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THE BUSINESS OF ACCOMMODATION

Vol 13. No.4 Bi-monthly August 2009

IN THIS ISSUE Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Quay West Resort & Spa Falls Creek, Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens, hotel refurbishment, brand management, Rachel Argaman, Earl Hagaman, pet friendly hotels and Diamant Canberra

DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE

Print Post approved PP255003/07998

PAUL KERR, GLOBAL CEO OF SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLDTM, REVEALS THE SECRETS TO THE BRAND’S SUCCESS AND EXPLAINS WHY NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME FOR SMALL INDEPENDENT HOTELS TO JOIN

ACCOMMODATION EXCELLENCE The ďŹ nalists have been announced in the 2009 HM Awards presented by Sealy

Taunovo Bay Resort & Spa, Fiji, part of the SLH brand

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Bi-Monthly – August 2009

contents

COVER STORY

BUYERS GUIDE

34 Small Luxury Hotels of the World

46 HOT products

A Small Luxury Hotels of the World promotion.

A focus on security equipment, plus hot products for hotels.

SPECIAL FEATURES

REGULARS

36 Brand Management

04 Editor’s Letter

Roderick Eime investigates the region’s leading brand management companies.

Welcome to the issue by Managing Editor James Wilkinson, plus credits.

40 Hotel Refurbishment

In-depth news from hotels across the globe, plus exclusive columns.

James Wilkinson reports on the top hotel refurbishments over the last 12 months.

20 Property

06 Check-In

42 Hotel Technology

Hotel openings, closings, sales, refurbishments and change of management.

HM looks at the latest with in-room technology.

44 The Insider

EXECUTIVE FEATURES

The products featured inside the suites at Diamant Hotel Canberra.

47 Food & Beverage

18 In Focus James Wilkinson reports on the upswing in pet friendly accommodation.

48 Human Resources

26 General Manager An interview with Paul O’Rourke from Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens.

Ian Wilson looks at how the economic downturn has affected the recruitment market.

49 People

28 Property Profile HM checks-in to Fiji’s uber-luxurious Likuliku Lagoon Resort.

Profiles, events and who’s moving where in the hotel industry.

50 Stop Press

32 Room Key Exclusive columns from Toga’s Rachel Argaman and Scenic’s Earl Hagaman.

PROPERTY PROFILE

A special edition of F&B, where we look at the latest news from hotel bars.

The latest news from hotels across the globe.

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30 Quay West Resort and Spa Falls alls Cr Creek ee HM profiles Mirvac’s newest property in thee hear heart off Victoria’s ski fields.

Quay West Resort and Spa Falls Creek Mirvac Hotels

Hotel & Accommodation Management

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editorial Honouring a hotel legend

ON THE COVER A Small Luxury Hotels of the World promotion.

The 2009 HM Awards for Hotel & Accommodation Excellence (presented by Sealy) are being held for the seventh time on August 14 and the gala dinner is the one night where I am most proud to be associated with the hotel industry here in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. We have the finest collection of staff found anywhere in the world and each year it’s an honour to recognise their achievements though the HM Awards. As I say every year at the gala dinner, hotels are not about the bricks and mortar, but the staff who run them. This year the HM Awards will again recognise the leading department members, managers, staff and executives in the industry, but before they are revealed, I’d like to pay tribute this month to esteemed hotelier Patrick Griffin, who was recognised for his hard work and dedication to his profession in early June. Griffin, Regional Managing Director for Orient-Express Hotels and National Accommodation Division President of the AHA, was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List. He was recognised for ‘service to the tourism and hospitality industries, particularly through the Australian Hotels Association’, according to the medal’s citation. Patrick Griffin “I am deeply honoured to be recognised in this manner, for something that I love in an industry that is so rewarding,”said Griffin, who has spent 22 of his 46 hotel industry years of service in Australia. “People ask me why I am so passionate about hospitality and really, I think it's because of the opportunity that this industry offers young people. “You can gain hands on experience in a variety of areas, go on to travel the world and continuously be improving your skills and career prospects simultaneously. Hospitality is a global industry,” he said. Griffin is one to never boast of his personal credits and each time he bestowed with a personal accolade, he immediately praises the staff around him – as he famously did after winning Australian Hotel Manager of the Year at the 2006 HM Awards. He truly is an industry legend and on behalf of team at Intermedia, I say congratulations – this is an incredible honour for a man so deserving of such a credit. And with hoteliers like Patrick Griffin at the helm, it’s no wonder we have the world’s finest collection of hotel industry employees. Yours in hospitality,

James Wilkinson Managing Editor

PUBLISHER Simon Grover

GRAPHIC DESIGN Nathan Ford

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER James Wells

SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES 1800 651 422 Subscribe to Hotel & Accommodation Management magazine - 6 issues for $88 (inc. GST) subscriptions@intermedia.com.au

MANAGING EDITOR James Wilkinson jwilkinson@intermedia.com.au NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Adam Daff adaff@intermedia.com.au CONTRIBUTORS Rachel Argaman, Lorraine Duffy, Roderick Eime, Patrick Griffin, Earl Hagaman, Evan Hall, Ted Horner, Jennie Langley, Peter McBrearty, Ian Wilson PRODUCTION MANAGER Jill Lehmann jill@intermedia.com.au CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Chris Blacklock cblacklock@intermedia.com.au

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PUBLISHED BY

Unit 39/100 Harris Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009 (PO Box 55, Glebe NSW 2037) Tel: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 4419 ABN 940 025 836 82

DISCLAIMER This publication is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2009 - The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd.


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INbrief DARWIN Mantra on the Esplanade has enhanced its position as one of Darwin’s most desirable accommodation options following a AUD$1.2 million soft refurbishment. 190 rooms benefit from the stylish upgrade which includes new carpets, beddings, lounge room furniture and flat screen TVs.

CHAINS SYDNEY

Urban Hotels, which boasts a portfolio of three elegant properties in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, has broken away from Accor to establish itself as a stand-alone hotel group. The team behind the luxury hotels, which have been crafted by famous Australian architects and interior designers, have built a unique brand and according to the company, the decision was taken earlier this year to break away and focus on establishing a completely independent entity. Owned and operated by businessman Les Erdi, Urban Hotel Group was formed in 2007 and comprises Urban St Leonards on Sydney’s north shore, Urban Brisbane on Wickham Terrace, and Urban St Kilda on Acland Street. The chic properties draw a young, professional crowd, who are swayed by location. Decadent delights satisfy the senses at each location – from the independent restaurants serving edgy Australian cuisine,

Urban Hotels has broken away from Accor

Urban Hotels

Urban goes independent

hip cocktail bars and Apple internet access throughout the properties, down to the subtle sounds wafting from Bang & Olufsen sound systems and the gentle scent of Urban’s signature lavender.

MELBOURNE Mantra Southbank, Melbourne has undergone an extensive refurbishment, making it a more attractive option than ever for a sophisticated city escape. The makeover includes a complete new look to the lobby, restaurant and bar creating a cosy lounge environment and a relaxed, friendly ambiance for dining. The guest experience has also been enhanced with new LCD televisions, drapes and bed furnishings in all rooms plus new carpets in the corridors.

Delta

Delta has launched LA-Sydney flights

AIRLINES SYDNEY

Delta arrives down under Competition on the trans-Pacific route reached a new peak on July 3, when Delta Air Lines became the fourth carrier to offer Sydney-Los Angeles direct flights. Delta, the world’s largest airline, launched the service with the carrier’s flagship Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, flying initially from Los Angeles to Sydney on July 1 before turning around and heading back at 9:25am on July 3. Delta Air Lines General Manager – Australia Steven Crowdey said the nonstop service will provide Australians with unparalleled connections from Los Angeles to more than 6

Hotel & Accommodation Management

300 key destinations in the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. “Australia is a very important market for Delta as we expand our global network,” Crowdey said. “Delta offers a best-in-class service and product to our Australian customers, who now have even more choices to one of their most popular business and travel destinations, the United States.” The only American carrier six continents, Delta is offering two classes on the flights – BusinessElite, featuring 180-degree flatbed seats, and economy.

AUCKLAND For the first time, more than one million people have landed in New Zealand from Australia – a sign that the government’s latest tourism campaign is working according to NZ Prime Minister John Key. Key, who also holds the tourism portfolio, said Statistics New Zealand figures released on June 22 show that 1,001,880 visitors arrived from Australia in the year to May. “Our decision in March to boost marketing in Australia by NZD$2.5 million was based on very sound principles,” he said. “In tough economic times the New Zealand market is still very accessible to Australians wanting to holiday, and we recognised the need to take advantage of that”.

BRISBANE Following the lead of sister airline Virgin Atlantic, V Australia is set to become the latest airline – and the first from Australia – to offer limousine transfers for top tier travellers. Virgin Blue Group CEO Brett Godfrey said the chauffeured transfers would be offered to top tier business flexi fare paying guests travelling in V Australia’s International Business Class. “We have been very heartened by the support for V Australia’s International Business Class product and introducing a limo service will provide yet another allinclusive differentiating benefit for guests,” Godfrey said. HONG KONG TravMedia Asia celebrated its first anniversary of dedicated offices in Hong Kong at a function held at the Grand Hyatt. At the event TravMedia’s CEO and Founder Nick Wayland announced the integration of Simplified and Traditional Chinese press releases, enhanced video streaming capabilities and enlarged photo display and hosting. The international news distribution service (www.travmedia.com/asia) now partners with more than 400 Asian travel companies in a strengthening presence across the Asia Pacific and Greater China.


Spotlight on self-rated hotels Self-rated properties are not highly valued by consumers whereas Star ratings are recognised as the most trusted symbol of accommodation quality – that is the outcome of a recently conducted AAA Tourism survey of RACV website users. AAA Tourism National Manager of STAR Ratings, Paul Baumgartner, said key outcomes drawn from the research include strong consumer recognition of AAA Tourism’s five pointed Stars, trust and confidence in Star ratings and a low level confidence in self rated dots and other symbols.

Marriott

STAR RATINGS MELBOURNE

Star rated: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

“This research confirms that the Stars continue to play an important role for our tourism industry by providing a trusted quality certification system for travellers and an influential marketing tool for properties,” he said. Baumgartner said in the survey, conducted by Insync Surveys, 99% of respondents recognised the Stars system and 77% consider Star Ratings useful. He said booking websites such as Wotif allow properties to ‘self rate’ themselves using dots, however the research confirmed that only 12% of respondents consider self rated dots useful.

DEVELOPMENTS HAMILTON ISLAND

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is on an exciting countdown to the opening of their two new world-class experiences scheduled for mid-2009 the Peter Thomson-designed 18-hole Golf Course and the Hamilton Island Yacht Club. These initiatives continue on from other recent developments on the Island over the last 12 months, with the opening of the final stage of Qualia and the extensive refurbishment of the iconic Reef View Hotel. Hamilton Island Yacht Club

FORUMS SYDNEY

Marriott brings together meetings industry Marriott Australia has successfully staged three forums in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane addressing issues facing the meetings and events industry during the global financial crisis. The meetings and event industry in Australia is worth close to AUD$25 billion yet not necessarily recognised as one of Australia’s biggest earners, and one that could be much larger if there was recognition and drive from the Australian Government. Sydney session: (L-R) Jayson Westbury, Peter Marriott Australia’s objective Brampton, Linda Gaunt, Avril Northridge, was to bring the key players toJohn Kelly, Ian Stuart and Mike Cannon gether and focus on driving the A panel of industry experts were invited value and importance of the meetings industo discuss their strategies and offer guests try with key Australian stakeholders which the chance to put their questions and issues includes group and convention visitation to the panel. and, to discuss the economic importance to The panel consisted of Linda Gaunt, CEO the Australian economy including job creaof Meetings and Events Australia (MEA), tion and, importantly, retention.

Mike Cannon, Executive Director of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, Jayson Westbury, CEO, Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), Neil Robertson Regional Manager VIC/TAS/ SA and WA for Virgin Blue Group along with Avril Northridge, Regional Director Global Sales South Asia for Marriott International and Peter Brampton, General Manager of the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa. The events began with an opening welcome from J.W. Marriott Jr. video streamed from the USA. Marriott spoke of the challenges facing the US market and other countries including Australia during the economic downturn. He mentioned how Governments needed to back and support this industry that employs thousands of workers. Hotel & Accommodation Management

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checkIN PATRICK GRIFFIN OAM National Accommodation Div. President Australian Hotels Association (AHA) If we are able to draw any positive lessons from the wash-up of the so-called global financial crises, there is definitely one to be learned in this. The sudden and hopefully temporary disappearance of many of the meetings, conventions, conferences and associated business-related events from our hotels has focused our attention on just how important this sector is to our ongoing prosperity. The National Business Events Strategy finalised in October last year called business events ‘Australia’s untapped potential’, and as we’ve seen the effects of the economic situation since then, it has become even more urgent for government and the industry to address the recommendations in the Strategy. The Federal Government has seen fit to expend billions in cash payments to stimulate the wider economy, support jobs and smooth out some of the extreme effects of the initial impact of the financial crisis. Imagine then how much more effective, and sustainable, it would be for Governments to invest seriously in supporting the business events industry, which contributes an estimated $17.36 billion a year to the national economy and supports over 115,000 jobs, with the minimal but welcome support currently received. Business travelers spend more per head per night, they bring other partners and travelers with them, and they go home as ambassadors for the great experiences they have in Australia. Add to this the fact that the business events are good for businesses, good for universities and researchers, and good for governments, and it shows us how short-sighted it is to criticise business meeting and events, and how detrimental it would be to continue to cut back this area, for the wider economy. The current economic situation has simply intensified the need for the industry and Governments to work together to overcome a number of challenges that were starting to affect the business events industry: Australia’s distance from other key business centres; fierce competition in the business events market; fluid exchange rates; the limits imposed by Australia’s small population base; and the leaps in technology that have made video and web conferencing a feasible and viable alternative. Add to this the perceptual concerns for businesses not wanting to ‘appear’ as though they are spending money on ‘junkets’ and we have a job ahead of us. We must take responsibility, as an industry, for the fact that by and large we have not seen the meetings and business sector get a serious mention in any of the recent State and Federal government budgets. Indeed, tourism at large has more or less been overlooked as to any serious support or stimulus measures that we have seen dispensed to other industries, such as the car industry and the retailers. Unfortunately, unless this is addressed we could well see greater unemployment in tourism than in the high profile motor industry. We must play our part and ensure all our key stakeholders are fully informed as to their role and contribution to the business events sector. Business meetings and events are good for all businesses, and the thousands of people they employ every day.

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CONFERENCES SYDNEY

Cosslett headlines ANZPHIC

IHG

The 2009 Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Hotel Investment Conference (ANZPHIC) once more circled around the major issues facing the region’s leading accommodation properties, with oversupply, rates and tourism marketing in the spotlight. Horwath HTL’s Managing Director Vasso Zographou’s industry leader’s panel once more proved a highlight of the conference as was his colleague John Smith’s interview with InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Andrew Cosslett. During Zographou’s hour-long session – which featured Simon Andrew Cosslett was McGrath (Accor), Bruce McKenthe headline interview zie (IHG), Bob East (Stella), Paul at ANZPHIC 2009 Constantinou (Quest) and Paul Fischmann (Eight Hotels) – industry leaders provided an insight into the year ahead. When it came to the subject of tourism marketing, Fischmann was the most scathing, particularly of how Sydney is being portrayed to the world. “Sydney should stop spending money on fireworks and displaying the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and start putting that money into cultural events really promoting what Sydney is outside of the prettiness,” Fischmann said.“We should focus on the international market more in Australia in general.” With Star City’s new Hotel Switch and the proposed property at Barangaroo the only two new-build hotels in the foreseeable future, Melbourne’s supply became the most controversial issue. While some hoteliers expressed moderate concern at the increased number of rooms – which will go up by almost 700 when Crown Metropol opens in early 2010 – IHG’s McKenzie said he was “extremely concerned” with the oversupply in the Victorian capital. “We're erring on the side of caution with Melbourne," he said. McKenzie’s leader, Cosslett, again urged caution with a number of markets – as he has done in all speeches and interviews (including in HM) over the last 12 months – but said his company was staying on course. “I can promise you IHG has not deviated from its 10-15 year strategy one degree going into this recession,” he said. Cosslett said now was the time to “create revenue and drive business” and to do that, IHG had been increasing its sales force to take advantage of the many opportunities that currently exist in the market. “I have the view that [for our owners] our job is to drive revenue as best as we can and if we can increase our market share through this period, then that is what we should be doing,” he said,“and we can best do that by harnessing all of our resources behind some big ideas.” Cosslett also pointed out a major issue for the industry at present was recruitment, with 100,000 new staff alone needed for the new hotels IHG is building around the world over the next four years. That issue turned out to be a major talking point for many delegates following the Cosslett interview, including at the final day’s lunch where hotel, architecture, design and development awards were handed out. IHG scooped the pool, with Crowne Plaza Torquay winning ‘Best Architecture Award’, while InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto won the ‘Best Refurbishment’ and ‘Best Interior Design’ Awards. The two latter awards were recognition for leading designer Joseph Pang, who also took out an Industry Achievement award. At the same lunch, Quest was named ‘Brand of the Year’, which both surprised and thrilled Chairman and CEO Paul Constantinou. “We were extremely honoured to win Brand of the Year as it recognises the importance Quest places on site selection for its properties, the style of the properties, the facilities they offer and our commitment to providing exceptional guest experiences,” he said. ANZPHIC was hosted by Horwath HTL and Blake Dawson and supported by HM magazine.


