Hong Kong-based boutique hotel chain Ovolo has snapped up the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley for about $40 million in the first major hospitality deal of the year.
It is the second Brisbane hotel acquired by Ovolo Hotels in the space of seven months after it acquired the 50-room New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites in Brisbane for $16.5 million in June.
The 102-room Emporium Hotel at 1000 Ann Street was sold by its founder and managing director, Tony John, of the Anthony John Group. It opened in 2007, when it was positioned as Brisbane’s first luxury boutique hotel.
Hotel amenities include a rooftop pool, gm and sauna, cocktail bar and patisserie as well as conferencing and events centre.
Mr John said he had decided the time was right to sell the Fortitude Valley property as it would “allow the team time to focus on the 2018 opening of our luxury boutique Southpoint Emporium Hotel”.
Ovolo’s latest aquisition means the hotel chain, founded by Girish Jhunjhnuwala in 2002, now has five hotels in Australia, with two Sydney hotels in Woolloomooloo and Darling Harbour and one on Little Bourke Street in the centre of Melbourne.
“The Emporium Hotel in Brisbane was an obvious choice for the brand given its incredible success to date, its boutique nature and appealing location in the Fortitude Valley retail and dining precinct,” Mr Jhunjhnuwala said.
“We are excited to take this fantastic property to the next level with Ovolo’s signature luxury design interiors and all-inclusive hospitality concept,” he added.
The sale of the Emporium was brokered off-market by CBRE Hotels national director Wayne Bunz, who said it was a very positive sign for the local market heading into a new year.
“The sale highlights investors’ growing interest in the Brisbane hotel market. CBRE continue to field investor demand for investment opportunities, with the Emporium Hotel sale negotiated in a record time of just four weeks,” Mr Bunz said.
The Hong Kong operator’s flagship Ovolo Woolloomooloo and Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour were recently ranked as the second and sixth-best hotels in Australia, according to TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards 2017.
Ovolo Hotels recently joined the co-working office movement after Ovolo Woolloomooloo signed a co-working deal with start-up TwoSpace, who will set up co-working spaces in the hotel’s lounge. It operates four hotels in Hong Kong.
Originally Published: www.afr.com