Wine town's majestic focal point for sale
Martinborough's grand old lady is looking for the right buyer.
The two-storey, 120-year-old Martinborough Hotel, which overlooks The Square, has long been a favourite of visitors.
Originally put on the market in 2010, it was repainted last year and has recently been entered into a sales and marketing agreement with the Heritage Boutique Collection of hotels.
"It's looking really sharp," said Peter Wilkin of Colliers International. "It's a beautiful, unique property."
The hotel's 1995 refurbishment was credited with helping establish Martinborough's reputation as a trendy wine centre.
With a latest RV of $2.3 million - "a pretty reasonable guide" - it was for sale by negotiation, Wilkin said.
The agreement with the Heritage Boutique Collection had already proved beneficial to the occupancy figures for 2012.
"Like every other business it's struggled through the recession, but recently it's started to pick up again, so that's really positive," he said.
The 3465-square-metre property consists of a freehold site with four road frontages in two titles, 16 guest rooms, plus a conference and function room.
It also generates rent through the established restaurant and bar on the ground floor.
The hotel was built in 1882 by hotelier Edmund Buckeridge, who described it at the time as ''one of the finest hostelries ever erected in any inland town in New Zealand''.
A way station for prosperous travellers to and from South Wairarapa's huge, isolated sheep stations, its grand facade has been a focal point for the town ever since.
Like many country hotels, it has had a colourful history but its fortunes changed in 1996, when it was fully restored by Mike and Sally Laven to provide a top-quality hotel to complement the burgeoning wine industry.
On completion of the renovation, the hotel comprised 11 guest rooms, a 90-seat restaurant and a public bar.
In 2000, five new rooms were built to cater for group and conference business in particular. More changes were made in late 2003 when the conference and function room was expanded.
The property would suit an owner-occupier, Wilkin said. "It's a lovely building, it just requires the right buyer."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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