New owner of Byron’s ‘prettiest hotel’ revealed

THE Guok family appears to be staying with a decision made more than three years ago - that tens of millions raised by two major Gold Coast hotel sales wouldn't be leaving Australia.

Those sales were the Greenmount Resort at Coolangatta and the International Beach Resort tower on the Surfers Paradise beachfront.

They raised $84 million for the family of Singaporean investor Gertrude Guok, who first rolled into town in 1996 and snaffled the Greenmount.

Now the family's back in the hotel business, albeit in a modest way and in Byron Bay, not the Gold Coast.

The Guoks are buying The Bower, a three-year-old boutique property at Byron Bay whose design was inspired by the Bowery neighbourhood of New York's Manhattan.

The Bower Byron Bay boutique hotel.
The Bower Byron Bay boutique hotel.

 

It's a hotel that's been described in Vogue magazine as Byron Bay's prettiest hotel and as 'luxe beach-chic'.

The Guok family, by way of less glamorous investments, also has dipped a toe into the Burleigh Heads industrial market with a couple of modest buys.

These days Gertrude's not pulling the investment strings - she passed away a couple of years ago.

Now, 40-year-old nephew and man on the spot Josh is acting for the family.

The Guok family is the former owner of the International Beach Resort in Surfers Paradise, which was sold to Harry Triguboff for his Ocean tower currently under construction.
The Guok family is the former owner of the International Beach Resort in Surfers Paradise, which was sold to Harry Triguboff for his Ocean tower currently under construction.

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The accounting and hotel management graduate of Griffith University has lived on the Gold Coast for more than 20 years and married in 2017.

He's now a father-of-two and is in the process of building a home on a prime $2.55 million parcel of land fronting Tallebudgera Creek.

It appears that the minimal yields available from leaving money in the bank have encouraged Josh and his family to open their Aussie-cash wallet and start looking for better returns.

In The Bower deal, which doesn't settle for two or three months, the Guoks are paying around $18 million.

Josh Guok heads up his family’s property interests in Australia.
Josh Guok heads up his family’s property interests in Australia.

The 28-room hotel was forecast to net more than $1 million in 2019-20 - before COVID-19 travel restrictions bit.

When it was being marketed the net, even with the restrictions, was tipped to be more than $800,000.

In other words, all going well, the Guoks will be getting a return of more than 4 per cent and capital-gain potential - something which isn't offered with bank deposits.

The Bower's near 5000sq m site in Bangalow Rd also offers some upside from further development.

Dr Blake Eddington is one of the developers of The Bower Byron Bay.
Dr Blake Eddington is one of the developers of The Bower Byron Bay.

The hotel, on the site of a former motel, is being bought from the men who developed it - hotelier Sein Lowry and Byron Bay emergency physician Blake Eddington.

Josh and family might have a couple of interested observers as they progress at The Bower in the form of the men who 'gave' them their $84 million investment kitty.

High-rise billionaire Harry Triguboff paid $58 million for the International Beach Resort, which started life as the Apollo apartment tower, and the Sunland Group coughed up $26 million for Greenmount.

Originally published as New owner of Byron's 'prettiest hotel' revealed



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