InterContinental Hotels Group has signed an agreement to manage the former Sir Stamford and Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sydney’s Double Bay.
The hotel, which has been closed for almost four years, will be known as the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay when it opens in January 2014.
Owners, Singapore’s Royal Hotels, are set to undertake a multi-million renovation of all guestrooms and public areas before it opens at 33 Cross Street.
When it opened in 1991, it was the hotel of choice for celebrities and U.S Presidents in Sydney and is most infamously known as the place where former INXS frontman Michael Hutchence died in November 1997.
In 2001, it became a Stamford hotel and retained the brand until it was sold in 2009. The new owners’ intention to convert the hotel into luxury apartments never came to fruition and the building has subsequently still in its hotel format.
To bring the property back to its former glory and up to InterContinental standards, Royal Hotels has engaged Melbourne architects Bates Smart to freshen up the 140 rooms and common areas.
“We are tremendously excited about re-launching this property and becoming a member of the internationally-renowned InterContinental family,” said Royal Hotels Director, Bobby Hiranandani.
“We selected IHG as our partner for this hotel based on the strength of the InterContinental brand both here and worldwide, and its proven ability to deliver premium returns on the assets that bear its name.
“Our plan is to rejuvenate this ideally-situated hotel and its surrounds, making it the destination for Eastern-suburbs locals and Australian and international visitors alike.
“InterContinental Sydney Double Bay will become an ideal destination for weddings, conferences and dining as well as luxury hotel accommodation.
“We are pleased to be partnering with IHG in this, a landmark in the Australian market.
“We have been impressed with IHG’s support to date, and in them believe we have a partner that will assist us creating an exciting new guest experience in Sydney,” he said.
Facilities at the property are also being tweaked and come January 2014, the hotel will feature include a ballroom with the capacity for 300, meeting spaces, a restaurant, bar, Club InterContinental, café and lounge, along with a rooftop pool and bar.
The owners have announced their intention to also develop a retail arcade, as well as a health club and day spa.
IHG’s CEO for Asia, Middle East and Africa, Jan Smits, has welcomed the signing of the fifth InterContinental in Australia.
“The signing of InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is a significant development for the InterContinental brand in Australia,” Smits said.
“The site at 33 Cross Street has long awaited the arrival of a new luxury hotel for Sydneysiders and visitors, and we feel confident that in partnership with Royal Hotels we will create something very special for our guests.”
The signing was revealed at HotelsWorld in Sydney today (Jul 24), where over 300 delegates are hearing about the latest trends and statistics in the Australasian hotel industry.
Speaking to HM at HotelsWorld, IHG’s Head of Development for Australasia, Phil Kasselis, said the company was “very excited” to be managing a luxury hotel in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs – a market that’s set to lose several properties next year due to conversions.
“Bringing the InterContinental brand into that part of the city is exciting for us,” he said.
“Following [the recent takeover in] Sanctuary Cove, Double Bay is perfect for the portfolio.”
Royal Hotels are also behind the upcoming Sofitel So Singapore, a hotel that’s set to offer unparalleled technology in the city and HM understands a significant focus is being placed that at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, with IT consultant Alan Smith working on the project.
Pictured below signing the deal are (left to right): Tony Ryan, Principal Ryan Lawyers; Bobby Hiranandani, Director Royal Hotels; Jan Smits, IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa Chief Executive Officer; Alan Watts, IHG Japan and Australasia Chief Operating Officer and Asia, Middle East and Africa Operations Performance.