DESIGN & BUILD
HISTORIC YOUTH HOTEL FIT FOR MODERN TIMES “T SYDNEY’S AUSTRALIAN YOUTH HOTEL GETS REJUVENATING MAKEOVER TO BECOME THE GLEBE HOTEL. CRAIG HAWTIN-BUTCHER REVEALS HOW THIS SINGLE-SITE FAMILYOWNED OPERATOR HAS MODERNISED TO STAY COMPETITIVE.
his industry is super-competitive and if you don’t reinvest in your business, you’re certainly going to lose marketshare.” That’s the verdict of Daniel Nissen, co-owner of the newly renamed Glebe Hotel in Sydney, which has just undergone a major sevenmonth renovation. Formerly known as the Australian Youth Hotel, Daniel owns the hotel alongside his brother Zelman, their mother, sister and, before his passing, their father. The result, says Jerry Bull, Principal of the project’s designers Alexander & Co, is “beautiful and reverential. It is textural, material and historically intriguing while still having a clear sense of spontaneity.” The Zelmans represent a family-owned, single operator hotel and have owned the historic hotel
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since May 2012. They were no strangers to major renovations, having previously owned Dirty Nelly’s in Sydney’s Paddington district for 16 years, until they sold up in 2013. “We ran both of them for about a year and a half,” says Daniel. “We’d done a major renovation in that hotel as well, so we understood the process. Even back in those days it was very expensive. It’s even more expensive now. We knew it was going to take a significant sum, to be able to do what we wanted to do.”
ALL CHANGE What they’ve done to the 460 sqm heritage-listed hotel, established in 1862, is dug out a new cellar beneath the public bar, which now accommodates up to 40 kegs plus additional chiller space and new utilities equipment.