From Uzbekistan to the Goldie – the accom making news this week

Australia’s largest private hotel investor, Jerry Schwartz, has made his first foray into the Queensland market with the purchase of the Hilton Surfers Paradise for $70 million.

The five-star Hilton Surfers Paradise will be Schwartz’ 14th hotel in Australia, in a NSW-heavy portfolio which includes the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.  

The Gold Coast property includes the 169-room hotel and management rights for 220 apartment-style residences, plus four restaurants and bars, a spa, function facilities and four pools.

“I believe there is enormous potential for growing the hotel’s business,” said Dr Schwartz.

“I have great faith in the Gold Coast as Australia’s premier family, couples and groups market because its beaches, natural attractions, theme parks, events, restaurants and nightlife provide a complete tourism package that is attractive to both the domestic and international travellers.

“The Gold Coast is ideally positioned to take advantage of the boom in international travel from Asia and the Pacific, and with Gold Coast and Brisbane international airports expanding their range of source markets, I thought it was the ideal time to enter the market.

“It’s a tremendously vibrant destination that combines world-class beaches with a touch of Las Vegas pizzazz. It all adds up to making the Gold Coast Australia’s ‘entertainment and events capital’.”

AccorHotels has unveiled a sneak peek of its guest rooms at Melbourne’s newest luxury hotel – Shadow Play by Peppers – which is due to open in April.

Designed by architects Elenberg Fraser and with interior design by Melbourne’s Hecker Guthrie, the South bank hotel’s one and two-bedroom apartments feature “avant garde” design embracing contrasting colours and materials. All apartments are self-contained and offer city or bayside views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

The property’s Edwin Wine Bar & Cellar will be positioned as a fine food and wine experience and play host to a seasonal wine programme.

The luxury offering will also feature a heated pool, a gym, a sauna and steam room, and an enclosed garden space on the 46th floor, plus two private dining rooms, a guest lounge and a library with adjoining patio.

Far, far away in Uzbekistan meanwhile, the president has issued a decree that allows unmarried couples to share rooms in hotels across the former Soviet republic.

According to Shavkat Mirziyoev’s decree, published by the National Information Agency of Uzbekistan, the move secures unmarried couples’ “right to a private life.”

“Hotel services must be provided regardless of individuals’ permanent addresses, citizenship, or status of their relations, including matrimonial relations,” it says.

Mirziyoev announced his intentions to reform the predominantly Muslim Uzbekistan and open it to the world after he came to power following the death of former president Islam Karimov in 2016.

The decree also expands on the number of countries whose citizens can now visit Uzbekistan without visas.

Currently, the nation offers visa-free entry to citizens of France, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and most of the former Soviet republics.

By February it will allow 30-day tourist visas for German, British and Irish citizens, and those from several other European Union member states.

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