The 163-room Museum Art Hotel
in Wellington, New Zealand, has been sold to Sydney's Amalgamated Holdings for US$20 million, with plans to rebrand the property as a QT hotel. Amalgamated owns five other QT hotels in Australia.
Former investment banker Chris Parkin bought the Museum Art Hotel, which was slated to be demolished in 1993 to make way for the building of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and moved the hotel across the street using railway tracks. According to New Zealand's Dominion Post, the hotel arrived at its new destination in perfect condition, and less than one centimeter out of line. Once refurbished, the hotel was filled with Parkin's art collection (which includes a portrait of Prime Minister John Key made up of colored pieces of toast) and his limited edition MV Augusta motorcycle. Parkin told the Dominion Post that the art is not part of the deal, but it will remain in the hotel for three years.
The property has seven meeting rooms, the largest of which holds 200, and a fitness center with a lap pool. The Hippopotamus Restaurant and Bar serves all meals plus a high tea in the afternoon that features delicacies prepared by French-born and -trained pastry chef, David Cadoret. Private dining is available in Le Salon de Louis Roederer and the Billiards Room.