Hotel Management December 2022

Page 74

Vol.26 No.6 Bi-monthly December 2022 THE LATEST IN HOTEL FRANCHISING GLOBAL MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN THIS ISSUE Australasia’s finest Winners revealed in 2022 HM
With five new hotels due to open next year and powerful partnerships that deliver unrivalled guest experiences, Marriott is looking forward to a thrilling 2023. MARRIOTT’S NEXT CHAPTER HOT THIS MONTH: Leadership, post grad courses, top in-room appliances, and industry appointments
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LEGEND OF PARIS 5 CONTENTS On the cover Marriott International looks forward to a thrilling 2023 16 38 32 Accor’s Sébastien
Paris for an in-depth interview 28
Bazin sits down with James Wilkinson in
GOLD RUSH Inside The Langham’s first beachfront property, The Langham Gold Coast.
the winners and highly commended from the 2022 HM Awards.
Hyatt is streamlining the guest experience through a partnership with Apple.
clever and compact in-room appliances making an impact.
postgraduate pathways to a career in hospitality.
technology helping
to boost revenue.
hotel groups and legal experts report growing interest in franchising opportunities.
estate experts discuss activity in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.
26 A
a record-breaking HM Awards. 08 EDITOR’S LETTER Ruth
of openings. 10 NEED TO KNOW The essential stories you need to know this month. 12 COVER STORY Presented this month by Marriott International. DECEMBER 2022 Vol. 26 No.6 All the excitement and celebration from the 20th HM Awards How Skye Suites is building a fanbase through reality TV
Hotels’ Sandra Bellamy shares how
is improving the guest experience.
Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin on transforming the hotel offering for future guests.
Wilkinson reflects on
Hogan looks ahead to a

Celebrating 20 years of

What an exciting night it was for the 20th annual HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, presented by Sealy Posturepedic and held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney in front of 1000 people.

As the Founder of the HM Awards, I’m incredibly proud and thrilled to see how far the HM Awards have come over the past 20 years and how much we have been able to give back to the accommodation industry in Australasia.

We all like stats and we had some key milestones at the HM Awards. I’m thrilled to reveal, over the past 20 years, 13,500 people have attended the HM Awards and more than 1,070 awards have been won by hotels across Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

This year, we had 1,825 nominations, which is 46% more than our record in 2019, and we also had over $75,000 donated in prizes to help raise funds for our chosen charity, the Kids Cancer Centre at The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

We have a special 27-page feature, starting on page 38, covering all the action from this year’s awards, which I believe was the best event we have ever hosted.

On the night, one of the industry’s highest accolades, the Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award, was awarded to Accor’s Chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin.

That honour is about recognising someone who has gone above and beyond for the industry and those who work in it. During the pandemic, Bazin helped raise funds for Accor staff across the world, he continued his push for more diversity in the workforce, and he has helped champion service in every Accor property.

Bazin truly has become a legendary figure in the accommodation industry over the last decade since he has been in the role, and I had the chance to catch up with him in Paris recently for a special feature in HM. We spoke about Accor’s hot brands, his desire to turbocharge the company’s food and beverage offerings, and much more. You can find that feature on page 32.

Closer to home, I was saddened to hear the news that former Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, David Baffsky AO, had passed away at the start of December.

David was one of the most passionate hoteliers in the industry and, highlighting his career, the HM Awards Hall of Fame member was the Executive Chairman of Accor Asia Pacific between 1993 and 2008 and Honorary Chairman since.

He always had a great story to tell, and he will be missed. On behalf of the HM team, I’d like to extend our condolences to the Baffsky family, along with the many associates and industry colleagues who knew him well.

Yours in hospitality,

6 HM The Business of Accommodation EDITOR-IN-CHIEF'S LETTER
accommodation excellence
Catching up with Sébastien Bazin in Paris recently The HM global hot list Hotels around the world capturing our attention this month. ONE: The Wall Street Hotel @wallstreet.hotelnyc TWO: Sofitel Queenstown @sofitelqueenstown THREE: Kimpton Fitzroy London @kimptonfitzroy FOUR: Crown Sydney @crownsydney
The 2022 HM Awards had its biggest crowd ever with 1000 people in attendance


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A year to connect

Almost a year into my role at HM, six issues down, and countless online stories, I’m wondering where the time has gone.

