The Haven Inn

Best Western Australasia has signed The Haven Inn hotel in Sydney’s Inner Western suburb of Glebe.

The deal was done by Best Western Australasia’s General Manager – Brand Development, Barry Fleischmann, soon after the auction of the property.

He said the new owners chose to join Best Western, the World’s Biggest Hotel Family, to gain international recognition.

“Best Western is a brand widely recognised and trusted by both Chinese and Australian holiday-makers, which was an integral factor in the owners’ decision,” he said.

Since being sold for AUD$13.5million in July this year, the hotel’s new owners, a private Chinese group, have signaled their intent to reinvigorate the iconic local hotel and unveil it early in the New Year as a fully renovated, 4-star Best Western-affiliated hotel.

Raymond Tran, of Colliers International’s Hotels division, represented the buyer in the transaction and he said the new owners, who have also appointed Colliers International to manage the asset, have ambitious plans for the property.

“We are seeing increased interest from high net wealth Chinese investors aspiring to enter Australia’s hotel market,” Tran said.

“Whilst proficient hoteliers in China, these purchasers readily recognise that Australian hotels are a different scenario and require local expertise.

“Although they intend to act as owner-operators of this new-look hotel in Glebe, these purchasers were adamant they would employ local hotel management, local builders and local staff to ensure Australian specialists were in place,” he said.

Best Western Australasia’s CEO, Rob Anderson, welcomed the signing.

“Signing The Haven Inn shows Best Western’s flexibility as a leading hotel brand well suited for urban and regional markets,” he said.

“Glebe’s vibrant restaurants and universities already attract students and businesspeople to the area, and this refurbished hotel will cater for digitally savvy travellers wanting to stay on the fringe of the CBD yet remain close to the main attractions,” he said.

The hotel will incorporate modern design, with the renovation to be overseen by builders ICMG.

Chelvie Lee, National Manager for Hotels and Hospitality at ICMG, said: “The hotel will cater to Glebe’s youthful demographic and embrace the vibrant local café-restaurant scene.

“With the growing student population in the area and several local universities nearby, it makes sense for the hotel to be designed with this in mind.”

The refurbishment will include a new restaurant, a state-of-the-art gymnasium facing onto a Zen courtyard, a new lobby and lifts, a makeover of the external façade and complete refurbishment of the 59 hotel rooms.

The new-look hotel plans to reopen its doors before the 2015 Chinese New Year.

“A current undersupply of accommodation rooms in the Sydney hotel market is driving demand for all types of hotel properties across the metropolitan area and, while not in an immediate CBD area, this new offering in Glebe will assist with the shortage,” Tran said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management