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One of Australia’s best-known boutique hotels listed for sale

Ovolo Group’s investment arm lists boutique Sydney hotel to supercharge portfolio growth, Ovolo to retain the management rights to the hotel post-sale

TriO Capital, the investment and asset management business of independent lifestyle hotel group Ovolo, is preparing to sell one of its boutique designer hotels in Sydney in a move to recycle capital to fund the group’s continued growth and expansion.

The Woolstore 1888 by Ovolo is being offered on the basis that Ovolo retains the management rights to the hotel post-sale.

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CBRE Hotels’ Wayne Bunz and Michael Simpson have been exclusively appointed to steer the Expressions of Interest campaign.

The Woolstore 1888 by Ovolo

The sale is expected to generate significant local and offshore buyer interest, underpinned by the Ovolo hotel management agreement, giving the incoming owner the benefit of the marketing and distribution network of one of Australia’s leading lifestyle boutique hotel operators.

TriO Managing Director Tim Alpe said, “The sale forms part of our strategic plan to recycle capital to further grow the Ovolo brand throughout Australia, New Zealand, and selected Asia Pacific target markets. We have tripled our room count in the past five years, including adding two assets during the pandemic, and are looking to more than double our network via hotel management agreements, acquisitions, joint ventures and investment partnerships.”

CBRE Hotels National Director Wayne Bunz said the offering presented an opportunity to acquire a strategic foothold in Australia’s most sought-after hotel market, amid high barriers to due to elevated construction costs.

Mr Bunz noted, “More than ever, hotel investors are looking for bespoke and boutique hotel offerings, and this opportunity will appeal to a broad range of prospective purchasers. Over three years on from the pandemic, many resulting trends are here to stay, with remote working, ‘bleisure’ travel, ‘staycations’ and the continued growth of social media use, having shifted guest preferences towards a highly personalised and hybrid approach to their hotel stay experience.”

CBRE Hotels Managing Director Michael Simpson added, “Recent CBRE Hotels research highlights that boutique and lifestyle hotels have led the market out of the pandemic across all three performance indicators – Occupancy, Average Daily Rate (ADR), and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR), compared to the big box international branded hotels. This reflects the lower room count, sophisticated design, intimate curated service, and local authenticity of boutique hotels.”

The Woolstore 1888 by Ovolo occupies one of the oldest surviving sawtooth roof wool stores in Sydney, with the Pyrmont building converted into a boutique hotel in 2013.

The Woolstore 1888 by Ovolo

It has since been consistently awarded TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice for being ranked in the top 10 percent of properties in Sydney in addition to HM Awards for Best Boutique Hotel, Hotel Bar and Hotel Interior Design.

The sale process presents a rare opportunity to acquire a freehold hotel in Sydney, adjacent to the established demand drivers of Darling Harbour, the Darling Harbour Live International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment facilities, Tumbalong Park and a multitude of other attractions.

The hotel reimagines the original building with Ovolo’s signature twist. It comprises 90 rooms and suites, the multi-award-winning neighborhood wine bar Mister Percy, a private dining room, board room, and a guest laundry.

The Expressions of Interest campaign closes Thursday, August 10, 2023 (unless sold prior).

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