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What is a hotel? To most people, the answer would seem obvious, but it’s far from the case for local governments around the country. In fact, there are dozens of different definitions - as hotel developers, owners and operators know only too well. This is an untenable situation which TTF is taking steps to address, through our proposal to create a National Tourism Planning Code. While acknowledging the important role of marketing to stimulate demand for travel to Australia, the Jackson report, Informing the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy, named supply-side issues as a key challenge facing the Australian tourism industry. It identified a need to develop attractive, welcoming and accessible destinations that are intelligently priced and made numerous recommendations to this end. It cited the complexity, inconsistency and lack of transparency regarding regulations, planning and approval processes and the barriers this creates to tourism development. These are the barriers TTF’s National Tourism Planning Code proposes to address. The Code seeks to establish best practice standards and guidelines for tourism planning and development, encompassing the definition, zoning, design standards and approval of tourism accommodation and facilities. It is intended that the Code will be a resource for both public agencies and private business to facilitate the development of innovative tourism products. The aim is to provide planning standards which improve tourism quality, capacity and sustainability at the same time as realising local environmental, social and economic needs. Firstly, the Code will provide local authorities with the tools to plan, assess and approve appropriate tourism product without undue regulation that hampers innovation. Secondly, it will harmonise and streamline tourism planning across all jurisdictions to reduce costs and attract investment funds and talent. Finally, it will provide certainty on planned tourism supply, reduce illegal tourism operations and establish standards for private development of quality product. Tourism needs prime sites in attractive locations, yet prospective investors are often put off by the complex planning and regulatory requirements. Add this to the relative returns offered by residential or commercial development and tourism projects can struggle to attract investors. Between 1998-99 and 2003-4, the return on investment in the tourism industry averaged 11.8 per cent, compared with an all industry average of 14.9 per cent. In concert with other recommendations made in the Jackson Report, removing some of the regulatory hurdles could help to make tourism development more competitive and therefore stimulate private investment. Australia has some of the most spectacular natural assets in the world and a variety of landscapes few, if any, other countries can match. However, that alone is not enough to entice visitors. Our relatively high wages make it difficult for us to compete solely on price, which means our tourism product must continue to be upgraded and updated so Australia can offer quality accommodation and innovative attractions and experiences.

OPENINGS DARWIN

Gala opening for Toga’s Darwin Waterfront hotels Toga Hospitality has officially opened its two new Darwin properties, the Media Grand Darwin Waterfront and the Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront. The properties were officially opened on June 25 by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Paul Henderson. The evening function – attended by over 200 guests including Darwin business leaders, tourism industry leaders and government officials – was hosted by TV personality Ben Dark and featured performances Medina Grand and Vibe by players from the Darwin SymphoHotel Darwin Pool ny Orchestra. As one of the largest single transformations the CBD of Darwin has ever seen, the investment costs of the development are more than AUD$1.1billion. In the first development stage alone, this consists of more than AUD$220m in community infrastructure which includes; a convention centre, retained sea lagoon, wave pool and roads and a significant investment in public art of more than AUD$2.5m. “We are delighted to welcome these two new properties into the Toga Hospitality portfolio,” said Allan Vidor, Managing Director, Toga Group of Companies. “The Waterfront Development provides world class facilities such as safe swimming and parklands for locals and visitors and represents a change in the city’s dynamic, offering a whole new waterfront lifestyle to the people of Darwin,”he said. AIRLINES HAMILTON ISLAND

Virgin tackles Hamilton Island from Sydney Virgin Blue’s long-awaited Sydney-Hamilton Island direct daily flights have taken off for the first time, breaking the longstanding monopoly Jetstar has had on the lucrative route. The airline’s inaugural flight on July 4 was celebrated at both ends, with farewell festivities at Sydney Airport and a glamorous dinner on Hamilton Island, which featured a performance by signer Deni Hines. Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey said the decision to launch the direct service was made following consistent demand from Sydney travellers for Virgin Blue flights to Hamilton Island via Brisbane. “Hamilton Island and Whitsunday Tourism has been very active in convincing us to launch a direct route from Sydney and we are pleased to be in a position to do so,” Godfrey said. “We have every confidence in the appeal of the Whitsunday region as one of Australia’s most popular destinations and we look forward to working with the region to boost tourism numbers and make the new direct service a success,” he said. Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Burke Fun in the sun: Deni Hines, Tania Zaetta, has whole-heartedly welcomed the new Mike Goldman, Melissa Hoyer and Virgin Blue services. Bianca Dye on Hamilton Island “We are delighted that Virgin Blue is offering this new service to our guests from Sydney who will now be able to enjoy greater flexibility in their travels to and from Hamilton Island,” he said. While every day lead-in fares start from $165 one way on the net, all eyes will be on Premium Economy. For the first time since Jetstar replaced Qantas services, premium seating will be available on the Sydney-Hamilton Island route. Virgin Blue

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Toga Hospitality

EVAN HALL National Manager, Accommodation and Tourism Investment TTF Australia


checkIN JENNIE LANGLEY Chair, New Zealand Hotel Council

OPERATIONS SYDNEY

During July, Four Seasons Sydney guests had the freedom to choose their own check in time. The nominated time was registered as their check out time allowing for a unique 24 hour timeframe trial that breaks away from traditionally rigid check out schedules. “We are constantly looking for ways to increase the enjoyment of our guest stay,” said Four Seasons Hotel Sydney General Manager, Stephen Lewis. “The 24 hour check in and out time acknowledges our guests need for greater value with a longer stay and also allows them to tailor a timeframe that is conducive to their schedule,”he said. Lewis said the addition of this benefit was in keeping with Four Seasons philosophy of providing intuitive service around the clock.

MAGAZINES SYDNEY

Conferencing and events magazine Main Event has undergone a rebranding, becoming SPICE Magazine to marry up with its successful online counterpart www.SpiceNews.com.au. Both the publication and news website offer ideas, and features on corporate event venues, catering, entertainment, incentive destinations, corporate travel services and more. EVENTS AUCKLAND

Success for Meetings 2009 Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) has hosted another successful Meetings exhibition, with over 135 hosted buyers and 300 day buyers attending the three-day event at Skycity Auckland Convention Centre in late July. “It was the perfect opportunity for local corporates to make the most of the diverse range of conference product available within New Zealand,” said Alan Trotter, CEO of CINZ. He said CINZ was working hard to attract the international conference dollar to New Zealand shores, particularly from the lucrative Australian market sitting right on our doorstep, and New Zealanders needed to conference at home to help the industry through these challenging economic times. “New Zealand has a sound conference infrastructure right throughout the country and it’s imperative we work hard to support this solid base,” he said. “Not only keeping it going but injecting enough money in so infrastructure can continue to be improved for the future. “Looking ahead the economy will improve and international conferencing will return – and with a vengeance - so New Zealand must be prepared and not left on the back foot,” he said. In a solid show of support, exhibitor numbers at Meetings 2009 reached more than 170. Host venue: Skycity For reports on Meetings 2009 from Auckland Convention Centre Auckland, visit www.spicenews.com.au

The over-riding issue that continues to confront the tourism and hospitality sector is the need to access and retain skilled employees. This is particularly important to the hotel sector and even more so, to hoteliers in more isolated areas.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons trials 24-hour timeframe

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

In the past, we’ve relied (probably too heavily) on being able to employ younger visitors who with temporary work permits were ideal to meet demand over the peak season. Many had the skills, the personality and the motivation to work hard on whatever tasks they were given while they were in New Zealand. But while this transient labour force continues to be willing, as the impact of the global credit crisis bites deeper and unemployment is on the rise, government’s edict of ‘jobs for kiwis’ has meant the rules have changed. For as long as the hotel industry has been around, it’s been difficult to attract and retain enough New Zealanders who are committed to a career in the sector. There are many reasons for this ranging from the wages and shift work, to the perceived status of the hospitality industry as a whole. So, to plug the employment gaps we have traditionally turned to the immigrant workforce. These international visitors have filled a variety of roles from room attendant, porter and reception through to management positions in some cases. Until this year, there was an understanding by employers that those employees who had the skills and had been working in New Zealand on temporary work permits would be able to have their permits renewed. Hence, the difficulties including prolonged delays and inconsistent departmental advice now being faced to achieve permit renewals, have caused shockwaves through the sector, for both employers and their permit holding employees. After much discussion between Immigration NZ and the hospitality sector, there is now a better understanding of the problems associated with being able to attract kiwi’s to work in our sector in ‘unskilled’ jobs ie those jobs not on the Skills Shortage List. Even so there is still a reluctance to make any concessions to enable our sector to continue operating through what we have accepted must be a transition phase between relying on immigrant labour to meet urgent workforce shortfalls and the time it takes to attract, train and retain New Zealand residents to meet demand. The costs and time delays involved with advertising positions to ensure there are no suitable kiwi candidates, together with interviewing referrals from Work and Income (who in many cases are neither enthusiastic nor qualified to fill the position advertised) are significant. Equally, the resources engaged in training someone from scratch when there is already an experienced, skilled staff member who wants the job and has outlasted the high churn rate which is typical of our industry, are onerous. If we are to put our best foot forward at the Rugby World Cup 2011, we need many more knowledgeable, well-trained, enthusiastic workers than we currently have access to.

Skycity

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Following a productive workshop held at The Langham, Melbourne, we were treated to an unparalleled view over Melbourne from Eureka 89, where we hosted our visitors and also many of our industry sponsors and associates for drinks and canapés. Many of our guests were astonished by the night vista laid out before them and the sparkling carpet of lights was the perfect backdrop for the evening. Our main meeting was held in the imposing Oak Room at Chateau Yering, where the views over the Yarra Valley were a delightful distraction as was our transfer out to the meeting in a 1955 Gray Line vintage coach. Oceania Zone Director Gustavo Concha (from the Hilton Auckland) provided the meeting with the successful presentation made at this year’s World Congress in China, which had ultimately contributed to New Zealand’s successful bid to host the Congress in Queenstown in 2013. The concept was also floated of possibly holding combined bi-annual AGMs in the future in New Zealand and Australia. Dinner in the evening was at The Deck at Southgate, where our visitors were given the chance to sample some of Melbourne’s renowned food and wine before heading to Silk Road in Collins Street to enjoy one of our many stylish night venues. Finally our merry crew met at the MCG where our host Richard Ponsford, Tourism Manager at the MCC took us on a tour of the National Sports Museum (which some of our kiwi brethren enjoyed so much they returned again the following day) before adjourning to an MCC corporate box to watch an AFL game with Melbourne ultimately defeating Port Adelaide and ensuring Richard’s day ended on a happy note. The AGM was an excellent opportunity to renew the professional and personal relationships between our members, and many commented on how much they had enjoyed their visit to Melbourne. We would like to particularly thank Avis, Brunel Chauffeur Drive, The Langham, Melbourne, APT Day Tours, Eureka 89, Chateau Yering, Gray Line Day Tours, The Deck Restaurant Southgate, Where Magazine, and also The MCC and National Sports Museum for all their assistance in ensuring the AGM was such a success. Les Clefs d’Or members are again well represented in the nominees in the Concierge category for this year’s HM Awards, with newer members Glenn Lacey from The Langhan, Melbourne and James Ridenour from the Intercontinental Melbourne being joined by veteren Jorge Sousa of the Four Seasons Sydney and also Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand Delegate Bryan Wilkinson.

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Hotel & Accommodation Management

Art Series Hotel Group

The Les Clefs d’Or Australia AGM took place in Melbourne in July, and was a wonderful opportunity for members from around Australia and also from New Zealand to meet up and discuss developments in tourism and the hotel industry. Of course it was also an excellent opportunity for our local members to show off what Melbourne has to offer visitors to our city, and we made sure we did exactly that!

Flagship hotel: The Olsen in South Yarra CHAINS MELBOURNE

Art Series Hotel Group launched The Art Series Hotel Group has been unveiled as the name behind Australia’s newest hotel chain, which currently has three properties under construction in some of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs. The stylish hotel group used the recent Australian Tourism Exhibition (ATE) as a platform to launch the innovative concept to trade, unveiling plans to roll out six hotels from 2009–11, providing a cash injection in excess of AUD$300 million to the Victorian construction and hospitality sector. Placed strategically around Melbourne, each hotel will be designed and named after a famous Australian artist. Former Rydges pair Troy Cuthbertson and Mark Challis have been appointed General Manager and Director Marketing of the Art Series Hotel Group and with a combined total of over 40 years in the travel and hospitality sector, the duo will hand select a unique team of industry professionals, each specially trained to bring to life the personality of each hotel. “We expected to receive positive feedback from international wholesalers at ATE, but quite frankly the response was overwhelming,”Cuthbertson said.“They loved the concept, the connection with Australian culture and the great Melbourne locations chosen for each hotel. The Cullen (Commercial Road, Prahran), The Olsen (Chapel Street, South Yarra) and The Blackman (St Kilda Road, Melbourne) are the first hotels under construction. Other hotels in the group include The Larwill (High Street, Prahran), The Knight (Glenferrie Road, Melbourne) and a sixth hotel to open on Daly Street, South Yarra artist to be confirmed. The Cullen, a AUD$50 million dollar, 115 room boutique hotel and gastronomic precinct is set to open in November 2009. Named after controversial artist Adam Cullen, the six level hotel will boast a roof top cocktail bar and multiple restaurant spaces. Opening soon after is the flagship hotel of the group, The Olsen, a AUD$100 million tribute to Australia’s greatest living painter opening February 2010. VISITOR ARRIVALS HOBART

Tassie cracks a million visitors Tasmania is continuing to defy the national trend of a weakening domestic travel environment with new statistics revealing a third consecutive quarter of increasing visitor numbers and Tasmania reaching a historic milestone of one million visitors in a single year. The Tasmanian Visitor Survey (TVS) results for the year ending March 2009 confirmed Tasmania’s position as a leading domestic travel destination, with overall visitation to the state increasing by 7% compared with the previous year. The results also revealed that total visitor nights were up 4% to 7.45 million nights and total spending grew by 7%. “Achieving one million visitors in a single year is extremely positive news for tourism in Tasmania… It also marks the achievement of a major goal set out in Tourism 21 – the joint Tasmanian Government and tourism industry three-year business plan,” said Felicia Mariani, CEO, Tourism Tasmania. Mariani said Tasmania was close to reaching the second major milestone of the Tourism 21 business plan, $2.2 billion of income from visitors and Tasmanians travelling within their own state in a 12-month period. Tourist spot: Port Arthur

Tourism Tasmania

PETER MCBREARTY Chief Concierge, Langham Hotel, Melbourne


Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

Transforming great Australian Hotels, Casinos and Resorts. The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney project marks another success story for ISIS Hotel Projects and further displays their relentless focus on client service and project excellence. Visit isis.com.au


HMawards

ACCOMMODATION

EXCELLENCE

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WITH A RECORD 1200 ENTRIES, DECIDING THE FINALISTS FOR THE 2009 HM AWARDS PRESENTED BY SEALY HAS BEEN THE TOUGHEST TASK TO DATE. NOW, ALL EYES ARE ON ON WHO WILL WIN THE 40 INDUSTRY AWARDS.

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inalists in the 2009 HM Awards for Hotel & Accommodation Excellence presented by Sealy have been announced, with all thoughts now firmly set on the gala dinner to be held in Sydney on August 14. A record number of entries were received in 2009 and following hours of voting by over 25 judges, the finalists have been announced for 36 of the 40 categories to be awarded this year. The four biggest gongs at the HM Awards – Hotel Brand of the Year, Accommodation Chain of the Year, Hotel of the Year and the HM Magazine Hotelier of the Year – have been decided by the region’s leading CEOs and the finalists for these categories will be announced at the gala presentation dinner. HM Magazine is proudly hosting the 2009 HM Awards, which are presented by Sealy. Cohosts of the event are ISIS Hotel Projects and Intrust Super.

PRESENTED BY

HOSTED BY

Doltone House (and above)

CO-HOSTED BY


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PROPERTY AWARDS - AUSTRALIA 1. Serviced Apartment Property • Angsana Resort & Spa Great Barrier Reef, Palm Cove, QLD • Diamant Hotel Canberra, ACT • Fraser Suites Sydney, NSW • Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury, SA • Medina on Crown, Surry Hills, NSW • Pullman Reef Casino, Cairns, QLD • Quay Grand Suites Sydney, NSW • Shoal Bay Resort & Spa, Port Stephens, NSW • The Lyall Hotel, South Yarra, VIC • The Observatory Resort Port Macquarie, NSW 2. Accomodation Property – 3- to 3.5-Star • Best Western Sanctuary Inn, Tamworth, NSW • Clare Motel, Adelaide, SA • Hotel Ibis Darling Harbour, NSW • Hotel Ibis King Street Wharf, NSW • Hotel Ibis Melbourne, VIC • Hotel Ibis Melbourne Glen Waverley, VIC • Hotel Ibis World Square, NSW • Richmond Henty Motor Inn, Portland, VIC • Thredbo Alpine Hotel, NSW 3. Accommodation Property – 4- to 4.5-Star • Crown Promenade Hotel, Melbourne, VIC • Crowne Plaza Canberra, ACT • Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW • Crowne Plaza Newcastle, NSW • Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA • Q Station Retreat, Manly, NSW • Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne,VIC • The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, NSW • The Grace Hotel, Sydney, NSW • Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Bay, NSW 4. Accommodation Property – 5-Star • Crown Towers, Melbourne, VIC • Emporium Hotel Brisbane, QLD • Hyatt Hotel Canberra, ACT • InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, VIC • Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast, QLD • Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • qualia, QLD • Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, NSW • The Langham, Melbourne, VIC • The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, NSW 5. Business Hotel • Crown Towers, Melbourne, VIC • Diamant Hotel Canberra, ACT • Hilton Melbourne Airport, VIC • Hilton Sydney, NSW • Pullman Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush, NSW • Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne,VIC

• Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW • Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, NSW • Stamford Grand North Ryde, NSW • The Westin Sydney, NSW 6. Resort • Angsana Resort & Spa Great Barrier Reef, Palm Cove, QLD • Hayman, QLD • Hyatt Regency Coolum, QLD • Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa, NSW • Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, Kingscliff, NSW • qualia, QLD • Sea Temple Resort & Spa Palm Cove, QLD • Sheraton Noosa, QLD • The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa, NSW • The Elandra Mission Beach, QLD 7. Hotel Refurbishment • Crown Towers, Melbourne, VIC • Crowne Plaza Terrigal, NSW • Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Grand Hyatt Melbourne, VIC • InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, VIC • Medina on Crown, Surry Hills, NSW • Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA • The Sebel and Citigate Albert Park, VIC • The Sebel Surry Hills, NSW • Urban Brisbane, QLD 8. Boutique Hotel • Cape Lodge Margaret River, WA • Diamant Hotel Canberra, ACT • Emporium Hotel, Brisbane, QLD • Lake House, Daylesford, VIC • Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, NSW • Sir Stamford Circular Quay, NSW • The Islington, Hobart, TAS • The Louise, Marananga, SA • The Lyall Hotel, South Yarra, VIC • Victoria's at Wategos, Byron Bay, NSW 9. Unique Accommodation • Bay of Fires Lodge, Mt William National Park, TAS • Injidup Spa Retreat, WA • Peppers Palm Bay, Whitsundays, QLD • Peppers Seven Spirit Bay, Coburg Peninsula, NT • Q Station Retreat, Manly, NSW • Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA • Thorngrove Manor Hotel, Adelaide, SA • Wilpena Pound Resort, Flinders Rangers, SA 10. New Hotel • Chifley Eastern Creek, NSW • Clarion Hotel Soho, Adelaide, SA

