Marriott strikes deal with Tim Gurner to bring St. Regis to the Gold Coast
Australia will soon have its first St. Regis hotel after international chain Marriott International struck a deal with property developer Gurner to bring the brand to the Gold Coast.
The St. Regis Gold Coast Resort will feature as one of the three towers in the luxury $1.7bn La Pelago resort-style project planned in the high-end Budds Beach precinct. The hotel is slated to open in 2025.
The deal was struck in just 27 days of negotiations, which kicked off after Gurner ran an exhaustive expression-of-interest campaign for an operator.
The hotel will comprise about 185 rooms and suites with sweeping ocean and hinterland views. It will also have signature services, including a bespoke butler service, as it competes for guests against a wave of new luxury properties in the area.
Just last month, Marriott International struck a separate deal to open a Ritz-Carlton in 2026 on the Gold Coast. The chain partnered with local developers Pelligra and Giannarelli on that project, which is part of the $480m waterfront development at Mariner’s Cove on The Spit.
At the time, Marriott told The Australian that the international hotelier was constantly looking for new opportunities in the region, with the Olympics proving a rare vector for growth over the next decade.
The new hotels will be up against some other recently opened properties. In June, The Langham Hospitality Group unveiled its luxury resort hotel on the Gold Coast. It is situated between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach in the tallest of the three Jewel towers, which are controlled by AWH Investment Group.
Marriott International vice-president, hotel development, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Richard Crawford said the latest project aligns perfectly with the hotelier’s premium brand.
“This signing of The St. Regis Gold Coast Resort in Australia is momentous for Marriott International, and a wonderful advancement for the destination,” Mr Crawford said.
“The St. Regis brand promises a vanguard spirit steeped in history and tradition and is synonymous with global luxury.”
Mr Crawford is backing the luxury-focused Gurner operation to deliver a top project.
“(Gurner’s) well-earned reputation for excellence and vision for the Gold Coast aligns exceptionally well with the very high standards we set for every St. Regis hotel around the world and we look forward to bringing to life an iteration of the brand that is modern, aspirational and befits the lifestyle and energy of the Gold Coast,” he said.
The mixed-use La Pelago project will sport 12,000sq m of lifestyle amenities, including luxury residential homes and more than 5500sq m of international hospitality and retail space.
The hotel development includes an expansive porte cochere as well as a specialty restaurant, a world-class sky bar, pool bar and exquisite lounge, and spa, along with a luxurious penthouse collection.
As part of the project, a signature Bloody Mary cocktail will be crafted within the St. Regis Bar to reflect the Gold Coast, a tradition that began when the cocktail was first created at the brand’s New York location in the 1940s.
The world-famous hotel holds a special place in the heart of Gurner chief executive Tim Gurner’s heart, with the same St. Regis on Fifth Ave proving the backdrop of the developer’s first meeting with his now wife Aimee. He said he believed his “favourite hotel” would “perfectly complement” his vision for the area.
“We think the addition of such an illustrious and exclusive hotel brand will put the Gold Coast right back on the top of luxury travellers’ lists, and make it one of the hottest tourism markets in the world,” the property mogul said.
While there are new brands entering the local market, there are also several hotels on offer, including the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort that is being shopped around by a consortium including Star Entertainment.
A $114m deal to purchase the Gold Coast’s most prominent Palazzo Versace hotel at Main Beach separately fell apart last month, leaving the future of that branded property uncertain.
Mr Gurner recently cemented his multibillion-dollar pipeline in Queensland’s southeast with a new headquarters in the state. Gurner has also secured a $1.75bn fund for its build-to-sell business, after obtaining capital backing worth $400m from Singaporean institution GIC to develop sites across Australia.