A new trackside hotel to be built at Royal Randwick will give guests a view down the home straight and club members another spot to wine and dine on carnival days.
The Australian Turf Club (ATC) and the NSW Government on Thursday unveiled plans for the four-star hotel complex which will be built at the Alison Road end of the track, near the members’ stand at Sydney’s oldest racecourse.
Guests staying at the 170-room, five-floor Adina hotel will have front row balcony views as horses cross the winning post, while up to 3000 members will be able to enjoy the terrace bars and restaurants on race days.
ATC chairman John Cornish said he was “over the moon” about the project.
“You only have to look out that window and down the famous Randwick straight to see just what a great view it will be,” Cornish said.
Under the agreement with Adina, the ATC will manage a large area external to the hotel that will host racegoers “in comfort” and extend raceday festivities beyond normal hours.
The hotel facade will feature an abstract mural depicting horses to ensure it “stands out like a beacon”, Cornish said.
Located on the opposite side of the track to the trainers’ stabling complexes, trackwork will not be affected by the hotel’s activities.
NSW Racing Minister George Souris said the project would elevate Australia’s racing industry and set it among the world’s finest.
“It may well become the pre-eminent example around the world of this new, exciting concept of a hotel literally being part of a racecourse,” Souris said.
He could not confirm the pricetag for the enormous project, but club chief executive Darren Pearce said it would be funded entirely by the ATC.
“This is government land and we received the government’s permission to do this because of the economic and social benefits it will generate,” Pearce said.
He added the project was not part of the current $150 million upgrade to Randwick’s grandstand and stable facilities, which started last November.
Leading Randwick trainer Gai Waterhouse said the idea of having a hotel at the racecourse was brilliant.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Waterhouse said.
“It brings people to the racecourse and they might end up spending their money there.”
Construction of the hotel is expected to start later this year with its completion scheduled for the end of 2014.