28 September 2010, Written by Tom Reid


THE Courtyard by Marriott Surfers Paradise has been sold to a Singaporean-owned international hotel group for $47 million and will now be known as the Hotel Grand Chancellor Surfers Paradise.

The sale of the popular hotel to Grand Hotels International (GHI) will settle next Tuesday, with the rebranding of the property to begin immediately.

The Wellington-based company is listed on the Singaporean Stock Exchange with directors also located in Malaysia.

Founded in 1968, the group owns 24 hotels across the Asia-Pacific region including Hotel Grand Chancellor properties in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Melbourne. The latest acquisition marks its first foray into the Gold Coast.

General manager of the Brisbane and Gold Coast hotels Peter Yared, says the Courtyard Marriott has been in the hoteliers’ sights for some time.

“Being right in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this hotel is in one of the best positions on the Gold Coast. We were actually disappointed to miss out the purchase two years ago,” he says.

“The Marriott Vacation Club bought the property with the intention of turning it into one of its apartment-style timeshare resorts; however the financial circumstances meant this never eventuated.

“We were sure to snap it up quickly this time. The property had only been on the market since early July and we signed an unconditional contract on August 4 following the appropriate due diligence processes. Since then the only hold-up has been in liquor licensing and other approvals.”

The Courtyard by Marriott was built in the late 1980’s as part of Marriott International’s $2 billion chain aimed at targeting the Holiday Inn's clientele.

Originally The Ramada, the property went through several owners before the Marriott Vacation Club bought it back from Surfers Paradise Acquisition Corporation; the owner since mid-2005, in August 2007.

Yared says the Marriott’s timeshare division initially wanted $53 million for the property, but both parties were satisfied with the final sale figure of $47 million.

He expects the hotel to turn over $15 million in annual revenue, on par with the Courtyard’s FY09 figures. The Brisbane hotel generates around $12 million for the international company.

“We believe the Hotel Grand Chancellor Surfers Paradise will prove a great return on GHI’s investment,” he says.

“I am pleased to confirm that we intend on investing around $5-6 million in the standards of the hotel's facilities with refurbishment planned over the next few years. In particular, the bedroom and pool and outdoor facilities are in need of an upgrade.”

The hotel group’s next acquisition will likely be in Sydney as it’s the only capital city on the Eastern seaboard not yet in the GHI portfolio. Yared told Gold Coast Business News that further acquisitions in Adelaide and Perth could follow.

Author: Tom Reid





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