AWARD SPONSORS

• Hilton Melbourne South Wharf, VIC • Hotel Ibis King Street Wharf, NSW • Mantra Tullamarine, VIC • Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront, NT • Pullman Sydney Olympic Park, NSW • Quay West Resort & Spa Falls Creek, VIC • Rydges Brighton, VIC • Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront, NT 11. Alpine Accommodation • Grand Mercure Mt Buller Chalet, VIC • Hotel Pension Grimus, Mt Buller, VIC • Huski, Falls Creek, VIC • Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort, NSW • Quay West Resort & Spa, Falls Creek, VIC • The Denman, Thredbo, NSW • Thredbo Alpine Hotel, NSW • Zirky's, Mount Hotham, NSW 12. MICE Hotel • Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW • Emporium Hotel, Brisbane, QLD • Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Hilton Sydney, NSW • Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, NSW • Q Station Retreat, Manly, NSW • Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, NSW • Stamford Plaza Adelaide, SA • The Langham, Melbourne, VIC • The Sebel and Citigate Albert Park, VIC 13. Regional Property • Craigieburn, Bowral, NSW • Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW • Crowne Plaza Newcastle, NSW • Kim's Beach Hideaway, Toowoon Bay, NSW • Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, NSW • Peppers Seven Spirit Bay, Coburg Peninsula, NT • Sofitel Werribee Park Mansion Hotel & Spa, VIC • The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, NSW • The Louise, Marananga, SA • Victoria's at Wategos, Byron Bay, NSW 14. Hotel Day Spa • Angsana Spa, Angsana Resort & Spa Great Barrier Reef, QLD • Chuan Spa, The Langham, Melbourne, VIC • Daintree Spa, Daintree Eco Lodge, Mossman, QLD • Day Spa at The Observatory, The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, NSW • Injidup Spa, Injidup Spa Retreat, WA • Le Spa, Sofitel Werribee Park Mansion Hotel & Spa, VIC • The Spa at Four Seasons, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW


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• Villa Thalgo Day Spa, The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley, NSW • Spa qualia, qualia, QLD • Endota Spa, Huski, Falls Creek, VIC 15. Hotel Bar • Aria Bar & Lounge, The Langham, Melbourne, VIC • Astral Bar, Star City, Sydney, NSW • Blue Horizon, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, NSW • ECQ Bar, Quay Grand Suites, Sydney, NSW • Emporium Hotel Bar, Emporium Hotel, Brisbane, QLD • Globe Bar, The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, NSW • harbourbar, Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • Oceans Bar, Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, NSW • Room 81, Sofitel Gold Coast, QLD • Zeta Bar, Hilton Sydney, NSW 16. Hotel Restaurant • Altitude, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, NSW • Astral Restaurant, Star City, Sydney, NSW • Bilson's, Radisson Plaza Hotel Sydney, NSW • Darley’s, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, NSW • Galileo, The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, NSW • glass Brasserie, Hilton Sydney, NSW • Kable's, Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney, NSW • Lake House Restaurant, Lake House, Daylesford, VIC • Sean's Kitchen, Star City, Sydney, NSW • The Brasserie, Hilton Adelaide, SA 17. Hi-Tech Hotel • BLUE Sydney, NSW • Crown Towers, Melbourne, VIC • Emporium Hotel, Brisbane, QLD • Hilton Sydney, NSW • InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, VIC • Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • Pullman Sydney Olympic Park, NSW • Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, NSW • The Como Melbourne, VIC • The Westin Sydney, NSW

PROPERTY AWARDS – NEW ZEALAND & SOUTH PACIFIC 18. New Zealand Hotel • Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown • Hilton Auckland • Hyatt Regency Auckland • InterContinental Wellington • SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland • Sofitel Queenstown • Stamford Plaza Auckland

• The George, Christchurch • The Langham, Auckland • The Westin Auckland Lighter Quay 19. New Zealand Regional Property • Blanket Bay, Glenorchy • Grasmere Lodge, Christchurch • Huka Lodge, Lake Taupo • Kauri Cliffs, Kerikeri • Millbrook Resort, Queenstown • Peppers Clearwater Resort, Christchurch • Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua • The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay • Treetops Lodge, Rotorua • Wharekauhau Country Estate, Palliser Bay 20. Fijian Property • Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Managed by Hilton • InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa • Likuliku Lagoon Resort • Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji • Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa • Sheraton Fiji Resort • Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa • Taunovo Bay Resort & Spa • The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa • Yasawa Island Resort 21. South Pacific Property • Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa, French Polynesia • InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia • Iririki Island Resort & Spa, Vanuatu • Le MÊridien Ile des Pins, New Caledonia • Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Cook Islands • Royale Takitumu Villas, Cook Islands • Sofitel Motu Bora Bora, French Polynesia • The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, Cook Islands • The Sebel Vanuatu, Vanuatu • The St Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia

PROPERTY AWARDS – ALL COUNTRIES (AUSTRALIA, NZ & SOUTH PACIFIC) 22. Environmental Program • Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, NT • Crowne Plaza Melbourne, VIC • Hilton Adelaide, SA • Holiday Inn Brisbane, QLD • InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, VIC • Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA • Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands • Pullman Sydney Olympic Park, NSW • Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne, VIC • The Langham, Melbourne, VIC

AWARD SPONSORS

23. Marketing Campaign • Accor Hotels (Australasia) • Constellation Hotels (Australia) • Crowne Plaza Terrigal, NSW • Hilton Sydney, NSW • Mantra Hotels (Australia) • Rydges Hotels (Australasia) • Sofitel Hotels (Australasia) • The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, NSW • Treetops Lodge, Rotorua, New Zealand • Vibe Hotels (Australia) 24. Service to the Community • Brisbane Marriott, QLD • Crowne Plaza Canberra, ACT • Holiday Inn Esplanade Darwin, NT • Holiday Inn Wellington, New Zealand • Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji • Quest Serviced Apartments (Australia) • Vibe Hotels (Australia) • Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel, NSW

PEOPLE AWARDS 25. Concierge • Andrew Austen, The Menzies Sydney, NSW • David Board, Quay Grand Suites Sydney, NSW • Martin Bray, The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, NSW • Aaron Ellis, Star City, Sydney, NSW • Glenn Lacey, The Langham, Melbourne, VIC • Iferemi Nuku, Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Fiji • James Ridenour, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, VIC • Jorge Sousa, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Chris Traill, Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • Bryan Wilkinson, Sofitel Queenstown, New Zealand 26. Hotel Executive Chef • Glenn Bacon, Hayman, QLD • Simon Bryant, Hilton Adelaide, SA • Martin Horsley, Sofitel Werribee Park Mansion Hotel & Spa, VIC • Mark McNamara, The Louise, Marananga, SA • Carl Middleton, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Shailesh Naidu, Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji • Alessandro Pavoni, Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • Anthony Ross, The Langham Melbourne, VIC • Andrew Saville, Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, NT • Hugh Whitehouse, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, NSW


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27. Hotel Bartender • Tim Browne, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA • Lucy George, Emporium Hotel, Brisbane, QLD • Chris Hickson, The Menzies Sydney, NSW • Brigitte McKenna, Quay Grand Suites Sydney, NSW • Katie Montgomery, Crowne Plaza Terrigal, NSW • Tony Mosca, InterContinental Sydney, NSW • Jean Munos, Hilton Sydney, NSW • Stuart Reeves, Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • Nik Stakes, Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand • Bing Zhang, Brisbane Marriott, QLD 28. Human Resources Department Member • Paul Amos, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA • Michael Bedros, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Kelly Habermann, The Menzies Sydney, NSW • Ursula Henderson, Brisbane Marriott, QLD • Chantal Jackson, Hilton Sydney, NSW • Naveen Lakshmaiya, Tanoa Group of Hotels (Fiji) • Mandy Richardson, Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, NT • Debbie Simister, Accor Hospitality (Australia) • Jayne Webb, Brisbane Marriott, QLD • Kathy York, Crowne Plaza Newcastle, NSW 29. Sales & Marketing Department Member • Kate Atkinson, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts (Australasia) • Laura Bogunia, Hilton Sydney, NSW • Chriscelle Capito, The Observatory Hotel Sydney, NSW • Andrew Gee, Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji • Chris Lane, Constellation Hotels Group (Australia) • Tomoko Sakurai, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Joy Solomano, Sofitel Werribee Park Mansion Hotel & Spa, VIC • Jennifer Tyrrell, Brisbane Marriott, QLD • Julius Ungar, Fraser Suites Sydney, NSW • Michelle Vague, The Langham, Melbourne, VIC 30. PR/Communications Department Member • Jill Collins, Hamilton Island, QLD • Bryony Gammon, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (Asia-Pacific) • Wendy Hill, Radisson Plaza Hotel Sydney, NSW • Emma Kearns, Toga Hospitality (Australasia)

AWARD SPONSORS

• Sally McCann, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Sally Morgan, Hayman, QLD • Gaynor Reid, Accor Hospitality (Asia-Pacific) • Kimberly Salt, Orient-Express Hotels (Australia) • Charlotte Seymour, Hilton Hotels Australasia • Konstanze Werhahn-Mees, Eight Hotels (Australia) 31. Front Office Department Member • Wayne Arthur, Radisson Plaza Hotel Sydney, NSW • Gemini Brown, Crowne Plaza Terrigal, NSW • Jamila El Allam, Langham Melbourne, VIC • Mitch Gawthorn, Holiday Inn Esplanade Darwin, NT • Cameron Griffiths, Park Hyatt Sydney, NSW • Karen Koelewyn, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, NSW • Rebecca Latemore, The Elandra Mission Beach, QLD • Simon Ruri, Peppers Clearwater Resort, Christchurch, New Zealand • Rob Unson, Sofitel Werribee Park Mansion Hotel & Spa, VIC • Sae Yi Oh, Hilton Sydney, NSW 32. Rooms Division Department Member • Kathleen Counsel, Brisbane Marriott, QLD • Teneale Guarrera, Holiday Inn Darwin, NT • Michelle Dower, Hotel Ibis Glen Waverly, VIC • Andy Goonesekera, InterContinental Sydney, NSW • Donna Gribble, Novotel Barossa Valley, SA • Leon Pink, Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji • Dianne Logan, Quay Grand Suites Sydney, NSW • Sarah Young, Rydges World Square Sydney, NSW • Grace Esogon, Sydney Harbour Marriott, NSW • Assumpta McDonald, The Westin Auckland Lighter Quay, New Zealand

MAJOR AWARDS 33. South Pacific Hotel Manager • Steve Anstey, Ahura Resorts, Fiji • Shane Cunning, Sheraton and Westin Resorts Fiji • Neil Houghton, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa • Bernard Isautier, Vahine Island, Tahaa, French Polynesia • Brice Pean, Fiji Beach Resort and Spa Managed by Hilton • Justin Phillips, Radisson Resort Fiji Denarau Island • Arthur Reed, Navini Island Resort, Fiji

• Darren Shaw, Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji • Amanda Silk, Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Fiji • Greg Stanaway, Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands 34. New Zealand Hotel Manager • Peter Gee, Stamford Plaza Auckland • Heather Idoine-Riley, Holiday Inn Wellington • Philip Jenkins, Blanket Bay • Heiko Kaiser, Treetops Lodge. Rotorua • Gregory Keating, Duxton Hotel Wellington • Carey Norton, The Heritage Queenstown • Lee Pearce, Novotel Capital Wellington • Marcus Reinders, The Westin Auckland Lighter Quay • Victoria Shaw, Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown • Jeffrey von Vorsselen, The Langham, Auckland 35. Australian Hotel Manager • Michael Bourne, Hilton Melbourne South Wharf, VIC • David Brown, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, QLD • Marc Cherrier, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, NSW • Chris Ehmann, Hilton Adelaide, SA • Steve Finlayson, Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne, VIC • Adam Glass, Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, NT • Richard Munro, Star City, Sydney, NSW • Ruwan Peiris, Sydney Marriott Hotel, NSW • Peter Savoff, Emporium Hotel, Brisbane, QLD • Ben Sington, The Langham, Melbourne, VIC 36. Hotel Brand Management Company • Design Hotels • Preferred Hotel Group • Select Hotels & Resorts International • Small Luxury Hotels of the World • The Leading Hotels of the World 37. Hotel Brand • To be revealed at the gala dinner on August 14 38. Accommodation Chain • To be revealed at the gala dinner on August 14 39. Hotel of the Year • To be revealed at the gala dinner on August 14 40. HM Magazine Hotelier of the Year • To be revealed at the gala dinner on August 14

SUPPORTING COMPANIES


inFOCUS

PAW PROFIT AS TRAVELLERS TIGHTEN THE WALLET, THE FAMILY PET IS NO LONGER SENT TO THE KENNEL – THEY ARE STAYING IN 5-STAR HOTELS ALONG WITH THEIR OWNERS. HM TAKES AN INSIDE LOOK AT THIS GROWING TREND.

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n the global economic downturn, travellers are looking to cut back on costs wherever possible, from airfares to hotel room rates and car rental prices. But, what happens to the family pet? Gone are the days where people were happy to spend upwards of $50 per day on boarding and the family dog or cat has become the hottest travel accessory – and hoteliers across Australia are welcoming them with open arms. At Sydney’s leading boutique hotels, several rooms are now decked out with not just a plush Sealy king size bed, but a place to sleep, bowl of kibble and water for cats and dogs of all sizes. The Observatory Hotel and Medusa Hotel are two properties which have embraced pet stays for over ten years. At the Medusa in Darlinghurst, which is part of boutique hotelier Terry Schwamberg’s Contemporary Hotels collection, dogs have been wagging their tails inside the hotel’s corridors since 1999. “When Medusa first opened ten years ago, Katrina Warren was the pet presenter on Harry’s Practice and Channel Nine wanted to have Katrina and her pet dog Toby stay with us for one week per month,” Schwamberg told HM.“Having lived in Paris for a year and noticed boutique hotels such as Hotel Costes welcoming guest dogs,

WORDS

we decided to introduce it to Medusa and at the time, we had no idea it was one of the first luxury hotels to have such consideration. “It’s not a dog hotel but we don’t discriminate against dogs as we don’t against children. And we welcome our furry friends and have found that they are wonderful guests,” she said. While some hotels charge extra for pooches, they are allowed to stay for free – of course as long as they behave. “We don’t charge for dogs however we do recommend that the dogs are not left alone if their owners are out... we have facilities such as a pet nanny that can be utilised during their stay,” she said. “As we don’t charge for dogs it’s not a lucrative thing – we don’t try to make money out of dogs – but we like to think the dogs give the owners as sense of joy, to other guests and staff within the hotel,” Schwamberg said. Orient-Express Hotels Regional Managing Director, Patrick Griffin said Sydney’s Observatory Hotel has welcomed pets since the property first opened 16 years ago. “While there isn’t a huge demand for pet-friendly stays [at The Observatory], we do have a few regulars that have been bringing their pampered pets back year after year for many years,” he said. “Mostly, we have welcomed pampered pooches and a few of the regulars include photogenic Charlie, Bubba the Maltese Terrier, and Chi-Chi and Paris, both Chihuahuas,” Griffin told HM. At The Observatory where two rooms have been set aside for pets, visiting cats and dogs receive a pet bed and bowl and dine on a dinner chosen by their masters from a 'Scooby Doo’ room service menu.