We closed out the last quarter of 2022 with a bang with our inaugural AHICE Aotearoa event in October and the HM Awards in November (wrap up on p38).

It was truly wonderful to see the industry gather in such large numbers once again to celebrate its people and recognise achievements across every department; as well as to discuss the next steps forward in the industry’s recovery.

There was an undeniable energy at the conference in Auckland to drive positive change in the industry on everything from culture and diversity to guest experience and design.

With 2023 just around the corner, I’m looking forward to another bumper year of hotel openings, industry events and gatherings.

In this issue, you’ll discover just how many openings are on the horizon. On page 12, Marriott International discusses its 2023 openings, including the entry of two new brands to the Australian market, Le Méridien and Moxy. On page 18, Accor reveals details of its New Zealand expansion with five new hotels to open next year. Not to mention the highly anticipated arrival of Capella Sydney in March.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading HM this year and I look forward to bringing you more interesting news and features. If you’ve got a great story to tell, don’t hesitate to reach out (email listed above). Wishing you all a happy and relaxing break and a prosperous 2023.

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


Marriott images by Oneill Photographics.

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8 HM The Business of Accommodation
Capella is among the global hotel brands to debut in Australia next year
The HM team was pleased to present Barry Robinson with the award for Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year at the 2022 HM Awards James Wells Publisher Tara Ducrou Group Commercial Manager James Wilkinson Editor-in-Chief

Things You Need To Know

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

Capella readies for Australian debut

Capella Sydney is set to open its doors in March 2023.

CAPELLA HOTELS AND Resorts is preparing to make its Australian debut in March 2023 at the former Department of Education building in Sydney’s Sandstone Precinct. The heritage-listed building will be home to a 192-room hotel, spanning eight levels, that aims to set a new global benchmark for luxury accommodation.

“The Capella brand is synonymous with luxury, excellence in the craft of hospitality and cultural immersion,” said Capella Sydney’s General Manager, Marc von Arnim.

“Capella Sydney takes this to the next level through unparalleled heritage work, architecture and interior design, state-ofthe-art wellness facilities and transformative guest experiences that go above and beyond the expected, underscored by world-class accommodation and dining.” Elements of the original design, by architect George McRae over a century ago, have been retained including in the marble-clad foyer, bespoke function rooms and wellness spaces. The hotel will feature three ground-level food and beverage outlets, six meeting and event spaces, and The Living Room, a signature space in all Capella properties that celebrates art and culture.

10 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW

Industry mourns legendary David Baffsky

Former Accor Chairman and industry legend passes away at age 81.

THE HOTEL INDUSTRY across Asia Pacific is in mourning, following the passing of former Accor Asia Pacific Executive Chairman, David Baffsky AO, in December at the age of 81.

One of the most popular hoteliers Australia has ever seen, Baffsky led the original charge of Accor throughout Asia Pacific from 1993 to 2008 and after his departure, was the company’s Honorary Chairman, as the company continued significant growth, much of which the former lawyer started himself.

Baffsky, who is also a member of the HM Awards Hall of the Fame and who was the first ever keynote speaker at the Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) in 2009, was a likeable person who could uplift any room with his addictive smile and charismatic personality.

Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, told HM that Baffsky will be deeply missed by the entire

Hyatt to acquire Dream Hotel Group

Hyatt bolsters lifestyle collection through latest deal.

HYATT HOTELS HAS announced plans to expand its lifestyle portfolio by over 1700 rooms with the acquisition of Dream Hotel Group.

The agreement will see an affiliate of Hyatt acquire Dream Hotel Group’s lifestyle hotel brand and management platform including the Dream Hotels, The Chatwal Hotels and Unscripted Hotels brands.

The deal includes a portfolio of 12 managed or franchised lifestyle hotels, as well as 24 signed long-term management agreements for hotels that are expected to open in the future.

Hyatt will pay a base purchase price of US$125 million on closing – which is expected in the coming months – with up to an additional US$175 million over the next six years as properties come into the pipeline and open.

Hyatt President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Hoplamazian, said he looks forward to growing the brands into the future.

Accor family and was someone who helped create the booming business the chain has become in Australasia today.

“Baffsky was an incredible force whose leadership, vision and direction established Accor as the preeminent hotel company in Asia Pacific, and in doing so, transformed the hotel industry in the region,” she said.

“He was responsible for providing career opportunities for countless people who have built careers in the hospitality industry and was a mentor and friend to many people in Accor and the broader industry.

