Brisbane’s first international hotel joins Pullman

The former Sebel King George Square hotel has taken on the world’s newest five-star hotel nomenclature as it has rebranded to Pullman Brisbane King George Square.

The adjoining Citigate hotel has also been rebadged to Mercure, the second in the Brisbane CBD.

Opened as the Crest International in 1971, the hotel was a ground-breaking venue for Brisbane, bringing “international” accommodation to the city for the first time. Its pioneering spirit is set to continue, as the hotel joins the world’s fastest growing five-star hotel brand, Pullman. The once glamorous hotel is set for a major renaissance following the completion of a striking upgrade and refurbishment that will transform the interior, and re-establish it as one of the city’s leading five-star hotels.

The $7 million upgrade will involve renovation of all the Sebel rooms to Pullman standards, the creation of an exciting new lobby and Pullman lounge, a total renovation of the hotel’ s meeting and exhibition facilities, new exterior painting and signage. Half of the rooms have already been completed, with the remainder due for completion by the end of the year. The function centre upgrade will take place in January and February 2013 to minimise disruption.

Signalling a dramatic expansion of Accor’s five-star Pullman brand in Australia, up to seven of the former Mirvac hotels will have rebranded to Pullman by the end of 2012, which puts Pullman on track to becoming Australia’s largest five-star network, with the portfolio expected to grow to at least 12 hotels by the end of 2013.

Chief operating officer of Accor Asia Pacific, Simon McGrath, said growing the Pullman brand in Australia was a key factor in the global positioning of Pullman as a premier five-star hotel brand.

 “The rebranding of The Sebel and Citigate King George Square Brisbane is very exciting for Accor. Once the planned refurbishment is complete, the hotel will certainly rival some of Accor’s best Pullman hotels in Asia. We are investing heavily into this property and look forward to seeing our customers enjoy the benefits.”

As part of the hotel’s dramatic transformation, the lobby of the Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square will be completely redesigned and the 210-guestrooms in the current Sebel tower will receive a sophisticated makeover.

The jaw-dropping, innovative new lobby design will vie for the best lobby redesign in Australia, as splashes of colour and bold, contemporary furnishings fill the space. The cutting-edge new lobby colour scheme draws on the blue and green water hues synonymous with Brisbane and the tropical state; this alone will make an instant statement.

A new and interactive way of checking in and out will be noticeable, as two open-plan check-in pods will focus around a dramatic centrepiece. A connectivity lounge and e-concierge facility is also among the exciting enhancements the hotel will receive as it becomes a Pullman hotel.

In-line with the 5-star Pullman standards, upgrades to the current Sebel rooms will include new carpet, new plush bedding packages, spacious work desks and oversized leather chairs. A charcoal and white colour scheme will feature and the bathrooms will receive an upgrade as waffle weave bathrobes and upscale Roger&Gallet amenities complete the sleek new look.

A staple of the Pullman brand, the Executive Lounge will sit just off the lobby and will be tailored to the business traveller and guests seeking the complete Pullman experience. Guests of the lounge can enjoy complimentary tea and coffee facilities, light refreshments, wireless Internet and work stations.

Boasting Brisbane’s largest hotel conference facilities, the hotel will be extensively refurbishing the meeting and event space. New carpets, fixtures and operable walls will be installed providing guests and clients with the city’s most modern meeting and event facilities.

General manager for the hotel, Grant Parnell, says the transformation guests are going to see will restore the hotel to its former glory is a project he is very proud to lead. “From the refurbishment of the lobby to the makeover of the old Sebel tower and the conference spaces, the hotel is going to look fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing our guests enjoy the Pullman five-star experience.

“The hotel as it stands has such a rich history. When it first opened in the 1970s as Crest International, it was a pioneering hotel, changing the face of Brisbane’s hospitality, accommodating royalty, world leaders, international sporting teams and the most extravagant parties. There are even reports Keith Urban used to work here.”

 Images: The newest name in Brisbane’s five-star hotel scene is unveiled, as Pullman Brisbane King George Square GM Grant Parnell shows off the new signage; the famous Pullman rail carriage from which the Pullman name originated .

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