THE new owner of Hotel Grand Chancellor in Surfers Paradise has struck a deal to rebrand the property under the Novotel moniker after appointing Accor Hotels as manager.
It will be the first time Novotel has established a presence on the Gold Coast and follows the $80 million acquisition of the prime asset by Challenger Investment Partners in a deal announced in May.
The 408-room hotel was sold in an off-market deal by the Singapore-based Hotel Grand Central which had owned it for six years.
The rebranding will take place on October 1 and comes ahead of a planned multimillion-dollar refurbishment of the property by Challenger, an Australian-based investment group with almost $14 billion in funds under management.
The Novotel Surfers Paradise will become the 30th Novotel property in Australia for Accor, which has operated the brand for some time in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. It is currently building a third Novotel in Brisbane next to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Accor, which was touted as a potential buyer of the Grand Chancellor, already has a significant presence on the Gold Coast in the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, The Sebel Coolangatta and Mercure Resort Gold Coast.
Accor says the move to beef up its Gold Coast portfolio comes on the heels of a surge in tourist numbers to the city in recent years, and expectations of continued growth in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"Accor Hotels brings its extensive expertise and market power to the hotel," says Challenger's head of real estate Trent Alston.
"Under their management it has the potential to be a strong performer on the Gold Coast. It further benefits from being part of an integrated retail and hotel precinct at Paradise Centre.
"The Novotel brand is highly regarded in the principal source markets for the Gold Coast, and we believe that with this high profile we will be able to attract and build new markets, both in Australia and overseas."
Accor Hotels' chief operating officer Simon McGrath says the Novotel brand will expose Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast to a broader market.
"The Novotel brand is prominent in countries across Asia and with the prospect of even more direct flights from Asian destinations the presence of a well-known international brand such as Novotel can contribute to the region's ability to attract major conferences, events and groups," he says.
"Novotel has just celebrated its 25th anniversary in Australia and has established a commanding position in the four-star market.
"It is an exciting time to be in the Gold Coast, with major infrastructure projects such as the light rail project having such an impact and with the Commonwealth Games just two years away."
Challenger has revealed that a refurbishment of guest rooms, public areas and the restaurant are planned for the 31-story hotel in 2017-18, although details of the capital works have yet to be finalised.
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