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From Luxury Hotel To High School Campus

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
From Luxury Hotel To High School Campus

The luxury accommodation and function venue Hotel and Spa du Vin has been sold to Dilworth Trust Board with a view to redeveloping the property into a rural campus for Dilworth School.

The substantial Hotel du Vin property at Mangatawhiri Valley some 45 minutes south of Auckland was this week bought by Dilworth Trust Board for an undisclosed amount. The property was marketed by Bayleys Real Estate on behalf of receivers Korda Mentha. Hotel du Vin was purchased by American investor Ed Aster in 2001 for $8million before getting into financial difficulty.

The purchase by Dilworth encompasses the freehold tenure of the property in two titles - comprising 15 hectares of vineyards and gardens along with 48 boutique rooms, restaurant and bar, reception areas, a sizeable spa complex with nine treatment rooms, and extensive conference facilities and recreational amenities. These include an indoor heated swimming pool, spa pool and three astro turf tennis courts. There is also a stand-alone residential dwelling currently used as staff accommodation.

Bayleys sales consultant Michael Pleciak said Hotel and Spa du Vin was once recognised as one of New Zealand's leading corporate retreats and conference venues, and had also long been a popular wedding location.

"Our marketing approach for the property involved thinking 'outside the square' in terms of potential uses. These included potentially converting Hotel du Vin into a venue suitable for religious, cultural or educational purposes - and this resonated with the Dilworth Trust Board which has seen the opportunity to take the venue in a new direction.

"The tender process drew strong interest from both local and international parties - some of whom had intentions of revamping the site from a hospitality perspective, and others who had specific plans for altering its use."

Hotel du Vin will cease trading its hospitality and accommodation activities in mid-October. Dilworth is scheduled to take vacant possession of the buildings and land on October 30.

Dilworth Trust Board General Manager Martin Thomson anticipated the new campus could be open for occupation in 2012 once alterations had been completed. He forecast that the new campus could sustain 100 boys, with room for further expansion. Dilworth School currently has 546 students on its two existing campuses in Epsom and Remuera - all on scholarships - with applications exceeding places by six to one.

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