Novotel Brisbane Airport

In December 2009, Novotel Brisbane Airport – the first hotel to be built in the commercial Brisbane airport precinct – opened its doors. Located in the Airport Village Precinct that is emerging as a key commercial, retail and recreational zone, Novotel Brisbane Airport is not only the first hotel in the precinct but it is the first hotel to offer premier business and leisure accommodation in the airport region.


Developed by Kenlynn Properties, the 4½ star hotel features 157 guest rooms and suites, six meeting rooms including an executive boardroom, business facilities, roof top cantilevered lap pool and terrace, Catalina Restaurant and Bar, gymnasium, state-of-the-art technology and an innovative design.

Novotel Brisbane Airport was constructed around an atrium of natural light, with space, style and sophistication in mind. The design goals for the hotel included establishing an identity and legibility within the context of its precinct. Specifically, the hotel creates a relationship with the park to the north and the pedestrian network that will be created by the planned new airtrain station, the hotel’s architecture and planning respecting and acknowledging the hotel’s strength and position.

Novotel Brisbane Airport general manager Alex Penklis worked closely with the architects and consultants during the drafting of Novotel Brisbane Airport and was involved in all aspects of functionality, procurement, technology, fit-out and recruitment during its construction.

Mr Penklis said, “My involvement in the project was basically being hands on in all discussions with suppliers, driving the decision making process, reviewing tenders, making sure all decisions met with Accor brand standards, liaising with Accor and personally interviewing all senior and middle management.”

Mr Penklis commissioned Resort Interiors to construct the hotel’s design package and David Marshall was chosen to implement the hotel’s technology infrastructure.

“Resort Interiors were asked to complete a design package meeting our brief and specifications. They completed the supply of furniture and installation with which the owners were completely happy, both in respect to the product supplied and the professional manner in which Resort Interiors completed the project.


“David Marshall was responsible for the complete technology infrastructure design in conjunction with the client and architect. Followed by a presentation of all the various technology options made to me, Accor representatives and the owner, implementation of the choices that were made was done using various specialty contractors as well as the project manager of the vendors.

“I found David Marshall to be very professional and knowledgeable in all aspects of their operation. Their assistance was very valuable and we were very happy with the outcome and finished product,” Mr Penklis said.

Mr Penklis, a highly experienced accommodation manager, returned home to his native Brisbane for the opportunity to be a part of this significant development.

“Novotel Brisbane Airport marks a milestone in the city’s progress and I feel fortunate to be involved,” he said.

Before joining Novotel Brisbane Airport, Mr Penklis was the general manager of one of the Accor Group’s premier Australian properties, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Prior to that he was general manager of Sofitel Gold Coast and also spent four years as resort general manager of Ayers Rock Resort managed by Voyages Hotels and Resorts.

His international experience also includes running the acclaimed five star Sanoviv Health Retreat in Mexico and five years in Fiji where he operated the Mokusigas Resort, the Tanoa Group of six hotels and the exclusive Turtle Island resort.

In addition to his position as general manager, Mr Penklis’ role extends to group general manager accommodation division for Kenlynn Properties Australia.

“I am involved with the running and development of all their tourism projects,” he said.
By Alexia Purcell

Case Study: Novotel Brisbane Airport

Project managing the technology


Not long after Kenlynn Properties finalised the initial design with Noel Robinson Architects for an ambitious new international hotel project within the Brisbane Airport Corporation precinct, DAVD Consulting Engineers were appointed in a specialist consulting role to undertake three set tasks in conjunction with the building design team.

The first of these was the specification, design and procurement by tender of all AV, IT and communications infrastructure and with additional care and attention to the connectivity and rules associated with the connectivity to the Brisbane Airport Corporation’s own methodology for delivery of services within the airport precinct.

Following this, DAVD undertook the task of specification, design and instigation of the complete IT and communications hardware and software packages at tender, followed by project management of all services and tendered packages including Technology and IT services coordination, PABX specification, review and instigation.

About mid-point through the early design stage, Kenlynn made the choice to become part of the Accor family and the new Novotel Brisbane Airport Hotel was formed.

A quick review and several lengthy meetings between the Kenlynn design team and the Accor team to ensure everything including the proposed technology complied with the Novotel brand standards and we were all on our way forward with virtually no interruption.

The architectural plans, once finalised and signed off by both parties, revealed a generous ground level guest welcoming statement and reception (with concealed back of house offices for up to 20 administration staff) in an open plan format with a soaring five level atrium over to accommodate the 159 rooms on these five levels.

Also situated on this ground level around the perimeter of the building are a series of conference rooms configurable by the automation system for up to six concurrent separate meetings/ conferences as well as the entry to the impressive main bar and dining facility.

Discreet digital signage at the main entry and outside each conference room, provides for the necessary directions and description of each conference and the companies involved in each conference.

The following breakdown is indicative of the technologies fully designed to detail by DAVD to ensure seamless compatibility between not only the technologies themselves but also the installation styles, techniques and timing of the multitude of contractors and vendors chosen at tender:

As this project is situated in the Brisbane Airport Precinct, a set of rigid guidelines provided by BAC (as well as services provided by BAC such as telephony, fire services and others) required design integration outside the normal situation most often encountered by either DAVD or Accor.

PIVIT is the communications carrier for the BAC community – all services are fibre fed to the premises and with the bonus of one of the highest Internet speed and bandwidth feeds available in Australia.

These incoming services were terminated by PIVIT in a Phobot within the IT and communications room, situated discreetly and centrally on the ground floor, for the conversion to normal digital and analogue services as we are all used to dealing with.

Services provided included ISDN for telephony, PSTN services for lift communications and as back up communications for fire services and multiple high speed Internet connections including that used for guest high speed Internet.

