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Hotel developments mushroom as Pullman takes top gong

Australia’s busy accommodation market hit fever pitch this week, with new projects announced across the country.

Melbourne developer Riverlee has teamed up with US billionaire Barry Sternlicht to debut the upmarket 1 Hotel brand on the banks of the Yarra River.

A subsidiary of Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group, SH Hotels & Resorts, will run the 280-room five-star hotel in the $450 million Seafarers development opposite the Melbourne Convention Centre at Northbank.

The environmentally-focused brand includes three US hotels and another five under construction in Hollywood, Mexico, China, London and Paris.

Riverlee will build the complex, designed by Fender Katsalidis, which will also feature apartments, a function centre, bars and restaurants.

The hotel will create 551 ongoing jobs.

Construction on the Seafarers’ development is expected to begin in 2020 and completion is flagged for 2022.

Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said: “Securing one of the world’s top luxury hotel operators to build in Victoria is a clear sign of confidence in our visitor numbers, our economy, and our reputation as a city of great food and drink.”

Park Melbourne

Across the city, Roxy-Pacific Holdings has signed a management deal with Park Hotel Group to open Park Hotel Melbourne on Little Bourke Street in 2022.

The 23-storey new build will encompass 319 guest rooms and suites, a fitness centre, five function rooms, a lobby lounge, a concept restaurant and a bar with alfresco terrace seating.

Teo Hong Lim, CEO of Roxy-Pacific, said: “As a popular tourist destination, tourism in Melbourne grew significantly in 2018.

“Going forward, Australia’s tourism and hotel sector is expected to record strong growth in the coming years, likely to exceed the country’s broader economic growth, and should augur well for the new hotel.”

Designed by Bates Smarts, the hotel’s exteriors will draw inspiration from the neighbourhood, with a facade reflecting the red brick warehouses of its surroundings and interiors inspired by Kirk’s Bazaar, a nearby horse and livery trading centre in the mid-1800s.

Holiday Inn Express Newcastle

IHG’s fastest growing hotel brand has made its debut in Newcastle with the new Holiday Inn Express Newcastle opening its doors this week.

Located on King Street in the city’s commercial precinct, it is the fourth Holiday Inn Express to open in Australia by Pro-invest Group following the launch of the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide properties.

Pro-invest Group Chief Executive Ronald Barrott says Newcastle’s harbourside and beach attractions, together with its burgeoning dining scene, made it an obvious choice for the group’s next hotel.

“Newcastle is gaining traction as a holiday destination for families and a hub for business, so we’re pleased to be able to contribute to its vibrancy by offering leisure or business travellers with a simple, smart hotel offering,” he said.

“With so much development underway, including the foreshore, there is so much to look forward to in Newcastle and we’re proud to be a part of it, investing in what is already a strong tourism industry.”

The hotel’s interiors are designed by architect Joseph Pang and it features a gym, meeting rooms, laundry, onsite parking and business centre.

Ubika

On the edge of the World Heritage-Listed Blue Mountains National Park is the new Ubika Day Spa, one of the largest purpose-built day spa facilities in Australia.

The two-story day spa is the newest addition to the ongoing revitalisation of Leura’s iconic Fairmont Resort.

Featuring 16 treatment rooms, including five couple’s rooms, Ubika Day Spa also features a Vichy Shower room, and a quiet Zen room to “relax pre and post treatment in front of a fireplace sipping iKOU branded herbal teas”.

The building is designed to blend with its surroundings on the World Heritage-Listed site, with sandstone walkways, blackbutt timber detailing, water features, fishponds and an autumnal colour theme throughout.

Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains General Manger Scott O’Neile said, “There is no doubt this resort resonates in the hearts of so many people, holding special memories and stories of special times gone by.

“The resort is now entering a new era, with significant investment being made into the revitalisation of the resort, with wellness now a key focus, turning it into one of the region’s must-stay destinations, enhanced by the addition of Ubika Day Spa.

“Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains truly is a destination in its own right and we look forward to welcoming guests to Ubika Day Spa and showcasing the best of the World-Heritage listed Blue Mountains region.”

Felix Sydney

Felix by 8Hotels Sydney Airport hotel has sold for $60.6 million to Singapore-based Ascott Residence Trust.

The hotel, which will be rebranded to Citadines Connect Sydney Airport in May this year, showcases contemporary design across 150 guest rooms and features a top floor reception, an all-day ’Grab & Go’ food and beverage offering and conference facilities.

As Australia’s busiest airport, Sydney International Airport catered to 44.4 million passengers in 2018 and is forecast to receive 60.7 million arrivals by 2033.

“This transaction highlights the continuing strong demand for the limited quality hotel assets available in the Sydney market, and particularly those outside of the core CBD,” said Andrew Langsford of property brokers JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group.

Pullman Brisbane Airport

And finally, Pullman Brisbane Airport hotel has been named the Best Airport Hotel in the Pacific region at the Sky Trax 2019 World Airport Awards in London last week.

The hotel, opened in October 2017, also secured fifth position in the World’s Best Airport Hotels category.

“We are really proud of this achievement and congratulate Alex Penklis, chief operating officer of the Brisbane Airport Hotels Group and his entire team for their ongoing commitment to delivering high standards of Pullman guest service, creativity and dedication,” said Simon McGrath, chief operating officer Pacific for Accor.

Pullman Brisbane Airport features 132 rooms and suites, a 20-metre lap pool and the upscale Apron restaurant run by head chef Marco Lodigiani.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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