HM August 2023

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THE BUSINESS OF ACCOMMODATION IN ASIA-PACIFIC Excellence ACCOR’S PASSION FOR IN THIS ISSUE: INNOVATION IN F&B, PET-FRIENDLY HOTELS, SPA AND WELLNESS OPENINGS Meet the Accor team that’s innovating to extend performance and drive growth. Vol.27 No.4 Bi-monthly August 2023

Foxtel at your property matters, because our research shows when it comes to in-room entertainment, guests want options - preferring the choice of live TV, On Demand content and casting.

With the press of a button, Foxtel gives your guests all of these options. They can enjoy world-class movies*, the most talked about TV shows, live sport, documentaries and so much more, all live and On Demand. Or they can choose to cast their own streaming apps. Why compromise on what your guests want, when they can have it all with Foxtel.

24/7 news coverage

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experience Book a demo today Call 1300 792 883 or visit * Movies included when you take the Movie Vault add-on pack. Some channels not available in public viewing areas. This product is available to Foxtel Business subscribers only. Requires purchase of 100% of screens within the site. Requires internet connection.
Give your guests
20,000+ hours of movies* and shows
Availability of particular titles may vary. What We Do In The Shadows: S5 © 2023 FX Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Man Called Otto: © 2022 SF Studios Production AB. All Rights Reserved. Provide the ultimate entertainment experience with award winning drama, live sport, world-class movies* and integrated casting. A selection of included channels

The HM Awards is firmly recognised as the eminent awards night on the accommodation and hospitality industry calendar. Each year, close to 2,000 nominations are received to determine more than 50 category winners. The 21st edition of the HM Awards will once again recognise personnel and company excellence across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Co-Hosted by

Emerald Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Nominations Open Now

Nominations close: 5pm, Wednesday 30 August 2023. Nominating is free. Tickets on sale now: Limited first release early bird tickets on sale now. Save up to $200. $275 per person ex GST and $2,600 ex GST for Tables of 10.

Ticket enquiries:

Sponsorship enquiries: Tara Ducrou, Group Commercial Manager,



Highlights from the 45th annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York.


What to expect at the upcoming AHICE Aotearoa.


Inside prison-conversion project, The Interlude.


The latest in food and beverage technology, innovation and sustainability.


Discover the latest and greatest hotel spa openings.


Development experts discuss the rise of apartment hotels and extended-stay properties.


How luxury hotels are tapping into the growing pet-friendly segment.


Four Seasons Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Marc Speichert, on delivering a luxury experience at 30,000 feet.



YHA Australia CEO Paul McGrath discusses rebrand and refurbishments.


Le Méridien Melbourne General Manager, Peter Minatsis, on the latest iteration of the upscale brand in Australia.



James Wilkinson announces an exciting AHICE partnership.


Ruth Hogan discusses the boutique hotels boom.


The essential stories you need to know this month.


Meet the Accor team that’s innovating to extend performance and drive growth. 5 CONTENTS Le Méridien Melbourne GM Peter Minatsis discusses the brand’s return to Australia Explore the world of wellness with the latest spa openings 46 Top trends in food and beverage revealed 38 32 On the cover Meet the Accor team that’s innovating to drive growth AUGUST 2023 Vol. 27 No.4

Fiji is electric and it’s not slowing down

As I write this, I’m having lunch at Toba Bar and Grill at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa. A quick look around the pools either side reveals the property is buzzing. The whole Coral Coast is buzzing. So is the island of Viti Levu. As are the Mamanuca Islands, the Yasawas and more. Fiji is electrifying right now and there’s no slowing down.

The reboot of tourism in Fiji in late-2021 was phenomenal and now, here we are over 18 months later, so many properties still have the ‘full house’ signs up. From luxury leisure to incentives and extraordinary large bookings – this week, some 500 rooms across the nation are booked for reality TV shows from the United States including The Bachelorette – everyone wants a piece of Fiji.

What’s exciting in Fiji is there’s fantastic product on the way too. The Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort and Spa is set for a late 2023 debut and right before we went to press, Radisson Hotel Group revealed a second property has been signed for Viti Levu, the 250-key Radisson Blu Mirage Resort, Fiji Naisoso Island.

Thanks to increased marketing from Tourism Fiji, more global flights from Fiji Airways – they have two more Airbus A350-900s on the way, which are expected to be deployed on the flagship Sydney-Nadi-Los Angeles run and maybe another US city – and so many TV shows being filmed here, tourism is showing no signs of slowing down.

The opportunity to invest in Fiji is a significant one and it’s no surprise there was a lot of talk about the nation at AHICE Asia Pacific in Adelaide and more is expected at our upcoming events, AHICE Aotearoa in Wellington in October, AHICE Aloha in Honolulu in November and AHICE South East Asia in Singapore in February 2024.

On the AHICE South East Asia front, I’m excited to reveal, not only do we already have some fantastic sponsors onboard – including Marriott International, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, SwissBelhotel International, Pro-Invest Group, Luxury Escapes, THSA, Travmedia and Wyndham – we have also entered into a global partnership with global events powerhouse Questex to collaborate on the launch of AHICE in Asia, alongside their all-new event, IHIF Asia, being held in Hong Kong in Q3, 2024.

Questex is a phenomenal global success story – headlined by its events IHIF in Berlin, The Hospitality Show in Las Vegas, the AHC in Manchester, R&R in Lisboa and the latest acquisition, one of my favourite events, the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.

We are excited to be partnering with Questex and through our joint expertise in top-level content and event management, together we can ensure the new conferences in Asia are premier hospitality events for hotel investors, owners, developers, operators, advisors, suppliers and more.

It’s an exciting time for HM magazine and our events and I look forward to giving you more news as it comes to hand in the coming months.

I trust you will enjoy our August edition and I look forward to your feedback.

Yours in hospitality,

Fiji is buzzing with the return of travellers

The HM global hot list

Hotels around the world capturing our attention this month.

ONE: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa @interconfiji

TWO: The Peninsula Beverly Hills @thepeninsulabh

THREE: Rydges Melbourne @rydgesmelbourne

FOUR: Shangri-La Singapore @shangrilasg

6 HM The Business of Accommodation EDITOR-IN-CHIEF'S LETTER
HM is collaborating with Questex on the launch of AHICE in Asia

Bring your special spark.

Meet Gazal, a proud local business owner of Quest Watergardens in Taylors Lakes. Gazal brings an impressive blend of experience that spans the Australian Public Service as well as owning and operating two Battery World franchise businesses in suburban Melbourne. With a passion and drive for business, Gazal is immersed in the Taylors Lakes community, ensuring her hotel is very much a connected and contributing member of the local community.

Now as the business owner of Quest Watergardens, Gazal brings her special spark to the local Taylors Lakes community by developing an energetic team laser-focused on the guest experience. Read more about the special people who own local Quest Apartment Hotels at


Unique and boutique

Intimate setting, stylish design, personalised service – what’s not to love about boutique hotels? Amid increased demand for unique and personalised stays, it’s not surprising that they are in hot demand. But a recent report exploring boutique vs big box hotels highlighted just how powerful these design-led offerings can be.

Market analysis by CBRE found that boutique properties have outperformed big box international hotels on occupancy levels (by 21%), ADR (by 27%) and RevPar (by a whopping 50%) since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

CBRE’s Australian Head of Hotels Research, Ally McDade, attributed the major swing in traveller preferences to behavioural changes prompted by the pandemic.

“Resulting trends such as remote working and virtual conferencing, ‘staycations’, and the continued growth of social media use for destination ‘collecting and bragging’, have become imbedded in our lifestyles, shifting guests’ preferences towards a highly personalised and hybrid approach to their hotel stay experience,” she said.

“This travel evolution is being increasingly met by the rise of the boutique hotel culture with its intimate and sophisticated offering and attention to design detail.”

More and more key players are getting in on the action. In August, La Vie Hotels and Resorts expands its boutique portfolio with the opening of Adge Hotel and Residences in Sydney’s Surry Hills. And earlier this year, Salter Brothers added five boutique properties to its books with the acquisition of Escarpment Group hotels in NSW.

In this issue, we discover how TFE Hotels is tapping into demand for unique stays with its prison-turnedurban retreat, The Interlude (page 34). And we look at how hotels more broadly are elevating design and personalising experiences, from food and beverage to health and wellness, and even when catering to pets.

When I spoke with Public Hospitality Group GM of Hotels, Joanne Sproule, recently about expanding their boutique network, she said this “approachable” style of hospitality has a wide appeal.

“It’s not necessarily for the young, probably just the young at heart,” she said.

I hope you enjoy this issue and, as always, feel free to connect with any thoughts or feedback.


Managing Director Simon Grover

Publisher James Wells

Editor–In–Chief James Wilkinson

Editor Ruth Hogan

Group Commercial Manager Tara Ducrou

Production Manager Jacqui Cooper

Graphic Designer Sean Barlow

Photography Accor imagery by Oneill Photographics.

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8 HM The Business of Accommodation EDITOR'S LETTER
Ruth Hogan Editor La Vie opens Adge Hotel and Residences in Sydney’s Surry Hill in August Public Hospitality Group is expanding its network of boutique lifestyle hotels James Wilkinson Editor-in-Chief Renita Collins Director, Events and Marketing Tara Ducrou Group Commercial Manager James Wells Publisher


The essential hotel and travel industry news and trends from across the globe. Read more at

Rydges opens Melbourne flagship

Rydges Melbourne is sporting a modern look based on the ‘refreshingly local’ brand positioning.

EVT BRAND RYDGES has embarked on a new era of design with the opening of its flagship property Rydges Melbourne in July.

The 370-key hotel reopens following a major transformation project centred around the brand positioning of ‘refreshingly local’.

The resulting design – a collaboration between EVT and interior designers Luchetti Krelle – features soft tones and timber, rounded edges and tactile textures, with interiors influenced by natural muted tones.

“The Rydges brand is uniquely Australian owned and operated which is reflected in the design,” said Rydges Group General Manager, Hotel Operations, Troy Cuthbertson.

“From the warm and welcoming styled rooms, suites and new apartments experience that rival the best views in Melbourne, to the state-of-the-art technology and world-class facilities and events spaces, we have created a property that features more on every level.”

The accommodation offering includes a

mix of King Standard Rooms, Suites and Apartments featuring a kitchenette, laundry, and separate lounge/dining spaces.

The hotel also includes a modern fitness studio with the latest technology, Bossley Bar and Restaurant on the ground floor, and a new rooftop terrace on level two.

The redesigned conference and event offering includes 11 meeting areas across two levels, the largest of which is a ballroom with seven-metre-high ceilings.

10 HM
The Business of Accommodation
The 370-key hotel reopened with a new look in July

TFE’s dual hotel project in Melbourne gets green light

The AU$340 million mixed-use development will feature two TFE Hotels brands.

PLANNING APPROVAL HAS been granted to Melbourne property developer Capital Alliance for a AU$340 million dual hotel project involving two major TFE Hotels brands.

The mixed-use lifestyle development in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct will include a 200-room bespoke Collection by TFE Hotel and a 105-key A by Adina hotel, alongside a state-of-the-art conference centre that can hold up to 1000 people.

“In the face of the current economic uncertainty, we are thrilled to move into the next phase of this ambitious project,” said Capital Alliance Founder and Chief Executive, Mohan Du.

“Pearl River is our last blank canvas for Docklands and as such represents a significant milestone, so we wanted to create something truly remarkable and, in collaboration with TFE Hotels, a precinct that fosters a work, rest, play lifestyle.”

Not only will the project feature Australia’s largest rooftop infinity pool, but it will also be home to the longest escalator in the country, with visual projection technology to take guests

on an exciting ride to the conference centre. Construction of Capital Alliance’s Pearl River development is expected to commence in the first half of 2024. 11 NEED TO KNOW
For sponsor enquiries contact: James Wilkinson |
Hosted by Diamond Sponsors Principal Partners Wine Partner Gold Sponsors Emerald Sponsor The dual-hotel project will comprise A by Adina and Collection by TFE hotels



the Accor team and discover how they are innovating to extend their leading performance and drive growth for their loyal partners.

How do you make a stay more memorable?

Sarah Derry, CEO, Accor Pacific: A passion for excellence is what drives us. It’s this devotion that has earnt Accor our trusted reputation. We place a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional customer experiences to drive customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. This includes investing in training our people, providing highly personalised services, ensuring high quality standards, and continuously improving guests’ satisfaction levels. We have well-known brands and a good mix of loyal leisure and business customers. We are in a position of strength to continue to increase market share, support our teams and guests, and create further value for owners.

Extending and sustaining a top line profitable revenue performance, while building on long term demand through marketing, loyalty and partnerships, is our priority. We are excited about the potential of the Pacific market and we’re fortunate to be in a region which is wellpositioned for growth opportunities.

How are partnerships and ALL – Accor Live Limitless unlocking growth opportunities for owners?

Anne Gill, SVP Commercial, Accor Pacific: Through powerful hotel brands, strategic partnerships and loyalty, Accor will continue to deliver a competitive edge that maximises the value of properties and markets. The strength of Accor Stadium, our brands and our network means our partners are in a prime position for future growth. Owners and developers want to take advantage of this, alongside investment opportunities with a proven operator with diverse and desirable hotel brands in luxury, lifestyle and economy, midscale and premium segments, paired with unmatched scale in the region.

12 HM The Business of Accommodation PARTNERSHIP
Accor Pacific executives at the newly opened Hotel Morris - Handwritten Collection in Sydney

The Accor Live Limitless (ALL) booking platform gives consumers direct access to the best choice of hotel, apartment and resort brands across the Pacific. ALL creates a powerful and emotional connection with our members, connects them to what they love and engages them in their everyday. To do so, we are actively leveraging every single channel that we own and we are creating many additional opportunities with partners within the hospitality, travel, sports, entertainment and experiences sectors. Accor Stadium is a terrific example of this.

ALL operates a loyalty ecosystem connecting our members to our diverse and large number of properties such as Sofitel, Pullman, Mantra and Mercure, through relevant and engaging content, offers or events on our websites, emails, app, partners and social media channels. ALL provides significant advantages with our B2B clients across corporate and business events. Our scale and diverse brand portfolio enables these clients to earn points faster and access unique and diversified experiences, with many of these delivered via our strong partnerships with TEG, Opera Australia, Qantas, AFL, AFLW, NRL, NRLW, NZ Cricket, NZ Rugby and Netball Australia.

What is at the heart of Accor’s people strategy?

Angela Howard, Senior Vice President, Talent and Culture, Accor Pacific:

Our Heartist culture of care and connectivity differentiates Accor as an employer and sits firmly in the heart of our strategic intents. Our culture supports our retention efforts and acts as a magnet in attracting dedicated, passionate, authentic and hard-working team members to our organisation. We provide infinite development possibilities, a nurturing environment of inclusion that truly is open to all and strong pathways to succession all around the world.

