The Leisure Accommodation Collective (LA Co), a new entrant in the lifestyle accommodation sector, celebrated the official relaunch of its first property, The Village North Melbourne, on January 24.
This marks a significant milestone following LA Co’s acquisition of The Village hostel portfolio in 2022.
The relaunch event, featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony, was attended by more than 150 guests, including representatives from the Victoria Tourism Industry Council and key travel partners such as Dutchies Travel and Welcome to Travel.
Among the notable attendees were LA Co’s Chairman, Bob East, who also chairs the Australian Venture Co and previously led Tourism Australia, and CEO Luke Moran, who brings 25 years of hotel leadership experience, including roles at Lancemore, Mantra Group, and The Langham.
Situated at 78 Howard St, North Melbourne, The Village North Melbourne underwent an extensive six-month refurbishment in 2023, reopening in early December with 300 beds. The property now offers interior-styled private suites, bunk rooms with individual privacy curtains, and female-only dormitories.
The Village North Melbourne boasts a vibrant array of communal areas, including a new 360-degree rooftop with stunning Melbourne views, a wellness space, a cinema room, a games area, and a guest kitchen.
The North Melbourne project was entrusted to Melbourne-based designers, Anthology Studio, who will continue their work on additional The Village refurbishments throughout 2024.
With a vision to elevate the hostel experience in Australia through contemporary design and experience-based programming, LA Co currently owns and operates eight properties under The Village brand.
The Village hostels are strategically located in Byron Bay, Surry Hills, Bondi Beach, Glebe, Canberra, Cairns, Melbourne CBD, and North Melbourne, all poised to benefit from the multi-million-dollar refurbishment project. LA Co is actively seeking opportunities for further expansion, citing growing demand for enhanced offerings in the hostel sector.
LA Co CEO Luke Moran stated, “Globally, there’s been a shift in travel and accommodation expectations among leisure travellers, with a strong desire for design-focused venues offering communal amenities and experiential offerings.
The success of The Village North Melbourne since its December reopening, with occupancy rates exceeding 90 percent and top ratings on Hostelworld, illustrates the demand for an enhanced hostel experience.”
Moran added, “Our refurbishment project and new programming across all The Village locations will redefine hostel stays in Australia, providing a truly elevated experience.”
In addition to The Village portfolio, LA Co is set to introduce a new hybrid hotel-hostel brand, Drifter, to the Australian and New Zealand markets. Properties in Christchurch and Byron Bay are scheduled to open in mid-2024, further diversifying LA Co’s offerings in the accommodation sector.
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