Intercontinental Hotel Group and Marriott International are among many global hotel operators that have earmarked Australia as a growth centre.
Intercontinental has signed a management agreement with family-run developer Salta Properties to open a 170-room Hotel Indigo in its new building in Docklands, the first bespoke Indigo brand hotel to open in Melbourne.
Salta Properties’ proposed 26-storey apartment tower with an Indigo Hotel in Melbourne’s Docklands. Photo: supplied
The Indigo Hotel, to be included in a 26-level apartment building at 699 La Trobe Street, will be Intercontinental’s second offering of the brand in Australia and is due to open in 2019.
Intercontinental opened an Indigo hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in 2016.
Going up: The new Ritz-Carlton hotel at The Star. Photo: Supplied
The group’s chief operating officer for Australasia and Japan, Karin Sheppard, said the Indigo brand would adopt Dockland’s waterfront history into the hotel’s design-led interior spaces.
“We have a great opportunity to build a strong neighbourhood story around the maritime history,” Ms Sheppard said.
Hotel Indigos are known for blending the local neighbourhood community with the hotels’ users, particularly in restaurants and bar spaces.
“Today’s travellers seek out experiences that are more individual.”
The new W Hotel in Melbourne on Collins Street will open in 2020 and is being developed in partnership with Daisho Development Melbourne and Cbus Property. Photo: supplied
Each hotel was bespoke designed will local neighbourhoods in mind, she said.
Strong medium to long-term revPAR (revenue per average room rate) forecasts were underpinning Intercontinental’s push into Australia.
As well as Hotel Indigo, the group will open a Holiday Inn Express in Melbourne’s Southbank in 2019, bringing its total Melbourne room count across its Holiday Inn, Indigo, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental brands to 1558.
Marriott International has also earmarked Australia for expansion.
Under the Marriott umbrella, new luxury brands opening in Sydney will be the Ritz-Carlton at The Star, and W Hotel at Darling Harbour and the upmarket brand St Regis in the future.
In Melbourne, the W Hotel on Collins Street will open in 2020. It is being developed in partnership with Daisho Development Melbourne and Cbus Property at 447 Collins Street.
Global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide, Anthony Ingham, said part of the $1 billion mixed-use luxury development Collins Arch, W Melbourne will “fuse the brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service and innovative programming with Melbourne’s hip and historic setting”.
He said Australia was a high destination point for global hotel brands and he expects more to enter the country in coming years.
“The expansion into Melbourne marks the second W Hotel coming to Australia, following W Brisbane, which will open its doors in early 2018,” Mr Ingham said.
“Luxury travel is in high demand so operators need to create an experience, not just in room quality, but in services such as key-less rooms and apps that allow the guest to check in on their phones and go straight to the room,” Mr Ingham said.
The global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton, St Regis and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Lisa Holiday, said hoteliers now focus on offering unique brands that fit into the location.
“These brands offer different experiences for guests, such as industrial feel for urban locations and conference facilities for capital city areas,” Ms Holiday said.
Marriott was also mentioned as a possible suitor for the Mantra group, but has since suggested it was not involved in any talks with the local group.
The hotel property sector was currently outperforming all other property classes in Australia, with Sydney and Melbourne the standout performers, a recent Savills Australia report said.
As well, Tourism Australia’s 10 year forecast suggests international visitor nights and domestic visitor nights are expected to grow at 5.6 per cent and 3.1 per cent a year respectively.
Hoteliers can expect increased room-night demand nationally for the foreseeable future, it suggests.