Pelligra, Giannarelli Secure Ritz-Carlton for $480m Coast Project

Hospitality giant Marriott International will bring its luxury hotel brand The Ritz-Carlton to the Gold Coast in 2026, its third hotel in as many years after a two-decade Australian hiatus.

The luxury hotel brand will take up residency in a proposed $480-million hotel and superyacht marina at Mariners Cove in Main Beach being developed by Melbourne-based developers Pelligra Group and Giannarelli Group.

Marriott vice-president of hotel development in Australia and New Zealand Richard Crawford said the hotelier had been drawn to the property’s “enviable” waterfront location at the prestigious northern end of the Gold Coast.

“Marriott is recognized as the global leader in the upper upscale and luxury segments,” Crawford said.

“The agreement for The Ritz-Carlton Gold Coast is a profound indication of strong investor confidence, buoyed by a resurgent affluent domestic travel market.

“It is a momentous signing, not only for our growing Gold Coast portfolio but for the expansion of the Ritz-Carlton brand in Australia.”

Gold Coast project
▲ If approved, the ageing Mariner’s Cove shopping centre will be demolished to make way for the lifestyle precinct and new The Ritz-Carlton hotel. Image: Kennon

The high-end hotel brand returned to Australian shores after an 18-year hiatus in 2019 when the 205-room Perth Ritz-Carlton opened its doors. Next year it will open a Ritz-Carlton overlooking Southern Cross Station in the Melbourne CBD.

The Ritz-Carlton, Gold Coast will mark the third Marriott property on the Gold Coast, joining Marriott’s existing hotels JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa, and Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast.

Developers Ross Pelligra and Dion Giannarelli acquired the 1.15ha land lease and 2.8ha sea-bed lease with 100 marina berths at 60 Seaworld Drive in a $54-million off-market sale from Chinese developer Ridong late last year. 

In August, The Urban Developer flagged the duo’s development application designed by architecture firm Kennon, outlining plans for an avant-garde, U-shaped project spanning 100m along the Broadwater between Marina Mirage and the Southport Yacht Club. 

Giannarelli said the development’s initial scheme, attention to detail and high-quality finishes had meant it could attract a brand of the calibre of The Ritz-Carlton.

“The Gold Coast had always been Australia’s most prestigious playground, and once completed, The Ritz-Carlton, Gold Coast will elevate the city’s tourism pedigree to an entirely new level of energy and quality,” he said.

“It will redefine Main Beach and The Spit.”

Dion Giannarelli and Ross Pelligra with Richard Crawford and Carlton Ervin
▲ Dion Giannarelli and Ross Pelligra with Richard Crawford and Carlton Ervin of Marriott International. Image: Supplied

Pelligra echoed the sentiment and said the hotel would not only fuel the local economy but draw in more tourism spending from across the globe.

The new hotel will feature 150 guest rooms and suites and a planned 275sq m suite as well as a signature restaurant featuring semi-opened kitchens, a cafe, and three bars including a lobby lounge, destination bar and poolside bar.

An outdoor rooftop pool, fitness centre and signature spa are also planned as well as a 600sq m function space, including a 500sq m ballroom and 250sq m outdoor pre-function space.

The development will also feature a large boardwalk and amphitheatre that will offer an events program of local and international talent, musicians and performers.

Pelligra said the groups were now looking to break ground by the second half of 2023.

Pelligra and Giannarelli will also redevelop the existing marina, extending it to include 4000sq m of additional sea lease area accommodating up to 70 superyachts—each one up to 45 metres.

Marriott will soon launch its Ritz-Carlton collection of superyachts, with the potential for one to dock at the Gold Coast marina. Three custom-built yachts will each feature 149 suites, each with its own private terrace, and accommodate up to 298 guests.

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