Novotel Queenstown has been sold by its US owners for more than $90 million in the biggest deal of its kind in nearly a decade, according to agents Collier International. Dean Humphries, Collier’s national director of hotels, said the 273-room hotel – purchased by a New Zealand hotel investor – was one of seven owned by US Company REIT Host Hospitality.
It was the largest single hotel transaction in New Zealand in nearly 10 years, he said. REIT Host was looking to divest all its hotels in the Asia Pacific region and move capital back to the United States to take advantage of improving conditions there. Novotel Queenstown’s sale caps a year in which just over $290m worth of hotels have changed hands, just shy of the peak in 2010, when nearly $300m worth of hotels were sold. Other sales this year included the Novotel Ibis Ellerslie Auckland for more than $55m, the Kingsgate Wellington, Chateau on the Park Christchurch and Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland Airport.
The 200-room Ibis Wellington and 139-room Novotel Wellington are also on the market. New Zealand hotels are back on investors’ radars because of the country’s rising tourist numbers, rising occupancy levels and high rates of return. New Zealand hotels are back on investors’ radars because of the country’s rising tourist numbers, rising occupancy levels and high rates of return. New Zealand’s lower dollar and the country’s reputation for relatively safety were also factors in its favour, Humphries said.
“The current positive market conditions are culminating in greater profitability and rising property values for hotel assets.”