Martyn Downs buys Bowral's Royal Hotel

Martyn Downs buys Bowral's Royal Hotel
Martyn Downs buys Bowral's Royal Hotel

Childcare magnate Martyn Downs has purchased Bowral's recently refurbished Royal Hotel.

It is where the Southern Highlands rich and famous are served their local sauvignon blanc by the new licensee Peter Dean and wife Kate, whose family are the longtime publicans at the Lord Dudley in Woollahra.

The departing Royal landlords, the Feli family had wanted $5 million plus for the past two or so years.

It is not Downs' first pub, but having a 70 acre black Angus cattle farm at Bundanoon, this one will be handier than his previous Moree venture.

Downs was attracted to the main street acquisition given the inclusion of shops, restaurant and accommodation in the popular tourism destination. 

"It is the first iconic building you see when you arrive in town," Richardson & Wrench selling agent Mick Maloney noted.

Geoff Harvey, the fondly remembered musician from Channel 9's Midday show, is among the regulars at the pub, and also teaches music lessons as one of the seven shop tenants.

Downs' wife Helena, their five daughters - and one son - are always keen for a shop given the likes of Seed, Witchery and Rodd & Gunn emerging on the main strip in the town where Harris Farms grocery has now expanded for the fourth time.

The Downs couple also have the eight bedroom holiday rental property, La Belle Vie at Bundanoon.

Downs has been an operator and developer of childcare centres since 1992, seizing the opportunity of the past 18 months to sell some of his leasehold businesses into the listed G8 group while keeping the freehold.

This article first appeared in The Saturday Daily Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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