Hilton Surfers Paradise owner makes five-star upgrade offer
Fresh from his recent $70 million acquisition of the Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel, the nation’s largest private hotelier Jerry Schwartz has invited the owners of the attached 150 Hilton Residences apartments to remain in the Hilton letting pool if they agree to upgrade their units to the same standards as the five-star hotel.
Across the Gold Coast, apartment hotel owners are attempting to force unit owners to maintain standards and are simultaneously trying to muscle out third-party operators such as Airbnb, Dr Schwartz says.
The Hilton Residences offer one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments and include access to Hilton’s services and facilities including in-room dining, 24-hour reception with housekeeping visiting every three days.
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Apart from buying the twin tower hotel last week, Dr Schwartz also picked up the residence’s management rights and the strata caretaking role.
“I bought the investment there and I want to increase the value of the investment and in the same way I would like to assist people in units to upgrade them.
“Their apartments would have much better value if it were a residency attached to a five-star hotel,” Dr Schwartz told The Australian.
“We have a common goal: both Hilton and I want to improve the standards and not bastardise the hotel. The hotel and Hilton Residences have to have a high standard,” he says.
Dr Schwartz concedes he had initially threatened to remove the Hilton management when he purchased the hotel — his first purchase in Queensland. And he is still considering separating the management of the hotel and apartment complex, adding that he wants to maximise the amount of conferencing the hotel attracts.
He is encouraging owners to upgrade their apartments at about half the normal cost and is offering unit owners access to free Wi-Fi for their guests.
“We are looking into a heavily subsidised upgrade package to bring your unit to a higher standard, which in turn will drive higher rates,” Dr Schwartz says in a recent letter to apartment owners. “This will be significantly subsidised by our company as it is in the interests of everyone in the property to build a higher reputation for quality.” But he says if owners do not improve their apartments he will not allow them to continue to use the Hilton Residence name.
Dr Schwartz says unless apartments are upgraded to a luxury standard they will be branded Orchid or Boulevard residences and he will set up a website to help owners market their apartments under this branding.
“My goal is to raise the standards and rates achieved at both the hotel and the apartments in the Hilton residence pool, while decreasing costs and adding extra value,” Dr Schwartz says in the letter sent in both English and Chinese.
This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.