Lives and dreams do not always fit neatly around traditional working hours – that’s why we introduced Work Your Way at Accor. Flexible working practices have become an expectation in this human-centric world. I’m proud to work for a company that proactively delivers to the ever-evolving needs of our team. This program has been a game changer in creating a compelling value proposition and is helping us to attract and retain great talent that will enrich our industry’s future.

What are the development opportunities in the Pacific region?

Lindsay Leeser, Chief Development Officer, Accor Pacific:

As the Pacific region enjoys a steady increase in visitors, there is a growing demand for quality accommodation. We have a diverse portfolio of hotel, apartment and resort brands catering to different market segments, including lifestyle, luxury, upscale, midscale and economy. We focus on developing and enhancing these brands to meet the evolving needs and preferences of travellers. Our growth is driven by a combination of investment and development in strong brands and dining concepts, our people, digital transformation, sustainability initiatives and strategic partnerships. Investing in these areas enable us to lead the industry and capitalise on emerging trends and opportunities.

We are excited about the opportunities for development in the Pacific. Earlier this year we launched the Handwritten Collection brand which has huge potential for growth. Pullman is also a brand to watch as the largest and fastest growing 5 star brand in the Pacific. In addition, there are significant opportunities to bring our fresh and exciting brands, which are rooted in culture and purpose, across Australia and New Zealand.

Overall we see significant opportunities for development, driven by growing tourism, untapped markets, demand for quality accomodation, resort and wellness tourism, MICE tourism and sustainable tourism. We are actively pursuing these opportunities to maximise opportunities for our network, partners and communities.

What are Accor’s sustainability plans?

David Young, Director of ESG, Accor Pacific:

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Accor. Our sustainability framework has people and nature as its central core. We define the way we operate by this central core and through the lenses of stay, eat and explore. This way, sustainability is integrated into all our actions. The end goal for hotels is that we operate with as minimal an impact on the environment as possible and are connected with our communities. That means zero emissions, no single use plastics, food sustainability, local employment and community support and greater diversity and inclusion.

In 2022, in over 82% of our hotels we removed 43 single use plastic items from the guest experience. This was a great start but we remain ambitious. This year we plan to remove single-use plastic water bottles from all rooms and public spaces, reduce our emissions by 10%, start independent Sustainable Tourism Certification of our hotels, measure and manage food waste and significantly increase the number of women in General Manager and leadership positions to over 40%.

We have huge ambitions for sustainability and there is much more to come. n 13 PARTNERSHIP
Hotel Morris in Sydney is among the first Handwritten Collection hotels to launch in Australia
“We are in a position of strength to continue to increase market share.”
Sarah Derry, CEO, Accor Pacific

A new beginning



IS officially here. And while the process to merge Tourism Accommodation Australia and the Accommodation Association of Australia was slow, and at times difficult, it’s already clear after only a month that all the hard work was worth it.

Accommodation Australia is a new beginning. It’s a chance to build something from the ground up.

We have a new logo, new leadership with myself and President Leanne Harwood, and a new sense of energy and purpose.

The merger is great for our industry. We have combined our talent and resources to create a single voice which is united, disciplined and focused. But it is also great for governments at all levels as they only have to deal with one body and know that body truly speaks for the whole sector.

The merger has greatly increased our membership, resources and our reach across Australia. Nationally, we have gone from 645 members to more than 1500. We have more than 100,000 staff across the country and contribute billions to the Australian economy.

The membership is also much more diverse and much more representative of the industry – ranging from ‘mum and dad’ motels and caravan parks to major international 5-star hotels.

We have hit the ground running. We held our first state-based awards in NSW on 20 July and will hold the Victorian awards on 17 August.

We will also hold our first national board meeting in Canberra on 2 August, followed by a dinner with Federal Tourism Minister Don Farrell.

Sheraton Grand Mirage Gold Coast sold for $192 million

The Star sells iconic Gold Coast hotel to a two-family consortium.

LUXURY GOLD COAST hotel Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort has been sold for AU$192 million in a joint purchase by the Karedis and Laundy families.

The hotel was sold by Australian Wattle Development Pty Ltd – which is 50% owned by The Star Entertainment Group with Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium as consortium partners – for AU$52 million more than the AU$140 million the business paid for the property back in January 2017.

The sale represents a multiple of 21 times the 2023 calendar year EBITDA and about $650,000 per key – reportedly the highest rate per key achieved for a non-boutique hotel outside Australia’s capital cities.

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort expands the two-family consortium’s hotel portfolio which already includes the Sofitel Noosa, Manly Pacific and Crowne Plaza in Terrigal.

The sale, which was negotiated by Colliers, McVay Real Estate and JLL, is subject to the buyer obtaining approval to the transfer of the liquor licence from the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.

“The sale of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, which boasts a prime beachfront location, represents an uplift of more than 80% per key on the last high-end hotel to trade on the Gold Coast, the Hilton Surfers Paradise, which sold in 2019 for $355,000 per

key,” said Colliers’ Head of Hotel Transactions, Karen Wales.

“Global luxury resort liquidity is at an all-time high, as investors and operators are increasingly attracted to hotels such as the Sheraton Mirage, which addresses consumer preferences for more authentic travel experiences post pandemic.”

The 295-room resort boasts four food and beverage venues, extensive conferencing facilities including a Grand Ballroom that can accommodate 1000 people, and undercover parking for around 300 cars.

Sam McVay from McVay Real Estate described the hotel as “an irreplaceable asset”.

“[The hotel was] purchased by two great Australian families that will maximise its true potential and capitalise on the resurgence of the Gold Coast tourism market,” he said.

14 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
The 295-room resort has been purchased by two well-known Australian families The sale price represents approximately AU$650,000 per key

Ovolo enters investment arena

Ovolo Group has launched a dedicated investment and asset management arm.

OVOLO GROUP HAS launched a dedicated investment and asset management arm to unlock value in underperforming hotel assets.

TriO Capital will work with funds, developers and real estate owners and will enable the group to form joint ventures and strategic partnerships whilst recycling its own capital and enhancing its asset management functions.

Ovolo Group said the platform aims to bridge the gap between equity and operator. TriO will also seek to asset manage non-Ovolo branded products to drive returns.

“TriO was formed to offer the market a refreshed model to seize and deliver on

impending opportunities across the region, all whilst still having skin in the game,” said, Ovolo Group. Founder and Executive Chairman, Girish Jhunjhnuwala.

“As trading fundamentals for the industry return, we have the expertise to unlock the full value of any asset and deliver stronger yields and enhanced returns.”

TriO Capital – named after the three o’s in Ovolo – will include a team of acquisitions and investment experts led by the group’s former

COO for Hong Kong and Indonesia, Tim Alpe.

“I am excited to establish TriO Capital, to optimise hospitality real estate through effective capital expenditure and strategic asset enhancements,” said Tim Alpe, Managing Director of TriO Capital.

“Our experience as owners and operators means we can effectively enhance cash flows, increase the value of our investments, and deliver long-term returns for our partners, be it Ovolo branded or otherwise.” 15 NEED TO KNOW
28–29 NOVEMBER 2023 ‘ALOHILANI For sponsor enquiries contact: James Wilkinson | Hosted by Bronze Sponsor Gold Sponsors
TriO is preparing to sell 1888 by Ovolo to fund continued growth

Final score

THE FIFA WOMEN’S World Cup draws to a close in August.

In New Zealand, matches have been held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin. With just 750 or so collective rooms, Dunedin’s hotels have perhaps benefited the most. Occupancies were expected to set records for the month of July. Pickup in other host cities, and from international fans as opposed to FIFA officials and playing teams, has been a little more subdued.

International-standard events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup simply do not happen without hotels. It’s just not sporting events, either. Major meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events all require high quality accommodation options – including service – which only hotels can provide at scale.

Was planning for the World Cup perfect? Unfortunately, not. HCA consistently advocated for more attractive visa settings. We argued that this was an opportunity to showcase New Zealand before a number of large, non-traditional source markets, not just the “visa waiver” countries. HCA also called on an end to seven days compulsory isolation for active Covid cases, a rule that was dropped in Australia back in October 2022.

But let’s celebrate the successes. The FIFA Women’s World Cup has helped drive visitation during the traditional low season, including on weeknights. Games have been dispersed throughout the host countries. Dispersal, seasonality, focusing on incremental MICE. These are all sound strategies to re-grow tourism after Covid. HCA applauds central and local government authorities for helping secure such a fantastic global event for Australia and New Zealand.

Swiss-Belhotel plans to grow its portfolio to more than 500 by 2030

Swiss-Belhotel International inks deal with Chinese tourism giant

The strategic deal with CTG will support Swiss-Belhotel’s global expansion.

SWISS-BELHOTEL INTERNATIONAL HAS signed a deal with state-owned Chinese tourism giant, China Travel Group (CTG), which will see the hotel management company re-enter the China market, 35 years after the launch of its very first hotel in Hong Kong.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding with CTG Hotel – which has over 200 owned or managed properties in China and the UK – will support SwissBelhotel to grow rapidly in China as well as other countries internationally.

“We currently have 125 hotels and projects and I want to have over 500 by 2030 – that’s my goal,” Swiss-Belhotel International Chairman and President, Gavin M. Faull, told HM in an exclusive interview.

Faull said returning to China and building the hotel portfolio globally will help the business remain competitive against the industry’s big global players.

“We started Swiss-Belhotel International in China [in 1987] with a hugely successful property, and we had between 10 and 15 hotels all over the country,” he said.

“Now, China is becoming global again and very keen to invest internationally. All the big

hotel companies are back in, and I want to get back there.

“China is really going to be a huge growth area for us. CTG is very ambitious – they are going to be pushing us to expand.”

The deal – which has been in the works for almost two years – will see the businesses partner on dual branded hotels and diversified business development.

CTG Hotel’s parent company China Travel Group is the largest tourism enterprise in China and has previously collaborated with other major international hotel groups such as IHG, Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham.

At the end of 2019, CTG had 43,000 employees, US$16.9 billion worth of assets and provided services for over 60 million tourists annually, including through its hotels, a cruise line, as well a travel agency business.

“The Chinese have a huge appetite for travel – there are around 150 million [outbound] tourists each year,” Faull said.

By working together, Faull is hopeful that the partnership can help drive more Chinese tourists to areas like Vietnam and Indonesia, where Swiss-Belhotel International already has a presence.

16 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW

Rates and revenue back on track, TRA reports

Tourism Research Australia’s 2022 State of the Industry report shows biggest gains in luxury and upper upscale accommodation.

THE LONG-TERM OUTLOOK for Australia’s visitor economy remains bright, but a full recovery may take until 2025, according to Tourism Research Australia’s 2022 State of the Industry report.

In 2022, total tourism spend in Australia surpassed the 2019 level, driven by the strong recovery in domestic travel.

Australia welcomed 3.4 million international visitors in 2022, down 61% compared to 2019,

and international visitor spend was AU$12.7 billion, down by 59% on 2019.

The average occupancy rate for commercial accommodation increased across all states and territories in Australia in 2022 and was 65% on average across the year, higher than in the past two years, which averaged 43% and 47%, but below the rate of 74% in 2019.

Average room rate and Revenue per

available room (RevPAR) both recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2022. In December 2022, the average daily rate (ADR) was $265, up 17% on December 2021. On average over the year, ADR was 24% higher than in 2021.

As was the case for occupancy rates, the largest increases in ADR and RevPAR occurred in the luxury and upper upscale classes of accommodation.

Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort
INNOVATION WITH PASSION Global network of 8 brands | 530 properties 75,000+ rooms | Operating in 56 countries MINORHOTELS.COM
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel
Big Enough to Deliver, Small Enough to Care
Luxury stays continue to be in high demand

Marriott invests in teams of the future

Marriott has partnered with ICMS on a student apprenticeship program.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL IS investing in hospitality education with the launch of an apprenticeship-style program through the International College of Management Sydney (ICMS).

The four-year hotel degree program will give hospitality students from ICMS the opportunity to work at numerous Marriott properties, and each year a high school graduate will be offered a spot on the program.

During the Marriott International-ICMS

Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection makes Asia debut

The Collection launched with the recent opening of a 152-room hotel in Takayama City, Japan.

CHOICE HOTELS ASIA-PAC, together with Choice Hotels Japan, has introduced its first Ascend Hotel Collection property in Asia with the launch of a hotel in Takayama City, Japan.

Hotel Around Takayama offers 152 rooms – in both Japanese and Western style – a restaurant and store that centres on local produce and goods and features a build-yourown travel guide wall showcasing 100 of the best local attractions.

Hotel Management Development Program, students can undertake a paid work placement at a different hotel each year, giving them the opportunity to travel interstate and work across a diverse range of brands.

Marriott said students will receive a competitive wage during their program and time off to attend their ICMS structured classes.

“Our partnership with ICMS allows us to open the door to new talent to join our teams and experience the industry as they’re starting

out through the lens of our people-first culture,” said Marriott International Area Vice President – Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Sean Hunt.

In the first two years of the program, students will gain practical experience working in various operations departments, before progressing to team leader roles in the third year.

On graduating, Marriott said it will offer graduates a management position within six months.

“With the Ascend Hotel Collection celebrating 15 years, we’re thrilled that the brand’s introduction to Japan is through such an authentic property as Hotel Around Takayama,” said Choice Hotels Asia-Pac CEO Trent Fraser.

“This is a unique hotel that reflects the charm of the region in which it’s located.”

Ascend Hotel Collection is an upscale

soft brand with more than 320 hotels in 15 countries and continues to expand globally.

“We’re inspired to continue building on the Ascend Hotel Collection’s success this anniversary year, as we look forward to welcoming more unique and boutique properties to our portfolio and provide guests with even more options around the world,” said Fraser.

18 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
ICMS hospitality students will have the opportunity to work at numerous Marriott properties as part of their studies The hotel will present both Japanese and Western style accommodation


10–11 OCTOBER 2023










For sponsor enquiries contact: Tara Ducrou |



Sofitel Adelaide sold for record $154 million

Salter Brothers purchases the luxury hotel in its first foray into the South Australian market.

LUXURY FIVE-STAR HOTEL Sofitel Adelaide has been purchased by global fund manager Salter Brothers for AU$154 million – a record price for a single asset hotel deal in the South Australian city.

The luxury hotel on Currie Street, which opened in 2021, is managed by Accor and consists of 251 guestrooms and suites, Garcon Bleu restaurant, two bars, as well as extensive leisure facilities and meeting spaces.