JAMES WILKINSON

In a recent survey of visitors to the site it was established that an astonishing 60% had pets and enjoyed taking them on holidays, so it is something that operators have been encouraged to consider. PENNY YOUNG, CEO, TakeABreak.com.au

Pooch pad: The Medusa Hotel (and top right)

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Hotel & Accommodation Management


Down the street and on Sydney Harbour, The Sebel Pier One Sydney introduced pet friendly stays in late 2008. “The Sebel Pier One Sydney recognised the demand for pet friendly accommodation within the Sydney hotel market and launched the De Vil Pamper Package in November 2008,” said The Sebel Pier One Sydney Sales and Marketing Manager, Amanda Patience. Canines of all types and sizes are welcome at the 4.5-star Mirvac managed hotel, which has had ongoing success with the De Vil package – particularly over the current Australian winter. “Due to the popularity of this package, The Sebel has recently launched the Pampered Pets Winter Escape Package,” Patience said. “The positive feedback has been overwhelming with many guests surprised that a CBD hotel caters for canines. “All types of four legged canines have walked through the doors from golden retrievers to German shepherds and beagles to boxers,”she said. Patience said the Winter Escape package includes a specially created doggie in-room dining service menu, a trampoline bed, dog water bowl, a spot lit LED clipon safety light for the pet to take home and a convenient dog sitting service can be arranged on request for a small extra fee. Ehmann said while the pet In South Australia, Hilton Adelaide is one of the friendly bookings have not been few big-brand hotels in the country to allow dogs and one of the largest segments for the for a $90 surcharge, pets can also experience the best hotel, they are showing more pothat the 5-star hotel has to offer. tential as the year goes by. “Guests who have stayed with their pets have been “Whilst we don't have a huge very happy with being accommodated by a 5-star hovolume of pet stays, we are the tel and the amenities being provided for their pet,”said only deluxe accommodation acHilton Adelaide General Manager, Chris Ehmann. cepting pets in Adelaide and we “We do find though, that there is often the element are amazed by the reasons peoof surprise that a 5-star city hotel offers the flexibility of ple have for traveling with their travelling with your pet,”he said. pet,” he said. Hilton has a global policy on pet-friendly accommo“Many guests are local and ‘Charlie’ at The Observatory Hotel Sydney dation – primarily because of the United States market include reasons from celebrating – and Ehmann said it was introduced at the hotel betheir pet's birthday with a weekcause it “really seemed to suit the ethos of our Adelaide property”. end away to home renovations requiring short term alternate ac“Pets staying in the hotel are provided with a bed, bowl and treats… commodation for the 'whole' family,” he said. the hotel location, right on Victoria square with plenty of grass and At the other end of the accommodation spectrum, holiday house trees on our doorstep, also makes exercising pets staying in the hotel website TakeABreak.com.au has noticed a surge in the amount of pet very convenient,” he said. friendly bookings of late. “We have found that bookings have continued to grow and with over a third of our searches at TakeABreak.com.au being in the pet friendly category we believe this will continue to be a winner for our operators,” said TakeABreak.com.au CEO, Penny Young. “In a recent survey of visitors to the site it was established that an astonishing 60% had pets and enjoyed taking them on holidays, so it is something that operators have been encouraged to consider. “This continues to highlight the popularity of this category and the great pleasure that guests get from being able to take their furry friends with them on holidays,”she said. Out of the 12,000 properties on TakeABreak.com.au, Young said 20% are now listed in the Pet friendly: The Sebel Pier One Sydney pet-friendly category. Hotel & Accommodation Management

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propertyNEWS

INbrief

DEVELOPMENTS MELBOURNE

Metropol Unveiled as Crown’s Third Hotel Crown Melbourne

The name of Crown’s new 658room, AUD$300 million hotel has been unveiled as Crown Metropol and is on schedule to open in early 2010. “The new hotel is a demonstration of the confidence Crown has in the future of Melbourne as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations,” said Crown Melbourne Chief Executive Officer, David Courtney. “When the Bates Smart-designed hotel opens, it will employ over 300 people and will provide accommodation for approximately 340,000 guests including 100,000 visitors from overseas,” he said. The architecturally striking design includes a stunning, futuristic podium entry, a day spa located on the top floors of the hotel, a sky bar and terrace on level 28, the hotel’s highest floor, extensive meeting rooms and a retail precinct showcasing brands previously unavailable in Australia. One of the property’s most exciting features is a Gordon Ramsay Maze restaurant – which will also responsible for the property’s room service and potentially for event catering. When Crown Metropol opens in early 2010, it will mean guests, conference organisers and event planners over 1600 rooms and suites from which to choose across the three Crown Melbourne hotels. Located on the corner of Clarendon and Whiteman Streets, Crown Metropol is across the road from the new convention centre extension to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and next door to the new Crown Conference Centre, set to open in December 2009. Victorian Tourism Minister Tim Holding said the new hotel would provide a massive boost to the state’s leisure and business tourism sectors. “Major projects like the Crown Metropol deliver jobs and provide a significant boost to our economy,” he said. “The new hotel will also be a great addition to Melbourne’s world-class tourism infrastructure. In addition to being a benchmark-setting hotel, Crown Metropol will also be the site of a AUD$10 million purpose-built training facility, Crown College, where all of Crown’s training and development programs will take place.

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Hotel & Accommodation Management

A new star: Crown Metropol

In related news, the extension of Melbourne’s Crown Conference Centre is set to open by the end of the year, just prior to the completion of Crown Metropol. Crown Promenade Hotel general manager Greg Moore exclusively told HM the expanded centre has been attracting significant attention of late and the new wing is set to open before the start of 2010. “We would like to get the extension of the Crown Conference Centre open and operating by December 2009,” he said. Moore said the extension to the Centre – next to Crown Promenade Hotel – caters for conferences of over 800 delegates with the option of utilising up to 19 concurrent rooms on the same floor. He said a choice of two plenary rooms offers a suite of flexibility – the Crown Conference Hall is a large pillar-less space featuring operable walls with a seating capacity of 840 delegates theatre style, whilst the Promenade Room seats 600 delegates theatre-style. When the Crown Metropol hotel is completed in early 2010, the three Crown hotels on the Whiteman Street-site will be able to host delegates in up to 1600 over a range of room sizes, from studios to villas. “I can’t think of many other places in Australia which have the room product, combined with the conferencing,”Moore said. “The three hotel product in this precinct, coupled with the air capacity to drive the big conferences, is absolutely sensational,” he said. Melbourne is set to benefit from additional air capacity in the coming months, with V Australia launching Los Angeles flights in September and Qatar Airways launching direct Doha flights in December.

PORT DOUGLAS The AUD$8 million facelift of the Rendezvous Reef Resort in Port Douglas, which was designed by its past guests, is now complete. Although the Resort is operated by Rendezvous Hotels and Resorts International, all villas are individually owned, having mostly been purchased by previous guests. This makes the refurbishment of the Resort unique as past guests have designed the accommodation, factoring in all guest requirements. The refurbishment has included a complete renovation of the main building which houses the new reception area, lobby, tour desk, restaurant and bar. The new Swish Restaurant and Bar is a mix of urban and tropical and offers poolside alfresco dining. Other upgrades include new roads, paving, landscaped gardens and new environmental features such as solar lighting throughout the Resort. HOBART Managing Director of The Federal Group, Greg Farrell, has unveiled the name of the Company’s world-class coastal sanctuary located at Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula – Saffire. “In the tradition of world-class boutique retreats, Saffire will compare with the finest and most exotic five-star experiences found anywhere in the world,” said Farrell. “Our award-winning architects, Robert Morris-Nunn and Associates, have created a truly unique coastal sanctuary that introduces a new level of luxury to Tasmania which is of an equivalent standard to any of the world’s finest properties. Saffire is a world-class experience in every way,” he said. Saffire will offer three levels of suites - six Luxury Suites, 10 Deluxe Suites, and four Premium Suites – with rates ranging from AUD $1,000 to AUD $3,000 per suite, per night. “The total investment by the Company is in excess of $32 million and with construction commenced we have every intention of being open by December 2009,” he said. HONG KONG Langham Hotels International (LHI) has announced its exciting expansion into Thailand with Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, set to open in November 2009. The luxurious and exclusive designer resort comprises a chic modern village of 77 stunning villas and suites, with many featuring personal plunge pools and stunning views over the Gulf of Thailand. “We are delighted to expand our portfolio further in Thailand – the resort ‘capital’ of the world and we will continue to extend our resort footprint throughout the Asia-Pacific region when the right opportunity arises,” said Brett Butcher, Chief Executive Officer of LHI. “Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach introduces an internationally recognized Hotel brand in a boutique setting that meets the needs of today’s upmarket adventurers looking for a vibrant getaway.”


Driving customers to your door AAA Tourism brings your business a wealth of opportunities to access Australian travellers, including more than 6.5 million Auto Club Members. STAR Rating Membership is your complete marketing package providing a range of benefits to ‘drive customers to your door’. Approximately 10,000 properties are part of the Australian STAR Rating Scheme, providing their customers with independent quality assurance. More than 8 out of 10 travellers use STAR Ratings when selecting a place to stay. Source: Colmar Brunton 2007

Contact AAA Tourism to receive an information kit. Phone: (03) 8601 2274 Web: www.aaatourism.com.au Email: membership@aaatourism.com.au


propertyNEWS

Constellation Hotels MANAGEMENT BATHURST OPENINGS MELBOURNE

Wood-fired pizzas and Chifley’s own ale will be on the menu as leisure travellers and delegates alike check into the new Chifley Doveton, which opened outside Melbourne in early June. The 4.5-star, 128-room Chifley Doveton, located at the junction of the Princes Highway and South Gippsland Freeway, close to Glen Waverly and Dandenong commercial precincts, includes a conference centre, a restaurant and the Coldwater Creek Tavern and Microbrewery. Chifley Doveton is the third Chifley property to be opened by Constellation Hotels in 2009.

Mirvac inks Mt Panorama Citigate deal Mirvac Hotels and Resorts has announced the management of Citigate Mount Panorama Bathurst which is due to open early September 2009, just in time for one of Australia’s biggest sporting events – the Bathurst 1000. Citigate Mount Panorama Bathurst will join Mirvac’s portfolio of 45 managed hotels and resorts across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, including five under the Citigate branding. Less than two kilometres from the centre of Bathurst, with an unparalleled position on the famous Mount Panorama racing track and uninterrupted views of Conrod Straight, the Citigate Mount Panorama hotel will offer guests the complete Bathurst experience. Citigate Mount Panorama Bathurst

Chifley Doveton

BRAND MANAGEMENT SYDNEY

Preferred’s strategic additions

Preferred Boutique

New member: The Lyall, South Yarra

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Hotel & Accommodation Management

The Western Advocate

Preferred Boutique has added three members in Australia and the South Pacific, with The Lyall (Melbourne), The Richardson (Perth) and Legends Resort (Moorea, French Polynesia) all joining the brand management company. “Whether it is a sanctuary in the city with The Lyall Hotel and Spa in Melbourne or an idyllic sojourn with Legends Resort in French Polynesia, Preferred Boutique delivers truly memorable experiences at unique hotels and resorts worldwide,” said Lynne Ireland, Managing Director, Preferred Boutique. The three hotels form part of the 19 new members Preferred Boutique has added to its collection since January 1, 2009. “Preferred Boutique was launched in 2005 in response to travellers’ desires for a more intimate, individual guest experience,” Ireland said. “Its steady growth and stellar reputation are testaments both to the exceptional quality of each hotel and resort within the collection and to the value of the services and support we offer our members on a global level,” she said.

The hotel has 133 guestrooms offering the choice of studio guestrooms and one-, twoand three-bedroom apartments. Ideal for conferences and corporate events, the Citigate Mount Panorama also offers the convenience of a two storey covered car parking building, commercial kitchen and a full dispensing bar servery, as well as an expansive, open roof top area, ideal for break out areas and special occasions. “Citigate Mount Panorama Bathurst is a completely unique addition to the Mirvac portfolio and sits beautifully within our Citigate branding,” said Andrew Turner, CEO, Mirvac Hotels and Resorts. “We envisage an overall boost in tourist visitors which will provide employment and community engagement opportunities for the Central West NSW Region, and we are looking forward to working closely with the Bathurst community,” he said.


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propertyNEWS

EXPANSION MELBOURNE

Mercure targets regional areas for expansion With few – if any – new build hotels planned for city centres after the current wave of Melbourne hotels is completed, Accor is targeting regional and major suburban areas for its expansion. After adding Mercure hotels in the Yarra Valley (Balgownie Estate Resort and Spa), Port Douglas (Treetops) and the Hunter Valley (Hunter Valley Gardens), Accor’s largest midmarket brand has recently added a Mercure in Mildura (Hotel Mildura) and will launch new-build Mercure hotels in Melbourne’s Caroline Springs and Sydney’s Liverpool in the second half of 2009. The Mercure expansion is a combination of franchise and management agreements and is part of a major upgrading of the Mercure brand as it focuses on its conference, F&B and leisure offerings. Liverpool’s first 4-star hotel will open its doors by Christmas, with work ahead of schedule on the $20 million hotel being built on the Liverpool Catholic Club site at Liverpool West. The AUD$7 million hotel project, to be called the Mercure Sydney Liverpool, will have 104 rooms spread over six floors. It will be connected to the club and share its restaurants and other facilities, which include a children's playground and three swimming pools. The hotel will also conserve water. It will be connected to a black-water recycling facility, which will use recycled water to flush the toilets in the hotel. The club's General Manager John Turnbull said the project was "ahead of time" and would be finished by Christmas. In regional Victoria, the addition of Mercure Hotel Mildura marks the first internationally branded hotel for the popular Murray River town.

Accor

Mercure Mildura

Mercure Caroline Springs

Formerly the Hotel Mildura, the new addition to the Mercure network offers 4.5-star AAA rated accommodation and conference facilities in the heart of town. With 51 attractively appointed suites and 17 fully self-contained two and three bedroom apartments, the Mercure Hotel Mildura offers a premier accommodation option for both business and leisure travellers. Accor’s General Manager Franchise Hotels, Dino Mezzatesta, said that with Hotel Mildura joining the Mercure network, the city’s overall tourism industry will benefit. “Strong and internationally recognised hotel brands can be really important in terms of attracting corporate and conference groups,” said Mezzatesta. “These are tough economic times, so it is important for cities such as Mildura to have high-profile hotel brands, especially as competition around Victoria is currently so fierce. The Hotel Mildura is already well established as a quality hotel, and Mercure branding will now expose the hotel to a far wider audience. “Mercure branding is particularly suitable for Hotel Mildura, as hotels in the brand posi-

tion themselves as the “keys to the city”, offering visitors a true taste of their destination through accommodation, cuisine and wines. Mercure has a particularly strong focus on wines, which is very appropriate for such a leading wine region as Mildura,” he said. In greater Melbourne, the newly built Mercure Caroline Springs is due to open its doors in September 2009. The 4-star 104-room hotel promises to be the premier conference and event venue for Melbourne’s western suburbs, offering a 300 seat function and conference centre, catering to corporate conferences and events and private weddings. “Accor is proud to be associated with this project in Caroline Springs which is a fast growing and vibrant community,” said Accor Vice President – Australia, Simon McGrath. “We are looking forward to managing this hotel to the highest standards.” Property developers Barry Hall and John Barnett have invested years of planning in the project and expect the hotel to become landmark venue in the area.

Quest

DEVELOPMENTS MACKAY

Artists’ impression: Quest Mackay

Quest opens two more Quest is set to open two more regional properties in the coming weeks, with serviced apartment hotels in Mackay (QLD) and Mawson Lakes (SA) opening on August 24 and September 9 respectively. “Quest Mackay and Quest Mawson Lakes will have everything the business traveller needs,”said Quest Chairman, Paul Constantinou.“They will suit people staying for shorter periods and will feel like a home-away-fromhome for those who want to stay longer.” Quest Mackay features 97 apartments, ranging from studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments; while Quest Mawson Lakes features 66 apartments, ranging from studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

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Hotel & Accommodation Management


FRANCHISING

AN ACCOR HOSPITALITY PROMOTION

IN THE CRADLE

OF ACCOR

ICONIC CRADLE MOUNTAIN LODGE HAS JOINED ACCOR’S M GALLERY COLLECTION.

Cradle Mountain Lodge (and left)

O

ne of Australia’s most iconic properties, Cradle Mountain Lodge is the latest boutique hotel to join Accor’s distinctive upscale MGallery collection. Opened in 1972 as Pencil Pine Lodge and transformed over the years into a world-class luxury hotel with 86 guest cabins, Cradle Mountain Lodge boasts an enviable location at the entrance to the spectacular World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park. The hotel joins the exclusive MGallery brand at a time when travellers are increasingly seeking boutique hospitality, nature-based experiences and authentic luxury spas. The

“We feel that being part of the MGallery collection will further grow the awareness and appeal of Cradle Mountain lodge as an iconic Australian hospitality experience,” he said. Bernie says the partnership with Accor will assist in effectively increasing the property’s global distribution, public relations and exposure. Dino Mezzatesta, Accor’s General Manager Franchise Hotels said the signing of a high quality property such as Cradle Mountain Lodge to MGallery is a true testament to Accor’s strength in strong branding and in managing upscale, individual hotels with their own personality. “This is a strategic addition to the MGallery collection and one that will have global appeal as travellers are increasingly seeking unique experiences in true wilderness surrounds,”he said.“Cradle Mountain Lodge is a name that instantly conjures specific images and is very much in keeping with the MGallery promise of a unique, authentic experience.” Mezzatesta said M Gallery hotels all have an individual story to tell that is integral to their setting and that they are often a destination in their own right – which is certainly the case with Cradle Mountain Lodge.

MGallery collection is gathering momentum, with significant signings of hotels that showcase exceptional Vision, Design, History and Location across five continents. Set discreetly within a stunning wilderness setting, Cradle Mountain Lodge offers four different types of accommodation, from the contemporary Pencil Pine Cabins to the luxurious King Billy Suites, and extensive leisure facilities including the award-winning Highland Restaurant and indulgent Waldheim Alpine Spa. The Lodge is surrounded by ancient towering forests, mountain scenery and clean This is a strategic addition to the MGallery collection glacial lakes and streams, crisscrossed with 20 and one that will have global appeal as travellers walking trails for every fitness level. Activities are increasingly seeking unique experiences in true on offer include trekking or mountain biking, wilderness surrounds. horse riding, fly fishing, canoeing and more. DINO MEZZATESTA, General Manager Franchise Hotels “We are very excited about joining the M Gallery collection because we feel Cradle For Accor, last year’s launch of MGallery has allowed the group to put Mountain Lodge is the perfect fit for a brand that is centred on expetogether a collection of hotels whose individuality made it difficult to inriential hospitality, location and a distinctive personality,” said Bernie clude them in“standardised”brands. The brand was particularly relevant Cochran, Sales & Marketing Manager, Cradle Mountain Lodge. “It is for owners seeking a franchise agreement which allowed them to maingreat to be part of a new brand as it evolves and to have the support of tain their property’s individuality while benefiting from Accor’s support the Accor group with their experience and network. in distribution, marketing, procurement and revenue management. “MGallery properties all have a very unique personality and a strong To find out more about franchise opportunities contact Dino Mezzatesta connection to the areas where they are located, so Cradle Mountain on +61 2 9280 9832 or email dino.mezzatesta@accor.com Lodge epitomizes what the brand signifies. Hotel & Accommodation Management

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generalMANAGER

HUNTER PERFORMER WORDS

JAMES WILKINSON

The Mercure Resort’s comfortable lounge, pool (top right) and grand entrance (below)

SINCE THE PROPERTY OPENED – ORIGINALLY AS TALAWANTA LODGE – MERCURE RESORT HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE WINE REGION’S TOP ACCOMMODATION CHOICES FOR BOTH LEISURE AND BUSINESS TRAVELLERS. TO FIND OUT HOW THE PROPERTY IS PERFORMING, HM SPOKE TO GENERAL MANAGER AND LEASEHOLDER, PAUL O’ROURKE. HM: How is the hotel performing at present, given the economic downturn? Paul O’Rourke: The last six months are similar to the same period as last year but the market mix has shifted away from business tourism more towards leisure guests. This has been driven by some big concerts late March, and probably a shift back to “self drive escapes” out of the Sydney market. HM: How is the Hunter Valley market performing and how is the industry banding together to maintain strong visitor arrivals? PO: The Hunter Valley is probably holding up better than most regions due to its proximity to Sydney, but the operators are continuing to working closely with local tourism organisations to reinforce this regional message. HM: What are you expecting for the remainder of 2009 – as far as occupancy, yield and RevPAR is concerned? PO: I suspect flat at best – we are hoping a strong concert season and the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Light Spectacular may help the end of the year.

