With investment plans to the tune of $1 billion, premium hospitality brand, Crystalbrook Collection, is rapidly expanding its portfolio of assets under management, with an initial focus on Australia.
Established in early 2016, Crystalbrook Collection expands the Ghassan Aboud Group’s interests in the hotel industry, property and tourism sectors. Now, Australia’s buoyant economy and strong tourism sector make it an excellent destination to begin operations for the hospitality arm of the business.
Commenting on the rationale behind starting with Australia, Ghassan Aboud—promoter and Chairman of the group—said “Australia has a very strong economy and other strong markets around it, such as Japan, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s also a stable market for the hospitality sector. Initially we studied Europe but, in the end, we opted for Australia.”
The naming of the brand was inspired by the purchase of the Crystalbrook Station, a 35,000-hectare cattle station in northern Queensland Australia. The pastoral activities at the Crystalbrook Station will play an important role in the hospitality story, with the products served at the hotels and restaurants delivered directly from the station. On this station sits Crystalbrook Lodge, one of the esteemed luxury lodges of Australia. The group also acquired three fattening farms to complement the station and enhance the output.
Crystalbrook Collection’s hospitality portfolio includes an impressive collection of assets: Crystalbrook Hotel Riley in Cairns (opened November 2018); Little Albion in Sydney (operational); Crystalbrook Lodge; Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina; and MV Bahama, a luxury 90-foot motor vessel berthed in Port Douglas, Queensland. Two more properties in Cairns—Bailey and Flynn—are scheduled to open in 2019.
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is Queensland’s northernmost marina and one of Australia’s premier nautical destinations. Located in Port Douglas, Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the renowned and pristine northern reef, the wonders of the Coral Sea, the Daintree Rainforest, local Indigenous history and culture, and lush tropical Far North Queensland.
Crystalbrook has revealed the designs of its trophy asset at Port Douglas, which include a multi-use hotel, marina, F&B and entertainment complex. The marina is already operational, alongside associated retail components.
As part of the expansion plans, the company recently acquired the City Administration Centre in Newcastle. Crystalbrook plans to convert the building into a 5-star hotel named “Kinsley”. Crystalbrook Collection CEO Mark Davie, said “The structure as you look at it now is not going to change vastly. It’s a beautiful structure, and we love it. As far as we’re concerned, we can only improve upon it.”
Having made a significant impact in the landscape of Australia’s hospitality industry, Crystalbrook is in growth mode, with ambitions to expand even further globally in the coming years.