Marriott debuts eco-conscious, pet-loving, wellness-focused brand

Marriott international has continued its rapid Australian expansion with the debut of the Element by Westin brand in Richmond, Melbourne.

The new 168-room eco and pet-friendly hotel was developed by Malaysia’s TRC Synergy group and sits within the Botanicca Corporate Park on the banks of the Yarra River.

Element is a brand which combines a sustainable approach with a focus on wellness – and includes the opportunity for guests to travel with their pets. Facilities include a 24/7 fitness centre with gym, yoga classes and complimentary bikes to borrow, plus pet beds and toys and even a dog-friendly mini bar.

It also comprises four spacious meeting spaces.

“The launch of Element Melbourne Richmond marks a significant milestone for Marriott International, as the first of its kind in Australia,” said Sean Hunt, Marriott International’s area vice president for Australasia.

“A recognised industry leader in the longer-stay eco space, Element Hotels promotes a balanced approach to living and travel. The debut comes as travellers are increasingly seeking out accommodation that offers a flexible environment to live, work and connect.”

Designed by Melbourne architects Rothelowman, the property’s curved façade reflects the Yarra River, while internal décor is inspired by  Australian flora. It boasts eco-conscious touches such as energy-saving LED lighting, CO2 sensors monitoring air quality, and water-saving taps and fixtures.

A number of rooms also feature kitchenettes for guests planning a longer stay or travelling in larger groups – a feature particularly prized by the Chinese market.

Mr Hunt told the Australian Financial Review that Australia’s international tourism growth is only limited by “flights and airlines”, dismissing concerns about a recent slowdown in Chinese visitor numbers.

“We get about a million out of the 100 million Chinese who travel out of the country every year, so I see only blue sky in that regard,” he said.

The Richmond property includes a multi-functional dining which transforms daily from Rise breakfast bar into the Mint Lane Restaurant & Bar for lunch and dinner.

Guests are offered an evening Relax reception four days a week with complimentary local beers and wines and small bites, while the 24/7 Restore grab-and-go pantry is available for guests to buy everyday essentials and food to prepare in their rooms.

“We’re excited to be bringing a new experience to the Australian market, catering to the eco-conscious traveller who is looking to maintain a balanced lifestyle when on the road,” said general manager Harry Singh.

“From our spacious guest rooms, to our wholesome food options and amenities, no matter how long a guest stays, Element Melbourne Richmond ensures time away from home doesn’t mean time away from life.”

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