Queenstown hostel sold to hotel giant in post-Covid first

The 65-room, 384-bed Base Queenstown Discovery Lodge was bought by New Zealand’s largest private hotel investor. Photo: One Roof
The 65-room, 384-bed Base Queenstown Discovery Lodge was bought by New Zealand’s largest private hotel investor. Photo: One Roof
Contracts have been exchanged in what is believed to be the first major accommodation sale in New Zealand since Covid-19 crisis struck in March.

The 65-room, 384-bed Base Queenstown Discovery Lodge was bought by New Zealand’s largest private hotel investor, Pandey Hotel Corporation, part of the CP Group, in a deal brokered by Colliers International.

Dean Humphries, national director of hotels for Colliers International, until the deal was truck no major accommodation assets had sold since the pandemic put pressure on the country’s hospitality assets.

Base Queenstown Discovery Lodge is located in the heart of the town and is one of only a handful of freehold accommodation assets located in the town centre.

“These properties are rarely traded and characterised as strategic core assets,” Humphries said.

“The last sale of a major accommodation asset in the town centre was the Novotel Gardens back in October 2015, exactly five years ago.”

Base Queenstown Discovery Lodge is currently leased to a major budget accommodation provider but will be repositioned to a luxury five-star boutique hotel once this lease expires.

The property is located in Shotover Street, one street removed from Lake Wakatipu. The 3,200sq m building was built in 2004 and is located on a 1,000sq m parcel of freehold land.

The current Auckland-based owners purchased the property in mid-2015 as a passive investment with a long-term lease in place.

“With the advent of Covid and the lease now moving toward expiry, the owners were looking at a range of repositioning options,” Humphries said.

“In the end, an attractive offer from one of the country’s largest hotel investors, was compelling enough to persuade them to recycle their capital into other avenues.”

In late July CPG Hotels, part of the CP Group, announced the creation of its luxury boutique hotel brand, Fable Hotels and Resorts, with this property expected to become part of the Fable portfolio.

“Despite the many challenges the wider industry is facing with Covid, there remains robust demand from a range of investors seeking prime strategic accommodation assets in our key tourism regions,” Humphries said.

“Most hotel investors have long-term investment objectives in the knowledge there are always cycles in the market.

“Furthermore, investment yields for hotels have not firmed like many other asset classes in recent times, despite the OCR, 10-year Government bonds and the wider cost of capital falling by over 150 basis points in the past 12 months. This increased yield spread, continues to make hospitality assets a compelling medium/long term strategy for many investors.

"The sale price remains confidential between the parties however we do not believe any material discount was paid due to the current market conditions. If investors wish to secure prime strategic real estate, they need to meet the expectations of the vendors no matter where we are in the cycle."

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