“In 2001 Baffsky drove Accor to establish its commitment to First Nations, when we made our first commitment with Government on employment.”

He was also known for his significant work as Chairman of Voyages Indigenous Tourism and as a Director of the Indigenous Land

“We have tremendous respect for what Dream Hotel Group founder Sant Singh Chatwal and Chief Executive Officer Jay Stein and their team have created and are grateful for the trust being placed in us by Dream Hotel Group to care for their brands and carry their success forward into the future,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing our growth journey with more than 600 new Hyatt family members who will further elevate our lifestyle expertise and expand the success of our dedicated lifestyle division.”

Dream Hotel Group has properties in prominent hotel markets across the Americas. 11 NEED TO KNOW
Corporation where he was passionate about the growth of Indigenous employment in the accommodation sector and for Australians to have more experiences in the outback, including the purchase of Ayres Rock Resort. David Baffsky had a longstanding career with Accor Acquisition to increase Hyatt’s room count in New York City by more than 30%



With five new hotels due to open next year and powerful partnerships that deliver unrivalled guest experiences, Marriott is looking forward to a thrilling 2023.

Increased demand for luxury travel experiences in established and emerging destinations will drive another strong year of growth for Marriott International across Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific (ANZP).

According to Sean Hunt, Area Vice President ANZP of Marriott International, authentic, personalised, and meaningful guest experiences will be underpinned by a solid pipeline of new hotels and the introduction of popular Marriott brands in the region. Marriott will continue to expand its portfolio, with five new hotels due to open by the end of 2023.

“We started 2022 with the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Melbourne Flagstaff Gardens in March, followed by AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank. And we recently announced the signing of Australia’s third Ritz-Carlton hotel on the Gold Coast and Courtyard Western Sydney Airport,” Hunt said.

“In 2023 we are excited to introduce another two new brands with Le Méridien Melbourne and Moxy Sydney Airport set to open alongside Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, W Sydney, and Courtyard by Marriott Perth, Murdoch, and Marriott Executive Apartments Port Moresby marking our inaugural foothold in Papua New Guinea.”


Marriott will continue to deliver unrivalled guest experiences across the worlds of sport, culture, culinary and lifestyle with its award-winning travel program Marriott Bonvoy.

As the official hotel partner of the Australian Open, 2023 kicks off with former world number one Ash Barty’s return to Melbourne Park as Marriott Bonvoy’s Summer of Tennis ambassador for a second time.

The exclusive partnership will give members access to more than 50 unique Marriott Bonvoy Moments at Australia’s most sought-after sporting event including high profile matches, tennis clinics and access to Marriott Bonvoy’s private hospitality suite.

“We know our guests deeply and understand what they are looking for in their travels. Our value lies in our desire and ability to connect our guests with their passions through incredible moments that leave a

12 HM The Business of Accommodation PROMOTION
Marriott’s executive team are looking forward to another year of strong growth Marriott will introduce Australia’s third Ritz-Carlton hotel on the Gold Coast

lasting impact,” said Florencia Aimo, Senior Area Director of Marketing - Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands at Marriott International.

“We have an extraordinary portfolio of 30 global hotel brands and our teams are busier than ever creating magical money-can’t-buy experiences that fuel our guests’ joy for travel and change the way in which they see and experience the world.”

From October to December this year, Marriott International celebrated its partnership with ideas engine TEDxMelbourne, TEDxSydney and TEDxBrisbane with a series of events and interactive workshops exploring themes of Inspiring Brilliance, with plans underway for further collaborations in 2023.

In 2023, Marriott Bonvoy members can look forward to behindthe-scenes, front-row, and VIP experiences through Marriott’s partnership with Sydney WorldPride, along with a host of other exciting partnerships that will entice travellers with interests in diverse arenas –from the sporting arena to the culinary world.


Marriott Bonvoy’s Good Travel program, which offers guests the opportunity to forge first-hand connections with local communities, will continue to grow across the region, reaffirming Marriott’s commitment to doing good in the communities where it operates.

Now available at 100 Asia Pacific properties, including three Australian hotels, Marriott is set to deliver richer and wider choices of meaningful moments that promote both cultural understanding and positive, sustainable change.

From hotel design to the guest experience, Marriott International will continue to focus efforts on a wide range of sustainability measures including resource-efficient hotels, purchasing green products, and supporting innovative environmental initiatives.

