
On the other side of the country, the lease on Sydney’s iconic Clovelly Hotel – popularly known as The Cloey – has been put up for sale by celebrity chef Matt Moran’s Solotel Group.
The Cloey has been a favourite of Sydneysiders and tourists for more than 50 years, with the sale of its freehold to a private local investor last year netting a cool $34 million.
Ray White Hotels Australia’s Andrew Jolliffe, who is handling the sale, said beachside pubs were gaining popularity because they offer outdoor seating and are not limited by Sydney’s lock-out laws.
In Queensland, the vast hotel complex of Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise has been put on the market by its Singaporean owners for more than $100 million.
Standing on a 1.2 hectare site, the resort comprises the 269-room Crowne Plaza Hotel currently operated by InterContinental Hotels Group, management rights for the 104-room Gold Tower, retail space, a tavern, 15 function venues and multiple food and beverage outlets, including Queensland’s only revolving restaurant.
The offering also comes with a development site which has approval for 234 apartments in a 46-level tower.
The resort is located on the Gold Coast Highway between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach and is directly connected to the Gold Coast light rail system, with a terminal in front of the hotel.
Wayne Bunz of sales agents CBRE Hotels said: “The Gold Coast is one of the most sought-after hotel investment markets and is also one of the most tightly held, with opportunities to gain an investment foothold rare, especially with vacant possession, so this presents a significant opportunity.”