Hong Kong developer Golden Horse Group has committed to building a $60 million hotel on the Gold Coast’s Hope Island, unveiling plans to open a new-build hotel under the Swissôtel brand in 2019.
On Monday, Golden Horse signed an agreement with the hotel giant Accor to manage the 150-room, $60 million property under its new Swissotel brand. The hotel will be the Gold Coast's first "luxury" 5-star hotel in 30 years.
The announcement comes exactly 12-months on from AccorHotels' acquisition of the FRHI Group, comprising Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel hotels.
Trudy Crooks of Resort Brokers Australia said news of the development was positive: "[P]articularly for the Gold Coast where new stock will be needed in view of rising visitor numbers and the enormous exposure the region will receive due to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
"Despite Accor chief Simon McGrath’s comment that he expects the hotel will be dominated by domestic travellers, I think it is very important we are providing new product that will be of a standard to meet the demands of the growing Chinese visitor market, and support ongoing growth in that market."
“By 2020, China will overtake New Zealand as Australia’s biggest source of international visitors, worth around $13 billion to our economy, so it is vital we continue to raise the bar in terms of catering to the needs of [Chinese] visitors.
“Accor and Swissotel will be a great match for this property, particularly in view of the Chinese Optimum Services Standards they have implemented,” Crooks said.
The new-build Swissôtel Gold Coast Hope Island Resort will be built at the popular 18-hole Links Hope Island Golf Course precinct, in the Hope Island district.
It would be the second Swissôtel in Australia after Sydney and just one of 30 worldwide.
Golden Horse also owns $380m residential site in Sydney’s Erskineville, purchased the Noosa Springs golf course for $60m and recently developed a 20-level residential apartment tower in
Brisbane. Golden Horse reportedly spent $14m buying The Links at the Hope Island Resort in 2013.
AccorHotels Chief Operating Officer Pacific, Simon McGrath, said the development would significantly contribute to local economy and bring a new level of accommodation to the Gold Coast.
“The Gold Coast is one of Australia's strongest performing tourism markets, with domestic and international visitation figures increasing year-on-year and leisure proving to be a robust sector,” said McGrath.
“The Swissôtel brand is internationally renowned for quality, intelligent design and 5-star luxury and to that we are thrilled to be announcing our partnership with Golden Horse Group to bring the Swissôtel brand to Queensland.
“The Swissôtel Gold Coast Hope Island Resort is a significant and exciting addition to AccorHotels growing luxury hotel portfolio and will be a major driver and drawcard for both the corporate and leisure sectors. The facilities the resort will offer will draw considerable interest; combine this with year round warm weather, Swissôtel Gold Coast Hope Island will undoubtedly be a flagship property in our network.”
Mr Feng, owner and director of Golden Horse Group said, “We chose Hope Island as one of our core development areas as it has a great locational advantage, being part of the booming northern corridor of the Gold Coast yet only 40 minutes from Brisbane.
“Working with AccorHotels, the Swissôtel brand will bring our concept to a new level and the resort will be an absolute destination for people all over the world to experience."
Hong Kong-based Golden Horse also owns the Noosa Springs golf course and last year launched a 20-level apartment tower for a