The deal marks Salter Brothers’ first hotel in the state and is the first asset acquired in Salter Brothers’ Core Hospitality Real Estate Fund.

“We’re excited about Salter Brothers’ first foray into the South Australian market, which has proven to be a premium events, business and tourism destination,” said Salter Brothers Managing Director, Paul Salter.

“Adelaide accommodation has had an incredibly strong 2023, off the back of a series of amazing sporting events and festivals.

“Sofitel Adelaide is a luxury hotel with a globally celebrated brand, and we will continue to provide a unique guest experience for Australian and international travellers to the city.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, said she looks forward to continued collaboration with the business.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Salter Brothers and

the continued strengthening of Accor’s relationship with such a dynamic and successful group,” she said.

“We share a vision and commitment to delivering exceptional experiences for our guests and I look forward to the ongoing success of our collaboration.”

CBRE Hotels together with Savills negotiated the sale on behalf of development and construction firm Palumbo Group.

“The developers, who were the vendors in

this transaction, literally poured their heart and soul into delivering what is arguably the best internationally branded luxury hotel in Adelaide,” said CBRE Hotels Managing Director, Michael Simpson.

“We are privileged to have had the opportunity to work with the vendors to negotiate this transaction. The sale of the Sofitel Adelaide has reset the benchmark for the Adelaide luxury hotel market with a record price per key achieved for a CBD asset.”

20 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
The luxury hotel opened in 2021 The sale of Sofitel Adelaide tops that of any single asset hotel transaction in the city




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With 150 years of hotel experience combined, investors are looking to the team at Axsia HTL to bridge the knowledge gap and maximise their return on investment. Here, Axsia HTL Managing Director, David Simpson, shares an insight into the asset management landscape.

Tell us a bit about the Axsia HTL business and the people behind it?

The company was founded in 2019 by Ian Knight, Bill Edwards, and myself, later bringing on David Fraser as a shareholder. Bill and David are the operations experts and work closely with our asset management portfolio to ensure optimal performance for each of the assets.

Our team works across multiple complementary projects from new hotel development, feasibility studies, market research, operator selection, which all lead to asset management projects. Recently, we have added to the team bringing on Daniella Tonetto, whose expertise lies in sales and marketing and driving revenue optimisation, and Robert Scullin who consults across all facets of the business. Rounding off the team we have Nicole Grainger who is our Research Analyst, ensuring we have the most current market information

and trends for our project work, along with a small group of specialist consultants for regional tourism, technical services reviews and non-HTL property matters.

What sets Axsia apart from its competitors?

Our team members have all come from big brand international chains, working across Asia Pacific, bringing with them a wealth of experience across all facets of the hotel operation. Our approach to asset management is very focused on driving revenues to grow investor returns. Whilst we take a hard look at the numbers, we ensure this is backed up with a strategic approach across all aspects of the business, driving vision and strategy ultimately leading to better returns.

Our team is multidisciplinary, bringing invaluable insights to the property teams.

What are the key benefits of asset management?

22 HM The Business of Accommodation PARTNERSHIP
Hotel asset management allows industry experts to drive business results for the 1Hotel Melbourne is currently under construction as part of the Seafarers development Axsia HTL Managing Director, David Simpson,

owners. Owners simply must be involved in setting and monitoring the business strategy no matter how capable the operator is. Optimal performance can be achieved by aligning the operator to the owner’s longer-term vision and investment objectives. Asset management fills the void that is present in developing a bespoke strategy for the owner’s asset.

What are the top trends that you’re seeing in hotel development?

With the resurgence of travel for business and leisure, we have seen greater demand from owners looking for something new, more personalised, and experiential. This has led to the emergence of new lifestyle brands in the market – Ace Hotels, SH Group with 1Hotel and Treehouse brands, The Standard and Ennismore just to name a few.

We are also seeing more interest in franchising and white label management, with investor/owners wanting more control over their business.

What are your primary considerations when engaging with a client on a hotel project?

We need to determine early in the conversations if the development can be successful, therefore careful due diligence applies. This includes ensuring the developer’s vision is realistic and how can it be optimised. This saves time and money from the beginning for all interested parties. Secondly, is it bankable and what does the market valuation look like? Lastly if the project is a mixed-use development, how will the hotel add to the

broader project and how can we capitalise on this for the investment. Then we go to the market for the operator and brand with a clear and precise vision. Ultimately, we want the brand/operator to show us how they can add value to achieve the owner’s vision.

Tell us about some of the exciting hotel projects in your portfolio.

1Hotel Melbourne: This is the first hotel for the SH Group in Australia and will bring a new brand to market in late 2024. We assisted the developers (Riverlee) to source a new and cutting-edge brand which we feel will add to the luxury hotel landscape that Melbourne has to offer. This is also the first branded residential project for SH Group globally.

The Tasman Hobart, A Luxury Collection Hotel: This is the first new build Luxury Collection Hotel in Australia. Again, we worked closely with the original developers to develop the concept and source a brand which would fit the existing building and the market positioning. The hotel has won numerous awards since opening and is now settling well into the Hobart luxury hotel market.

Ace Hotel, Sydney: This is the first Ace hotel in Australia. They hold regular laneway events that engage the community within the spaces. This is a development that has successfully integrated a smaller footprint with an upper upscale brand with the added benefits of very successful F&B spaces.

Holiday Inn and Indigo Bourke Street: This property is currently under construction, with completion expected early 2026. This is a unique dual branded property in an A+ location which takes advantage of a shared back of house to gain economies of scale.

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas: We were proud to add this property to our portfolio many years ago as one of our first asset management projects. We worked with the owner and hotel management team to create a shared vision to renovate and reposition the property to create very positive investor returns. It has won many awards and our involvement has nurtured development of the hotel executive committee into one of the best in the country. They have completely embraced our strategic philosophy to develop a plan that has optimised the owner’s value and are now planning the next phase of investment and growth. n 23 PARTNERSHIP
Lifestyle brand Ace is designed to fit the location and the destination Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas has won numerous awards since its refurbishment and repositioning

IHG’s Vignette Collection gains momentum in Asia

IHG is growing its luxury and lifestyle brand in Asia with recent signings in Japan and Cambodia.

IHG HOTELS AND Resorts’ luxury and lifestyle brand Vignette Collection is gaining momentum in Asia with the recent signing of a hotel in Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh.

The signing follows the addition of the iconic RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka to its system in recent months.

“Vignette Collection is IHG’s newest Luxury and Lifestyle brand, and already growing quickly in many markets,” said IHG Hotels and Resorts Vice President, Development, South East Asia and Korea, Patrick Finn.

“It’s the perfect choice for partners seeking a distinctive identity for their hotel, while benefiting from our global scale, systems, and expertise as the second largest Luxury and Lifestyle hotel operator in the world.”

Vignette Collection Phnom Penh Odom – a partnership with Odom Living Co. Ltd – will be the second IHG property to open in Cambodia, following Six Senses Krabey Island.

The 50-room hotel, located in the heart of the city, will occupy the top seven floors of 45-storey Odom Tower.

The hotel will include two restaurants, a rooftop bar, a lobby lounge, a swimming pool, fitness centre, a members-only private club and four meeting rooms.

The brand’s Japanese launch will see with the introduction of RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka, Vignette Collection in 2025 following a JPY13.5 billion refurbishment which will commence later this year.

The flagship 1000+ room hotel – IHG’s

largest hotel in the country – recently joined IHG’s portfolio as part of a long-term agreement with The Royal Hotel Limited and BentallGreenOak (BGO).

Throughout its more than 87-year history, RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka has become known as one of Osaka’s most sought-after hotels for royalty, foreign dignitaries, celebrities and VIP guests. It features 1,039 guest rooms, 18 restaurants and bars, 56 ballrooms, banquet halls and meeting spaces, wedding facilities, pools, fitness centres and retail outlets.

Finn said IHG is focused on growing the collection brand rapidly over the next decade.

“Since launching in 2021, Vignette Collection has opened six properties in destinations including Brisbane, Bangkok, Porto and Washington, and grown a pipeline of 15 outstanding hotels,” he said.

“Over the next 10 years we anticipate a rapid expansion of Vignette Collection, reaching 100 properties globally, attracting guests who seek authentic, experiential and considerate stays.”

24 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
Hotel X Brisbane is part of IHG’s Vignette Collection RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka will be IHG’s largest hotel in Japan


Grohe’s new Eurosmart range of bathroom and kitchen mixers delivers a healthy solution.

In an increasingly individualised world, we are seeking to create a living environment that adapts to our needs and perfectly fits our lifestyle. Whether we are young or old, our needs are constantly changing. Therefore, finding a matching solution can be a hassle –for designers, owners, and property managers alike.

GROHE is offering a simple solution to this quest for a perfect fit by relaunching the Eurosmart product line. Ever since its launch in 1999, the versatile GROHE Eurosmart line has been a bestseller and can be found in many hotels across the globe. Its modern design, high functionality, and comfort features even earned it the title ‘everybody’s darling’.

With the modernised and extended range, Eurosmart has become a true all-rounder which is nevertheless able to meet highly individual needs.


Water is the source of life. But only pure water is suitable for drinking, cooking and washing and thus good for people’s health. It therefore goes without saying that GROHE, the global sanitary fittings brand, attaches top priority to drinking water hygiene.

The company’s R&D department is constantly working on new solutions, which allow GROHE to meet and exceed the legal requirements for drinking water protection and act as a global role model. To achieve this, GROHE relies on the new GROHE Lead and

Nickel Free Inner Water Ways technology, which is used not only in kitchen taps but now also in bathroom fittings.

GROHE New Eurosmart features separate inner waterways to ensure that water has no contact with lead and nickel within the tap. In addition, these inner waterways have no contact to the body material, resulting in a barrier between hot water and the external surface to avoid scalding – on hot surfaces. This guarantees healthy and clean drinking water from an extra safe tap you and your guests can rely on. n 25 PARTNERSHIP
GROHE’s lead and nickel free technology is used in kitchen and bathroom taps GROHE’s R&D department is constantly working on solutions for healthy drinking water

Global confidence


STR and Tourism Economics upgraded the 2023 United States hotel forecast at the latest NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference (NYU) in New York City, revealing ADR and RevPAR are set to increase.

STR said that while top-line performance advances, growing operating expenses are projected to limit profit growth over the remainder of the year.

The occupancy projection for this year was lowered 0.2% from the previous forecast, but projections for average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) were lifted 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. For 2024, a 1.4% downgrade in occupancy coupled with a 0.7% lift in ADR meant a RevPAR downgrade of 0.6%.

RevPAR, the key top-line performance metric, was fully recovered in 2022 on a nominal basis but will not achieve that status when adjusted for inflation (real) until 2025.

Gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) was also recovered in 2022 with limited growth forecasted for 2023 and more sizable gains projected in 2024.

The GOPPAR projection for this year was lowered 2.7% from the previous forecast and downgraded 4.0% for 2024.

“Despite the upgrade, economic uncertainty underlines our forecast for the remainder of this year and into 2024,” said STR President, Amanda Hite.

“We have always forecasted with a mild recession in mind, but we’re now looking at a later timeline and the added concerns around the banking system.

“With everything considered, the industry has plenty of reasons to remain optimistic about top-line performance.

“At the same time, growing operating expenses, especially labour, continue to pressure the bottom line. Profit margins, while strong, are projected to be lower this year than last.”


Accor’s branded residences portfolio is set to triple globally as the company’s fastgrowing business line continues to soar across the globe.

Revealed at NYU, Accor is welcoming residents home at some 40 branded residence communities around the world, with another 100-plus projects under development, across 20 distinct brand collections.

By 2027, the company expects to have more than 150 branded residences in operation, an increase of more than 300%.

These properties are supported by Accor One Living, the company’s industry-first platform focused on the development, design and operation of mixed-use projects and branded living communities.

Through Accor One Living, homeowners, guests, and partners are connected to Accor’s diverse ecosystem of brands, expertise, and solutions – creating a constant flow of new opportunities to live, work, and play, according to Accor One Living Chief Business Officer, Jeff Tisdall.

“Around the world, we are seeing strong demand for homes that are anchored by the comforts and promises of a beloved brand experience, providing a sense of belonging and community,” he said.

“This is particularly true for our lifestyle brands, where we see an important and growing segment of residential buyers who are seeking design-led brands, with unique personalities that celebrate modernity, creativity, compelling food and drink, and extraordinary experiences.

“Ennismore, the leader in lifestyle hospitality in which Accor holds a majority shareholding, has 11 branded residences open and 26 under development, including Mondrian Residences Burleigh Heads in Gold Coast, Australia; and Maison Delano Residences, Seoul.”



Marriott International is launching further into the affordable midscale lodging segment, following its recent entry into the segment with City Express by Marriott in Latin America.

Speaking at NYU, Marriott International President and CEO, Anthony Capuano, said the brand launch, under the working name of Project MidX Studios, is consistent with the company’s approach to meeting the needs of guests with regionally relevant lodging products for every stay purpose.

He said the affordable midscale extended stay brand is intended to deliver reasonably priced modern comfort for guests seeking longer stay accommodations in the United States and Canada.

26 HM The Business of Accommodation
Top CEOs from around the world took to the stage to discuss a range of topics affecting the hospitality sector

“Marriott has long believed in having the right accommodations in compelling destinations at the right price point,” Capuano said.

“Whether our guests are traveling for business, leisure or a mix of both, our portfolio of 31 brands offers something for everyone.

“As consumers look for new, flexible accommodation solutions, we are thrilled to announce our plans to launch an affordable midscale extended stay offering to meet the needs of guests seeking long-term comforts at a moderate price point.”

As a leader in extended stay lodging with brands like Residence Inn by Marriott, Element by Westin, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments and more recently, Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy, Project MidX Studios reflects the company’s deep experience and learnings from its guests, owners, and franchisees, according to the company.

Project MidX Studios, expected to be Marriott’s most affordable cost-per-room product in the United States and Canada, is designed to enable accelerated speed-tomarket with a low cost to build.

The prototype model targets a build cost of US$13 million to US$14 million, requiring approximately 54,000sqft of total building area for 124 studios. The brand is also expected to have a light operational cost model for owners and franchisees.


Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has celebrated five years as a publicly traded, pure-play hotel company, with the anniversary creating a significant buzz at NYU.

The world’s largest hotel franchising company, with approximately 9,100 hotels spanning more than 95 countries, has a mission of making hotel travel possible for all with a strong owner-first approach to franchising, according to Wyndham Hotels and Resorts’ President and CEO, Geoff Ballotti.

He said the anniversary marks a major milestone for the company as it strengthens its position as a select service leader and champion of the everyday traveller.

“The last five years have been monumental as we’ve welcomed, launched and integrated five entirely new brands, bringing our portfolio to 24 globally,” he said.

