By Andy Young

This year's impressive movement of Sydney hotels has continued with the sales of The Dolphin Hotel and Four in Hand.

Both hotels were sold by Ray White Hotels Australia's Asia Pacific director Andrew Jolliffe and colleague Joel Fisher, who have also recently sold The Woollahra Hotel and Paddington's Royal in Sydney's East.

Jolliffe was not willing to disclose the identity of The Dolphin's purchaser, but was about to give some clues as to their profile. 

"Our purchaser is illustrative of the changing complexion of investors in the hospitality sector, in that he has enjoyed considerable success in an alternative but not entirely unrelated industry; and now applies this invaluable retail and marketing experience base to a sector which, fundamentally, is all about retail and marketing" advised Jolliffe.

"The purchaser of the Dolphin Hotel owns other hugely successful hospitality properties in Surry Hills and the broader Eastern Suburbs, and will undoubtedly draw on this knowledge bank to provide the Dolphin with a narrative that will see it participate prominently in the changing face of the Surry Hills and Moore Park precincts over the coming years," he added.

The Dolphin was sold by the Lantern Hotels Group, with CEO John Osborne saying the sale was in line with the group's repositioning strategy.

"The Lantern Board and Management have taken the view that the repositioning of the company is a necessary step to unlocking shareholder value. Accordingly, the divestment of the Dolphin Hotel is both an important and positive step in order to focus the company's core competencies and resources into the areas which will provide the greatest outcome for shareholders" Osborne said.

Jolliffe also worked on the sale of the Four in Hand, which saw celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge sell the venue to Mitchell Waugh's Public House Group for a reported $8 million. 

Waugh is believed to have engaged influential chef Guillaume Brahimi to assist in the new menu at the Four in Hand as well as the nearby The Royal and Woollahra Hotels. 

The Four in Hand Hotel becomes the seventh hotel owned by the Public House Group, joining the Royal and Woollahra as well as the Collaroy, Buena Vista, Forbes and Narellan Hotels.

In a year which has also seen Jolliffe sell, The Newport Arms, The Light Brigade, Mosman's iconic Buena Vista and The Woolwich Pier Hotel, he believes 2016 is headed in a not dissimilar direction. 

"The fundamentals remain so positive. Legislative headwinds are comparatively benign, consumer sentiment is high, debt both cheap and liquid, and the depressed Australian dollar is stimulating inbound visitation rates for our capital cities and tourism precincts across the country. When all distilled, there's little surprise we have a weight of equity and management ability chasing what, in reality, is a disproportionately small number of A-grade investment properties," Jolliffe said.

For more inside information on how to finance growth and where to invest, be sure to attend the Pub Leaders Summit, where Paddy Coughlan, Michael Dixon and Sam Handy will be discussing the topic of hotel real estate. Purchase earlybird tickets at

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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