Hotel investors spend big on Victoria’s heritage properties

A little country retreat in the Victorian spa town of Hepburn Springs has been bought by a hotel group with 500 properties in more than 80 countries.

Small Luxury Hotels has added The Dudley Boutique Hotel to its substantial international collection, one of five new acquisitions the group describes as “sanctuaries for discriminating clients looking for far more than cookie-cutter hotel stays”.

The Daylesford property, built in 1908, is set among gorgeous gardens and offers just seven luxuriously-appointed guest rooms.

In 2016, it was crowned Victoria and Australia’s best boutique hotel and has also been named as one of the ten most luxurious getaways in the country.

With rooms starting at $327 per night, the Dudley provides a base for the action-loving hikers, bush walkers and mountain bikers who frequent the area.

It joins Japan’s Enso Ango, Mexico’s Villa Maria Cristina, the Art Paradiso Hotel in South Korea and Sweden’s The Bank Hotel as latest additions to the Small Luxury Hotels portfolio.

Another luxury Victorian boutique hotel on the Mornington Peninsula opens its doors next week following a $7 million refurbishment.

Portsea Hotel opens on Monday following an extensive renovation project by hospitality rich-lister Chris Morris.

Part of the Colonial Leisure Group’s $300 million tourism portfolio, the hotel was bought in 2000 and remained unused for 18 years.

The renovations are designed to return the landmark building to its former glory and re-establish the Portsea Village as an all-year-round tourist destination.

“Portsea Hotel has been a great place to go in the warmer months and although it is seen as a Portsea icon, the charm had left the building some time ago,” said Morris.

“We’ve utilised every space in the venue to truly realise its full potential; we’re creating a pub that is a true destination for the Mornington Peninsula and one where people can come and enjoy fresh local produce after exploring nearby regions.”

The venue boasts a large waterfront beer garden and will host a series of live music acts over summer – as well as morning yoga sessions for an ever-growing army of wellness enthusiasts choosing to holiday on the peninsula.

A rotating art gallery, two bars and a California-inspired burger joint are part of the makeover.

And finally, Punthill Apartment Hotels has announced plans for a new property as part of The Village Alphington project on the former site of the Amcor Paper Mill.

The project is touted as a transformational development for the inner North-East suburbs of Melbourne, involving construction of a retail centre, village square, school, office tower, residential towers and the 79-room Punthill Alphington.

The development is the group’s first new property under the ownership of Veriu Hotels and Suites.  

Set to open its doors in 2020, it will offer a range of studio, one, two and three-bedroom self-contained apartments along with on-site conferencing, a gym and other amenities.

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