Qatar Airways has added to its international hotel portfolio, buying the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel in a deal worth about $135 million.
The Middle Eastern airline confirmed the acquisition on Monday.
Melbourne-based developer Golden Age Group had put the hotel on the market last year as it looked to rearrange its holdings after buying a neighbouring site in Melbourne’s Spring Street from Grocon for around $75 million.
It entered into a joint venture agreement with affiliates of Starwood Capital group to manage the hotel component at the $600 million mixed-use development slated to open in 2020.
The Sheraton Melbourne was opened in early 2014 after an absence by the brand in Melbourne of nearly 10 years. Sheraton has a long-term management agreement over the Melbourne property.
It is believed that Golden Age Group’s Jeff Xu wanted to cash in on the buoyant operating conditions for hotels in Melbourne and fund other projects.
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The airline said in a statement the hotel was hand-picked to extend the excellent service its passengers receive in the air and when they arrive at their destination.
The five-star Sheraton Melbourne Hotel is located in the “Paris end” of Little Collins Street, just minutes away from many well-known restaurants, theatres, and designer boutiques, as well as Melbourne’s CBD.
The Sheraton Melbourne joins a growing list of properties acquired and managed by the airline’s hospitality division, including the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London’s Heathrow Airport, The Novotel Edinburgh Park in Edinburgh Scotland, the Oryx Rotana Hotel in Doha, and The Airport Hotel located at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. “The acquisition of the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel complements Qatar Airways’ global strategy for growth, and further strengthens our offering for passengers travelling on board our daily flights to Melbourne,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said.
Earlier this week, Qatar Airways launched direct services to Canberra and now connects Canberrans to the airline’s extensive global network of more than 150 destinations.