The Black Rhino Group has added the historic Craig’s Royal Hotel in Ballarat to its portfolio, which already contains 14 pubs, in a deal worth more than $12 million.

The deal was brokered by JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Vice-President, Will Connolly, who said bids were received from a wide range of parties.

“As you can imagine there was a lot of interest for a hotel with such a rich history and an extensive multi-million-dollar restoration,” Connolly said.

“Not only does Craig’s Royal offer arguably Victoria’s most elegant boutique accommodation, but it also a business that provides a foundation of gaming income generated by 45 EGMs.”

The hotel’s owners John and Mary Finning, who bought the property in 1999, decided to put the hotel on the market after owning it for two decades. They will retain their other hotel interest, The Settlement hotel in Cranbourne.

“It’s hard to see it go, but I am sure Dave and his team at the Black Rhino Group will enjoy it as much as we did,” Mr Finning said.

The hotel has undergone a number of renovations and modifications during its 167-year history, although the extensive renovation carried out by the Finnings from 2003 to 2010, was the most significant.

The interior was transformed which included gutting and rebuilding the accommodation to create 37 boutique rooms, developing the highly acclaimed restaurant The Gallery and revamping all the function rooms.

The Black Rhino Group already owns 14 hotels including the Railway Club Hotel in Seymour, the Victoria Hotel in Shepparton with the remaining 12 pubs located throughout suburban Melbourne including the Richmond Social in Swan St, Richmond, the Hampton Park Tavern, the Ivanhoe Hotel, the Royal Oak Hotel in Cheltenham and the Waterloo Cup Hotel in Moonee Ponds.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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