HM: What are the key features that help make the property so unique? PO: Its Location, we are located in the Heart of Wine Country with so much within walking distance (six cellar doors, Hunter Valley Gardens, Restaurants, Boutique Shopping village and golfing facilities).

HM: Hunter Valley Gardens joined the Accor network at the beginning of 2008. How much of a benefit has this been from a sales, marketing and branding perspective? PO: It has had a significant impact in growing our market share, largely driven by their loyalty program Advantage Plus.

HM: You have some excellent F&B on offer at the hotel, including the Steakhouse. What are the highlights in your opinion? PO: Our Executive Chef, Jean Marc Pollet, has been at the forefront of the NSW regional cuisine scene for over 20 years so is very in tune with guest expectations

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Hotel & Accommodation Management


SNAPSHOT

generalMANAGER

MERCURE RESORT HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS Leaseholder: Paul O’Rourke Operator: Accor Hospitality General Manager: Paul O’Rourke Rooms & suites: 72 rooms (incl. four suites) F&B outlets: Hunter Valley Steak House Conferencing: Seven conference and function rooms catering for up to 250 delegates, trade shows and weddings Recreation facilities: Two tennis courts, heated pool, sauna, spa, library with pool table, six cellar doors located within walking distance and day spa on location. Property is located adjacent to the Hunter Valley Gardens and Hunter Valley Gardens Village.

HM: What does the hotel offer in the way of MICE facilities? PO: We have seven conference rooms. Most feature corporate styling with ceilingmounted data projectors and unique internet capabilities. The Mercure’s conference centre operates on a symmetrical broadband service capable of full duplex speeds up to 4Mbit/ sec. This system is perfect for high resolution video conferencing, remote teaching, voice over IP and other WAN applications. And the limited intimate executive boardroom facilities feature open fire places and expansive views. HM: How is the MICE market performing and what are you expecting for 09? PO: Similar to last year and do not expect to see any growth until first half of 2010. HM: How important is the branding with Accor – and why was Accor selected originally? PO: Extremely, international branding gives the guest confidence when choosing the product – we selected Accor because of the size and reach of their distribution channels.

Your industry champion

For the third year running, HOSTPLUS has been awarded SuperRatings Fund of the Year 2009 and Money magazine’s Best of the Best award for Best Super Fund Manager 2009. But we’re not just super specialists, we’re hospitality specialists too. In fact, we’ve been working with the industry for over 20 years. Providing easy-to-manage super support for employers, like you. Delivering long-term benefits to workers,

like your staff. And preparing for the future by supporting training initiatives, such as our HOSTPLUS Indigenous Hotel Management Traineeship program. So while others think of us as industry champions, we prefer to think of ourselves as the champions of the industry. To find out more, simply visit hostplus.com.au or call 1300 HOSTPLUS (1300 467 875), 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday.

The information contained in this document is general information only. This document does not and is not intended to contain any recommendations, statements of opinion or advice. In any event, the information in this document is general in nature and does not consider any one or more of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider obtaining advice from a licensed, financial product adviser and consider the appropriateness of this information, having regard to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial situation. You should obtain a copy of the HOSTPLUS Product Disclosure Statement and consider the information contained in the Statement before making any decision about whether to acquire an interest in HOSTPLUS. Issued by Host-Plus Pty Limited ABN 79 008 634 704, AFSL No. 244392, RSEL No. L0000093, RSE No. R1000054. tmDM HOST5077/HM

Hotel & Accommodation Management

27


propertyPROFILE

ISLAND HEAVEN AFTER TAKING A FOUR HOUR FLIGHT FROM AUSTRALIA AND A QUICK HELICOPTER HOP FROM NADI, LUXURY TRAVELLERS WILL FIND THE MOST TRANQUIL, ROMANTIC AND INDULGENT RESORT FIJI HAS TO OFFER – LIKULIKU. WORDS & PHOTOS

JAMES WILKINSON

SNAPSHOT LIKULIKU LAGOON RESORT Malolo Island, Fiji Islands Bar with a view: Likuliku’s stunning lagoon setting

T

he rain is pattering down on the roof of our bure, but even that can’t dampen our spirits – because even when the weather isn’t perfect, Likuliku Lagoon Resort still is. Why is it perfect? It’s quite simple – Likuliku’s seemingly impossible to fault. That’s not just my opinion, but having read through the guest comment books over the last three months one morning over breakfast, the notes left also pointed to just that. Likuliku’s location in a lagoon on Malolo Island – a one hour boat journey or 15 minute helicopter ride from Denarau Island – is the first impressive aspect of the resort. Facing west, each night the hotel looks out to one of Fiji’s best qualities – amazing sunsets. It is also the setting for ten glass-bottom-floor overwater bures, the only offering of its kind in the Fiji Islands. Along the beachfront are another 35 garden bures, each with a daybed, private outdoor shower, deck chairs, direct beach access and some with a plunge pool. While on pricing these bures make them the ‘next best thing’, I think they are the real highlight of the resort. It doesn’t get much better than watching the sunset in the 28

Hotel & Accommodation Management

plunge pool with your life partner by your side and a glass of Veuve Cliquot in hand. “We say Likuliku is a quintessential Fijian experience,” says Ahura Resorts Group General Manager and expat Australian Steve Anstey. “It’s the total experience... architecture, location, staff, food and activities. It’s not one single entity, but an alchemy of all these things that provide the Likuliku experience,” he says. The food at Likuliku, which forms part of the ‘all inclusive’ package deals, is better than you will find in many of Sydney’s leading highend restaurants. That is in part thanks to the work of Executive Chef Brett Kryskow, whose resume is highlighted by a stint at top Sydney eatery Balmoral Bathers. Then there is the produce itself, which Anstey says is sourced from the finest producers in the Fiji Islands. “Fresh, clean and creative, we showcase the finest local produce with an emphasis on local seafood, lush tropical fruits, premium products and the diversity of cultures that have shaped the South Pacific,” he says. The menu changes daily for lunch and dinner, while breakfast is the same each day – but

Owner Tony Whitton, Managing Director Rosie Group of Companies Operator Ahura Resorts Group General Manager Steve Anstey Resort Manager Sala Rasari Opened April 15, 2007 Bures 45 (35 beachfront and 10 overwater) F&B outlets Signature restaurant Fijiana, plus two bars Conferencing Function room for up to 24 pax Recreation facilities Spa, water sports and activities, horizon-edge pool, entertainment lounge, walking trails, village visits and cultural walks


propertyPROFILE

Deluxe beachfront bure

weakening of the Fijian dollar by the government is paying dividends, with the property – and the country as a whole – now an excellent valuefor-money destination. The next step to driving that is more flights and both Air Pacific and Pacific Blue have additional services in the pipeline. Air Pacific is pushing ahead with planned Hong Kong flights later in the year, while Pacific Blue has applied for unlimited capacity between Australia and Fiji – a move that could pave the way for daily flights from Adelaide and Brisbane, along with the potential to launch direct Gold Coast-Nadi flights, a market Air Pacific gave up on recently after a short launch period. “Increased air access is vital,”Anstey says.“It's important to have frequency, choice and flexibility when it comes to accessing a destination. “A healthily competitive airline market is great for the customer and opens up new markets through competitive pricing,” he says. Increased flights will not only assist properties such as Likuliku with the leisure market, but also the MICE market – a segment that continues to grow for Anstey. “We have had 21 weddings to date this year and have another eleven booked in for the remainder of the year,” he says.“This is nine more than this time last year and 22 more over 2007 this time. “We are hosting one more major corporate incentive group in November this year and have just wrapped up a major automotive company exclusive resort-use incentive in June,” he says. What a perfect wedding location Likuliku is. It’s also the perfect honeymoon destination and ideal for a five-day getaway. Matter of fact, you don’t need a specific reason to visit Likuliku... just a passport, an air ticket, two bottles of champagne and your life partner. And with no kids allowed, this place is heaven and you’ll find it impossible to leave – we did. HM travelled to Fiji with Pacific Blue, the international airline of Virgin Blue. The airline offers direct flights from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Nadi. If you’re after extra leg room, book the Blue Zone seating option for an additional $45 on top of your fare. Looking for entertainment? You can hire a digEplayer, a personal in-flight system which features movies, children’s TV shows and a broad array of music for an additional $15. Visit www.flypacificblue.com for current specials and bookings.

that’s not a bad thing. On the breakfast menu at Likuliku is a succulent mud crab omelette, which is impossible to go past, even for four days straight. Anstey says the quality of the meals comes down to the produce the kitchen sources. “Over 80% of all produce in the Likuliku kitchen is sourced in Fiji, supported with our own vegetable and herb garden onsite,” he says. “Some of our local suppliers offer free-range eggs, organic fruit and vegetables, and pork from Vuda Piggery, near Lautoka. “Spices of Fiji, an organic plantation and oasis of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper at Wainadoi, halfway between Suva and Pacific Harbour, supplies some of the finest spices found on any world menu. Fresh, clean and creative, we showcase the “The hot tropical climate lends itself to finest local produce with an emphasis on local simplicity, whilst our market positioning reseafood, lush tropical fruits, premium products quires a unique creative style and contempoand the diversity of cultures that have shaped rary flair,” he says. the South Pacific. With bure rates starting at FJD$1375 per STEVE ANSTEY, Group General Manager, Ahura Resorts night for two including all meals, the quality of meals has to be high-end and quite simply, Likuliku have excelled in this area. Tranquil: Likuliku’s The property also has a heavenly day-spa – Tatadra – with treatoverwater bungalows ment rooms that overlook the beach and waves that crash underneath. Massages, body wraps, manicures and masks are all specialities, particularly the Couples Indulgence package that includes the Paradise Sugar Body Glow. The restaurant and day spa are just two of the many reasons why Likuliku Lagoon Resort continues to perform well. Anstey says despite the global economic downturn, the outlook is positive for the property. “We have seen certain geographic regions shift, both positively and negatively,”he says.“But despite the depressed market, we are going to do better than expected and better than most operating at our pricing levels. “Whilst we are down on last year, the resort is still showing strong forward bookings and achieving satisfactory occupancies, especially when compared to other competitor resorts,”Anstey says. Guests are also coming from across the globe – with Australia, New Zealand and the United States being the strongest markets. The recent

Hotel & Accommodation Management

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propertyPROFILE

QUAY WEST HEATS UP FALLS CREEK AUSTRALIA’S NEWEST SKI-IN SKI-OUT HOTEL, QUAY WEST RESORT AND SPA FALLS CREEK, IS SET TO BECOME ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST POPULAR ALPINE PROPERTIES FOLLOWING AN OVERWHELMING RESPONSE SINCE OPENING ON JUNE 5. WORDS

JAMES WILKINSON

SNAPSHOT Architecturally brilliant: The St Falls complex at the base of the chairlift and (inset) inside one of the hotel’s 73 apartments

F

ew serviced apartment properties in Australia’s top cities come anywhere near the quality of Quay West Resort and Spa Falls Creek, let alone those located in region areas like this 5-star property is. What Morry Schwartz’s Pan Urban and Callum Fraser of Elenberg Fraser have created with the St Falls development – upon which the Quay West Resort is located – is something remarkable indeed. From its stunning architecture that will lead to a swag of awards, to the luxury appointed apartments with breathtaking views, this property is not just the finest alpine hotel to open in this Australia in the last 20 years, but perhaps the best amongst Mirvac’s regional portfolio. And importantly, the hotel is performing. During a site tour of the 73-room, 5-star hotel on June 22, Quay West Resort and Spa Falls Creek General Manager Stewart Wheeler told HM the property has been popular with leisure guests since its opening and the next two months are looking strong. “As soon as Falls Creek had that first, early snow dump the phones starting ringing, so we are holding extremely healthy bookings for July with almost every night sold out and August is quickly following suit,” he said. With success on the leisure side, Wheeler now has the MICE market firmly in his sights. 30

Hotel & Accommodation Management

“We see this as an exciting opportunity for us as we have two purpose built function rooms for up 120 delegates, plus a dining room just off our signature restaurant, Alta with sweeping views over the valley,”he said. Quay West Resort and Spa Falls Creek has two purpose-built function rooms with mountain views that cater for up to 120 people in theatre style, while dinners and events can also be held in Alta Restaurant and next door at tomdickandharry’s après-ski bar. “A unique outdoor central court is ideal for a break-out area and cocktail parties, plus all these areas can be converted into special event functions and celebrations,”Wheeler said. “We also think the incentive market will be huge for Falls Creek for there is just so much to do and see all year round - it is the true destination for avid skiers and summer breaks.” The resort is the first branded property in Falls Creek and operator Mirvac Hotels is confident of the tourism boost the region will receive as a result. Also confident about what the hotel can do for the local tourism industry is Falls Creek Resort Management CEO, Ross Passalaqua, who said the opening of the property would provide numerous opportunities going forward. “There has never been a better time to have a conference in Falls Creek,” Passalaqua said.

QUAY WEST RESORT AND SPA FALLS CREEK 17 Bogong High Plains Road, Falls Creek, VIC, Australia Owner Zacamoco (a JV between Pan Urban and Elenberg Fraser) Operator Managed by Mirvac Hotels & Resorts General Manager Stewart Wheeler Rooms and suites 73 apartments and penthouses F&B outlets ALTA Restaurant, Tomdickandharry's and The Pass Conferencing Two purpose-built function rooms, catering for up to 120 people in theatre style, plus Alta Restaurant is available for private functions. Recreation facilities Gymnasium, sauna, steam room, indoor plunge pool, outdoor spa and Mii Spa with five treatment rooms.


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roomKEY

A YEAR OF CHALLENGES RACHEL ARGAMAN Chief Executive Officer Toga Hospitality

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t has been an interesting and in many respects, an exciting year thus far for Toga Hospitality. Whilst we are all challenged by the global financial crisis, it brings, like all challenges, opportunities to improve our business. Opportunities to review the way we are doing things and ensure that we are staying close to our customers. We continue to focus on ensuring our guest service and the “value” our guests receive when they stay with us, making sure that our marketing is tactical and meaningful, that we are paying forensic attention to our costs and that we are growing and developing our teams so that our people deliver strong leadership in whichever role they have with us. We have a strong performance culture at Toga which is action oriented and for us it is critical that we always act on the compelling business case and that we are actively working on ways to improve our product, our service and our team strength at all times. We have always run with a lean, engaged team and we have retained and, in certain cases, employed and recruited to expand key departments as we add more hotels to our portfolio. On the expansion front, we continue to grow our hotel portfolio throughout Australia, New Zealand and Europe with a number of hotels opening in the first half of this year and more set to open over the coming months. In March we opened two new hotels in Darwin – Medina Grand Darwin Waterfront and Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront and completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment of Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin. The two new hotels are part of a major redevelopment of the Darwin Waterfront which also includes the new Darwin Convention Centre, public parklands and a wave pool. This development is transforming a former industrial site into an exciting new precinct for Darwin that will be used by both locals and tourists as a vibrant business, looking forward to opening two new properties this year in Berlin tourism and recreation hub. The market has given us a strong mark of and Frankfurt. approval with both hotels ramping up very quickly and performing exWe have had excellent take up and appreciation of the Apartment ceptionally well almost immediately upon opening. Curve restaurant at Hotel concept in Europe as the European travellers truly appreciate the the Vibe hotel is also winning accolades and receiving positive reviews. space and comfort offered by our Adina brand. Travelodge Wellington re-opened in early June after an eight We see so many international brands that have come into Australia month refurbishment program to bring the property in line with the and it is wonderful to see an Australian owned company expanding revitalised Travelodge brand with an emphasis on delivering fresh, successfully into Europe. It both excites and inspires our teams here, modern and comfortable hotel accommodation complete with upmany of whom have now had opportunities to go over and work in to-date technology. The 132 room hotel is our second hotel in New the European hotels. Zealand, with Travelodge Palmerston North opening just over a year ago. Despite the relatively short time the hotel has been open, We have a strong performance culture at Toga which is it is quickly establishing its place on the Welaction oriented and for us it is critical that we always act lington accommodation scene and we have on the compelling business case and that we are actively good forward bookings for the hotel. working on ways to improve our product, our service In 2010, the 290 room Travelodge Dockand our team strength at all times. lands will open on Aurora Lane, immediately RACHEL ARGAMAN, CEO, Toga Hospitality adjacent to Docklands Stadium. This is Toga Hospitality’s first new build for Melbourne under the Travelodge banner and we are excited to add another At Toga Hospitality we remain focused on optimising our reiconic location to the Travelodge portfolio. The hotel will reflect the sults under all trading conditions, on responding strongly to any “new look” Travelodge rooms which we have rolled out across the challenges in the market and to always acting on the compelling brand, with a fresh, modern image appealing to both business and business case. Our business is performing well and we look forleisure traveller alike. ward to our continuing expansion and to growing and providing Our expansion into Europe with our Adina Apartment Hotel opportunities for the passionate, intelligent and motivated Toga brand continues with a focus on expanding in Germany. We are Hospitality team.