“We’ve also expanded into over 55 new countries while debuting our brands more than 100 times in countries where they’ve never been before, all while nurturing a record development pipeline of over 1,800 hotels, which continues to see positive growth.

“Through it all, we’ve proven ourselves as a company dedicated to the long-term success of our franchisees, team members and shareholders, the latter of whom have seen over US$1.5 billion returned to them in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

“As proud as we are of all we have accomplished, we’re even more excited about our future, which has never looked brighter,” he said.

Since going public in 2018, Ballotti said Wyndham has been laser-focused on strengthening and expanding its select service portfolio (economy and midscale), creating new travel experiences and opportunities for owners and guests alike.

The company has also launched the firstof-its-kind Women Own the Room program, quickly followed by Bold by Wyndham, helping advance hotel ownership among women and Black entrepreneurs.

Additionally, Wyndham has committed to a more sustainable future with Wyndham Green, a program designed to help franchisees reduce their environmental footprints and operate more efficiently through eco-friendly initiatives. All hotels globally are required to attain a minimum of Level 1 Core Wyndham Green Certification. n 27 CONFERENCES
Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch speaking at NYU 2023 Marriott launches affordable midscale offering under the working name Project MidX Studios

AHICE heads to Wellington

“At AHICE Aotearoa 2023, expect some evocative keynotes, world-class panels, data dumps, global speakers and all supported by New Zealand’s leading hotels, chains and suppliers.”

The Aotearoa Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), hosted by HM magazine and Hotel Council Aotearoa, is back for an unmissable two-day event in Wellington this October.

Taking place at the new Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 10-11, AHICE Aotearoa will provide a unique conference and networking opportunity for the hotels industry.

After a hugely successful launch in Auckland in 2022 that saw close to 500 delegates in attendance, the 2023 event promises another stellar line-up of speakers from across New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Australia and globally.


On Day 1 of AHICE Aotearoa, delegates will partake in site tours of local Wellington hotels where they will be treated to the finest Kiwi hospitality, before enjoying a number of thoughtprovoking panel sessions that afternoon.

A welcome event will be held on Tuesday evening, inviting guests to network and connect with industry colleagues, including the presentation of some key industry awards.

Day 2 will kick off with a technology masterclass at 8.30am, followed by a day filled with insightful keynotes, engaging panel discussions and data-filled presentations, spanning topics from operations to investment, tourism and staffing.

The conference will also include a session led by some of the industry’s rising stars who will discuss important topics around leadership and culture.

The closing networking reception will be held on Wednesday evening at Tākina, where guests can expect spectacular local food, wine and live entertainment.

This year’s event will include an exhibition, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch to New Zealand’s largest hotels in one place.

“We are excited to announce the 2023 edition of AHICE Aotearoa will be held in Wellington, the first time a major hotel conference has taken place in the New Zealand capital,” said AHICE Convenor and Chair, James Wilkinson.

With New Zealand’s general election taking place that very week, Hotel Council Aotearoa (HCA) Strategic Director, James Doolan, said Wellington is a fitting location for this year’s AHICE.

“It’s appropriate that AHICE Aotearoa 2023 is in Wellington,” he said.

“During an election year, conference attendees will be keen to hear what each political party has planned for Tourism, an industry that once contributed 9% of New Zealand’s GDP.”

The launch of AHICE Aotearoa follows the continued success of the Asia Pacific event, which was held in Adelaide in May 2023 and attended by a record 1,400 delegates, making it the largest accommodation event in the APAC region. n

For more information and to buy tickets, visit

28 HM The Business of Accommodation CONFERENCES
Hotel Council Aotearoa (HCA) Strategic Director, James Doolan, speaking at AHICE Aotearoa in 2022 Accor Plus CEO Renee Trimble spoke about hot new brands in the New Zealand market at last year’s conference The inaugural AHICE Aotearoa was held in Auckland last year


Elevate the standards of clean for an unforgettable guest experience

Capitalising on both of its international and local resources, ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, will be putting together a two day industry event. The industry’s leading manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers will come together for information sharing, education, relationship building, cutting edge technology and product innovation.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your facility’s cleanliness and efficiency with:

• Cutting edge products and innovative services

• Local and international exhibitors

• In-depth education sessions and workshops.



Call 1300 789 845

touch! ISSA Oceania @issaexpo

YHA reborn


What prompted the rebrand of YHA and the refurbishment of your properties?

We had to sell assets to survive Covid, so we rationalised – we thought about the type of product that we wanted to offer and slowly sold off those assets that didn’t align with that. That provided us with capital to invest back in the business, to give us a bit more flexibility in our financing and give us more time to do the transformation.

We did a lot of customer research. We were in that backpacker space, but the market had evolved. We wanted to provide a broader product portfolio to bring an affordable option to the market. We basically changed everything from the inside out.

We came up with a more contemporary brand and changed our language. We no longer refer to our guests as “backpackers”, they are “curious travellers”, and we no longer run “hostels”, we run “properties”.

We found that hostels had a negative connotation amongst the Australian consumer, which we were relying on, so we realised we need to change the perception of who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

With the rise of the digital nomad and major hotel groups tapping into this growing segment, is it more competitive in this space now?

A lot of hostels went out of business during Covid – particularly smaller family-run businesses. A lot of owners repurposed their properties to get a higher and best value use, so there’s a shortage of that type of accommodation in this market.

What we are seeing in this hybrid type of hotel – with co-living rooms, double and twin rooms, private and non-private facilities – the market is constricted. And that’s why we’re doing probably better than the average in the market.

And we knew that would happen. We know that there are overseas operators that are

looking to come in so that’s why we were on a very tight timeframe to get ourselves ahead of the game.

How are international traveller numbers now?

Pre-Covid, we were 70% international, 30% domestic. I was always pretty uncomfortable with that because it was relying too much on the international market. We’re now sitting around about 55% international, 45% domestic. I expect by the end of the year we will sit at 60% international, 40% domestic – meaning domestic share growth of 10% –which I think feels a bit more natural to me.

30 HM The Business of Accommodation HM Q&A
YHA recently rebranded to appeal to a broader market Paul McGrath, YHA Australia

The inbound market has come back in all our traditional markets – Europe, USA, Canada, South America – and we’re seeing unexpected growth in some inbound markets such as South Korea.

What demographic are you targeting now post transformation?

We were mostly 18-25-year-olds pre pandemic, but we were able to broaden that base through our repositioning. Now, a third of the business is 18-25 years; a third of the business is 25-35; and a third is over 45.

The age range for Working Holiday Visa for the UK has been extended to 35 years, so that is becoming an older demographic for us, and then you’ve got the digital nomads, the grey nomads and school groups.

We’re not for profit, we don’t have to satisfy shareholders, so everything that we make goes back into the business. I really believe that there’s nothing stopping us from providing quality accommodation at an affordable price.

Technology has been a big focus of the transformation. What have been the biggest changes?

We needed to be more efficient, so we introduced a new property operating system and a new revenue management system to manage and maximise our inventory. Instead of being human led, it’s AI-led so that as demand increases, our rate increases, and we maximise those opportunities.

We are trialling mobile key technology at Sydney Harbour and that’s going really well. It allows guests to pre-check-in online and enter

the property and their room using a mobile device. But we want to take this further so that guests can also order F&B through QR codes on the table and where we can engage with guests through messaging and update them when their room is ready. We also want to add other facilities and functions on to that to build loyalty amongst our members.

What are you focusing on in terms of experiences for guests?

We are introducing Indigenous experiences at our properties at least once a week so that international and domestic travellers can engage with the local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture. It’s really important to us to share their history, how they would like it to be shared.

We also want to give people the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint and travel lightly we are introducing offsetting opportunities where guests can go tree planting or counting wallabies.

Is it important to have an F&B offering at each property and do you see the communal kitchen as an ongoing part of the offer?

Yes, we found that 45% of the guests use the kitchen, but we also want to give people the choice to purchase food if they wish.

At Sydney Harbour, for example, we’ve got a cafe on level one and we’re working hard to provide a broader range of product. We are seeking approval for a licence to run a rooftop bar, and we also want to offer pop-up meals two or three nights a week.

What’s on the agenda for YHA over the next 12 to 18 months?

This year, we will do 100 room upgrades across Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. We are aiming for all gateway properties to have a breakfast offering and some type of F&B in the evenings as well. By the end of 2024, we want every property to have an Indigenous experience and also an environmental experience, once a week that guests can participate in if they want to.

Tech Central [a partnership with tech giant Atlassian] is due to open in Sydney in November 2026, so we are working hard on designing that and imagining what a property looks like in 2026. We will be using Tech Central as our North Star, so we will be prototyping things that we want to use there in some of our other properties. n 31 HM Q&A
Sydney Harbour YHA is fresh from a recent refurbishment YHA recently launched an Integrated Report to communicate its ESG performance

New beginnings


As a new iteration of the Le Méridien brand in Australia, what do you think makes this a special and unique offering in this segment?

There are two things specific to this hotel – the real authentic history that has been tied through the guests experience and design, and that the brand itself fits so well within Melbourne. It’s all about coffee, culture and art and that’s exactly what the brand is. It’s about the master barista, the partnership we have with Axil Coffee Roasters, the art concept in the hotel – it’s a really good fit.

It’s about trying to transpose people back to that glamorous era of travel where they can sit and relax and slow down for a minute. When I sign my cards I say, ‘Savor the moment’, because everyone’s moving so fast, we want to encourage guests to slow down.

The hotel celebrates the history of this site as the much-loved Palace Theatre and its place within the local community over the decades. Are you seeing a positive response from locals since opening?

There were a lot of passionate people who wanted

the property to remain as the Palace Theatre and the construction timeline was drawn out because of that. We decided that we would not shy away from that and really embrace it, because it’s what makes this hotel quite special. And that has influenced much of the design throughout. Back in its days as The Metro, it was the nightclub to rival all nightclubs. And they created this Metro

32 HM The Business of Accommodation
Le Méridien Melbourne features 235 guestrooms and suites Peter Minatsis, Le Méridien Melbourne
“We created a Le Méridien medallion for our VIP guests that entitles them to a free upgrade anytime they stay with us.”
Peter Minatsis, Le Méridien Melbourne

medallion, for regulars or insiders, that allowed them to skip the queue. In honour of that, we created a Le Méridien medallion for our VIP guests that entitles them to a free upgrade anytime they stay with us.

We thought, let’s use some of those things from the past to enhance the stay and make it a bit more interesting than just staying at any hotel.

What is on offer in terms of food and beverage?

We have Intermission – a venue inspired by the espresso bars of the 1950s – on the ground level. That is a cafe

by day and wine bar by night, serving croissants and pastries in the morning, baguettes at lunchtime, and antipasto and wine in the evenings. In the restaurant downstairs, we offer breakfast in the morning, then that space turns into Dolly at night – where nostalgic dining comes to life. Think Beef Wellington, Bombe Alaska – flamed tableside to tie in that theatre aspect to the guest experiences. It’s the same with those artful cocktails, there’s a little bit of a show to lean into that entertainment piece.

Tell us about some of the sustainability initiatives that are in place at the hotel.

We don’t have bottled water in any of our meeting rooms. All of the equipment and technology is brand new so it’s as efficient as you can get – we have sensors in almost every area to turn lights on and off. We use LED lighting throughout the whole hotel and have water tank reservoirs downstairs.

How has the hotel been performing since opening? Are you seeing many international travellers?

We were happy to get a couple of operational weeks under our belt before we hit 100% occupancy over Formula One, and we had some pretty high rates as well. Through these big events, the hotel rooms are filling up so it’s exciting for us.

Our international guests are mainly coming from Europe and the US. We’re seeing a little bit out of India, but China and Southeast Asia have been slower to come back. n 33 GM Q&A
Framed glass walls are a recurring theme throughout the design Dolly restaurant comes alive at night as a theatre-inspired dining venue

The next chapter


Former prison cells have been converted into contemporary suites

Transforming a 170-year-old building into a modern accommodation offering is bound to present a variety of challenges. When that building is the site of a former maximum-security prison that housed some of Australia’s most infamous criminals – that’s another level of complexity entirely.

The redevelopment of the former HM Prison Pentridge is one of the largest bluestone restoration projects ever undertaken in Australia and one of just 40 prison hotel conversions worldwide.

Owned and developed by Shayher Group and operated by TFE Hotels, the now billion-dollar lifestyle precinct includes the 106-key Adina

Apartment Hotel Pentridge, 19-suite boutique accommodation offering The Interlude, North and Common restaurant, Olivine wine bar, and Chapter Place events venue.


The Interlude presents a truly unique accommodation offering. With its vaulted ceilings, bluestone walls, heavy wooden doors and metal rail windows, The Interlude embraces its history rather than shies away from it.

“We set about creating something unique and travel worthy here in Coburg,” General Manager, Jesse Kornoff, told HM

34 HM The Business of Accommodation

“It’s the first development of its kind in suburban Melbourne and it’s the only urban retreat in a prison setting that we know of.”

Its 19 suites were created by connecting old prison cells from the former B Division and converting them into intimate and modern spaces with contemporary furnishings and finishes.

With no blueprints to work from, extreme care, innovative thinking and plenty of time was needed to transform the historic building into a ‘one-of-a-kind’ accommodation offering.

In-room air conditioning, for example, needed to be installed under the beds instead of the heavy rock ceilings, which were originally designed to prevent inmate escapes.

Each suite – which involved knocking the thick bluestone walls of four to five prison cells – took around nine months to create, while a dimly-lit subterranean swimming pool took three months to dig out.


On arrival, after entering through an impressive porte-cochère, guests are met at the reception desk by The Interlude hosts who ask them about what they want to get out of their stay and make recommendations on activities they might enjoy.

“That’s really what The Interlude is about – the place in between moments,” Kornoff said.

Partnering with local producers and businesses, including chocolatier Koko Black, tea retailer Impala and Peacock (tea) and urban winery Jamsheed, The Interlude offers a curated selection of signature experiences that allow visitors to make the most of the food, wine, and culture on offer in the area.

“We worked with local tea house to put together our tea selection here but also to offer a tea blending experience so guests can make their own tea blend to take home,” Kornoff said.

“We also have an art curator on the staff, who has put together 70 pieces of local art that showcase community artists and tell the story of emerging artists. There are two pieces in every guest room and all the pieces are available for sale.”

Guests can opt to take self-guided visits to the precinct’s onsite art gallery, learn pottery with local artist Robert Gordon, Time Travel with Wine led by Sommelier Liinaa Berry, and delve into the history of the site through an audio tour.

“It’s an opportunity to try some things that they’ve never tried before,” Kornoff said.

“We worked with the National Trust to put together an immersive history tour, narrated by Uncle Jack Charles who spent time at the prison.

