The majestic South-West heritage-listed Caves House in Yallingup has been put on the market in a forced sale after a group of companies owned by Tourism Council WA president Paul King collapsed and was put in the hands of receivers.
The 105-year-old art deco hotel, built by the State Government to help attract tourists to visit the nearby Yallingup caves, plus the heritage-listed gardens that span 1.7ha have been put up for sale by receivers McGrathNicol.
Also part of the package are the well-known heritage-listed surf shack and general store, the residential Heritage Winery Room, which has three bedrooms and bathrooms, and the former manager's quarters which sit on an a 1.9ha development site next to Caves House.
The hotel, long popular for weddings, honeymoons and posh functions, fell into hard times during the global financial crisis.
In December 2008, Mr King said it was at only 65 per cent occupancy during the Christmas-New Year period when it would usually be full.
Mr King poured millions into restoring the stately hotel and developed 36 serviced apartments forming the Seashells Resort Yallingup on the site. The resort apartments which are managed by Seashells Hospitality Group, of which Mr King is managing director, are individually owned and are not in receivership and not for sale.
The sale of the hotel comes more than a year after three of Mr King's companies, Homestead Holdings, Yallingup Ridge and Comet Bay Properties, were put into administration. A number of his development projects in Scarborough, Mandurah and Yallingup have already been sold by the receivers.
David Kennedy of CB Richard Ellis, who is marketing the hotel, said although it had not yet been advertised, there had been interest from local and interstate investors, owner operators and developers and offshore interest was also expected. "It is rare for such an iconic property known to many West Australians and Eastern States visitors to be offered for sale," he said. "It is a beautiful building steeped in history."
Mr Kennedy said the receivers did not want the expected price to be disclosed. The hotel, which was built in 1905 and rebuilt in 1938, has refurbished luxury rooms on the first floor, a guest lounge, fine-dining restaurant and a popular bar.
Mr King was not available for comment. Offers for the hotel close on August 25.
- Commercial property *