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roomKEY

THE NEW ZEALAND DREAM EARL HAGAMAN Co-founder & co-owner Scenic Hotel Group

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hen I first came to New Zealand nearly 30 years ago, it was largely at the insistence of my good friend Ralph Brown. Something of a world adventurer, Ralph was so taken with what he found in New Zealand that he wanted to me to experience it too. He was right. I was so struck by the extraordinary beauty of the country and the warmth and friendliness of New Zealanders that what started off as a visit and the possibility of some off-shore investment soon turned to something far more permanent. Ralph and I bought our first hotel together in 1981, a 48 room property in Franz Josef. Properties in Dunedin, Fox Glacier, Picton and Queenstown followed which by 1986 gave us five picturesque hotels forming a semi-circle around the South Island – our group “Scenic Circle Corporation Limited” was born. Ironically, almost no sooner had we gone public than we were hit by the stock market crash in 1987. To ride out the devastating repercussions on the tourism industry we sold some of our hotels and reprivatised what was left to protect our business. Undaunted we once again opted for a growth

menus to the local knowledge of our staff. Nowhere is this more prevalent than our newest and possibly most ambitious project – the Te Waonui Forest Retreat in Franz Josef. The 100 room hotel is absolutely part of the lush native rainforest environment it inhabits. Built largely out of wood (sustainable) and local resources such as aggregate sourced from the nearby Waiho River, our architects and builders have adopted designs and construction methods to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Each of the 100 rooms has a balcony and

We have recently changed our name to Scenic Hotel Group which better reflects our modern day operations which extend way beyond that original South Island semi circle. EARL HAGAMAN, Co-founder & co-owner, Scenic Hotel Group

strategy acquiring and refurbishing properties around the country. Personal tragedy hit in 1995, when my dear friend Ralph suffered a fatal heart attack, just days after winning the World Jet Boat Championships in Canada. They were difficult days indeed but eventually I decided to continue the dream and with my Kiwi wife Lani and the wonderful dedicated Scenic Circle family we grew the company to what it is today – 18 properties stretching from Paihia in the north to Gore in the far south and the honour of being the only 100% Kiwi owned and operated hotel chain in the country. We have recently changed our name to Scenic Hotel Group which better reflects our modern day operations which extend way beyond that original South Island semi circle. Our philosophy, however, remains the same – to offer guests a warm, friendly stay in properties with individual styles reflecting their location in everything from the food on their

windows facing out into a courtyard of towering native bush where indigenous birds greet them with their song. In the rooms, our guests are treated to five star luxury with intriguing interior design touches such as cushions made from possum fur – possums are of course a pest in New Zealand and particularly destructive in the native rain forest. And while enjoying this sumptuousness our guests can also be assured that the hotel features the highest levels of ecofriendly practice with extensive use of thermal insulation, double glazing, natural ventilation, natural lighting, water and water heating saving techniques, waste minimisation and the latest heat saving heat pump technology. It is an achievement of which we are very proud and I’m sure my good friend Ralph would thoroughly approve. In May, Earl was the Inaugural winner of the New Zealand Hotel Industry Achievement Award at NZHIC.


qualia

DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE PAUL KERR, GLOBAL CEO OF SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLDTM, REVEALS THE SECRETS TO THE BRAND'S SUCCESS AND EXPLAINS WHY NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME FOR SMALL INDEPENDENT HOTELS TO JOIN.

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he Small Luxury Hotels of the WorldTM (SLH) brand is an unrivalled collection of some of the world's finest small independent hotels. Comprising almost 500 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to iconic lodges, city centre sanctuaries to working farms and sheep stations, historic country houses to idyllic beach resorts, SLH is internationally renowned for its commitment to a single standard of excellence across its whole portfolio. HM spoke to Global CEO of SLH, Paul Kerr, to get the low-down on the latest developments and to find out how the economic downturn has affected business. HM: What is the latest news from SLH? Paul Kerr: The SLH brand continues to go from strength to strength. Each year we achieve a net growth of about 10% in terms of the number of hotels in our portfolio. Contrary to what you would expect in an economic downturn, we have received an unprecedented increase in the number of enquiries from independent, luxury hotels wanting to be part of the SLH brand. SLH has welcomed 40 hotels in the first half of 2009 - on top of the 66 hotels at the end of last year. We believe that part of this is due to the fact that hotels look towards a brand like SLH to provide them with a safe haven when conditions are challenging. It is during downturns like this that the economies of scale and return on investment offered by a brand like SLH become critical to the success of small hotels. We pride ourselves on the diversity and geographic reach of the hotels in our portfolio and we make a concerted effort to ensure that we have different hotels to meet the varying needs of our customers. As part of our development strategy, SLH continues to identify hidden gems in destinations where we are yet to have a presence. As such, the first half of this year has seen a number of notable additions to the brand. The newest property to join the brand in this region is Taunovo Bay Resort & Spa - the brand's only hotel in Fiji. We also welcomed our first property in Japan, Hoshinoya Karuizawa, and China, India and Vietnam have also been areas of growth for us. Although we are keen to grow, SLH places enormous emphasis on ensuring that the highest standards of excellence are consistently delivered across the entire portfolio. The credibility of the brand depends on it. Every hotel applying to become part of SLH must undergo a rigorous inspection process. We also have a carefully monitored 'mystery guest' programme with a team of inspectors around the world. The fact that 34

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only five percent of the hotels that apply to join are successful demonstrates the high standards SLH demands. HM: What sets SLH - and the hotels in its portfolio - apart? PK: Individuality is one of our core values and is central to the continued success of the brand - we celebrate the individuality of each and every hotel. It's a win-win situation as our hotels can maintain their independent ownership whilst aligning their hotel with one of the world's top luxury hotel brands. Our brand positioning matches exactly what luxury consumers want these days - individuality, memorable experiences and a sense of self-identity - consumers do not want cookie-cutter hotels. The average size of hotels is 50 bedrooms - some with as few as six - so owners of small, independent hotels can rest assured that they are never a small fish in a big pond with SLH. HM: How has the economic downturn affected business? PK: Over the past 12 months we have seen that, despite the global recession, travel has continued to be an important part of people's lives perhaps becoming even more so as people tried to escape the doom and gloom of the downturn. The luxury end of the market has not been immune to the effects of the economic crisis but it is more resilient. Luxury travel is not something our clientele will ever compromise on. Many of our guests are cash rich and time poor so this means holidays are even more important and are seen as a necessity rather than a discretionary purchase. Our hotels offer a 'home away from home' which is very attractive for frequent travellers. As a luxury brand we are not about cost cutting - we are about adding value for our guests through memorable experiences. We are continuing to roll out initiatives such as 'Country Retreats by SLH', 'Thailand by SLH' - and our new range of unforgettable experiences, 'Gourmet by SLH' which offers a wealth of tantalising delights from private tutorials with Michelin-starred chefs to truffle hunting in Umbria to a Maori food trail or a private wine tasting at a family-run winery. We are currently working on our 'Beach Resorts by SLH' programme which will feature a number of properties in this region including Kims Beach Hideaway in Toowoon Bay, north of Sydney, and Pacific Resort Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Because every one of our hotels is different we ensure that they are included in at least one marketing program - all of which are targeted at different market segments. Blanket Bay


A SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLDTM PROMOTION

As well as traditional marketing channels, we are always looking ahead and, as a brand, we are committed to innovation. We are now focusing on creating a dialogue and engaging our customers and building loyalty through social media marketing. As a mutual organisation, we are also continually looking for ways to add value for our hotels. One of the ways we have been doing this is through our investment in technology - both in terms of communicating with our hotels and guests and helping with revenue management. We recently launched an intranet for SLH hoteliers, myslh.com, and a dedicated travel agents' website www.slh.com/travelagents. We offer our hotels a web booking engine which can be used on their individual website. We have a 'one stop' distribution solution and our reservation platform can handle all GDS, voice, online and third part website distribution. Our GDS code, LX for LuXury, is recognised by the travel trade across the world. In addition to this state-of-the-art reservation system hotels have access to a global network of dedicated Account Managers, sales, PR and marketing support. Our global directory promotes our hotels to a worldwide audience with 330,000 copies distributed to qualified travel agents, The Club of SLH members, customers, media and every SLH property in the world. A copy sits in every bedroom of every SLH hotel! However, being part of the SLH brand is not just about driving bookings through our channels - it is about offering instant recognition and quality assurance to help hotel owners and management to position their own hotel in the market and to gain exposure which will help drive direct bookings. Industry recognition continues to match the brand's growth and success. On top of a number of international awards for its website, www. slh.com, SLH was named 'Brand Management Company of the Year' for the third consecutive year at the 2008 HM Awards for Hotel & Accommodation Excellence in Australia. Most recently, SLH was awarded top honours for the third year running in the New York-based Luxury Institute's annual Luxury Brand Status Index survey, when it was voted number one luxury hotel brand by wealthy consumers beating off 21 other luxury hotel brands, including Ritz Carlton and Peninsula. We asked a number of representatives from SLH properties across the region to give us their views on the benefits of belonging to a brand such as SLH - and what advice they would give to hoteliers deciding how to spend their marketing budgets over the next 12 months. Jason Friedman, General Manager, qualia, Hamilton Island, Australia “qualia joined SLH in March 2007 prior to opening because it was important to us to launch the resort with a strong international brand affiliation and to be aligned with like-minded product. SLH has the best reputation for maintaining the integrity of its member hotels – I know that if I travel to an SLH hotel it will be of the same quality as the one I operate. SLH hotels offer a level of service that truly is intuitive and exceptional. It’s like being in a home away from home – and since my home is qualia that says a lot! I grew up staying at SLH hotels so even before I became a professional hotelier I knew what makes a great hotel. It is an honour for me to now be running an SLH hotel. If I was speaking to a fellow hotelier, I would recommend joining SLH - even in the current economic climate. Even as the markets get tight, the SLH team is still working for us. As long as that SLH directory is sitting on a coffee table or on a book shelf it is selling your hotel. One thing I would say is that you should be prepared to join for the long run – it is a partnership with benefits that grow over time.” Bruce Garrett, General Manager, The George, Christchurch, New Zealand “We chose SLH because it is recognised as a global leader for independent luxury properties – as well as its strong regional presence. Our aim was to gain recognition with like-minded properties of exceptional standards. Since joining the ongoing benefits have included support, training and education to keep the team at the hotel ahead of the curve as well as cutting edge technology.

COVER STORY

During times of economic uncertainty like this consumers seek security in recognised and trusted brands. SLH also provides benchmarking information and advice in how to deal with such situations. I recently attended the SLH International Conference in Paris where the main theme was driving revenue – and ‘how we can help each other’.” The George

Philip Jenkins, General Manager, Blanket Bay, Glenorchy, New Zealand and Board Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World “As a small independent property it is essential to be associated with a luxury hotel brand prior to opening. Being accepted by SLH gave Blanket Bay credibility within the industry and attracted immediate interest from the media. It also gave us immediate exposure to potential guests staying in the other SLH properties around the world. SLH opened doors. When guests and travel agents are going through the decisionmaking process they have the comfort factor of knowing that the hotel will deliver because it’s part of SLH. On top of this, The Club of SLH is a recognition programme which offers an even greater level of personalised service for regular guests. One of the reasons we chose SLH was that it had a cluster of hotels in New Zealand in its portfolio. SLH has always had New Zealand’s best luxury lodges within its membership. Clearly the organisation would allocate considerable resources to a country where there were a lot of hotels. The New Zealand hotels work closely together within the framework of the brand and this has helped us to market New Zealand as a luxury destination. To any hoteliers considering joining a brand my advice would be not to wait. This is absolutely the time to be part of a globally recognised brand. As an independent property you can easily get lost amongst thousands of other hotels if you do not have the credibility SLH offers.” Tony Alfaro, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Owner, Taunovo Bay Resort & Spa, Fiji “Being a new property we felt it was important to align ourselves with an organisation that is globally respected. SLH offered us the opportunity to hit the right market at a global level. The brand SLH has been around for years and we have always seen it as a benchmark in resort representation. SLH hotels are committed to delivering only the best to the consumer. Many of my friends stay in SLH properties on a regular basis so I knew that SLH defined luxury and style and this became more evident when we began our research. We only joined in March this year and already we have participated in the Australian roadshows and media events. We are also participating in the upcoming ‘Beach Resorts by SLH’ programme which will give us additional exposure globally.” Hotels interested in becoming part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand can contact Alison Roberts-Brown, Area Director - Asia Pacific, on +61 (0)2 9468 7105 or by emailing alison.robertsbrown@slh.com for more information. Also visit www.joinslh.com Hotel & Accommodation Management

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brandMANAGEMENT

Unique experience: The farming life at Wharekauhau Estate in New Zealand, a member of SLH

STRENGTH THROUGH

NUMBERS IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, HOTEL BRAND MANAGEMENT COMPANIES HAVE HIT THE SPOTLIGHT MORE THAN EVER AS UNBRANDED HOTELS LOOK TO INCREASE REVENUE AND OCCUPANCY. BUT WHICH COMPANY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE? AS HM DISCOVERS, IT’S ALL ABOUT STRENGTH THROUGH NUMBERS.

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ifting your hotel or resort above the noise of the hospitality marketing mayhem is a continual challenge for proprietors and GMs. Some franchise, some sell management rights, others join marketing groups while some just go it alone. Back in April, HM dug deep into the franchising sector to examine the arguments for and against this business model. Now we look at the branding groups and how their promise of marketing strength through numbers and the powerful association of highly ranked, boutique properties generates valuable synergy through global portfolios. Within the boundaries of this sector, there exists several strata ranging from those offering comprehensive branding, marketing, sales and reservation support to others with a much simpler, more flexible model. Do you choose one, the other or even both? Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is certainly one of the first to come to mind in our region. With eleven properties in Australia and ten in New Zealand, one would think this brand has achieved a desirable critical mass of global reach and local penetration. SLH’s model is close to others at the high end of the brand management spectrum and their invitation and selection process is typical of this sector. Here’s an overview of the process: Stage One: Formal application letter with copies of all marketing material sent to head office for initial appraisal. Stage Two: If successful, applicants are then asked for a non-refundable deposit prior to property inspection. Typically this deposit is then credited against the initial fee. Stage Three: Property inspection and evaluation. Time for Q&A for both parties. 36

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WORDS

RODERICK EIME

Stage Four: Inspection report is considered by head office and regional directors. Stage Five: Contracts are signed and initial fees paid. Naturally any thorough examination of options within this bracket must include other obvious contenders. Founded in 1928, The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) is headquartered in New York City and represents around 450 properties in 80 countries across the world at any time with four in Australia and two in New Zealand. Former regional SLH head, Lynne Ireland, made a high profile switch to relatively unknown brand in Australia, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, last year that had everyone talking. The 40-year-old US-based brand claims to be “the ultimate luxury collection, featuring more than 185 exceptional hotels and resorts in the most desirable locations around the world.” Preferred Hotels & Resorts is part of the family of brands that include Preferred Boutique, Summit Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels and Historic Hotels of America. The push into the region has already paid dividends, with three members recently joining the Preferred Boutique brand - The Lyall (Melbourne), The Richardson (Perth) and Legends Resort (Moorea, French Polynesia). European stalwart luxury brand Relais and Châteaux is a collection of 480 of charming hotels and gourmet restaurants in 56 countries. Established in France in 1954, the Association’s mission is“to spread its unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character.”So far six properties in Australia and New Zealand have rallied to this call. Design Hotels is, according to their website, a global hospitality company, that brings under its umbrella over 175 independently owned, design-driven properties in more than 40 countries around the globe. Member hotels benefit from customised services ranging from global sales representation and reservations, to revenue and distribution management; from strategic marketing and public relations to


brandMANAGEMENT

branding; therefore receiving the exposure they need around the world while maintaining their individual identity. Conceived in 1993 by Claus Sendlinger, then a travel agent, and today its hands-on president and CEO, Design Hotels has its headquarters in Berlin and branches in London, Barcelona, New York, Singapore, Bali, Tokyo and Perth. Their sole Australian member is Limes Hotel in Brisbane. Worldhotels say they are “the largest and most established Europebased global group for individual and independent hotels as well as regional hotel brands”. The company's strong emphasis is on quality consistent properties with character and distinction. Founded in 1970, Australian membership is currently limited to Stamford properties. Moving away from conventional models, some brands have adopted a quirky persona in an attempt to differentiate themselves from the pack. Kiwi Collection, Mr & Mrs Smith and Healing Hotels stand out because of their unusual approach to marketing. Interestingly, many hotels and resorts utilising conventional brands have also opted to join the Kiwi Collection for added coverage.

WORD FROM THE CONVERTED Jim Carreker is Managing Director and owner (with his wife Helen) of Arbutus Hospitality Group, a South Australian fine dining and luxury accommodation tourism enterprise, with its corporate office in North Adelaide and operating units comprising Appellation restaurant, The Louise luxury vineyard retreat and Atrium at Greenock Creek private vineyard residence, all in the Barossa Valley. After 30 years at the very top of the US electronic, software and computer engineering industry, Jim and wife Helen moved to Australia in 2003 as a lifestyle decision with the intention of “owning one of the world’s great destination restaurants with luxury accommodation”. It was always the intention to align themselves with one of the best international hospitality marketing brands to capitalise on inbound tourism. Jim and Helen ultimately chose SLH to represent their property, but also maintain a secondary affiliation with the Kiwi Collection. After years of careful research, Jim and Helen purchased the Peppers Hermitage property and began a series of upgrades and renaming the 15-suite property, The Louise for sentimental reasons as much as anything else. “The nature of the upgrades and marketing directions we undertook meant we were looking to a brand that would be well recognised in both Europe and the USA,” Jim told HM magazine. “Additionally I was particularly impressed by SLH being a memberowned, not-for-profit organisation. I thought this was a very comfortable and appropriate way for independent hotel owners to combine their efforts. Plus their profile was clearly on the rise internationally and very appealing,” he said. On the question of franchising, Jim was quick to point out that the appeal of a brand marketing organisation like SLH was its recognition of the independent owner and the liberty that affords. SLH does not offer franchise agreements. “It’s nice to know that there are other similar (SLH member) properties around the world offering the same sort of exclusive experiences as ourselves. It’s like a club, but not just because it’s cosy, it’s effective,”he said.