Plans are already underway to offer mobile check-in and digital room keys from next year and Marriott remains committed to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.


To support its expansion, Marriott continues to attract and retain the best talent while inspiring a new generation of hospitality workers with its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Fostering female leadership remains a top priority with over a third of above-property associates in ANZP and 42% of its on-property leaders being women. Marriott also continues to support the LGBTQIA+ community and associates with its ONE network (formed in 2010) and extends its partnership with Sydney WorldPride for the third consecutive year with a meaningful expression of W Hotels in the Mardi Gras Parade.

The launch of employee engagement program Life with the Works earlier this year provides flexible access to unmatched training hours and career opportunities across all aspects of the world-famous hospitality business. Centred around a people-first culture, the platform offers incredible opportunities for associates to grow personally and professionally whilst living their best life.

“Our priority has always been and will continue to be our associates. We empower them to grow and discover their own journey and live life to the fullest no matter how one defines this,” Hunt said.

“We operate on the ethos of if we take care of our associates, they in turn will take care of our guests.”

With a thrilling year ahead, Marriott International looks forward to creating emotional connections for new and returning guests through personalised experiences, coupled with luxury stays and exceptional service. n 13 COVER STORY
Courtyard by Marriott Melbourne Flagstaff Gardens opened in March 2022 Moxy Sydney Airport is set to open in 2023

C’est La Vie

La Vie makes major strides in Australia with the launch of a ‘one-stop shop’ hospitality group and a new partnership with SLH, as RUTH HOGAN reveals.

LA VIE HOTELS and Resorts is bringing together six business units under a new umbrella brand, La Vie Hospitality Group, to serve as an end-to-end solution for the hospitality industry.

Described as a “one-stop shop” for the industry, the group will provide existing clients, owners and other partners with education and staffing solutions, asset management, procurement, building management, hospitality services, alongside its hotels and resorts offering.

Speaking exclusively to HM, La Vie Hospitality Group Managing Director, Craig Bond, said it’s about giving back to the industry.

“We believe that this model can add greater value,” he said.

“We see that there is so much synergy as a hospitality company – there’s no one else like us. It’s like an à la carte service – you can have a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”


The group recently entered a Joint Venture with South Australia-born hospitality training school Alliance College, which runs a campus in Adelaide and in Haymarket, Sydney, to bring educated graduates into hotels.

With many in the industry struggling to find skilled staff in the wake of the pandemic, Bond says education is of paramount importance.

“Education and bringing people into the hospitality business is more vital than ever before,” he said. “It’s about giving back to the industry and providing quality training.”

As part of their course, students will be offered placements at a wide variety of hotels across Australia.

“We hope that by fostering the talent of tomorrow and building a network of highly trained hospitality professionals, we will help fill the gap – not only in our hotels but across the board,” Bond added.


La Vie Hospitality Group’s procurement arm, Paro Procurement Group, works with owners to provide OS&E (Operating Supplies and Equipment) and FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment). La Vie Hospitality Services offers end-to-end catering management for large institutions, covering everything from menu design to service delivery and

innovative food and beverage supplies; while Marion Building Management brings luxury hotel services such as a concierge and building maintenance into residential properties.

The group’s asset management firm, Leadwell, is also working with hotel owners and operators on major pre-opening projects, including W Sydney. Bond says it’s about bringing sensibility to asset management.

“We have a 360-degree approach,” he said. “Financial results are not just about the money, they’re about guest satisfaction, staff satisfaction – all these components impact profitability.”


La Vie Hotels and Resorts also recently announced a strategic brand and distribution partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).

The agreement, signed in Singapore in October by La Vie CEO Jerry Xu and SLH’s Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Mark Wong, will see a number of La Vie’s boutique upper-upscale and independent hotels join the exclusive collection, including The Islington Hobart. A yet-to-be-announced hotel in Surry Hills will also join the network later this year.

“We are delighted to be aligning with Small Luxury Hotels and feel the value they will add to our boutique properties will be immeasurable,” said Xu.

“The Islington Hobart lends itself perfectly to SLH’s clientele, and we look forward to adding a few more properties to SLH’s portfolio over the coming months.”

La Vie expects to benefit from SLH’s global distribution network of high-end luxury holiday seekers as well as its sales and marketing support.

