In the same week that Brisbane’s $200 million Westin hotel opened its doors, the city’s ibis Styles hotel sold for a rumoured $100 million to a Singapore subsidiary of Worldwide Hotels.
The Westin Brisbane is the tenth hotel to open across the River City within the past 18 months, joining a band of quality new offerings such as W Hotel, FV by Peppers and The Calile.
And the ibis Styles brings to around $200 million the total capital invested in Brisbane hotels over the past year by overseas investors, including the sale of Emporium Hotel Fortitude Valley to Ovolo and the Ibis Brisbane and Mercure Brisbane hotels to Commerz Real.
CBRE Hotels’ national director Wayne Bunz says the low Australian dollar coupled with strong tourism growth is helping drive demand from overseas buyers.
Brisbane is viewed as a counter cyclical investment opportunity – with cashed up players gambling on the local market rising to deliver strong returns on investment.
“The smart money is actively seeking opportunities in Brisbane, where hotels are being acquired below replacement value,” Mr Bunz told The Hotel Conversation.
“Investors willing to take a leap of faith into the counter-cyclical market of Brisbane are truly ahead of the curve.
“There is pent up buyer demand from investors seeking opportunities in Brisbane, however our greatest challenge is finding stock.”
The new wellness-focussed Westin Brisbane on Mary Street boasts 299 guest rooms and suites, each with city views from their floor-to-ceiling windows. Yoga and Pilates classes will run on a 400sqm podium around its pool deck, and guests can request a ‘run concierge’, a running buddy for those looking to their fitness away from home.
The 368-room ibis Styles Brisbane is another CBD hotel close to the shopping mecca of Queen Street.
The mid-market Elizabeth Street accommodation offers views of the Brisbane River and South Bank and is known for its vibrantly-themed public spaces.
Brisbane is earmarked for $30 billion in major infrastructure investments over the next few years, including the Queen’s Wharf precinct, a second airport runway, an international cruise ship terminal, a new entertainment centre, and a number of road and rail improvements.