John Love Electrical had already been appointed by the Principal as the electrical engineers and contractors for the project and it fell to them to manage a broad range of additional and specialist infrastructure including:

• IT and communications room – complete racking, UPS and cable management design and specification

• Fibre block cabling, Cat 3 and/or Cat 5 copper distribution for telephony

• Certified Cat 5e and Cat 6 distribution for data

• Audio visual and security cabling

• Free to air (analogue and digital) television reception and distribution

• Master antenna TV, pay television and satellite TV distribution

With the infrastructure package finally designed and in the competent hands of JLE, requests for pricing were issued for a specialist audio visual and security contracting firm. JVG Sound, Lighting and Audio were chosen at tender to undertake extensive works in the following fields:

• Background music hardware and programming (content by Satellite Music Australia)

• Conferencing multiroom/multizone audio and video distribution and processing (utilising a Crestron control system)

• Fixed and pan /tilt/zoom camera systems with camera footage digital recording & archiving

• Digital signage (foyer entry statement plus conferencing) software and content by Moving Tactics

• Flight Information displays (both at reception and in-room) – content BAC

• Internet (Lan/Wan) CCTV monitoring – in conjunction with Kytec as IT administrators

A comprehensive tender package was released for the provision and installation plus ongoing 24-hour remote (and local) support of the IT networks and hardware, comprising multiple servers, all administration PCs including the reception terminals and all printers and sundry IT equipment throughout the complex.

Western Australia–based Kytec Group was successful in their tender. IT administration by Kytec also included the supervision and assistance with installing all third party software systems onto the networks and servers including Fidelio Opera, Micros Point of Sale systems, Sun Accounting, Wageasy Payroll and all other interfaces inc Onity door locking, FCS Winsuite, Movielink and others.

With numerous other successful PABX installations around Australia for the Accor chain, Integ provided the winning tender response for the supply, installation and ongoing support of the chosen Alcatel PABX, digital administration handsets, all guestroom and common area phones (including all lift lobbies) as well as a number of PABX intercoms and emergency intercoms with interfacing to the property management system for call accounting, voicemail and guest wake up calls (using the FCS Winsuite software application).

Movielink (again with a very successful relationship with Accor and multiple installations throughout Australia) provided the final solution for the guest entertainment package comprising a digital movies/entertainment on demand solutions for all guestrooms. Also ably provided by Movielink is a comprehensive system for public and/or private wireless networking as well as cabled guest high speed Internet distribution.

Finishing off in style with guestroom flat screen LCD TVs by Samsung Hospitality TVs supplied through Harvey Norman Commercial. Guestroom security (including security lift interfacing) comprising perimeter, lift and guestroom card access and safes were provided by Onity. And finally an IP public payphone (provides great value to the guest plus a profit share to the owner) by 5Tel.


Having worked on numerous previous high profile international hotel projects, DAVD Consulting Engineers were impressed with each member of the chosen project team (company and individual staff members of those companies) and the resultant, on-time and mostly hidden technology installation presents as a satisfying guest experience with a very reliable operating and billing engine to allow the owner/ operator to concentrate on the necessary staff to guest interaction to provide the overall customer satisfaction required in this level of property.

By David Marshall
DAVD Consulting Engineers P/L

Smooth Supply and installation of FF&E

Resort Interiors International, a company that specialises in the hotel fit-out and refurbishment of hotels and resorts were selected to complete the FF&E fit-out for the Novotel Hotel, Brisbane Airport.

The process started with a tender package that was issued by the client.

As RII only specialises in commercial furniture, they took it upon themselves to analyse each piece of furniture in the tender package and suggest ways to better enhance each product to make it commercially viable. During the design phase and ongoing correspondence, RII dealt with the owner Peter Flynn, the general manager Alex Penklis and project manager Marty Brennan all with Kenlynn Properties Australia P/L.


The design brief from the client was to create a contemporary, modern and fresh feel with an emphasis on comfort and quality. Design is an important factor when fitting out a hotel but comfort and quality are also important. The company is aware that both comfort and quality play a very important role in the hotel industry and they ensure that all of the sofas, sofa beds, armchairs, dining chairs, desk chairs and ottomans manufactured are made using a combination of materials such as, pocket springs, Dacron, foam, solid timber, side rails for extra support and corner blocks. On-site quality control at all of the manufactures used, ensure a high grade of commercial furniture which will endure tough customer handling.

The scope of works carried out included input on the FF&E design, overall project management, manufacturing, procurement, delivery to site and full installation. Furniture was supplied for the guest rooms, public areas – which included custom made curved lounge seating, common areas, bar, restaurant and pool areas. The items varied from upholstery, solid timber furniture, metal furniture, outdoor furniture, porter trolleys, lamps and the latest custom designed banquet chairs which have been a raving success.

Ongoing meetings were held between the company and the client in order to meet the design brief and the client’s requirements. There was extensive communication back and forth in regards to materials, colours and fabric selections. All fabrics and materials used throughout the project were of a high commercial grade quality. The colour palette used fulfilled the client’s request of a commercial contemporary hotel.

Marty Brennan joined Dennis Clark, director of RII to see for himself the quality of the prototypes at the manufactures facilities. Mr Brennan was impressed by the quality of the furniture that he inspected and also the extensive size of the factories used to manufacture furniture.

During the whole FF&E process, RII had to work with tight timeframes and deadlines to meet the grand opening of the hotel just before Christmas. Considering there were time restraints with this project, the company managed to deliver the furniture sooner than expected in a very professional manner.

As the furniture arrived prior to the expected date, the company had to work on site with builders and other trades to co-ordinate the installation program.

Overall the client is exceptionally happy with the service, design, commerciality and project management for their hotel as supplied by RII.

By Dave Weatherall
Resort Interiors International

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