14 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
La Vie Hospitality Group MD Craig Bond, CEO Jerry Xu and CFO Priscilla Tran The Islington Hotel in Hobart will join SLH’s exclusive collection


With ESG front of mind, Ovolo Hotels is utilising best-in-class commercial kitchen equipment to assist with energy efficiency and labour shortages.

While many hospitality venues were focused on survival during the pandemic, others, such as Ovolo Hotels, were quietly working on becoming more sustainable. Now, they are reaping the rewards, winning the respect of today’s eco-conscious travellers.

Ovolo’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report outlines its actions on sustainability and ethics. One of its widely praised initiatives is the ‘Veg Pledge’ – a commitment to a vegetarian-led food offering at Lona Misa in South Yarra, Alibi in Woolloomooloo and Monster in Nishi Canberra in a bid to reduce food emissions. Produce is also locally sourced where possible to reduce food miles.

Wayne Taranto, Director of Operations for Ovolo Group in Australia spoke with Comcater about how Ovolo Hotel group is meeting its ESG targets.


ESG is definitely at the forefront of our industry at the moment. It’s a big topic of conversation. We have a roadmap taking us through until 2025, and we understand the importance that it plays, not only for our people within the organisation, but the guests staying in our hotels.


The kitchen equipment that we purchase needs to be very efficient. In the environment we’re in today, particularly with skill shortages, we need kitchen lines that will work for us and deliver the quality food we’re offering.

We work with suppliers like Comcater who provide us with best-in-class equipment to ensure that we’re achieving our milestones from an environmental point of view and also a social and governance perspective.

Every commercial kitchen needs a RATIONAL combi oven. We rely on this

piece of equipment for all our menus in our restaurants, cafe environments and, most importantly, our function areas. It’s energy efficient, which is important to us, and the oven is capable of delivering a significant number of items.


Our relationship with Comcater has been a long one. It’s an important relationship. We rely on Comcater to provide us with advice, particularly for new acquisitions or kitchen fitouts.

We’ve also worked with them on historicalstyle kitchens where we’re inheriting a kitchen we need to upgrade. We look to them to provide us with great commercial kitchen expertise on what we should do in the future.

When we’re going through a refurbishment or a renovation of an existing venue, we need equipment to do menu tasting, trials or mock services in preparation for a new opening. We always lean on Comcater for the use of their production kitchens.

We look to Comcater regularly to ensure that not only our kitchen personnel, but our management are making the right decisions moving forward. We require Comcater’s expertise to check we’re making the right decisions and investments.


I think food service plays an important part in our industry, it’s what we get judged on. People come into our venues for a great food experience so, we need to ensure we’ve got the right talent and equipment in our kitchens to deliver that experience. n

To find out how Comcater can work in with your Hotel ESG, contact 15 COMCATER NEWS PROMOTION
Comcater’s RATIONAL oven is highly energy efficient Comcater National Key Account Manager, Michael Hyde, and Ovolo Group Director of Operations, Wayne Taranto

Skye full of stars

FIVE YEARS SINCE launch, Sydney-based hotel company Skye Suites is punching above its weight as a lifestyle destination in a highly competitive market dominated by major global players.

Despite having just three Sydney properties to date, the hotel brand is recognisable at a national and global level thanks in no small part to the reality TV partnerships that have propelled the brand to a generation of young people.

For the last three years, Skye Suites Sydney has served as the host hotel for the hugely popular Australian reality TV show, Married at First Sight (MAFS) which brings in an average of 1.9 million viewers per episode.

Its Green Square property also recently played host for two seasons of Beauty and the Geek, a challenge-based reality show, presented by Sophie Monk.

Speaking exclusively to HM, Skye Suites Area Director of Sales and Marketing, Ari Foo, said this medium has given the small, domestic business a significant leg up in terms of branding.

“From a marketing perspective, we are competing against bigger chain hotels with much bigger brand presence and marketing budgets,” he said.

“These partnerships drive brand recognition and put us front of mind for people looking at accommodation options in Sydney.”

Reality TV has proven to be a powerful brand-building tool for Skye Suites, not only

because it showcases its buildings and rooms, but because audiences have subtle reminders of the brand name and logo, which is shown on screen 2-4 times per episode.

“It’s about getting the brand in front of people but not in a forceful way,” Foo explained.

