A near-200-year-old historic Tasmanian boutique hotel is up for sale for the first time since its award-winning restoration in 2005.
The Woodbridge on the Derwent boutique Hotel in New Norfolk encompasses nine bedrooms and bathrooms across 1000 square metres, and is located in one of Australia’s oldest mansions dating back to 1825.
The building features Georgian era multi-paned windows, cedar fire surrounds, open wood fire places and doric columns.
The hotel is on the banks of Derwent River, 35 kilometres north-west of Hobart and close to the Museum of Old and New Art, or MONA.
The sale is being marketed by Unique Estates agent Dominic Romeo, who said the hotel was “perfectly positioned to capture the strong national and international tourism market”. It is expected to fetch at least $5 million.
Tourism is booming in Tasmania, with the island state recording strong growth in domestic and international visitors. Almost 1.3 million people visited in the 12 months to September 2017, up 8 per cent on the previous year, according to the latest Tasmanian Visitor Survey.
Mr Romero said the Woodbridge was uniquely placed to take advantage of this.
“It’s historically significant and it’s all set up for someone to come in and take it to another level. It’s one of those properties that suits a lot of different users in terms of tourism and hospitality, and it’s ready to go.”
The hotel’s rooms offer views of the river and the Mt Field National Park. According to its listing the Woodbridge is Tasmania’s only AAA-accredited five-star hotel, and the only member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World in the state.
The sale also includes dining and seating areas, along with a three-storey pavilion that can be used for functions and weddings for up to 40 guests.
Mr Romeo said the hotel had received significant interest from buyers in the hospitality and tourism fields, and he expects it to remain operating in its current form.
“Every day I’m getting quite a lot of inquiries from right around Australia,” he said. “All of the inquiries are about continuing it the way it is.”
The mansion was opened as a hotel by owners Laurelle and John Grimley in 2007 following large-scale and award-winning restorations in the years prior. It was closed in 2009 due to a family tragedy, and was reopened in 2014, quickly becoming Tasmania’s first and only five-star hotel.
The owners are now selling the hotel to focus on other business ventures, Mr Romeo said.
“They’ve decided to move on from this one, although this is a property that they absolutely love and enjoy,” he says. “This wasn’t an easy decision for them but they are concentrating on other ventures.”
The mansion was first built in 1825 as a private residence for first chief constable Thomas Roadknight for just over £1000. It was sold six years later to George Lindley and run as the Richmond Hill Academy before being sold again to assistant surveyor general William Stanley Sharland in 1833 for £750.
Since then it has changed hands multiple times, and gradually fell into disrepair towards the end of the 20th century. By 2003 the mansion was dilapidated and decaying, before the Grimley family took over and began the restorations.