Prominent hotelier Ben May has bought a Paddington ‘hotel’, in which he and wife Lucy will live.
The heritage-façade Windsor Castle Hotel, on Windsor Street, has been sold by Rita and Peter Polovin, following an extended project to turn the historic building into one of the Eastern Suburbs’ most prized residential assets.
Speaking exclusively with PubTIC from Barcelona, en-route to the Rugby World Cup Grand Final, May said the latest acquisition – being both a castle and a pub – must qualify him as the “King of Pubs”.
“It was the only way to dethrone Hemmes from the title,” quipped May.
“But the sale price quoted in the news is complete bullshit.”
Having purchased the de-licensed hotel in 2009 from Marcus and Vanessa Levy for around $4 million, the Polovins briefly listed the property – at that stage just the façade and a promising hole in the ground – for $5.5 million. A DA had been secured to convert the structure into a high-end residence, and when the project didn’t sell the couple undertook the build themselves.
It is now a four-storey five-bedroom home, based on an open plan layout around a secluded courtyard. It boasts a five-car basement garage, elevator, designer staircase, theatre, rooftop terrace and five en-suites.
Sale of the property has been reported at $13 million, which the new owner confirms is “highly inaccurate”.
May operates the acclaimed Manly Wharf Hotel and Mrs Sippy bar-restaurant in Double Bay, and reportedly sold the couple’s Newport home recently for over $6 million. The Mays and their four sons are presently living in Bellevue Hill and will move into the new home in January.
“We were in fierce competition with the Waughs for the place,” May said. “Until they realised it was no longer operating as a pub.”