“We can do social media advertising, and advertise in magazines, but there’s very few mediums where you’re going to get 1.9 million people watching.”


With 15 seasons under its belt, Married at First Sight is undoubtedly a brand powerhouse in its own right, recognisable particularly among – but not limited to – a Millennial and Gen Z audience.

“When I see our travel industry partners,

clients and meet people in general, the first thing they say to me when I mention Skye Suites is ‘the MAFS hotel,’” Foo told HM

“That alone shows the immense impact the show has had on our brand recognition.”

Skye Suites Head of Hotels Australasia, David Bowen, said that this particular reality TV partnership has driven a lot of demand in the CBD hotel and aligns with the company’s strategy to become a recognisable lifestyle brand.

“Skye Suites is really targeted as a lifestyle brand – these shows put you into that space,” he told HM.

“Our whole strategy is to create a lifestyle brand that attracts young, up-and-coming [consumers] but also attracts older guests –MAFS reaches a wide audience.”


The brand’s boutique offering and focus on architecture make it an appealing destination for TV and movie producers, according to the executives.

The Kent Street Sydney property’s exterior of brick, steel and glass arches serves as an adequately dramatic backdrop for the theatrics that unfold within on Married at First Sight, while the Green Square building provides unique filming opportunities.

During the Season 2 finale of Beauty and the Geek, contestants abseiled several hundred feet down the building, landing into the hotel pool below – an activity that showcased the property’s unique design and strengthened the association between the wider Infinity by Crown building and Skye Suites Green Square.

Being a smaller boutique brand is another advantage for the business when it comes to winning TV partnerships, Foo explains.

“There’s an appeal for production companies because we can contain [filming] quite easily,” he said.

“We tend to isolate filming to a floor or two as they often want to operate as a closed set to

16 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
Sydney hotel brand Skye Suites is taking marketing to another level with reality TV partnerships that have made it a household name. RUTH HOGAN reports. Skye Suites’ Green Square property played host to two seasons of Beauty and the Geek Skye Suites Sydney’s appearances on popular TV show Married at First Sight have made it popular with Millennial and Gen Z guests

some degree. Because of our boutique size, we have the ability to deliver something that they can’t necessarily get in bigger properties. It’s an element of privacy, a bit more security.”

Skye Suites’ Green Square property’s proximity to Fox Studios also makes it an appealing destination for production teams.

During the pandemic, when many major international productions relocated to Australia, Skye Suites Green Square hosted crew members working on major productions including one of the hugely popular Marvel movies.

Foo said the team was laser focused on tapping into this opportunity to offset losses when travel came to a grinding halt.

“When we opened Green Square, we purposely scouted the entertainment market because we saw that Fox Studios and Carriageworks were both close by – there is a lot of movie production in that area,” he said.

Bowen admits, however, that welcoming a reality TV cast and crew into a hotel for an extended period of time does present some challenges, pointing to the huge effort that goes into set up and pack down.

“It is a significant load on the hotel,” he said.

“Interiors are brought in to make it more homely – the beds the furniture etc. is all bought externally – so we close those doors

for a couple of weeks to set them up, and then when they leave, they are closed for a couple of weeks to break it all down and bring it back to scope.” 17 NEED TO KNOW
A world of innovative hospitality across the globe’s most stunning destinations MINORHOTELS.COM Global network of 8 brands | 525+ properties 75,000+ rooms | Operating in 56 countries
Skye Suites’ impressive architecture makes it an appealing location for TV and film production


With five new hotels to open across the Tasman next year, Accor is putting New Zealand front and centre of its Pacific expansion.

Accor is targeting strong growth across New Zealand in its wider Pacific expansion, with new hotels and brand debuts in the pipeline as the market recovers from the pandemic.

Ennismore and CP Group recently announced the opening of four new lifestyle hotels in 202324, including a JO&JOE in Auckland, two TRIBE hotels in Auckland, and a Hyde in Queenstown. Ennismore is a joint-venture in which Accor holds a majority shareholding.

The Group also recently launched New Zealand’s first Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts branded properties – Mövenpick Hotel Auckland and Mövenpick Hotel Wellington –which are delighting guests with a world-class hotel experience while enjoying the distinct moments and flavours of Mövenpick.

