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Big plans for the former Palazzo Versace now in the works

The former Palazzo Versace has sold to a cashed-up buyer with biga plans.

The Gold Coast institution which now trades as the Imperial Hotel, was once a luxury six-star landmark.

The unnamed buyer plans to restore its reputation as a luxury destination.
Hotel general manager Richard Clarke said the venue was in advanced talks with the mystery buyer but wasn’t yet able to reveal details.

“I cannot disclose who it is but a lot of time and energy has been put in here,” he said.

“In the coming days we will be able to disclose who that is.

“There are some very big plans to regenerate this entire hotel”.

It is understood the buyer has toured the building and discussed the revamp of the property. It comes as construction is set to begin on high-end accommodation on neighbouring Spit properties.

The House of Versace walked away from the property less than a year ago, when the fashion icon decided not to renew its branding with Palazzo Versace hotel owner Dong Run Group.

Constructed in the late 1990s under the Versace branding by the now-defunct Sunland, it officially opened its doors in September 2000 and has welcomed the likes of Bono from U2, Beyonce, Jay Z, Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame, and Snoop Dogg.

In 2012, the Dong Run Group acquired the 200-room luxury hotel for $68.5 million through Nanbai Australia, a company established by the group's chairman, Jing Lin Zuo. The acquisition involved several shareholders from China and Australia.

In October 2022, it was disclosed that Shakespeare Property Group had intended to purchase the Palazzo Versace for $114 million. However, later notifications to the hotel staff and condominium owners revealed the termination of the deal. Various other luxury hotel chains, including Hilton Worldwide, were reportedly engaged in discussions to acquire the hotel and incorporate it into their Waldorf Astoria portfolio. The projected refurbishment costs for the building were anticipated to exceed $58 million.



Jonathan Jackson, 7th February 2024