Accom wrap: SO/ to debut in Melbourne as sbe touted for Surfers

Accor will launch its luxury SO/ brand in Australia with a new Melbourne hotel in 2023.

And the French hotel giant may look to introduce another international brand, with the LA-based sbe named a potential operator for a Gold Coast beachfront property newly put up for sale.

SO/ Melbourne will encompass the upper levels between Level 11 and Level 34 of a mixed-use development on the corner of William and Franklin Streets in the city’s CBD.

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”44555″ align=”left” padding=”10″]It will feature 288 guestrooms and suites, some with outdoor terraces, and include a club lounge and meeting room, restaurant and bar with sky deck, an all-day dining eatery, a lobby lounge and café, and a ballroom. Recreation options will include a spa, wellness centre and pool.

Accor says “sky gardens and lush landscapes” will feature across the property, describing the SO/ Hotels and Resorts brand as “highly creative and fashion-led” with “daring and exuberant design” at its heart.

Simon McGrath, chief operating officer Pacific for Accor, said: “The demand for quality luxury hotels is at an all-time high, so the timing is right to introduce Australia to the audacious and fashionable SO/ Hotel brand.

“SO/ Melbourne will bring a bold and playful energy to Melbourne, blending the brand’s vibrant luxury services with the heart and soul of the destination.

“This flagship hotel will be the place to be seen to socialise, appealing to chic travellers and Melbourne’s savvy early adopters who are renowned for having their finger on the pulse.

Accor’s fastest-growing brand boasts properties in Thailand, Mauritius, Singapore, Berlin, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Auckland, with planned openings for Kuala Lumpur, Samui, Dubai, Cuba, Mexico, Paris and Jakarta.

A rendering of the Garfield Hotel. Image: Plus Architecture.

Its sbe affiliate, meanwhile, is reportedly among operators interested in running the five-star Garfield Hotel on Surfers Paradise strip Garfield Terrace, which this week hit the market after its developer received council approval for a 15-storey hotel block.

The property’s absolute beachfront location makes it a rarity for the Gold Coast, with both the freehold and proposed boutique hotel being sold by Sydney property syndicate CCS Property.

In September, the developer submitted an application for the 15-storey, 112-room, three penthouse Garfield Hotel on the site of the 1970s-era Anglesea Court it had earlier acquired for $16 million.

Offers are expected around the $20 million mark for the 1,037sqm freehold, with sales agents JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group running an expressions of interest campaign for the hotel, offered on a turnkey arrangement.

Two operators including sbe are in talks over a possible management agreement or lease, according to The Urban Developer, with the expressions of interest campaign due to close on March 31.

“The Garfield Hotel will join the exclusive club of absolute beachfront positioning on the Gold Coast, with only the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort and the under-construction Langham Hotel,” JLL sales agent Tom Gibson said.

“The offering of The Garfield Hotel is a generational opportunity to acquire a simply irreplaceable land holding, featuring absolute beach frontage and unprecedented approvals to develop the region’s next hotel icon,” JLL’s marketing states.

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