JUST MARKETING, PLEASE Founded by former LHW head Mark Greedy and exAmerican Express MD Jim Smith, Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific announce their unique showcase site, exclusively focused on luxury resorts within Asia Pacific. Elite Resorts is in the process of building the resort alliance across the region and anticipate launching EliteResortsofAsiaPacific.com in the fourth quarter of 2009. To view a demo site of the showcase, visit http://www.eliteresortsofasiapacific.com/demo

ASK THE GURU MAKING THE BRAND DECISION IS NOT ONE TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. WE ASKED HOTEL BRANDING GURU, RICHARD ROSEBERY, HOW HE WOULD ADVISE CLIENTS. Choosing a brand or marketing group is almost an essential decision for most hotel owners, especially in today’s challenging market. My belief is simple: you’d be crazy not to. Regardless of the business or branding model, hotel owners are going to benefit from the weight of numbers and economies of scale that can only come from such an association. The trick, of course, is to align your property with the correct brand and that is a decision not everybody gets right. Before you even look at the logos available to stick on your door, ask yourself whether you are genuinely and honestly looking for new business and, assuming yes, are prepared to make the necessary effort to support that decision. Have a clear vision of your business, its strengths and weaknesses, and where you believe you can grow and in which direction. Most importantly, I am a firm believer that in the hospitality business more than any other, the old saying “people deal with people” applies. In particular I mean that your choice to associate with one brand or another may come down to your ability to relate to the people in the team you are considering. Gut feelings count here. The brand and its team must be both active and proactive. As a professional in the business, you’ll have a nose for this already. What’s the first brand you think of? Why did you think of it? A brand can also be too big - or too small. If, for example, the group supports numerous properties within a small geographic region, the benefit for each is diminished. In most cases, you should look for a degree of exclusivity in your immediate region. So, the strength of the brand to deliver referral business is critical. If it brings you more international business, that’s a welcome bonus. Customers are often creatures of habit and a good experience at one property will lead them to seek out another from the same group, hence the importance of the directory. Everyone understands the increasing power of the Internet as a significant distribution channel, however the good old fashion directory remains a very important communication tool to effectively reach most luxury orientated Baby Boomers and prospects that still like reading hardcopy. And finally, when you do join your carefully chosen group, work it to the max. Make sure you extract full value from your membership and utilise the full suite of services available to you. It is this access to services that is of the great value today, ways of getting a hotel into the hands of the right audience – an audience that best suits your property’s profile. A successful reservations channel ‘yes!’– but just as important is successful access to the right range of tactical sales and marketing solutions to reach prospective inbound and domestic guests, be it either leisure or corporate business.. Richard Rosebery is an independent strategic and brand marketer and the Managing Director of The Profit Motif Pty. Ltd.

Hotel & Accommodation Management

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hotelUNIFORMS

ON THE RUNWAY WORDS

JAMES WILKINSON

HOTEL CHAINS ARE NO LONGER JUST BATTLING FOR THE BEST DAILY RATE, BUT THE MOST FASHIONABLE STAFF.

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otel chains are spending more than ever before on ensuring the presentation of the hotel exceeds guest expectations. While furniture, finishings and food have traditionally been the major focus areas, a greater emphasis has been placed on fashion of late, with several chains spending up big on uniforms to make sure their staff are the best dressed in the industry. One hospitality company taking the lead is Accor and while the company may be French, it hasn’t always meant the staff have been the best dressed from the country renowned for chic couture. This year, Accor enlisted the help of two leading design houses to revamp the uniforms for two key areas of the business – Novotel, by famed designer Peter Morrissey, and Sofitel Luxury Resorts in Tahiti and Fiji by Sydney custom uniform specialists Dallen. Accor Vice President – Australia, Simon McGrath, said he was proud to invest in staff at a time when many companies were cutting back on costs. “Our most important asset is definitely our staff so it is important that they can take real pride in working for us,”he said. McGrath said he was thrilled about the new uniforms, including Novotel’s collaboration with Morrissey. “To have the Novotel brand associated with such a legend in Australian fashion signals Novotel’s commitment to cutting-edge design that is also highly practical in the workplace,” he said. “These uniforms will not only create a great first impression for guests, but have also been designed to be comfortable and functional for staff while they are working,” McGrath said. He said the new uniforms will take the Novotel brand to the next level in its evolution at a time when Novotel hotels across the country are undergoing a substantial upgrade in their facilities and décor. Morrissey said he selected natural fabrics including cotton and silk of the highest quality which staff will find both comfortable to wear and easy to work in. “The new uniforms – as with the brand more generally – are modern, innovative and inviting, and certainly designed for natural living,” said Morrissey.“I want the uniforms to give staff more confidence and to make them feel appreciated so they are excited to get dressed for work every day.” Like McGrath, Dallen CEO Paul Fitzpatrick said it’s incredibly important that staff are not only well presented, but wear uniforms they desire to wear. “Generally, modern uniforms have an increasingly close relationship with retail apparel,” Fitzpatrick said. “These are garments that staff actually want to wear and would perhaps purchase themselves at a retail level. “We are also fully aware of the global trend towards bespoke quality and Dallen is uniquely positioned to produce custom designed garments with great attention to fit and finish,” he said.

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Hotel & Accommodation Management

Novotel uniforms by Peter Morrissey

As Fitzpatrick said, Dallen are in a unique position. They don’t necessarily have the signature high-end designer name, but they have the same level of quality and in many cases, more versatility in being able to create collections for multiple hotels and chains. Recent projects have included the uniforms for Sofitel Resorts in Tahiti and Fiji, along with InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto and Crown Melbourne’s new Metropol hotel, each of which, Fitzpatrick said, had something unique. “For the Sofitel Resorts uniforms, our designers drew inspiration from a century-old Tahitian bank note to create the unique print used throughout the resort,” he said. “The sophisticated InterContinental Sydney combination of natural wood tones and uniforms by Dallen crisp white define the contemporary new look... while the Crown Metropol project will be a complete departure from most people’s expectations of what a uniform should be. When asked by HM why hotels would choose Dallen for their uniforms, Fitzpatrick said there were many reasons, but it was primarily because of the quality. “The most appealing reason would have to be the high standard of our design and quality of workmanship,” he said. “Dallen product offers a unique point of difference. I suppose the other reason is that we are large enough to handle full scale projects like Crown and small enough to be flexible and responsive to immediate needs from smaller clients, such as those who cannot commit to a large stock holding of garments but don't want anything out of a catalogue. “We are also large enough also to invest in research and development and bring our clients the best fabrications the world has to offer,” he said. There are also a number of reasons why Dallen has such a unique offering in the market. “While others were looking to offshore production and its price advantages, we responded to the obvious disadvantages of imports such as very long lead times, high volumes and inconsistent quality or fit,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our clients enjoy faster deliveries, but above all, individuality and durability. There are now an increasing number of clients who realise the value in purchasing a high quality, locally manufactured product and it's interesting to see so many Dallen garments still being worn after five or more years in daily service,” he said. With chains such as Accor, Crown and InterContinental taking such a strong lead, the industry is bracing itself for not just the daily rate wars, but also the fashion wars because in 2009, it certainly is a case of being dressed to impress.


hotelREFURBISHMENT

GRAND RENOVATIONS IN A SPECIAL TWO-PART SERIES, HM TAKES A LOOK AT SOME OF THE FINEST HOTEL REFURBISHMENTS IN AUSTRALIA OVER THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS.

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rom Melbourne to Cairns and Sydney to Perth, many leading Australian hotels have undergone a makeover. In the first of a special twopart series, HM looks at work undertaken on Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Terrigal, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and Medina on Crown in Sydney.

GRAND HYATT MELBOURNE In October 2008, Grand Hyatt Melbourne unveiled one of the most stunning refurbishments seen in Australia this decade – a AUD$45 million transformation of the hotel’s upper and lower lobbies. A new restaurant, Collins Kitchen, and bar, RU-CO, were also created at the Grand Hotel Group-owned property, along with a luxury retail precinct and an events space, the Residence. The new areas were finished in time for last year’s Spring Racing Carnival and the renovation’s design was undertaken by a team of leading Australian architects and interior designers, including Bar Studio, Billard Leece and Graphos Architects. Grand Hyatt Melbourne General Manager David Mansfield told HM the response to the refurbishment from both business and leisure travelers alike has been overwhelming – particularly from the latter. “We have seen an encouraging increase in our weekend business due to the redevelopment,” he said. “The completion of the redevelopment aligns Grand Hyatt Melbourne with the global Grand Hyatt standard, with a focus on design and architecture. “The hotel has an unbeatable location on Collins Street, and its interior design and layout enhances the hotel’s constant dynamic energy. The location of Collins Kitchen adjacent to the lobby adds to this, while the new bar, RU-CO, has been very popular with both guests and Melbourne residents, with the dramatic design striking a chord with the clientele,” he said.

Grand Hyatt Melbourne

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Dedicated MICE space the Residence has also been in high demand and was warmly welcomed by PCOs and event planners during AIME earlier this year. “The residence, which opened in March 2009, was also a key feature of the redevelopment,”he said. “This is a unique events space based on the concept of a private mansion. “Clients have been delighted with the open kitchen, the natural light and the flexibility of the four individually styled rooms, suitable for any occasion from a dinner for twelve guests to a cocktail reception for 400. The addition of the retail precinct has also proven a winner for the property since the extensive refurbishment was completed. “The luxury retail precinct, home to Paspaley Pearls, Emporio Armani and Bulgari, allows guests the quintessentially Melbourne experience of highend shopping,” he said. While the hotel’s rooms did not undergo a makeover in this phase, they are planned to be refurbished in the near future.

CROWNE PLAZA TERRIGAL InterContinental Hotels Group’s successful Crowne Plaza Terrigal has recently put the finishing touches to a multi-million dollar makeover of the property’s 196 rooms, unveiling a light-filled contemporary new look. Design elements included orienting the layout to take best advantage of the views, with finishes and a colour palate chosen to reflect the coastal surroundings.

Transforming great Australian Hotels, Casinos and Resorts. Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

isis.com.au


hotelREFURBISHMENT

Each guest bathroom now features a new colour scheme, tiling and vanity fixtures, while guest bedrooms dispensed with every fixture currently in the room to make way for the new design. Crowne Plaza Terrigal’s corridors, lobby and first floor landing were also updated as an extension of the fresh room design to ensure a uniform feel throughout the hotel. “The rooms set new standards on the Central Coast and are a perfect complement to the recently upgraded ground floor facilities and our established reputation for service and catering,”said Crowne Plaza Terrigal Director of Sales and Marketing, Iain Ganner.

Crowne Plaza Terrigal

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SYDNEY Defying the saying that beauty is skin deep, the refurbishment of Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s 531 guest rooms and suites not only resulted in contemporary new interiors for the hotel but also allowed Four Seasons to dig deeper and implement a series of effective waste-reduction and water- and energy-saving systems – allowing guests to rest easy in the hotel’s sleek new aesthetic. Joseph Pang Design Consultants spearheaded the AUD$16 million facelift of the guest rooms, layering richly textured fabrics and wall coverings using an alternating palette of celadon and bronze hues. The furnishings are an eclectic mix of contemporary pieces mixed with classic fixtures. The overall result – completed by ISIS – exudes a residential sentiment, with the added advantage of the rooms’ and suites’ panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. Waking in such plush surroundings, guests of the hotel can rest easy that beneath the sleek new look is a well-devised system of waste-reduction and energy- and water-saving implementations, carefully chosen for their quality and ability to minimise environmental impact.

Platypus Gem-Flo systems were installed in all guest rooms and these systems achieve constant water pressure while regulating water flow rates, resulting in large volumes of water being saved.

MEDINA ON CROWN, SYDNEY Toga Hospitality’s Medina on Crown apartment hotel in Sydney has recently undergone a multimillion dollar refurbishment resulting in a fresh and contemporary new look. The extensive refurbishment work to the property includes the complete reMedina on Crown vamp of the 85 one- and two-bedroom apartments with new carpets, furnishings and fittings. The ground floor lobby has been redecorated with a new colour scheme, new furniture and new accessories and a new outdoor lounge area has been created to allow guests to enjoy the beautiful garden and pool area. In the next edition of HM, we look at Crown Towers, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto and Novotel St Kilda in Melbourne, and The Kirketon and The Sebel Surry Hills in Sydney, plus several other leading hotels in Australasia.


hotelTECHNOLOGY

THE RIALTO’S WOW FACTOR TED HORNER LOOKS AT HOW IP CONVERGENCE HAS ENABLED INTERCONTINENTAL MELBOURNE THE RIALTO TO DELIVER A “WOW” FACTOR TO GUESTS.

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n August 2007, when I was first engaged by Eureka Funds Management, owners of InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, it was agreed that we should deploy IP-based technology to give the hotel a competitive advantage with particular emphasis on an in room guest technology experience that exceeded guest expectations. Our aim was to wow the guests with an exceptional quality HD TV experience and feedback to date suggests that we have achieved this aim. With the roll out of IPTV, HD TVs and an IP Video on Demand System, I believe the quality of the picture at the hotel is currently better than anything seen in Melbourne to date. InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto with 253 rooms officially opened to much fanfare on March 26, 2009. But, it was well before that date – and before the December opening for that matter - and through competitive tendering, we selected an end-to-end converged IP-based system which allows the hotel to run the following components over the network. This included: ■ High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) for both guests and staff – wired and wireless in all guest rooms and throughout the hotel with the ability of guests to move seamlessly between both; ■ IP-based Digital Video on Demand System; ■ IP Telephony for guests and staff; ■ IPTV including both free-to-air and Foxtel content run on the network and not though traditional co-axial cable; ■ Wireless-enabled hand held Point Of Sale (POS) terminals to enable staff to process guest orders at the table in restaurant; ■ Ability to post mini-bar charges directly to the PMS in the guestroom via the wireless hand held terminals; ■ WiFi (telephony and HSIA) access for both guests and staff; and ■ Staff with Wi Fi handsets to communicate with the hotel guest response system. Each guest room has two non screen-based IP Touch phones featuring uncomplicated, easy-to-use soft keys for guests to easily access hotel services. Staff carry robust WiFi enabled handsets enabling greater mobility and increased communication throughout the hotel. By bundling the three services - VOD, HSIA and wireless - together under a single contract and combined with the fact that the owner funded all the cabling and network hardware, we were able to negotiate a new enrolment revenue share model with the vendor to provide

Room of the future: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

24x7 on-going support for HSIA at the desktop, which allows the hotel to retain a very large percentage of the broadband/wireless revenue. Furthermore, by installing all these IP-based systems over the same Cat6 and Fibre Optic backbone infrastructure and plus the fact that there is no co-axial cable in the hotel, has led to savings on cabling and network costs throughout the hotel. Vendors involved in the installation of the key systems at the hotel include: ■ iBahn: IPTV system where both free to air channels and Foxtel run over the network; IP Video on Demand including Full HD Set Top Boxes; Internet on the TV with wireless keyboard; High Speed Internet Access in the rooms; and Wireless throughout the whole hotel. ■ Integ Communications: IP PABX (upgrade of the existing analogue PABX); All the core and edge switches (Alcatel); All the wireless access points (Aruba); Full system integration and project management for the entire IP converged network. ■ Hospitality Shoppe: Philips HD LCD TVs in all guestrooms; and ■ Tilevision from the UK who supplied the bathroom TVs in the suites which are also connected to the video-on-demand system. In summary, the owners of the InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto have created an Australian first by installing a full IP-based system which incorporates voice, data video on demand and free to air including Foxtel content on the one network. This, in my opinion, gives the property a technological edge over its competitors in Melbourne by amongst other things delivering an exceptional TV viewing experience. Ted Horner can be contacted on ted@hornertech.com.au

ARE YOUR FLATSCREEN INVESTMENTS ABOUT TO FALL FLAT WITH GUESTS? Those shiny new monitors you put in your properties are HD-ready but are you? If your guests’ content is not delivered on an end-to-end digital platform, then all they’ll see is that you fell short of providing a true HD experience. In their homes and in their travels, today’s consumers are turning to HD content. And with that fundamental shift comes an entirely new standard of guest expectations for the in-room experience. The only way to be fully HD-ready is with the industry’s first and only system that’s fully digital all the way to the room. ETVi from iBAHN®. Contact us today and see why, when it comes to guest satisfaction and revenue opportunities, the ETVi end-to-end solution beats all analog-based offerings flat. To view a demonstration of ETVi from iBAHN phone 02 9220 3530

THE FUTURE OF IN-ROOM DIGITAL SOLUTIONS BEGINS WITH i Copyright © 2008 iBAHN Inc. All rights reserved. iBAHN and the iBAHN logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of iBAHN Inc. and its affiliates in the United States and other countries.

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Hotel & Accommodation Management

www.iBAHN.com ETVi @ iBAHN.com


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theINSIDER

DIAMANT HOTEL CANBERRA THE DIAMANT HOTEL CANBERRA IS A RISING STAR IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL. HM STEPS INSIDE.

THE DIAMANT HOTEL CANBERRA GENERAL FEATURES Hotel owner: Eight Hotels Australia Hotel operator: Eight Hotels Australia Interior design by SJB interiors Interior ямБt-out by SJB Interiors PMS and RMS systems by Online Systems/CHARTS POS terminals by Travelex Audio Visual installations by Bang & Olufsen

44 Hotel & Accommodation Management


theINSIDER

GUEST ROOM 1 Bang & Olufsen TV 2 Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system 3 In-room entertainment system by Bang & Olufsen 4 Internet provided by iinet 5 Furniture by Various Designers and SJB 6 Door locking system by Saflock 7 Alarm clock by Philips 8 Safe by Saflock 9 King size bed by Furniture Direct 10 5-star Indian sheets and pillows supplied by Capital Linen 11 Minibar by Bartech 12 Bathroom amenities by Kevin Murphy 13 Interior design and fit-out by SJB interiors

Hotel & Accommodation Management

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buyersGUIDE

HOT PRODUCTS HM PROFILES LEADING PRODUCTS FOR HOTELS AND MOTELS

Touchcheck by Vingcard With on-line flight bookings and unmanned kiosks providing check-in and seat allocation at airports all around the world, the travelling public have embraced the new, streamlined approach to these tedious tasks and grabbed the chance to avoid the queues and save the time. VingCard has joined the revolution by providing hotels and serviced apartments with the same opportunity, by launching the Touchcheck. Tel: 1300 796 233 (within Australia) www.vingcard.com

Affordable warewashing equipment Comenda manufactures and markets more than 200 warewashing solutions, from the smallest glass washers for bars through to large automated continuous flow systems for hotels and restaurants. Available from Comcater. Tel: 1300 662 532 E: sales@comater.com.au

Vectron POS software The Vectron POS software is totally scalable, designed for multi site venues. With group wide loyalty schemes, flexible set up and easy use, they can give head offices complete management control. They can poll information from all venues to Vectron’s powerful pos reporting package and view it online, from anywhere. Tel: 1300 789 366 www.vectron.com.au

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Hotel & Accommodation Management

Intelligent locking systems from Hafele Hafele offers a complete program of intelligent locking systems for lockers, including the safe-o-mat, safe-o-pin and safe-o-tronic. Whether it is used for cupboards or lockers, the safe-o-mat storage lock is proving to be the ideal system solution wherever safe temporary storage is required. Tel: 1300 659 728 E: info@hafele.com.au


f&b

news

GOLD COAST Peppers Salt Resort and Spa has enhanced its reputation for dining excellence with on-site restaurant Roughies winning the best restaurant category at the 2009 Gold Coast Airport Tweed Business Excellence Awards. Peppers Salt Resort and Spa General Manager Damian Sillars said Roughies Restaurant and Bar is once again tasting success after adding this award win to its ever growing list of accomplishments. “The award sets an indication of how well we are serving the Tweed community,” he said. “We are always looking for new ways in which to develop our service and menu.” One of their newest dining experiences is Roughies’ Jazz by the Pool on the first Saturday of each month where long leisurely lunches are served with a laidback side of jazz.

