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News release


Sofitel Mansion Hotel & Spa sells to local Melbourne Group

Sydney 8th February 2010 – One of Australia’s most revered boutique hotels, the Sofitel Mansion Hotel & Spa, has sold to The Lancemore Group and several private investors in a deal brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ Vice President, Peter Harper.
Situated within Werribee Park Estate, home to the Victorian State Rose Garden, Open Range Zoo and National Equestrian Centre, the Hotel is an extension of the historic Werribee Mansion and was once used as a seminary. The five star boutique hotel features 91 guest rooms and suites, a signature restaurant & bar, 10 conference rooms, a day spay, gymnasium and feature indoor swimming pool. It is situated on a leasehold title with approximately 38 years remaining.
The on-market transaction attracted significant interest from a range of domestic and overseas investors. Peter Harper said, “This Hotel has an excellent reputation and as a result we received a strong level of interest during the campaign with approximately 10 expressions of interest submitted.” He added, “In what is a reflection of not only the Hotel, but also current market conditions, interested groups included established hotel operators, boutique accommodation owners, and new entrants to the hotel industry.”
The acquisition strengthens The Lancemore Group’s position in Regional Victorian Hotels and is the newest addition to its portfolio of properties which includes Lindenderry at Red Hill, Lindenwarrah at Milawa and Lancemore Hill at Macedon Ranges.  Julian Clark, CEO, The Lancemore Group, said ““This acquisition is testimony to our aggressive growth strategy in blue-chip properties throughout Regional Australia”. He added, “The Lancemore Group’s track record in delivering for both owners and customers across various economic cycles for over 25 years was the key reason that the investors had the confidence to purchase the Mansion Hotel and Spa.”
The adjoining Shadowfax Winery was offered for sale at the same time and a deal with a local Melbourne investor is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
“This transaction continues the trend which emerged in early 2009 with strong demand for boutique hotels, motels and resorts such as the Voyages lodges and resorts, Lillianfels in the Blue Mountains and The Prince Hotel in Melbourne,” said Aaron Desange, Associate, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.  He added, “Our firm alone sold in excess of $100 million of boutique assets last year in both metropolitan and regional locations across Australia and we are currently marketing a number of similar properties so expect this volume of sales to continue through 2010.”
“Boutique assets have been a popular accommodation choice across Europe, America and Asia for a very long time. What we are now seeing is that investors are viewing this type of accommodation as a growing industry in Australia as travelers are increasingly seeking an experience when choosing accommodation and in a number of locations boutique assets are often considered the best form of accommodation to suit these needs,” said Peter Harper.