Ghassan Aboud swoops on Sydney hotel

The hotel includes the former Harrington Building.

Ghassan Aboud has added the spectacularly located, unrenovated Sydney Rydges to his local portfolio.

The 176 suite hotel at 55 George Street, The Rocks, incorporating the former Harrington Building, is setting the Syrian born businessman back about $100 million.

It ends a three year search for an appropriate CBD guesthouse to run under Mr Aboud’s Crystalbrook Collection brand.

Longer-term, the new owner will undertake a major refurbishment before rebranding it, chief executive officer, Geoff York, added.

Colliers’ Gus Moors, Karen Wales and George Hudson marketed the asset for New Landmark Hotels, directed by Chandru Tolani, Jack Tolani and David Rickards.

As well as an 80 year head lease, the property includes a rental agreement to Event Hospitality & Entertainment, expiring in 2025.

Rydges makes nine

Rydges Sydney is Cyrstalbrook’s ninth local hotel; elsewhere in Sydney, it retains a pet-friendly, 35-suite Surry Hills investment.

Mr Aboud was in town last week checking out a Newcastle guesthouse – the region’s first rated 5-star – which just replaced a government administration office for which he paid $15.5m in 2019.

In New South Wales, the company also controls a Byron Bay property, the ex-Byron Bay Resort, formerly owned by Gerry Harvey.

Two years ago, Cyrstalbrook snared Brisbane’s distinctive Fantauzzo Hotel from the Deague family, outlaying c$75m (story continues below).

The businessman also owns four Cairns venues.

Sydney Rydges

On 1825 square metres, Sydney Rydges contains two buildings, of six and eight storeys.

A 1980s extension added a glass atrium.

The property also includes a rooftop pool (pictured, top) with postcard Opera House views and a first floor restaurant opening to Playfair St, formerly known as Atherden.

New Landmark Hotels acquired it in 2003.

“The Rydges Sydney Harbour is one of the city’s best located hotels, showcasing many of the icons that make the city so famous,” Chandru Tolani said.

“We have enjoyed great success with the hotel throughout our ownership period, but feel the time is now right to pass the baton onto a new group which can re-imagine the future of this special property,” he added.

The businessman’s Chandry Enterprises two years ago sold a Parramatta office for $40m.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of