MELBOURNE A decadent truffle dinner showcasing Manjimup black truffles from Western Australia will be held on August 4, 2009 at 7pm at the brasserie by Philippe Mouchel at Crown.

food&BEVERAGE BARS SYDNEY

Sofitel launches signature drinks list The French are famously fanatical about fine wine, but it’s true to say that classic cocktails with a distinctly Gallic twist are another Parisian passion. In keeping with its fabulous French origins, Sofitel Luxury Hotels has launched a new cocktail list inspired by Paris across its network of luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is one of five Sofitel hotels in Australia to offer the new Sofitel signature cocktail list in its luxe Sofitel Lounge. To celebrate, Sydney’s Sofitel Lounge has also introduced Martinis at Sofitel a range of ‘Daily Selections’ (or ‘happy hour’) concepts weeknights in the Sofitel Lounge between 5-7pm including a ‘Midweek’ Martini trolley for made to order Martinis, a two-for-one cocktail night, and a cheese tasting evening each Monday for those who prefer to indulge in a glass of wine. Sofitel serves up seven sophisticated signature drinks that invoke the joie de vivre priced between AUD$19-$23.

VISIONLINE BY VINGCARD GET MORE WITH WIRELESS

PROVIDING GUESTROOM SECURITY WITH A TASTE OF REFRESHMENTS. VISIONLINE by VingCard provides a large selection of possibilities within hotel operations and guestroom security for the most demanding properties. Based on Zigbee high security open platform, you get stand alone electronic locks operating in online mode through Radio Frequency.

CLASSIC RFID BY VINGCARD GO CONTACTLESS IN 1 - 2 - 3!

Classic RFID by VingCard derives from the standard Classic lock and allows you to go contactless in a few short steps if you already have standard Classic installed. SENTINEL II by Elsafe goes beyond the ordinary. This is contemporary furntiture that is as functional as it is trendy.

SENTINEL II BY ELSAFE NOT ALL SAFES ARE CREATED EQUAL!

PolarBar by VingCard Elsafe provides refreshments to you guests in a simple and stylish design. With VingCard Elsafe, you get a true global security partner, with a wide range of product to complete your needs. POLARBAR BY VINGCARD ELSAFE AT YOUR SERVICE! ASSA ABLOY Hospitality OceaniaÊUÊ1˜ˆÌÊ£]Ê{{Ê >“LÀˆ`}iÊ-ÌÀiiÌÊUÊ,œVŽi>ÊÊ{£äÈÊUÊ+Õii˜Ã>˜`ÊÕÃÌÀ>ˆ> *…œ˜iʈ˜ÊÕÃÌÀ>ˆ>\Ê£ÎääÊǙȇÓÎÎÊUÊ*…œ˜iÊ"ÕÌÈ`iÊÕÃÌÀ>ˆ>ʳȣÊÇÊÎÓÇn‡Î™{{ÊUÊ>Ý\ʳȣÊÓÊnÎÎÈÊÈÎääÊUÊ ‡“>ˆ\Ê>ÕÃÌÀ>ˆ>JÛVi}ÀœÕ«°Vœ“ ˆ˜vœJÛVi}ÀœÕ«°Vœ“ÊUÊÜÜÜ°ÛVi}ÀœÕ«°Vœ“

Hotel & Accommodation Management

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humanRESOURCES

CAUTION REMAINS ON THE EMPLOYMENT FRONT WITH EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT CONTINUING ITS ROLLERCOASTER RIDE, HOSTEC’S IAN WILSON LOOKS AT THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY IN AN EXCLUSIVE COLUMN FOR HM.

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he nature of recruitment regardless of the industry is always cyclical and heavily influenced by the economic climate. As global economies rally from the impact of the financial crisis, the hotel sector has not escaped unscathed, particularly in international markets such as Dubai and Macau. Coupled with rising unemployment rates domestically, the impact upon the hotel recruitment market is evident. Falling from what can only be described as a “roller-coaster” high of talent shortages over the past few years; we are beginning to see the market flood with hotel executives that have found themselves targets of redundancy and downsizing. Furthermore, the current climate in the domestic market which must be said has fared much better than some of our international counterparts, remains cautious on the recruitment front. Critical hires are moving ahead, but there is clear reluctance to move forward with non-essential or luxury hires. One of the interesting implications of a market which is starting to see the emergence of a strong talent pool is that employers are now clearly positioned in the driver’s seat. They now have access to a talent pool, which 12 months ago, was just simply not available. In a market where employers are watching their bottom lines closely given

the nature of the current economy, they are becoming less tolerant of poor or mediocre performance in their employees. It is the phenomenon that we call “churn” which gives employers the opportunity in market conditions such as these too closely scrutinise their talent and question whether they have the right people executing the needs of their business. No one is indispensible, it must be said and certainly not in current market conditions. Choice is a powerful thing, particularly with General Manager’s under heavy scrutiny from boards and owners to show a return on their bottom line. Employers do need to exercise caution however, in closely managing their “people culture” in these times. Employee uncertainty and job insecurity pose significant threats to productivity. Employee morale and employee’s engaging in the’ rumour-mill’, have a hugely negative effect on business, which is difficult to measure but should not be underestimated. The recent press exposure in the financial sector regarding cut-throat redundancies and the way in which they were executed, focused on one key point: the damage that social media can have on an organisation. Disgruntled employee’s turned to Twitter, Myspace and Facebook all of which were abuzz with “axing” stories, resulting in a PR nightmare for global corporations and so-called “employers of choice”. The lesson here is that clear communication from the top down becomes fundamental in ensuring that employees remain engaged and assured during times of uncertainty. The other important factor to consider is the role of the guest. Guest expectations have risen they are demanding better value for money and wanting incentives to secure their business. This means hotels are dealing with higher volumes at discounted rates, whilst the labour force remains the same. Another clear

example of why communication remains critical during choppy times to ensure employees are set up for success. The impact on markets such as Dubai and Macau which can only be described as hotel hotspots, have been critically affected. Our Aussie expatriate talent pools are slowly testing the waters with a view to returning home. There have been many casualties some of which have been the result of Corporate Office downsizing and others simply a ‘cutting of the fat’ at property level. Furthermore, there are multiple cases of employers simply rescinding on signed employment contracts due to worsening business levels and market conditions. There are also many examples of pre-opening projects which have been delayed indefinitely, whilst investors scramble for further funding in a crippled credit market. In terms of remuneration in the domestic market, employee’s seeking an annual pay increase has more often than not been passed over. Employers are still willing to pay “market price”for top performers but are less likely to bend or buckle to a job seekers demand’s, which they more than likely would have met 12-18 months ago. In Dubai, one of the upsides to the global crisis has been the dramatic fall in rental and housing prices across the board. The bubble has burst and the hotel market who has been held to ransom by the astronomical cost of housing over the past few years, are the ones that are now reaping the benefits. As the tenants who cover the cost of housing for all executives, hotel groups, now find that rental prices have lowered by as much as 50% enabling them to entice candidate’s, particularly those with families, to Dubai once more. For now, the domestic market, whilst markedly slower than the same period twelve months ago, remains reasonably robust. Australia-Pacific seems to have weathered the storm better than most and demand for critical recruitment is still strong. Ian Wilson is the Chief Executive Officer of Hostec International.

ACCOR PAYS TRIBUTE TO INDIGENOUS EMPLOYEES Accor paid tribute to its indigenous employees during NAIDOC week with a function at the Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour, where they enjoyed lunch as well as a music and dance performance by Koomurri Management. Since Accor launched its Indigenous Employment Program in 2001, the company has employed over 500 indigenous employees across the country and is looking to build its retention rate by introducing “ambassadors” as mentors to make it easier for indigenous employees to integrate into the hotel workforce.

Accor’s Indigenous Emplyment Program recruits with dancers from the Koomurri dance troupe

Accor

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Hotel & Accommodation Management


onthemove PEOPLE

PHILIP BYRNES has been appointed Executive Chef of Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort. After completing his apprenticeship in Sydney 17 years ago, Byrnes moved to the United Kingdom where he worked at the Marriott Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire. In 1999, he moved to PB the highly regarded Inverlochy Castle Hotel in Scotland with its Michelin starred restaurant, exchanging Scotland’s weather for the sunnier climes of Bermuda in 2000. Philip spent three years at the Horizons and Cottages resort in Bermuda before succumbing to the call of North Queensland where he worked at a number of properties before joining Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort as Sous Chef, the position he occupied before recently being appointed executive chef.

Talented Queensland chef JEAN-PAUL FIECHTNER has returned for more at Peppers Spicers Peak Lodge with an aim of lifting the culinary standards even higher for the award winning mountain retreat. Fiechtner makes a welcome homecoming as the new Head Chef, having served as Sous Chef in the same kitchen in 2007 and 2008. Also in the group, MICHAEL BOLAM has been appointed as the new Head Chef of the Hunter Valley dining institution, Chez Pok Restaurant at Peppers Guest House where his passion for food was born as an apprentice back in 2004. In New Zealand, talented home grown chef CRAIG MARTIN has stepped up to the plate to take on the top job at Peppers on the Point. Formerly the retreat’s Sous Chef for over a year, Martin has been elevated to the role of Head Chef following the departure of BRENDAN DAVIS who is pursuing new goals. At Australia’s newest luxury property, Peppers Coral Coast Resort, the former Executive Chef to Her Excellency the Governor of Australia Quentin Bryce, GREGORY DEVINE, is now heading the talented food and beverage team. Devine, whose work has taken him throughout Australia and around the world, said he was delighted to be based in the beautiful Whitsundays with his wife Janiel and two year old son Zane. The Westin Melbourne has welcomed a new Director of Sales and Marketing, CARL LEAHY. Leahy will replace ANNE JAMIESON who has gone on to make her mark as Director of Sales at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Leahy is returning to his home state of Victoria after three years as Director of Sales and Marketing at Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour, Sydney. Leahy has more than 15 years international hotel management experience and holds substantial post-graduate business qualifications. BEVERLEY PARKER has been appointed Director of Sales for Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. Parker brings a wealth of tourism industry experience and in-depth local market knowledge from her most recent roles as Director of Brand Marketing Australia, New Zealand & BP South Pacific Accor Asia Pacific and Director of Sales and Marketing - Sofitel Hotels and Resorts. Previously, Parker held the position of Director of Marketing and Sales at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre which she joined in February 1999. Within this position, Parker successfully developed, implemented and managed the marketing and sales program for the launch of the AUD$57 million Convention Centre South expansion. Le Méridien and Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator since 2006, have announced World Barista Champion FRITZ STORM as the newest member of the LM100 family. FS

people

Mensforth takes over at Park Hyatt Sydney THERE HAS BEEN CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT PARK HYATT SYDNEY, WITH GENERAL MANAGER MARLENE POYNDER HEADING HOME TO PERTH AND ANDREW MENSFORTH TAKING OVER. Hyatt Hotels and Resorts

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oynder, who has been general manager of Hyatt’s flagship Australian hotel for the last three years, has returned to her home town of Perth, where she is now at the helm of the city’s Hyatt Regency hotel. “It has been a privilege Andrew Mensforth to work with such a dynamic team of professionals at our mansion by the harbor... I wish Andrew and the team continued success,” she said. South Australian-born Mensforth joins Park Hyatt Sydney after three years as general manager at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa in India and has been with the company for the last 19 years. Mensforth’s commitment to building his career as a general manager has been constant. After graduating from Adelaide University (Hotel and Business Management), Mensforth was already well on his way to establishing a career with Hyatt, having worked as a Food and Beverage attendant at Hyatt Regency Adelaide since 1990. Here, he persistently demonstrated his flair and potential to grow, and was taken under the wing of the general manager who personally coached him. Motivated to get hands-on experience in every aspect, he developed his skills across various roles and progressed quickly to become assistant front office manager. With an established background in Rooms, Mensforth moved to Hyatt Hotel Canberra - A Park Hyatt Hotel as front office manager in 1996. His grit and determination led him successfully to be appointed director of rooms at the award-winning resort, Hyatt Regency Sanctuary, in 1998. In January 2001, Mensforth welcomed his first international posting as director of rooms at Hyatt Regency Osaka and went on to become executive assistant manager of Grand Hyatt Seoul in June 2002. During his time there, he was appointed the regional rooms division specialist for Korea and Micronesia, and was instrumental in the planning and opening of Park Hyatt Seoul and Hyatt Regency Incheon. In an exciting move, Mensforth became the executive assistant manager of Park Hyatt Tokyo, the company’s award-winning flagship hotel in 2005, until being appointed to the prestigious position of general manager of Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa in July 2006.

Boost your Revenue | Skill your Staff | Gain Government Incentives How? Hospitality Traineeships & Apprenticeships with Hostec Contact: James Hooper +61 2 8002 0229 email: j.hooper@hostec.com hostec.com


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DEVELOPMENTS NOUMEA

Starwood adds New Caledonia resort Starwood

Anthology

Starwood Hotels and Resorts has expanded its presence in New Caledonia with the signing of a new Sheraton resort that features 180 rooms and extensive conferencing facilities. Sheraton New Caledonia Bourail Resort and Spa will welcome guests in 2013 and joins the company’s two other leading Sheraton New Caledonia MICE hotels in the country – Le Meridien Bourail Resort and Spa Noumea and Le Meridien Iles des Pins. Starwood Hotels and Resorts Chairman and President – Asia Pacific, Miguel Ko, said the resort will be located on the mainland within an exclusive site called Gouaro Deva, which features 13 kilometres of white sand beach and a UNESCO listed lagoon and reef. “With the expansion into New Caledonia, we look forward to sharing one of the best resort experiences in the world with travellers in a warm and welcoming setting at Sheraton,”he said. “This extended partnership also means that Starwood is the only international premier operator in New Caledonia (and) we are proud to be able to continue to help further develop tourism here, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and untouched islands of the world,”Ko said. The new-build Sheraton resort will offer 180 rooms (including 60 bungalows), extensive food and beverage facilities, a health club and spa with six treatment rooms, swimming pool, kids’ club, fitness centre, business centre and more than 300 square metres of meeting space.

REFURBISHMENTS LAUNCESTON

Anthology, the owners of historic Quamby Estate in Tasmania, are offering a “first look” deal exclusively for the travel trade to mark the completion of the first round of Quamby Estate restoration at the luxurious heritage property. Nine rooms have now been completed in the main house which retains its heritage feel. Anthology is offering 50% off a bed and breakfast package until September 26, 2009. Prices range from AUD$134 to AUD$198. DEVELOPMENTS AUCKLAND

Novotel for Auckland Airport A joint venture has been signed between Accor Hospitality, Tainui Group Holdings and Auckland International Airport, to develop and operate a world-class 4-star plus 260-room Novotel hotel at Auckland Airport, to be completed in time for Rugby World Cup 2011. Tainui will act as lead developer and investor in the joint venture, with Auckland Airport holding a minority interest. The hotel will be developed on a long-term ground lease granted by Auckland Airport and will be managed by Accor. The total forecast completed cost is NZD$65 million including hotel construction estimated at approximately NZD$45 million. Novotel Auckland Airport will be designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects, and the final design will infuse subtle references to NZ culture and heritage, offering style and convenience and a great first and last impression to travellers. “This will be a very significant hotel for New Zealand’s business and tourism infrastructure. Novotel has been selected as the ideal hotel for the Airport because it can cater for such a wide variety of markets and is renowned world-wide for providing upscale accommodation at value for money rates,”said Accor New Zealand Vice President, Paul Richardson. 50

Hotel & Accommodation Management

PORT VILA Vanuatu’s newest up market boutique accommodation, The Havannah, has opened on one of Efate’s most spectacular stretches of beach alongside Vanuatu’s first World Heritage site. With just six free standing bungalows, each with a private infinity plunge pool, water views and luxurious design and finishes, The Havannah is the newest addition to Vanuatu’s growing range of ‘boutique upscale’ properties. Located 25km from Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila, the resort is nestled on Vanuatu’s most significant natural and cultural sites. The area surrounding The Havannah, known as Chief Roi Mata’s Domain and was added to the coveted UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007. The protected region is literally teeming with life including colourful coral, fish, dugongs and spinner dolphins. WELLINGTON Travelodge Wellington re-opened its doors on June 1, following a multi-million dollar refurbishment. The new look Travelodge Wellington has been eight months in the making and its NZD$11 million transformation now makes the 132 room hotel one of the leading 3.5- to 4-star hotels in the city. The rooms were completely revamped, from light fittings to security cards and new LCD televisions, while the hotel’s foyer was transformed and saw the addition of a café. BRISBANE It’s the state with the Australia’s best marketing campaign and now Queensland is set to continue that tourism winning-streak, following the July 19 appointment of five heavyweights to the peak tourism body’s board. Appointed to the Tourism Queensland board were Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry, Quicksilver Group GM Tony Baker, Lillydale Host Farm director Pamela Hardgrave, Emporium Hotel general manager Peter Savoff and business consultant Peter Lynch. “We need the best we have at the helm of this vital industry,” said Queensland premier Anna Bligh. “The calibre of these appointees speaks for itself and this completes the dream team for Tourism Queensland.” The new members have joined Tourism Queensland chairman Don Morris and deputy chair Julie McGlone on the board. Capricorn Tourism chairman and Central Queensland tourism and hospitality owner/operator Grant Cassidy and managing director of National Park Pty Ltd Shane O'Reilly were also reappointed to the board. PERTH In a boost to regional West Australian tourism Virgin Blue has announced new Perth-Port Hedland flights, with the first service set to commence on August 4.


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