Salter Brothers buy historic Southern Highlands estate

Milton Park Country Hotel and Spa at Bowral.

Melbourne based fund manager Salter Brothers has acquired another venue for its portfolio of luxury regional retreats.

The Bowral venue featured in Married at First Sight in 2021.

The Milton Park Country House Hotel and Spa, on 11 hectares at 200 Hordern Road, Bowral, in the Southern Highlands, is costing the manager a speculated $20 million.

The vendor, China backed Yufun Australia, paid $13m in 2014.

That seller was the Dobler family which acquired it and adjoining land for $7m in 1998 from high profile chef Adrian Zecha’s Aman Resorts who spent $8m five years earlier.

The property featured as the location where nuptials took place in Married at First Sight two years ago.

Reposition planned

The Hordern family, founders of an eponymous Sydney department store, developed Milton Park as a cattle farm in 1910.

Amongst its other private owners was the Baillieu family.

It became a hospitality investment in 1985, with a hotel, and was recently extended to contain 44 guest suites and a wellness centre with gym and indoor pool.

The grounds contain tennis courts and an events and conference pavilion within the gardens.

“Milton Park is a beautiful asset of significant heritage in a highly sought after destination,” Salter managing director, Paul Salter, said.

“We have plans to substantially refurbish and reposition the estate as a leading boutique luxury lifestyle retreat in the region,” he added (story continues below).

The Sofitel Adelaide was the city’s first 5-star hotel in 33 years.

“The property will complement our portfolio of boutique luxury hotels and retreats,” according to the executive.

Salter Brothers boosts portfolio

Established in 2015 by Mr Salter and his brother, Robert, the management now controls about 4800 rooms.

Last year, Salter Brothers paid Flight Centre co-founder Graham Turner and his wife, Jude, a speculated $130m for six of the 10 freeholds and eight leaseholds – Spicers Retreats – including assets in regional New South Wales and Queensland.

“Following completion of the acquisitions of the Spicers Retreat portfolio and Milton Park, the number of properties under management will increase to 31,” Mr Salter said.

It would also be worth c$300m. – excluding a speculated $150m purchase we reported a fortnight ago, for Adelaide’s Sofitel – the city’s first 5-star hotel in 33 years.

In the Queensland capital, it paid Challenger c$150m for the Next Hotel Brisbane, once known as the Lennons Hill .

Salter Brothers also, for a fund, was behind the 2020 deal for of 11 Travelodge hotels and the Travelodge brand for $600m.

Mirvac and NRMA were those sellers.

MinterEllison and Napier and Brakeley represented Salter Brothers for the Bowral purchase.

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Marc Pallisco

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