“From a sustainability perspective, it’s about adaptive reuse and cultural preservation in terms of stories.”

Those in search of quiet time can enjoy the candlelit underground relaxation space where they can swim in the pool, spray sensorial mists, and enjoy a tea, kombucha or a wellness platter, among other wellness offerings.

The former ‘airing’ yard – the site of one of two panopticons on the site – has been transformed into a Reflection Garden offering a tranquil green space for guests to relax or connect with others.


Food and beverage is a key element of the overall experience at the Pentridge precinct with three commercial kitchens on site to service its guests, the public as well as private events.

North and Common restaurant, located in the original annex building, features original bluestone walls and 10-metre-high ceilings, complete with restored cross timber.

It offers elevated neighbourhood dining across an indoor and outdoor space – including a private dining area – and can cater to up to 200 people.

Olivine Wine Bar, located within the former B division, offers an intimate cellar experience with cosy nooks decked out with plush and moody furnishings. It is available to The Interlude guests during the day and opens to the public from 5pm.

Nearby, the former prison chapel has been transformed into a 250-square-metre events space with a separate entrance, allowing partygoers or conference delegates, whatever the case may be, to come and go without interfering with The Interlude experience. n 35 PROPERTY PROFILE
The Interlude’s dimly-lit underground swimming pool took three months to dig out Olivine Wine Bar opens to the general public in the evenings

Future proof


Tell us a bit about the team behind Technology4Hotels and the origins of the business.

Technology4Hotels was founded in 2010 out of my passion for all things hotels, in particular technology, and a desire to help others.

I began my hospitality career over 30 years ago. I have held various management positions within 5-star hotels and worked as a consultant in both hotel feasibility and technology.

Technology4Hotels is the combination of all those skills and over the last 12 years we have worked with hundreds of hotels to help them with their technology. We have helped them to reduce costs, increase guest satisfaction and win numerous awards.

Can you share an insight into the products and services you offer hotels?

Whilst we offer a range of products and services, we also help clients by educating them and advising them. I started both the Technology Concierge Video Series and 5 Star Conversions (podcast) to help hoteliers.

The products that we offer can help hotels with the entire guest journey and include mobile checkin, mobile key, digital compendiums and ordering, digital newspapers and magazine, guest phones and communication, team workflow, guest charging, energy

management and robots. At Technology4Hotels we make it our job to stay up to date with the latest in hotel technology and to help hotels cut through the noise.

What has been the biggest change you’ve noticed in hotel technology in recent years?

There are two main trends that we have seen in the last 12 to 18 months. Both came about as a consequence of the pandemic. The first is the fact that our guests are more tech-savvy and more tech-demanding than they were two years ago. This is a good thing.

The second is that our industry, like most, is suffering from a skilled labour shortage. This means we need to work out how to deliver the same continued service levels with lower staff numbers.

Technology not only fits well with our guests’ changed expectations but will also help hotel teams, allowing them to do more with less.

What is the most important tech tool for hotels to embrace right now, and why?

Right now, I think the biggest gap is in the check-in process. We have been able to check-in to a flight before arriving at the airport for years, but the hotel industry has been slow to catch up. That’s despite the fact that recent research shows 73% of travellers want to use their mobile to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out. There are solutions available that allow guests to pre-check-in with ease and without the need to download an app. Most hotel guests want a faster and seamless check-in; however, this won’t be for everyone, which is why offering a traditional check-in process is still important. My view is that pre-arrival check-in should support (not replace) what most hotels offer today. But if rolled out effectively, it can relieve the burden on your front desk team, reduce admin and paperwork, and turn what is generally a transactional process into a more welcoming and personal guest experience. n

36 HM The Business of Accommodation SUPPLIER PROFILE
Brendon Granger, Technology4Hotels Technology is transforming hotel operations and improving efficiencies across various departments

Events abound

IN JULY, LES Clefs d’Or members from around Australia were joined at The Pullman Melbourne Albert Park by President of Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand, Kris Mosch, for the 2023 National AGM. At the same time, we took the opportunity to hold the Victorian Tourism Expo.

To our surprise, the Tourism Expo sold out within 48 hours of exhibitor registrations opening and still had a waitlist of companies wishing to participate.

In service through friendship

Les Clefs d’Or Australia President and Pullman and Mercure Melbourne Albert Park, Chief Concierge, Rhett Constantine, discusses the future of the association and hopes for a Sydney congress.

Tell us about your career path to your current position at the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park?

My involvement with hotels started in 1998, as a Porter at the Mercure Resort Surfers Paradise with Accor, while working under former Les Clefs d’Or Member Adam Keast. Seeing Mr Keast in his role inspired me to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Having worked for some prestige establishments worldwide such as Novotel on Collins Melbourne, South Mole Island Whitsundays, Desert Gardens Northern Territory, Sofitel Melbourne, The Grove Estate London, Hayman Island and Qualia, Hamilton Island, it was Qualia which provided the biggest challenges of my career when I was invited to be a part of the pre-opening team as Chief Concierge.

Is demand for private and group tours, restaurants etc still relatively static, or gradually increasing?

Throughout our network of hoteliers, demand for tailored experiences is at a high

and even more so when our major events are in town. The demand is strong and we are ready to deliver.

Do you see a place for Les Clefs d’Or in training and developing future generations of hotel concierge staff?

Les Clefs d’Or Australia invests all efforts into assisting associated establishments to train, develop and assist growth within our tourism industry. This is what we do best as it sits with our motto, ‘in service through friendship’.

Do you see upcoming UICH congresses in APAC as potential stepping stones for a proposed UICH 2026 Congress in Sydney?

Every congress is a step closer to the 2026 UICH Congress in Sydney. We will be placing our official bid next year at the Bali Congress where we hope to welcome over 500+ international Les Clefs d’Or Concierge’s to fill our Sydney hotels, bars, tours and streets. Viva Les Clefs d’Or. n

The expo proved to be a highly successful opportunity to connect newer hotel staff with a broad range of industry providers. We look forward to enhancing the experience for both our exhibitors and attendees alike for future events.

In September, our Malaysian colleagues will be hosting the 12th UICH in Langkawi, and this will be followed in turn by the 68th UICH Les Clefs d’Or International Congress in Bali in April 2024.

Both of these gatherings offer invaluable opportunities for our colleagues from around the world to meet, learn, and develop their networks, while also being exposed to the many attractions of our region.

Here in Australia, early preparatory work is underway on a proposal to hold the 2026 International Congress in Sydney – the first in Australia since 1995. With a little luck, somewhere in the vicinity of 400-600 of our international colleagues will be flying into Australia to attend and taking the opportunity to explore both Australia and New Zealand. Watch this space. 37
Rhett Constantine



38 HM The Business of Accommodation FOOD AND BEVERAGE OUTLOOK
Parkroyal’s eco-wellness programme taps into demand for conscious dining and mindful drinking

Futuristic experiences

Artificial intelligence is making its mark on the food and beverage industry in a myriad of ways, including restaurant design.

Australia’s first AI-generated restaurant concept, Luminary, made its debut at Rafi North Sydney in early August for an extraordinary week-long pop up.

Luminary by Rafi saw the transformation of the entire restaurant through the art of illumination – inspired by earth, water, air and fire – to create an immersive culinary journey traversing light, food and drinks.

AI has the power to change the way guests experience F&B

Farm to table, bar and beyond

Parkroyal Collection Hotels and Resorts is taking the farm-to-table trend to the next level with its Urban Farms supporting a new eco-wellness approach across its food and beverage offering.

Tapping into strong demand for holistic wellbeing experiences, Parkroyal is offering locally sourced fresh produce and farm-to-table harvests alongside cocktails, mocktails and tea made using freshly picked ingredients from the Urban Farm.

“Even small changes in our daily lives can have a big impact on our wellbeing and the environment,” said Pan Pacific Hotels Group Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Cinn Tan.

“Through Parkroyal Collection’s Eco-Wellness experiences, we hope to inspire our guests to live well without compromising the environment.”

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, Singapore’s Urban Farm supplies up to 20% of the hotel’s restaurants, bar, and spa’s green ingredients.

Take the cake

Hotel retail offerings are becoming increasingly popular with consumers who are seeking to take a piece of the hotel experience home. And at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, this extends to food and beverage.

The luxury hotel is now offering a selection of artisan cakes, handcrafted by renowned pastry chef Quentin Zerr, for purchase by the general public.

The Art of Cake Collection blends French techniques with Australian flavours through an assortment of cakes including mixed berry Pavlova, French Saint Honoré, Framboisier, Chocolate Cake, Seasonal Fruit Tart and Lemon Meringue Tart. 39 FOOD AND BEVERAGE OUTLOOK
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is now selling artisan cakes by pastry chef Quentin Zerr to the public Parkroyal is taking a holistic approach to wellbeing that spans the entire guest journey

App-based recipe management tools are improving efficiencies in culinary operations

Meat-free menus

Plant-based dining is an ongoing trend in the food and beverage landscape and Ovolo Hotel Group is continuing to lead the way with its innovative approach.

Last year, Ovolo dropped meat from its menus, in what is believed to be a worldfirst commitment by a hotel group to a vegetarian-led food offering.

Real-time results

As smartphone usage continues to outpace web-based activity, the hospitality industry is exploring the power of automation in culinary operations through app-based procure-to-pay technology.

Futurelog Area Vice President Strategic Accounts Asia Pacific, Benjamin Krieg, says app-based recipe management is revolutionising how hotel and restaurant teams collaboratively create, share and standardise their recipes for more efficient culinary operations.

“Precise instruction guides, comprehensive nutritional information, tools for optimising ingredient usage and easy POS connectivity for automated stock decrementation are top timesavers for busy kitchen teams, while Bluetooth connectivity facilitates the fast and accurate capture of weights and temperatures during the goods receiving process,” Krieg told HM “QR code scanning shaves valuable time off stocktaking, while real-time menu-engineering reports, forecasts and robust cost calculations support financial teams in making informed purchasing decisions.”

Ovolo Hotels announced the global move, Plant’d, as part of a pledge to ethical eating, conscious cuisine and innovative vegetarian options at its properties.

“We believe that the world changes, therefore we continue to evolve – we want to ensure we are doing our bit to help preserve our environment, promote healthy eating and enhance the image of amazing vegetarian and plant-based dining,” said Ovolo Group Founder and CEO, Girish Jhunjhnuwala.

Ovolo is working with plant-based ‘meat’ suppliers to bring new options to the menu and to challenge consumer perceptions about vegetarian food.

Genius gin collaborations

A timeless classic in the liquor world, gin is always having a moment. But today, hotels are embracing artfully crafted custom gin to capture the attention of guests.

QT Hotels’ Gilded Chaos Gin has been crafted by Four Pillars Co-Founder, Cameron Mackenzie, and blended alongside Four Pillars’ signature botanicals by EVT Hotels and Resorts Director of Beverage, Chris Morrison, and QT’s best bartenders.

“Gilded Chaos Gin delights on the nose with the floral tones of sage, and to taste, macadamia and cardamom for smoothness and elegance,” a spokesperson for QT told HM

The limited-edition gin is served at QT’s award-winning restaurants and bars across Australia and New Zealand and available to purchase by the bottle via QT at Home.

Meanwhile, at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, Grain bar recently launched a bespoke gin in partnership with local distillery, Bondi Liquor Co. The custom gin pays homage to the revered London Dry style while embracing the unique flavours of Australia.

“Partnering with an iconic, local distillery like Bondi Liquor Co has allowed us to create our own grain-based spirit showcasing our craftmanship and passion for local flavours and ingredients,” said Grain Assistant Bar Manager, Marco Rosati.

40 HM The Business of
BEVERAGE OUTLOOK QT partnered with Four Pillars on a custom gin
Ovolo is a leader in vegetarian dining

Natural approach

Sanpellegrino is tapping into demand for natural flavours in the sparkling water segment with the launch of Sanpellegrino Naturali.

The brand’s iconic cans have undergone a transformation to deliver the same premium quality, but with 100% natural ingredients.

Produced in Italy, the simplified formula uses up to seven ingredients and no artificial colours or sweeteners.

Using fruits harvested by hand at its partner farms, juices are extracted in facilities located in the same region, to present the aromas and flavours of the Mediterranean.

The traditional barrel can will transition to a stylish sleek can, modernising the product’s appearance, while reinforcing its premium quality and the brand’s Italian heritage,” Sanpellegrino said.

Direct to guest

At meetings, conferences and events, coffee is always in high demand. Often, as a result, additional strain can be put on the bar or coffee stand, and long queues can cause disruption and frustration among delegates.

Franke Coffee is addressing the demands of high-capacity catering in the hotel industry with the launch of a coffee cart that brings coffee directly to guests.

The purpose-designed Franke Coffee Service Cart supports teams to serve coffee promptly, even when guests are spread across a large area, on outdoor terraces, or at banquet dining.

The cart can be used with the brand’s A-Line automatic coffee machines, complete with cooling unit and offers modular flexibility for both served and self-serve options.

“Focusing on elegant functionality, the cart comes equipped with the practical and efficient features you need for optimised mobile coffee service. Optional add-on components improve versatility while keeping your coffee service workspace uncluttered and visually appealing,” according to Franke Coffee.

Lyre’s incoming CEO Paul Gloster says travellers are increasingly opting for nonalcoholic options

Mindful drinking

Mindful drinking continues to be a trend among consumers in Australia and around the globe and, as a result, hotels are embracing a wider variety of non-alcoholic drinks.

Australian-born non-alcoholic spirits company Lyres – which raised £18 million in its latest funding round – has partnered with a number of major hotel clients including the Ritz Carlton, W Hotels, Hyatt, St Regis, Westin, Four Seasons and Accor.

“In a recent survey by Audience Precision, we saw that people on vacation were 40% more likely to choose non-alcoholic if it was on a menu,” Lyre’s incoming CEO, Paul Gloster, told HM

“We also know that business travellers, are 40% more likely to moderate their alcohol due to “pacing themselves’ due to commitments the next day or whilst travelling.

Gloster said Lyre’s is seeing strong momentum through its hotel partners across the globe.

“With the Accor Group, we deployed a Dry July Programme in Perth and Melbourne, and also supported Accor Plus Member Nights with some incredible Lyre’s offerings for members to enjoy,” he said.

