The popular and distinctive Hotel Hotel in the Nishi Building in New Acton will change hands from 1 March with Molonglo Group selling the hotel and the hatted Monster kitchen and bar businesses to the Hong-Kong based Ovolo Hotels.
Hotel Hotel’s new name is yet to be decided but the new owners are promising few changes to the business that has captured the imagination of Canberrans and visitors alike.
The private sale between the Canberra-based artisan-focused property developer and creative production house and Ovolo Hotels includes the businesses, operations and the staff in the hotel and restaurant. All employees will be retained.
As owners of the NewActon Precinct and the Nishi Building, Molonglo Group said it would continue to be involved in the precinct through its cultural program.
Ovolo said the change would increase opportunities for staff to travel and work on a broader range of Ovolo Hotels’ projects nationally and internationally.
It said the move represented Ovolo Hotels’ continued aspiration to add boutique hotels to its group.
CEO Girish Jhunjhnuwala said Ovolo Hotels had been well received in Australia and “we are proud to bring our signature concept to the Australian capital. We believe this venture is the perfect alignment and are delighted to be associated with this property.”
Ovolo COO Dave Baswal, said the group was looking forward to entering the Canberra market with “this incredible asset”.
Ovolo Hotels will now operate in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, after adding three hotels to its portfolio in the past six months.
Molonglo Group director Nectar Efkarpidis said the deal would allow it to focus on new projects in Canberra and beyond, with Molonglo working on a number of architecture, design, cultural and experimental projects in 2018 across Australia and overseas.
Molonglo Group has operated Hotel Hotel since 2013, running it alongside its cultural and artistic program of events.
“Hotel Hotel will continue without its physical embodiment in the form of our creative projects, through film and publishing, exploring ideas around the purpose of place and how we fit into it,” Mr Efkarpidis said.
Mr Efkarpidis said the Molonglo Group wanted to do something special in both Canberra and Australia.
“I think we’ve achieved that. Hotel Hotel was the physical manifestation of ideas that we had been exploring for several years. About architecture, design, objects and furniture; and how they can help us to evolve and expand Canberra’s civic sense of itself with others,” he said.
“We are proud of Hotel Hotel. The goodwill that we have received through this project from collaborators and staff that we have worked with over the last few years has been enormous. Through it, we have made lifelong friends.”
Molonglo Group is a property developer and creative production house that works alongside artists, designer-makers, architects, writers, researchers and curators to actively conceive of design and deliver its projects. It has offices and active projects in Canberra, Melbourne, London and Athens.