Many of Accor’s existing properties in Aotearoa have also been transformed with

18 HM The Business of Accommodation
Accor is opening a JO&JOE hotel in Auckland in 2023
Accor continues to invest in its Sofitel brand in New Zealand major refurbishment programs, including Auckland’s most luxurious boutique hotel Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour. Accor Pacific Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Derry, said: “New Zealand is one of the Pacific region’s most vibrant tourism markets. The booking pace has been building, and we continue to be excited about opportunities for

development in New Zealand, particularly as international travel opens up. New Zealand is one of the most desirable locations in the world and we are committed to rebuilding tourism here and making a positive impact on our local communities through investment and job creation.”

Accor Pacific Senior Vice President Development & Franchise, Lindsay Leeser, said: “Accor has one of the most prestigious brand and hotel portfolios in the world and we pride ourselves on delivering the right products to the right markets, with the right partners. We have a proven record in New Zealand, which has allowed our network to grow quickly. Further expanding our collection here remains a key priority for the Group. We’ve placed New Zealand front and centre of our growth plans across the Pacific region, following a significant year of new signings and investment in our existing portfolio. New Zealand’s tourism industry is returning and adding these remarkable properties to our portfolio elevates the appeal of the region further.”

Accor is the largest hotel operator in New Zealand with 43 hotels (5,800 rooms) with international brands such as Sofitel, MGallery, Pullman, Mövenpick, Grand Mercure, Peppers, The Sebel, Mantra, Novotel, Mercure, BreakFree, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget, as well as Ennismore’s SO/. n

For more information, visit


Pullman Auckland Airport (opening Q4 2023): The 313-room Te Arikinui Pullman will provide a spectacular gateway for guests arriving and departing Aotearoa New Zealand. Infused with uniquely Waikato-Tainui cultural elements, the hotel features a top floor restaurant and bar with spectacular views across the runway and out to the Manukau Heads, and a ground floor café.

The Sebel Wellington Lower Hutt (opening Q2 2023): Overlooking the Hutt River and just a short drive from Wellington International Airport, this stylish apartment-style hotel will feature 60 fully serviced studios and one-bedroom apartments, along with a lively restaurant and bar called Biscotti.




JO&JOE Auckland Fort Street (opening Q3 2023): JO&JOE’s culture of sharing, spontaneity, and individual experiences brings travellers together and unites the fun of a hostel and the comforts of a hotel, appealing to a broad community of global explorers.

JO&JOE Auckland Fort Street will be housed in a historic building in the heart of downtown Auckland and will feature 63 rooms, lively common spaces, a lobby café, and a terrace.

TRIBE Auckland Fort Street (opening Q3 2023): The 60-room Tribe Auckland Fort Street will bring a bold design edit to Auckland’s hotel scene, with 60 cleverly-designed guestrooms, the latest technologies, a lobby bar, and rooftop terrace.

Hyde Queenstown (opening Q3 2023): Boasting an iconic presence on Shotover Street, which is lined with restaurants, bars and shopping, Hyde Queenstown will offer 63 guestrooms, plus a restaurant and bar. The DNA of every Hyde property is consistent, but each hotel is designed with its location in mind, ensuring that no two Hydes are exactly alike. 19 ACCOR NEWS
“New Zealand is one of the Pacific region’s most vibrant tourism markets.”
Sarah Derry, Accor Pacific
Two Mövenpick properties recently launched in New Zealand

Selling the ‘sizzle’

OUR ASSOCIATIONS CONTINUE to work to bring back more Working Holiday Makers (WHM) and international students but the real solution to our staffing problem lies closer to home.

We need to become better at engaging and attracting home-grown youth. We need to sell the ‘sizzle’ of hospitality to our young.

TAA and the Accommodation Association recently ran a pilot program for a new initiative called Hotel Open Week targeting school leavers the week after they finished their HSC exams.

Working in conjunction with the NSW Government’s Regional Industry Education Partnership (RIEP) Officers, hotels across the state hosted hundreds of Year 11 and 12 students from 11 different schools.

Hotels like the Hyatt Regency Sydney, Intercontinental Sydney and Rydges Parramatta hosted Sydney-based students. Crowne Plaza Terrigal held tours on the Central Coast, and in Newcastle more than 100 students from local schools toured the new five-star Crystalbrook Kingsley Hotel.

The tours took students behind the scenes, back and front of house, and showed the diverse and rewarding careers we can offer.

