New owners' plans for Novotel Northbeach

North Wollongong's Novotel Northbeach is being sold to the Oscars Hotels group, owners of the Towradgi Beach Hotel.

The new owners say they plan to target more business from conferences, and staff have been told all their jobs are safe.

The Mercury understands contracts have been exchanged for the sale, with settlement to be completed in April.

Oscars representative Damien Cameron said the new owners would renovate the lobby, improve dining, and try to attract more conferences.

"We are keen to update the accommodation and lobby area of the hotel: we see a great deal of potential for the site to bring back a number of large groups who may have opted to take their conference and group business to other regional areas," he said.

"We would like to work with the food on offer and bring some new and exciting food concepts to the Illawarra."

Mr Cameron said the Novotel appealed to his company as it was the "premium" hotel on the South Coast.

"We have always believed that the Illawarra is home to some of the best beaches in Australia; we see the hotel as having great positioning that presents picturesque and scenic views of the coastline," he said.

"The diversity of the business and what it offers from a leisure and entertainment perspective has made a positive impact on local tourism, hence why this opportunity appealed to us so much."

Novotel Northbeach general manager Walter Immoos said the purchase would be good news for the 204-room operation, with improvements in the wind.

"If you have new owners, they normally look at the potential to take it to the next level," he said.

"I think it's a positive thing - it's exciting, it's going to be good for the region."

Mr Immoos said it was business as usual for staff.

It is understood the Novotel will continue to be run by hotel management group Accor.

The four-star Novotel Northbeach will be a step up for the Oscars group, which owns several venues across the Sydney region including the Annandale Hotel, Bankstown Hotel, Campbelltown's Court Tavern and the Holiday Inn at Warwick Farm.

The vendor, Canadian asset management group Brookfield, has owned the Novotel since taking over from its previous owner Thakral in 2012. The new owner is an Oscars subsidiary called Northbeach Properties.

The sale appears to have been some time in the making, with reports of Oscars trying to buy the hotel surfacing six months ago.

Last August Oscars denied reports co-owner Bill Gravanis had offered Brookfield $48 million for the Novotel. Oscars would not confirm the sale price yesterday.

Novotel Northbeach will undergo a lobby facelift. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Novotel Northbeach will undergo a lobby facelift. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR


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