42 HM The Business of Accommodation FOOD AND BEVERAGE OUTLOOK
Sanpellegrino is using a simplified formula featuring real fruit juices Franke Coffee is speeding up coffee service with the launch of a purpose designed cart

At FutureLog, we’ve been creating and developing digital procure-to-pay solutions for the hospitality industry since 1999, and our procurement and hospitality backgrounds have helped us to truly understand the needs and challenges of our customers. We bring simplicity, speed and efficiency to your procure-to-pay journey, saving you time and resources. FutureLog Oceania | Suite 7.05, 31 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000 C O N T A C T O U R S YD N E Y O F F I C E F O R M O R E D E T A I L S : Simple integrations with ERP and POS technology No capital expenditure required Speedy implementation & onboarding ORDERING INVENTORY MANAGEMENT RECIPE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT MANAGEMENT INVOICING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE MARKET-LEADING SOLUTIONS FOR: ...AND MORE, SPANNING OUR WEB & NATIVE MOBILE APPS GETTING STARTED WITH FUTURELOG IS EASY DIGITAL PROCURE-TO-PAY SOLUTIONS FOR THE HOSPITALITY AND GASTRONOMY INDUSTRIES CLOUD-BASED ACCESSIBILITY & AUTOMATION +61 2 9169 4613

Giving back to nature

Farmers and winemakers are looking beyond sustainability to regenerative agriculture to renew the land and reduce environment impact.

De Beaurepaire Wines is among the vineyards in Australia to put this into practice. Director (Wine), Will de Beaurepaire, told HM the process dramatically improves water retention of soil and reduces carbon emissions.

“Plants sequester carbon dioxide in their root zones, so keeping those root zones active and growing means more carbon dioxide is stored in the soil and not released,” he explained.

“80% of the 3,170 gigatons (3,170 billion metric tonnes) of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems is stored in the soil. For us, the 53 hectares of vineyards on our property nearly sequesters approximately 380 tonnes of carbon per annum – equivalent to 190 cars.

“If you add no till and cover cropping, it sequesters a further 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of taking a further five cars off the road.”

Local touch

Coffee company Lavazza’s away-fromhome range, La Reserva de Tierra, which is offered within many Australian hotels, has been roasted locally in Australia since it launched in 2019.

Now, the practice of local roasting has extended to a national retail range for the first time in the company’s 125-year history, highlighting the importance of Australianmade products to the consumer.

Tales of Italy is a coffee beans and ground product line inspired by Lavazza’s Italian soul exploring the three cities of Roma, Milano and Napoli – but roasted in Melbourne, a city known for its discerning coffee culture.

“We recognise the importance of having a portfolio of products roasted in both Italy and Australia to meet a wide range of preferences,” Lavazza Marketing Director APAC, Mimmo Orlando, told HM

“We believe understanding the changing needs of our partners and Australian coffee consumers has been the key to maintaining Lavazza’s strong relevance.”

Native ingredients

Native produce and Indigenous bush foods have long played an important role in Australia’s history and today, chefs are innovating to bring new culinary experiences to guest using these age-old ingredients.

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia consulted with Indigenous culinary experts to create an authentic food and beverage experience at its Wintjiri Wiru experience, showcasing Australia’s finest produce from Indigenous and Australian-owned suppliers.

From lemon aspen and wattle seeds to quandong, warrigal greens and lemon myrtle – the menu is an authentic celebration of native Australian ingredients combined with modern culinary techniques.

“There is a growing interest from both Australian and international travellers to try native bush foods so I am truly excited by this opportunity to create a menu in collaboration with the Voyages team which heroes these amazing ingredients and will be enjoyed under the stars while watching Wintjiri Wiru,” said Indigenous Chef, Mark Olive.

44 HM The Business of Accommodation FOOD AND BEVERAGE OUTLOOK
Indigenous chefs are combining native Australian ingredients with modern culinary techniques Lavazza is tapping into demand for locally-roasted coffee products De Beaurepaire Wines is retaining water and reducing carbon emissions through regenerative agriculture
1 8 H O T E L B R A N D S • 6 , 00 0 G L O B A L D E S T I N A T I O N S • O N E L O Y A L T Y P R O G R A M

Wellness WONDERS


Auriga Spa, Capella Sydney

Capella Sydney has unveiled its sixth-floor spa and wellness offering under house-label Auriga Spa, exclusively for in-house guests.

The wellness retreat includes four spa treatment rooms, a 20-metre heated swimming pool and Technogymequipped gymnasium, as well as sauna, steam facilities and experiential showers.

Here, guests can avail of a range of luxurious treatments that utilise a custom-made range of skincare products by Byron Bay brand Synthesis Organics; signature massages informed by the new and full moons that aim to increase circulation, relieve physical and emotional tension, and balance chakras; as well as ritual-based massages designed to encourage introspection and reflection.

Dianne April Dayagbil, an experienced beauty and wellness professional who has had long-running residencies at hotels in Bhutan and the Maldives, takes the lead as Auriga Spa director.

“Auriga Spa brings beautiful and sophisticated health and wellness practices to central Sydney,” said Dayagbil.

“As with all other aspects of the Capella brand, the beauty and wellness program is unique to the region in which we operate and highly personalised to the needs of our in-house guests. Experiences are, of course, relaxing and indulgent, but they’re attuned with nature, too, keeping our clients centred and grounded.”

Make Architects and interior designers Bar Studio are responsible for creating a space that is respectful of the century-old building.

46 HM The Business of Accommodation WELLNESS
Auriga Spa at Capella Sydney is exclusive to hotel guests


Sustainable slippers


– which can count Away Spa, W Sydney; The Late House, Daylesford; and Aurora Spa, Sorento – among its clients, says there is strong demand from hotels for luxury and customised bathrobes, sustainable slippers, plush bathmats and towelling.

“Hotels are looking to add a luxury feel experience through the clothing and cleaning after-spa experience,” Swisstrade Marketing Associate, Karen McLaren, told HM , pointing to the success of Seedling Sole Slippers.

“We have a proven track record of spas implementing our slippers and the interest and demand has been growing for biodegradable, sustainable plasticfree slipper options from reputable spas, including Crown Resorts,” she added. 47 WELLNESS
IN-ROOM BY Indulge in the ultimate spa experience with in-room self-care and select from an exquisite range of branded guest cosmetics. Request your exclusive samples now! Email us at | Call us at +61 2 9557 7644 Yuni provides mindful beauty for an active life. Rediscover natural beauty with LaGaia UNEDITED’s luxury skincare. Experience the real difference in skin and soul health with TEMPLESPA wellness Scan here to begin your luxury journey Biodegradable slipper options are in high demand


Hunter Amenities is partnering with wellness leader endota to bring spa quality skin and body care into the hotel room. Here, endota founding CEO, Melanie Gleeson, reveals what to expect from the partnership.

Tell us about the range that you are taking into hotels.

Partnering with Hunter Amenities, endota will introduce a signature hand and body duo along with a new shampoo and conditioner. The amenities range contains naturally derived ingredients, scented with 100% pure essential oils and enriched with the signature endota scent.

Featuring Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Berry, rich in amino acids and polyphenols, the formula will protect and nourish the skin and hair. Hotel guests will feel cleansed, nurtured and hydrated as the naturally sourced ingredients work their magic.

Why did you make the decision to expand into the hotel landscape?

I believe that spa experiences and the opportunity to experience wellbeing should

always be accessible, whether in our spas or on an overnight stay. By entering the hotel landscape, endota is bringing the spa experience into a new environment and offering guests the opportunity to prioritise their wellbeing while they travel. Our hotel amenity range will enhance any hotel stay, transforming a hotel room into a sanctuary of calm and promoting moments of relaxation and mindfulness.

Why have you chosen to use pure essential oils in your formula?

Guests will experience the calming and stressrelieving benefits of aromatherapy through our 100% pure essential oil signature scent. Aromatherapy is a time-tested practice that uses the aromas of essential oils to enhance our physical and mental wellbeing. Think stress relief, relaxation and grounding – all

experienced while cleansing and hydrating your hair and body.

What has the process with the product development and range expansion been?

Since our inception, we have always championed wellbeing and encouraged our community to care for their mind, body and skin. We plan to continue our growing skincare ranges, wellness tools and hotel offerings. Entering the hotel landscape is a natural evolution that stems from our integral ethos of helping people feel better and integrating wellbeing practices into their daily lives. We recognise the benefit in self-care rituals, not only at home, but whilst traveling too.

What’s next for endota?

We will continue to nurture these self-care rituals with the endota Retreat – an immersive wellbeing experience delivered online, perfect for those traveling. It offers a variety of wellness practices such as meditation, sound bowl healings, yoga and pilates, as well as over 100 nourishing recipes and tools to support mental wellbeing. endota Retreat was designed to help build sustainable self-care micro rituals that nourish, nurture and grow your mind, body and self. We would love to see our endota Retreat offering extended to the hotel room. n 49
Hunter Amenities and endota are taking the in-room wellness experience to new heights Melanie Gleeson, endota founding CEO
“endota’s commitment to natural skin and body products will offer the travel industry a cleaner alternative that is kinder to the earth.”
Melanie Gleeson, endota

Spa by JW, JW Marriott Gold Coast

Marriott International introduced the first Spa by JW concept in Australia and New Zealand at luxury Surfers Paradise hotel, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa in July.

The 2500 sqm spa is reminiscent of a living room, with subtle lighting and relaxing ocean sounds, the spa lounge is made up of connected relaxation zones, including private group seating areas.

Spa by JW features six treatment rooms, including a signature couple’s room with a private lounge, ensuite stone bath and twin showers, wellness saunas, steam experience showers, relaxation pods and an outdoor relaxation area.

“Sophisticated yet entirely warm and unpretentious, guests should look forward to

unrivalled balance to nourish and nurture the body, through beautifully curated treatments designed specifically for Spa by JW,” said Spa Manager, Stacey Leong.

DBI, the original architects and interior designers behind the hotel, designed the space with an urban aesthetic taking inspiration from the natural surroundings from the golden beaches to the lush hinterlands.

Curves, lighting and the use of natural materials, textures and neutral palettes present a relaxing environment for guests.

The food and beverage offering includes a locally inspired tea service, wine service and food menu curated by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Paul Smart.

Holistic experience


Vanity Group is partnering with British skincare brand Templespa to grow its Australian footprint.

An eco-conscious luxury brand with “Mediterranean soul”, Templespa is a feature in luxury hotels and spas around the world and is exclusively stocked in Harrods.

Driven by the spirit of “Spa wherever you are”, Templespa creates touchpoints across the whole guest journey, from welcome scents to washroom products, spa and in-room amenities, as well as luxury gifts – even at the bar.

“Using only the finest ingredients, Templespa is all about creating exceptional results-driven skincare and experiences that make a real difference to your skin and soul health,” the brand states.

50 HM The Business of Accommodation WELLNESS
Spa by JW features a signature couple’s room with a private lounge The spa is designed to feel like a living room British brand Templespa is expanding its presence across luxury hotels

Chuan Spa, The Langham, Gold Coast

The Langham, Gold Coast opened its highly anticipated wellness offering, Chuan Spa, in November 2022, bringing the brand’s signature spa concept to the sunshine state for the first time.

Guided by the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, the Gold Coast Chuan Spa offers a range of customised treatments centred around the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

“The Langham’s ocean and hinterland surroundings provide a natural fit for guests to immerse themselves in Chuan treatments based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine; a spa retreat based on philosophy as

old as time itself,” said Global Assistant Group Director of Spa and Wellness, Amy Chan.

“Our unique process of customised, five elements-based treatment means our therapists spend time understanding imbalances and specific needs to tailor a treatment for each individual guest, bringing them balance across the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.”

The spa features eight treatment rooms including two couple rooms, all with a bespoke contemporary design incorporating soft, neutral and calming hues with marble accents. Guests will be welcomed by the scent of Chuan signature elements oils and treatments


will feature a range of serums, oils and masks from luxury skincare brand, Amra Skincare –Chuan being the first partner in Australia to feature its ingredients and formulas.

Chuan Spa follows the principles of traditional Chinese medicine

Eco approach

WEATHERDON RECENTLY ENTERED the amenities space after securing an exclusive deal with Paris-based Groupe GM to supply Australian hotels with a trio of luxury French cosmetics brands: Codage, Apothicals by Damana and Bienvenue.

Through a unique and patented dispensing system, known as Ecofill, the product is delivered in a 400ml replaceable pouch which sits within a dispenser attached to the bathroom wall.

Both the dispenser and pouch are made from recycled plastics and the pouch – which weighs just 8g – is also recyclable.

“We want to offer our customers the best luxury brands, and doing so in an eco-conscious manner is a compelling story,” said Weatherdon General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Wim Eshuys.

52 HM The Business of Accommodation
Weatherdon is introducing luxury French cosmetics to Australian hotels through an exclusive deal Chuan Spa follows a contemporary design incorporating soft, neutral colours

Brand power

HUNTER AMENITIES IS partnering with renowned Australian spa brand Endota to bring a spa quality range to the hotel room featuring its signature hand and body duo, along with a new shampoo and conditioner.

The amenities range contains naturally derived ingredients, scented with 100% pure essential oils, and enriched with Endota’s signature scent.

“We take pride in elevating the guest experience and are thrilled to work with Endota to deliver to hotel guests the same experience that Endota is famous for,” Hunter Amenities MD, APAC, Michael Matulick.

Sofitel Spa Darling Harbour, Sydney

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour officially opened its new luxury spa in April, offering a multi-layered holistic wellness experience.

Set across two levels overlooking Darling Harbour, Sofitel Spa Darling Harbour features seven spacious treatment rooms including two suites, designed by PikeWithers, an infrared sauna, contemplation deck and relaxation lounge.

The spa aims to redefine wellbeing within the hotel industry, taking a holistic approach that spans four pillars: Movement, Nourishment, Care and Rest.

Luxury French beauty brand Biologique Recherche, as well as emerging Australian brand, Waterlily, are used for treatments at the spa, and every element of the experience – including the décor and canapes – changes seasonally.

“Everything across the spa follows a theme – from the floral arrangement to the aromatherapy, to the nutrition aspect as well as the treatments themselves –it all represents the season that we are in, so the product remains fresh and the offering remains attractive all year round,” said Director of Spa and Wellness, Cecilia Ferreyra.

Designed using soft timbers, sandstone, and marble finishes, and Australian made

furnishings, the setting aims to deliver a calming space for relaxation, with a ‘quintessentially Sydney’ feel. Sustainability initiatives include the use of digital forms, fully compostable linen slippers, eco amenities, a thorough recycling regime, water flow regulators in showers and movement activated light sensors in changing rooms.

“Our customers want luxurious experiences with natural products and we’re thrilled to be able to provide these beautiful products to hotel guests all around the world.”

Hunter Amenities is bringing Endota products to hotel guests 53 WELLNESS
The Sofitel spa overlooks Darling Harbour Every detail of the spa, including florals, follows a seasonal theme

Home and away



Lindsay Leeser, Chief Development Officer

ACCOR IS THE largest operator of serviced apartment and extended stay properties in Australia and New Zealand. Our Group currently has a portfolio of more than 140 serviced apartment properties across the Pacific, including 22,800+ apartments. And, with so many travellers seeking longer stays, space, flexibility and quality amenities, the variety and calibre of our apartment offering continues to grow.

