Hard on the heels of The Langham opening on the Gold Coast this year, another luxury hotel brand, the century-old St. Regis, has set its sights on the Glitter Strip with plans to open its first property in Australia at Tim Gurner’s $1.7 billion La Pélago development in Surfers Paradise.
The Gurner Group, which is developing La Pélago in partnership with financier Wingate, today announced it had struck a management agreement with Marriott International that will bring the hotel giant’s premium hotel brand to the Gold Coast in 2025.
According to the developer, St. Regis was selected following an ‘exhaustive’ expressions of interest campaign that drew some of the world’s biggest luxury hotel brands. The company says that once negotiations began with Marriott, it took just 27 days for an agreement to be reached.
Gurner says the St. Regis Gold Coast Resort will be ‘unlike anything on offer in Australia’s hotel market’. He says the property will offer guests ‘a level of bespoke luxury that is not available on the Gold Coast now nor planned into the future’.
The first St. Regis hotel was established in 1904 by John Jacob Astor IV in New York as a sister property to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a property in which Astor had an interest at the time.
St. Regis now has 56 hotels and resorts around the world with the brand synonymous with a premium hotel experience.
Gurner says the St. Regis Gold Coast Resort will celebrate the brand’s ‘timeless legacy and rich heritage’. The property will feature a speciality restaurant, world-class sky bar, pool bar, luxurious lounge, as well as the signature St. Regis Bar. Guests will also have access to the hotel’s renowned butler service.
The original St. Regis New York has been a favourite haunt of Gurner and his wife Aimee since they stayed in the hotel on their first holiday together.
“We are so incredibly excited and humbled to be able to announce the deal with Marriott International and secure the St. Regis brand for this landmark development,” says Gurner.
“It’s a brand that has stood the test of time for elegance, bespoke service and exquisite experiences. We knew we had to have a hotel brand at La Pelago that would transform the Gold Coast and elevate it – and Australia’s five-star hotel offering – to another level.”
La Pélago will comprise four towers on an entire city block at Budds Beach on the northern end of Surfers Paradise. The 13,000sqm lifestyle destination will bring to the market luxury apartments, 12,000sqm of residential and hotel amenity and over 5,500sqm of international hospitality and retail.
The first stage Aquia tower, a $1 billion development, will rise 65 storeys and will be the tallest of the buildings planned for the site with apartments earmarked for the first 28 levels.
The St. Regis Gold Coast Resort’s main lobby will be located on the 24th floor of the building with guests to be greeted in the porte cochère entrance on the ground floor.
The hotel will offer 185 luxurious guest rooms with all the rooms and hotel amenities, including the bar and restaurant, designed to sit above the other towers planned for the site.
“We completely reconfigured the hotel offering for the St. Regis Gold Coast Resort after we secured the brand, so that the lowest hotel room still sits above any surrounding towers, enabling uninterrupted views of the beach, river and mountain ranges, going all the way up to level 43,” says Gurner.
“The arrival experience, amenity, service offering and rooms will be without equal in Australia, and will put the Gold Coast back on the map as an ultra-luxury destination.
“Above the hotel, we have around 100 residences within the Crystal Club that will have their own private entrance and exclusive access to hotel-style services and amenity to offer those buyers something truly irreplaceable that offers a new level of luxury atop the best hotel in the country.”
Plans for Australia’s first St. Regis hotel highlight a resurgence of interest in the Gold Coast market by the industry with the opening earlier this year of The Langham at the $1.4 billon Jewel development on the southern Surfers Paradise beachfront.
Marriott International’s Richard Crawford, the vice president of hotel development for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, says the management agreement with Gurner Group is ‘momentous for Marriott International, and a wonderful advancement for the Gold Coast’.
“We look forward to bringing to life an iteration of the brand that is modern, aspirational, and befits the lifestyle and energy of the Gold Coast,” says Crawford.
“Gurner’s well-earned reputation for excellence, and their vision for the Gold Coast, aligns exceptionally well with the very high standards we set for every St. Regis hotel around the world.”
Wingate Property managing director Mark Harrison says the management agreement with Marriott is a major step in bringing La Pélago to fruition.
“Wingate sees the introduction of the St. Regis brand to the project as a significant investment of iconic luxury in the Gold Coast market,” he says.
The St. Regis Gold Coast Resort will be the third Marriott International property on the Gold Coast when it opens, complementing the group’s existing portfolio comprising the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa, and the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast.
Marriott's Queensland portfolio also includes the W Brisbane, Brisbane Marriott Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane, The Westin Brisbane and Courtyard by Marriott South Bank Brisbane.
All renders courtesy of Gurner.
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