The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is on the market.
The hotel – which hosted guests such as Elton John, Bill Clinton, Tom Cruise and Madonna in its heyday as the Ritz Carlton, and is where INXS frontman Michael Hutchence died in 1997 – was quietly listed last Tuesday.
Singapore’s Royal Group expects offers of more than $150 million for the 3674-square-metre property. So far, more than 150 parties have expressed their interest.
The Hiranandani family, who controls the Royal Group, purchased the former Ritz Carlton Hotel for a cool $60 million in March 2013. UK hotel giant Intercontinental (a luxury chain with hotels all over the world) took over management in November 2014.
“Any buyer is going to appreciate what they buy here. It’s very iconic, not just for Double Bay but for Sydney,” says the managing director of Royal Group, Peter Wilding.
“We really enjoyed developing the property. We’re sad to sell it,” says Wilding.
The group has designed a plan for the new owners, to take or leave at their will. It allows the hotel to be seen from the street level, rather than having the reception on level one. An additional 50 rooms would also be added.
It underwent a major refurbishment over three years ago, including a new rooftop pool, which just opened to the public.. The plan increases the size of the deck, as well as the food and drink offering.
The current management will remain, despite new owners. “It’s business as usual as far as we’re concerned,” says the hotel’s marketing manager, Chris Waite. That is, until the lease is revised.