Some of our recent apartment hotel openings include The Sebel Wellington Lower Hutt in New Zealand, The Sebel Melbourne Ringwood, The Sebel Melbourne Moonee Ponds, The Sebel Melbourne Malvern, FV Brisbane by Peppers, and Shadow Play Melbourne by Peppers.

We are currently experiencing record interest from developers as they recognise the growth potential, cash flow consistency, and high ROI of serviced apartment hotels with short, medium and extended stay capabilities.

With this increased demand for serviced apartments, hoteliers are looking to partner with leading brands with experienced asset management teams. A strong asset management team brings huge benefit for investors.

Accor’s trusted apartment brands, such as The Sebel, Mantra, Peppers, Pullman and Art Series, bring quality and credibility to the sector. They continue to be as popular with guests as they are with property owners, due to their strong brand awareness and local market leadership.


Danilo Curcuruto, Director of Development

The extended stay accommodation segment is experiencing a significant transformation driven by emerging trends and traveller demands that are reshaping the industry. Developers in Australasia recognise the potential of repurposing assets to meet the growing demand for flexible and temporary accommodations, shifting away from traditional permanent residences and corporate-focused developments.

54 HM The Business of Accommodation DEVELOPMENT
Veriu Group is expanding its Punthill and Veriu brands in NSW The Sebel Wellington Lower Hutt opened in May this year

This enables them to tap into the thriving short term accommodation market and adapt to changing traveller preferences.

Investing in apartment-style accommodations offers investors various benefits, including flexibility and peace of mind with future options to repurpose their asset. BWH Hotels acknowledges the value of such investments and looks to the long term to actively seek opportunities to offer partner investors flexible options that cater to their unique needs.

As the segment evolves, there is a growing emphasis on exploring new destinations and expanding market presence. Projects in emerging locations allow for a broader reach, catering to the ever-changing preferences of travellers seeking extended stay experiences. This strategic expansion empowers the industry to capitalise on diverse markets and create unique and memorable guest experiences.

In this evolving landscape, the extended stay market is redefined by numerous projects, with BWH Hotels standing out through its impressive pipeline of segment-focused developments. Notably, the anticipated opening of the thoughtfully designed Executive Residency by Best Western in Brisbane promises unparalleled comfort and convenience for longer term stays. Additionally, South Harbour, BW Signature Collection in Hervey Bay showcases BWH Hotels’ commitment to strategic growth and establishing a presence in emerging, sought-after locations.

Moreover, BWH Hotels’ upcoming developments in key markets including Perth, Western Sydney and regional NSW aim to enhance the extended stay experience. These developments demonstrate BWH Hotels’ dedication to meeting the evolving needs of travellers by providing exceptional accommodation options that create an inviting “home away from home” atmosphere for guests seeking comfortable and convenient long-term accommodation.


Matthew Abrahams, Development Manager

With travel returning we are seeing patterns have materially changed from 2019. Travel is less frequent, however when people do travel, they are staying for longer which is driving demand for apartment hotels over traditional hotel rooms.

It’s no secret that it is more difficult today than it has been for some time to make a new-build hotel stack up financially. This has been driven by increasing and unpredictable construction costs, rising interest rates and hesitant capital markets with some uncertainty for the wider economy and how this may affect the tourism industry.

We see opportunity in taking over properties that have not received the capital investment required to keep pace with new stock coming into key markets, undertaking refurbishments to reposition and improve owner returns.

The conversion of B-Grade office space is ripe for new accommodation product as the commercial office market continues to be negatively impacted by work from home trends. Office conversions have the dual benefit of reduced construction costs and reduced environmental impact compared to demolition/new builds.

Hotel owners are looking for operators who understand the underlying drivers of real estate investment and can achieve the best overall outcome for their asset. Nesuto has this capability and works collaboratively to find the right solution for both parties. We are flexible and nimble when it comes to commercial terms and agreement structures.

Nesuto operates serviced apartments, apartment hotels and traditional hotels. The benefit of the Nesuto brand for owners/investors is we collaborate with owners to design properties that fit the local area 55 DEVELOPMENT
BWH is investing in the extended stay market with its BW Signature Collection

and accommodate the needs of the travellers; bringing the owners’ vision for the property to life.


John Sutcliffe, Director of Development

Adina Apartment Hotels and Serviced Apartments continues to offer a compelling option for hotel developers, combining a strong global brand reputation and flexible accommodation options to create commercially strong assets.

Our Adina products are in prime locations across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and now Singapore, catering to various market segments, from business professionals to families and long-term guests.

Adina’s extended stay focus sets it apart from traditional hotels and, with these fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and larger living spaces, Adina is ideal for guests looking for a home-away-fromhome experience during longer stays ensuring revenue consistency for

owners. Importantly, TFE’s operating model ensures that these strong revenues flow through to the bottom line.

Our Adina hotels are able to form part of larger mixed-use developments and can easily be installed into buildings previously used for an alternative use. Our newly opened Adina Pentridge Melbourne, forms part of the incredible redevelopment of the former Pentridge Prison site and joins the likes of Adina Bondi, as well as Adina Munich and Adina Geneva, in forming part of a larger precinct, with aligned food and beverage partners ensuring multiple options for our guests.

Adina has continued to evolve with the introduction of our high-end A by Adina hotels. Launched in 2021 with flagship hotels in Sydney and Canberra, A by Adina is a welcome new offering within the premium hotel category, known simply as Hotel Living – representing the perfect balance between a hotel and residential living. This brand has proved to be an instant hit with owners, with the recently announced A by Adina in Melbourne’s Docklands soon to be joined by others across ANZ, and further afield.

THE ASCOTT LIMITED James Shields, General Manager Growth and Capital Strategy

The Ascott Limited, Australia (Ascott Australia) is experiencing great success through ongoing investments in strategic positioning, projects, properties, and partnerships.

Over the next few years, Ascott Australia will introduce 14 new property locations delivering more than 2000 rooms to the market via its Quest Apartment Hotels, Citadines, lyf, and Oakwood brands.

In 2023 alone, Quest Collingwood and Quest Watergardens opened, while Citadines North Sydney (August 2023), Quest Geelong (September 2023), and Quest Woolooware Bay (October 2023) are set to launch later this year. Rounding out the pipeline are 25 additional projects either signed or in negotiation, mostly with previous Ascott Australia developers.

56 HM The Business of Accommodation DEVELOPMENT
An 86-room Quest hotel opened as part of Melbourne’s Watergardens precinct earlier this year A by Adina aims to strike a balance between a premium hotel and residential living Daiwa Living Nesuto introduces its first Victorian property earlier this year with the opening of Nesuto Docklands in Melbourne
“Each project aims to prioritise optimising operational efficiency while ensuring high returns for owners.”
James Shields, The Ascott Limited

The robust pipeline of projects highlights the group’s commitment to business format and brand franchising models, as well as tailored management agreements. Each project aims to prioritise optimising operational efficiency while ensuring high returns for owners. This intersection of operational efficiency and high returns is a challenge as the industry faces increased land costs and an ever-tightening regulatory environment. As competition in the extended-stay market grows, Ascott Australia will continue to focus on optimizing its inventory quantity and mix through a very granular analysis of demand drivers and building out room night volume accordingly.

When selecting new developers, Ascott Australia looks for a proven track record of delivering successful projects for the group. The company’s design and construction teams work closely with developers to maximize project feasibility and delivery, particularly in the face of rising construction costs, all while ensuring minimal impact on the guest experience.

Factoring in the challenges present, it remains an opportune time to capitalize on the strength of the domestic markets and drive sustainable, high-value growth across Ascott Australia’s brand portfolio.


The significant pent-up demand for travel has resulted in remarkable growth in ADR by the end of December 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic rates in all major markets. Nationally, ADR has increased by 24% over the year, reaching AU$228, which is 23% higher than the rates observed in 2019. Additionally, occupancy levels are only 10% lower than pre-pandemic levels, currently standing at 65%. This indicates a strong recovery in the hospitality industry, with both ADR and occupancy trending positively and approaching, or even surpassing, the levels seen before the pandemic. Increased top line performance significantly assists the ability for the industry to provide developers

with more compelling cashflows to support the increasing pressures on hotel developments.

Overall, the Veriu Group has enjoyed a strong 12 months, with the continued expansion of its apartment hotel accommodation model nationally. Since 2020, it’s opened and added 7 new hotels to its portfolio, representing network growth of 50% in 4 years, and an increase in inventory of 80%, taking the number of rooms operated by the Group from 759 to over 1300 nationally.

June alone saw the opening of its second Victorian Veriu property –Veriu Collingwood, as well as the new Punthill Parramatta, which will serve as a further springboard to its strategy for growth in the NSW market under both its Punthill and Veriu brands. This follows on from the recent opening of Punthill Norwest, as well as the commencement of construction earlier this year on several greenfield sites including Punthill Maitland in regional NSW, Punthill Sunshine and Punthill Liverpool. Additionally, four to six more hotels are in the pipeline including Punthill Ryde.

Key to the Group’s success has been its unique long-term lease model which has continued to prove a really attractive option for developers who are looking for certainty of income and ability to finance large scale developments more easily in the current market. n 57 DEVELOPMENT
Veriu Group is rapidly growing its network of serviced apartments
“Nationally, ADR has increased by 24% over the year, reaching AU$228, which is 23% higher than the rates observed in 2019.”
Zed Sanjana, Veriu Group



58 HM The Business of Accommodation EXPERIENCE
Kimpton Margot Sydney demonstrated its commitment to its inclusive pet policy by welcoming alpacas to its launch event

When The Langham, London first opened its doors to British aristocracy in 1865, it was a given that guests’ beloved pets would also be welcomed to stay. But it’s only in recent years that luxury hotels more broadly have begun accepting pets – and not just miniature poodles.

Fast forward to today, The Langham remains true to its origins, welcoming pets of all shapes and sizes for overnight stays and even pet birthday parties.

“Being pet friendly has very much been part of the brand since the get go,” The Langham, Sydney Director of Marketing and Communications, Gemma Frayne, told HM

“We definitely were the trailblazers on the luxury side.”

In 2020, The Langham Sydney launched a dedicated Pampered Pets offering which includes a collar, pink tennis balls, dog treats and a suitably sized bed, and recently the hotel introduced a Doggy Afternoon Tea, curated by award-winning pastry chef Anna Polyviou.

The Langham has experienced significant growth in pet bookings since launching Pampered Pets, rising almost 37% from 157 bookings in 2021 to 215 in 2022. And from January to June 2023, the hotel has had 87 bookings.

Importantly, guests travelling with pets aren’t asked to compromise on room type during their stay.

“There’s no room that is out of bounds for pets,” Frayne said. “But they usually tend to want a balcony or somewhere which has a little outdoor area.”

Travelling with pets is an ongoing trend

in a post-pandemic world, with many people having added a four-legged companion to their family during this time. But it’s not just dogs that are checking in to the luxury hotel.

“Although we focus on dogs, the Pampered Pets staycation is for any pet. Cats are probably the second most popular, but we’ve also had rabbits, birds and a couple of snakes,” Frayne said.

Luxury lifestyle brand Kimpton also adopts an inclusive pet policy, going a step further promising guests “if your pet can fit in the elevator, they are welcome to stay”.

Kimpton can count cheetahs, alpacas, and iguanas among its weird and wonderful guests.

At Kimpton Margot Sydney, pets –predominantly dogs – are a common sight in the check-in area and at social hour on the mezzanine level, General Manager and proud dog owner, Bruce Ryde, explained.

“People travel with their pets because they don’t want to leave them at home – there’s an emotional bond particularly with dogs and cats,” Ryde told HM

Team members are on first-name terms with the hotel’s regular pet guests and are up to speed on their preferences – whether they use grooming services or if they like to order off the in-room dining menu.

Their needs are catered to like any other paying customer – even though there is no extra charge for their stay.

“We’re not just pet friendly, we’re pet free – we allow the animals to stay free of charge,” Ryde said.

“We provide a very holistic approach to pets; we have snacks on arrival, a pet menu, dog bowls and beds, and pet ‘do not disturb’ signs for the rooms.

Four Seasons Sydney has seen an increase in pet booking inquiries post Covid


“Our central proposition is around ‘ridiculously personal experiences’, so that translates to pets as well.”

Both The Langham and Kimpton reported that animals are generally very well behaved and that it’s rare for there to be any problems.

“It just doesn’t happen,” Ryde said. “People that travel with their pets have got well trained pets because they don’t want to be embarrassed.”

Many hotels have tighter restrictions around pet size and weight to combat any potential risks. At Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, pet guests must be under 11.5kg.

“Pets have to be trained and must be on leash in public areas; they cannot be left unattended in the room,” Four Seasons Sydney Director of Rooms, Myron Ting, explained.

“In order not to startle other guests, we have designated rooms for guests travelling with pets.”

Pet stays currently account for under 1% of the hotel’s arrivals, but that averages out to be around 10 pets per week, according to Ting.

“Since launching our Pet Paw-fection package, there has been an increase in guests enquiring about travelling with pets,” she said.

“Post Covid, we have had in influx of local staycation guests over the weekends and travelling with their pets is an added bonus.”

The hotel provides pet bedding, bowls and toilet pads as well as toys, treats and bath amenities and can assist guests in arranging pet walking or sitting services. Expanding this offering is high on the agenda to tap into the growing demand for pet-friendly stays, Ting said.

“The next step us to curate an In Room Dining menu tailored to our VIPs - Very Important Pets, that is.” n 59
The Langham Sydney offers a dedicated pets package and recently launched a Doggy Afternoon Tea




Rachel Luchetti, Principal

WE’VE ALREADY SEEN the rise of the ‘corporate campus’ in recent years and now we are seeing genuine investment in ideation around the notion of the hotel as ‘campus’ where food and beverage becomes the lifeblood.

The successful generation, curation and programming of these spaces hinges on our approach to environmental psychology and how design principles interact and respond to human behaviour in the enhancement of experience.

The idea of the ‘precinct’ in mixed use development and retail is certainly not new, however this shift towards a more inclusive woven campus environment rather than merely a patchwork of Place is of great interest in our practice. This extends further to the evolution and perhaps even revolution of the proverbial ‘hotel ballroom’ and conferencing rooms into a series of interesting and exciting event spaces that draws inspiration more ambitiously from public buildings, museums and art galleries – with all the comforts and atmospherics of a hospitality space.

