Hepburn Springs resort snapped up for $4m

Bellinzona Resort at 77 Main Rd, Hepburn Springs has sold in the vicinity of $4 million.
Bellinzona Resort at 77 Main Rd, Hepburn Springs has sold in the vicinity of $4 million.

Hepburn Springs’ historic Bellinzona Resort is set to undergo a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, now Tony De Marco and Theresa Albioli have added it to their portfolio of luxury accommodation properties.

The couple — which owns and manages 65 properties in Victoria’s spa country — paid about $4 million for the 1903-built property north of Daylesford, at 77 Main Rd.

The sprawling almost-1ha site features 43 guest rooms, a large conference and events centre, a restaurant, a cellar door wine bar, an indoor heated pool, a spa, sauna and guest lounges.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group vice president Will Connolly says the popular property attracted a substantial 76 buyer inquiries after being listed with vacant possession in March, by the owners of the past three years.

Tony De Marco and Theresa Albioli have added the grand Bellinzona Resort to their portfolio of properties in the Daylesford area.

An indoor pool was part of the package.

He says De Marco and Albioli emerged ahead of local, interstate and international buyers, the latter from Asia, to take the keys.

The couple has been accumulating properties together since 2015 when, after only three months of knowing each other, they bought the oldest house in Daylesford — the 1853-built Station House. Following a renovation, they rented that property to travellers.

They labelled Bellinzona Resort “a welcome addition to our portfolio … we are incredibly honoured to have bought”.

“(We) look forward to embarking on a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. Bellinzona … will be an exciting destination drawcard for Hepburn Shire,” they say.

Connolly — who had the listing with Nick MacFie — says the property had been a well-known guesthouse throughout its 117 years, also becoming a popular wedding and conference centre.

It has undergone several modifications, renovations, and two rebuilds after being gutted by fire in 1906 and the early 2000s.

He says it was “screaming for a refurbishment”, which could involve setting up a separate hospitality venue like a tapas bar on site.

The property features 43 guest rooms.

The property sprawls across almost 1ha of land.

“The amount of interest was pleasing, even throughout this (coronavirus-impacted) period,” he says.

“Educated purchasers were able to see into the future, to see the potential of the property long term, rather than focus on what’s happening now.

“Results such as these will be significant in restoring confidence in the leisure and conference market.”