This is something we have been very conscious of in the design process for our recently completed and current hotel projects. For

60 HM The Business of Accommodation
Bossley Bar and Restaurant in the newly transformed Rydges Melbourne, designed by Luchetti Krelle Local Connection, designed by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and Interiors, at the University of Newcastle’s Shortland Building

the true success of such projects, there really does need to be a robust collaboration between visionaries both client side as well as across the entire project team.

Our recent collaboration with EVT on the full refurbishment of Rydges Melbourne (on Exhibition Street) features an events/ conferencing offering that will be a game changer complemented by revamped food and beverage. We are also thrilled with the result of the new lobby bar at the Manly Pacific Hotel with another wonderful client who has entrusted us with further masterplanning conceptualisations and placemaking for the remaining F&B integrations.



We are living in an exciting time that values real and authentic experience. Are we still running from the phoney tinsel decades of the eighties, nineties and naughties, or nostalgically reminiscing over the 70s, or coming out of our Covid caves, or taking a break from our digital lives? Collectively, we search for realness in the physical world.

We’ve become accustomed to our restaurant food having provenance, to learning and talking about where it comes from, connecting us to Country. The wine industry has been educating us for decades about place and season and grape terroir, now we know exactly where our hand-crafted spirits come from and who made them - such as who’s his barber, who’s her tattooist. Wonderful for us sticky beakers, especially in a country with an abundance of natural produce.

So, it stands to reason that our bars, restaurants, and cafés are becoming real places where we see the chefs at work with dripping brows in sizzling spaces made of real materials. The tinsel graphics have

been worn away, revealing the time-honoured timber, stone, brick and brass, as we thirst and hunger for realness.

Now more sustainably aware, we feel the same joy in meeting up with enduring restaurants and bars as in meeting up with old friends, where introductions are discarded in lieu of getting down to the real stuff straight away.

These surfaces are as beautiful as the last visit and are always good to touch – ‘You haven’t aged a day’. Enduringly stylish and updated with a new artwork or two – ‘Is that a new bracelet?’ – this architectural style is self-assured enough to age naturally – ‘You just don’t need any work’. n 61 DESIGN AND BUILD
Bennelong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House, designed by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and Interiors 55 North bar at the transformed Manly Pacific MGallery, designed by Luchetti Krelle



Tell us about the uptake of Four Seasons Private Jet experiences post pandemic?

The Four Seasons Private Jet Experience has always been incredibly popular amongst guests, and we typically sell out journeys and experience extensive waitlists. In 2022, we added 10 new destinations to the program and continue to add more itineraries – as many as nine a year – to meet demand. We have also added more diverse itineraries including African Wonders, which was designed with families in mind, and Asia Unveiled, which packs a broad spectrum of destinations and experiences into a shorter timeframe. As the world has returned to travel and luxury vacationers are looking to explore and experience the world through exclusive and “bucket list” journeys, our

Private Jet itineraries deliver exactly that, offering an end-to-end Four Seasons trip aboard a luxury aircraft, with our legendary care and service every step of the way.

What’s the typical demographic of this traveller? Are they usually longterm customers of the brand?

The Four Seasons Private Jet Experience has been enjoyed by travel enthusiasts and many loyal guests who are fans of our brand and want to enjoy an end-to-end Four Seasons experience on an unbelievable travel journey. We’ve also welcomed many on board who are experiencing Four Seasons for the first time. While the demographics vary, we have itineraries that are suitable for many types of travellers, including trips ideal for

62 HM The Business of Accommodation
Four Seasons is experiencing high demand for its Private Jet experiences The fully customised jet features 48 seats set in the widest and tallest cabin in its class

couples or families, for those looking to celebrate a milestone or those looking to cross something off their bucket-list.

We’re very proud of our 30% repeat guest rate, with many coming back for multiple trips – even up to six trips with us – which is a testament to the exceptional experiences our guests have on these itineraries and their desire for this type of travel.

How do you translate the experience of staying at a Four Seasons Hotel to an in-air experience?

The true hallmark of a Four Seasons experience is the genuine care and service delivered by our people, which is on full display at each point of the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience. Our Jet team is made up of a dedicated Guest Services Manager, as well as an on-board team including Four Seasons Concierge, Journey Manager, Private Chef and Journey Physician.

Guests will also enjoy the same levels of quality, attention to detail and craftsmanship aboard the Private Jet that one would expect of a Four Seasons hotel. The fully customised Private Jet features the widest and tallest cabins in its class, an exclusive 48 seats, and lounge space to connect with other guests as well enjoy in-flight programming led by chefs, wellness experts, educators and more.

In what ways is the experience customised for guests?

From the moment of enquiry to booking and travel, a dedicated Guest Services Manager works closely with our Private Jet guests to understand their preferences and create expertly curated itineraries that cater to their wishes. Our dedicated Private Jet Experience Concierge then works with on-the-ground Four Seasons teams in each destination to seamlessly coordinate and execute guests’ needs.

While guests travel together on the Jet, each individual has a bespoke itinerary that is based on their interests and preferences, from daily activities to F&B experiences in each destination. We also offer a range of exclusive activities with insider access; however, guests are welcome to explore destinations outside of the suggested programs.

Tell us about the culinary experience enjoyed by guests onboard?

Two expanded galleys feature state-of-the-art equipment, where a Four Seasons Executive Chef creates meals inspired by the destinations in the itinerary to create a deeper connection of discovery of the places being visited. Local ingredients are sourced from the destinations along the journey, while accommodating preferences and dietary restrictions. Meals range from casual dining options to elaborate three-course meals with a curated wine list and the opportunity to enjoy small bites between meals in our Lounge in the Sky.

How do you manage additional risks such as traveller safety when travelling in various locations around the world?

Guests can take comfort in the peace of mind that comes with travelling with Four Seasons. Lead With Care, the company’s enhanced global health and safety program, focuses on providing care, confidence and comfort to guests and employees now and in the future. In partnership with TCS World Travel, Four Seasons works closely with leading global experts and local authorities to protect the health and safety of every Four Seasons guest and employee. n 63
The Private Jet experience is highly customised to guests’ needs
Four Seasons added 10 new destinations to its program in 2022



Acareer in hospitality can be a rewarding one, with the opportunity to help create unforgettable experiences for guests. But for TFE Hotels Indigenous Liaison Officer (Northern Territory), Henri Peters, it’s about making a lifechanging impact on First Nations Australians by supporting them to build long-term careers in hospitality.

Since taking up the position last year, Peters has been focused on recruiting new team members for Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront and Travelodge Resort Darwin.

“I support, mentor and train Indigenous team members,” he explained.

“We set goals and put a plan in place to achieve them through on-thejob, accredited, and online training.”

Born and raised in Darwin, Peters left school at 16 to earn a living as a kitchen hand before later progressing to a Head Chef position in a remote part of the Northern Territory.

Determined to pursue a career in tourism, Peters, with the help of Karen Sheldon Training, later became one of the very first participants in TFE Hotels’ Real Jobs Program (RJP) – a work-based training and employment initiative for Indigenous Australians.

The Kuku Yalanji man has risen through the ranks at TFE Hotels’ partly Indigenous-owned Adina-Vibe Darwin Waterfront hotel, starting in conferencing and events then moving to food and beverage, reception, maintenance crew and front desk.

“I remember thinking back then that I could make something of myself at TFE,” he said.

“I quickly progressed into an F&B role at Adina Darwin Waterfront’s Curve Bar and Restaurant, while still helping out with conferencing and events whenever needed,” he said. “I loved dipping my toes into all facets of the operation.”

Throughout the challenges of the pandemic, Peters worked as Night Manager and on reception between all three Darwin properties –Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront, Vibe Darwin Waterfront and Travelodge Resort Darwin – demonstrating his strong leadership qualities and dedication to the teams.

“Supporting my co-workers during the pandemic wasn’t work; it was just something I just did,” he said.

“They have all helped me along the way, so it made sense that I helped them in return. We’re all in it together here at TFE… and especially up in the Northern Territory.”

During his time at TFE, Peters found himself mentoring new RJP candidates and other First Nations team members.

“I’ve always been passionate about helping others by providing guidance and advice, so I was excited to see TFE support Indigenous and First Nations People and give them opportunities to learn and grow and to be part of that journey,” he said.

“With the Indigenous Liaison Officer role, I saw a chance to make a difference within the community, and to give those who were willing the same opportunities I had been given.”

During NAIDOC Week 2023, Peters took the opportunity to share his story with fellow First Nations Australians and let them know that there are support mechanisms to help them build a career in this industry.

“I want to educate local Indigenous communities on the career pathways, programs, and opportunities available here at TFE Hotels,” he said.

“I want people to know that my story can be their beginning, and that I’ll be here to guide and to help them succeed.” n

64 HM The Business of Accommodation
Henri Peters, TFE Hotels



Tell me about how you got started in the industry and a bit about your current role.

My entry into the world of hotels and hospitality began with my longstanding interest in real estate, which later led me to the opportunity of combining both my professional aspirations to work in commercial real estate, with my love for hotels, travel and tourism.

I began my professional journey at JLL within the Hotels and Hospitality Valuation and Advisory team, where I gained a strong understanding of the full spectrum of hotel and hospitality assets and operations. After almost four years, I transitioned to the Hotel Investment Sales team at JLL towards the end of 2021.

I have been privileged to engage with exceptional hotel assets across the Asia Pacific region. My primary focus has been on facilitating accommodation divestment and advising clients on strategic investments.

What was it about the hotels industry that appealed to you?

I have always been fascinated by the world of real estate, and the allure of hotels in particular. Hotels are not just buildings; they are destinations that embody experiences and emotions. Being part of an industry where I can contribute to shaping those experiences, whether through investment sales or strategic advisory, is incredibly rewarding.

Do you have a career mentor or support network?

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to find mentors within the hotels and real estate industry who have generously shared their knowledge and experiences with me.

My recent move from Brisbane to Sydney has further enabled me to be part of industry associations and networking groups which has helped build a strong support network. These connections have provided me with valuable insights, new opportunities, and a greater sense of belonging in our industry. I encourage any emerging professional who is new to the industry to get involved in as many social and networking opportunities as possible, you never know who you could meet!

Who inspires you professionally?

For me, this answer is simple; Gilda Perez-Alvarado. Gilda holds the esteemed position of global CEO of Hotels and Hospitality at JLL, making her the highest-ranking woman worldwide in hospitality commercial real estate brokerage.

It is Gilda’s illustrious career in hotel investment sales that motivates me to continuously strive for excellence, and her outlook on redesigning the workplace to be inclusive for all individuals, especially women in an industry traditionally dominated by men, is genuinely inspiring.

What change would you like to see in the industry?

As professionals within the industry, it is crucial for us to remain vigilant about the advancements in technology, as it serves as the catalyst for transformative changes impacting various sectors and asset categories, with hotels and hospitality being no exception. It would be great to see the next generation of our industry continue to champion this wave of change. n 65 PEOPLE
Taylor O’Brien moderated a panel discussion about white label hotels at AHICE 2023





Ascott Australia has welcomed Jennifer Warn to the Senior Leadership Team following her promotion to General Manager Sales and Distribution.

Warn, who joined Quest in 2018 as Director of Sales, was promoted to Group Head of Corporate Sales in January 2021. Her expanded role sees her take management of all Ascott Australia sales and revenue team members.

“Jennifer is a natural leader and consistently strong performer who possesses an intimate understanding of the markets we operate in, our valued clients, our brands and most importantly our values as a people focused organisation,” said Ascott Australia Managing Director, David Mansfield.


Four Points by Sheraton Auckland has welcomed Jai Leighton as General Manager.


Rachael Harman has taken up the position of General Manager of Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, following the retirement of Clive Scott AM. An accomplished hospitality and tourism professional with over 20 years’ experience, Harman has previously held senior management roles for various luxury hotel brands across Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.

“Having recently undergone an extensive AU$15 million refurbishment, [Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has] set the benchmark for luxury hotels in Melbourne and it’s an honour to carry on the incredible work undertaken by Mr Scott over the past 18 years,” she said.


Hyatt Centric Melbourne has appointed Mark Foxwell as General Manager.

Foxwell’s career with Hyatt spans over 28 years, including 14 years in General Management roles.

Having worked in General Manager positions in Japan, China, and most recently in Perth, he is excited to return to Melbourne.

“I am delighted to be joining the Hyatt Centric Melbourne team,” said Foxwell. “Melbourne is a city I deeply resonate with, and I feel privileged to lead the Centric brand here. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues and the vibrant Melbourne community in the coming weeks and months.”

Leighton brings over 20 years of hospitality experience, having worked for key brands and integrated resorts across Australia and New Zealand. He joined Marriott International in 2020 to launch JW Marriott Gold Coast before relocating to Auckland to introduce the JW Marriott brand to the market.

“Jai’s expertise on the New Zealand market through his work in launching our flagship brand into the country will bring valuable perspective to his role at Four Points by Sheraton, and his demonstrated leadership skills will see him thrive in this new role,” said Marriott International Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Sean Hunt.


Australian national Greg Liddell has been appointed General Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and Area Vice President, Operations overseeing Mandarin Oriental, Macau and Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo.

A seasoned hotelier with over 25 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Lidell began his career with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in 2009. His career with Mandarin Oriental hotels has taken him to positions at hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, Canouan Island, Costa Navarino, Bangkok and Taipei.

66 HM The Business of Accommodation
Rachael Harman, Sofitel Melbourne On Collins Jennifer Warn, Ascott Australia Greg Liddell, Mandarin Oriental Mark Foxwell, Hyatt Centric Melbourne Jai Leighton, Four Points by Sheraton Auckland
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Hostplus is a top-performing super fund that puts members first. That’s why we’re proud to have been named the 2023 Fund of the Year by third-party ratings agency SuperRatings. Judged across three areas: strong performance, competitive fees, and an ongoing focus on members, we’re thrilled to receive this recognition.

The rating is issued by SuperRatings Pty Ltd ABN 95 100 192 283 AFSL 311880 (SuperRatings). Ratings are general advice only and have been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider your personal circumstances, read the product disclosure statement and seek independent financial advice before investing. The rating and awards are not recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any product and are only one factor to be taken into account when choosing a super fund. Past performance information is not indicative of future performance. Ratings are subject to change without notice and SuperRatings assumes no obligation to update. SuperRatings uses objective criteria and receives a fee for publishing awards. Visit for ratings information and to access the full report. © 2022 SuperRatings. All rights reserved. General advice only. Consider the relevant Hostplus PDS and TMD at and your objectives, financial situation and needs, which have not been accounted for. Awards and ratings are only one factor to consider. Host-Plus Pty Limited ABN 79 008 634 704, AFSL 244392 trustee for Hostplus Superannuation Fund, ABN 68 657 495 890. HP2392

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