The pilot was a great success. More than 60 rapid job applications have been received and we expect many more will come in the next few weeks. In a post-tour survey, more than 60% of the students said they were planning on applying for a job.

This pilot will be expanded next year and into the future. It is a great way to show off what we have to offer at a key decisionmaking time in young people’s lives.

Accommodation Australia Amalgamation Day in sight

The proposed industry body is expected to amalgamate on July 1.

THE PLANNED AMALGAMATION of the Accommodation Association and Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) to form a new industry body known as Accommodation Australia is expected to take place on July 1, 2023.

Following a meeting of Accommodation Australia’s inaugural Board of Directors in late November, proposed President and Accommodation Association Chair, Leanne Harwood, said they are hopeful that the merger will come to fruition on that date.

“The Fair Work Commission is currently reviewing documentation and we remain quietly hopeful of a July 1, 2023, amalgamation day,” she said.

“Next year is going to be a landmark year as we unlock the power of a unified national voice in Accommodation Australia at such a critical recovery stage for our members.”

Harwood said tackling the industry’s workforce and skills shortages is top of the

The inaugural board met recently to discuss the association’s key priorities

agenda for Accommodation Australia.

“Every day is another day closer to completion of the amalgamation process and we all welcomed the opportunity to get together and progress our thinking on meeting the big-ticket items that continue to challenge our sector,” she said.

“Workforce and skills shortages are, of course, at the top of that list.”

United launches Brisbane to San Francisco flights

UNITED AIRLINES HAS added Brisbane to its global network for the first time, thanks to the launch of flights to the Queensland capital from San Francisco on October 28.

The launch is the first new trans-Pacific route to be launched by a US carrier since the start of the pandemic and is a massive boost for travel between Queensland and the United States since the exit of Virgin Australia on long-haul flying.

From Brisbane, United customers will be able to easily connect to nearly 20 other cities within Australia thanks to the airline’s new partnership with Virgin Australia.

In return, United offers direct connectivity to over 80 North American cities from San Francisco.

“With United’s strong history in Australia – and now with a great partner in Virgin Australia – it’s the ideal time for United to

United recently commenced flights between San Francisco and Brisbane

expand service to Brisbane as demand for travel continues to grow,” said United’s Senior Vice President of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve looked for strategic ways to grow our international network, and we’re proud to be the first U.S. airline to put a new dot on our route map across the Pacific.”

20 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
US carrier boosts travel between Queensland and North America


With the launch of HotelCare.Health, hotels and their guests now have a simple solution should guests need to see a doctor or get a script filled. Available Australia-wide, from the comfort of guests home away from home, whether it be a hotel room, apartment, or short stay rental.

In early 2020, Cameron Phillips was working as a Director of Revenue with Accor and looking forward to another successful Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne when everything came to a sudden stop.

Like many Australians, Mr Phillips, after a successful 14 years in the industry, found himself faced with a widespread industry stand down as the pandemic took grip and government restrictions all but shut down the travel industry almost overnight.

Responding to a callout for help in the health sector, Mr Phillips took up the call for what he and everyone else expected to be a short-term deployment to assist the public health response to COVID before resuming in the travel and accommodation industry where he had spent the better part of 15 years globally.

Within just a short few weeks, he was coordinating clinical teams managing large numbers of positive COVID cases in Australia.

“It was a baptism of fire. From the first day I had to adapt to a completely new industry in an environment no one had ever experienced,” Mr Phillips said.

When asked about what the early days were like, he said, “I quickly realised that Healthcare service delivery wasn’t all that different in approach to hospitality. It was about finding the right solution for the patients who had a

wide range of needs, where a one-size-fits-all mentality wasn’t going to work.

“In hotels, we were always seeking better ways to personalise our service delivery, and this was my approach to our health programs at OSD.Care.”

OSD.Care, under the leadership of Mr Phillips, General Manager of Operations, together with a clinical oversight and delivery team became a substantial provider of health services to a large range of agencies across Victoria and NSW providing COVID services.

“As we started to move into the new COVID normal, OSD.Care started to look at ways travellers could gain timely access to healthcare when they were traveling across Australia,” he said.

“What became apparent was that the public health system, from general practice to hospitals, would continue to feel the strain that COVID had placed on the various health networks.”



HotelCare.Health was launched with a view to connect patients with doctors with minimum delay, and to provide the medicines they might need without the need to collect a paper script or visit the pharmacy.

HotelCare.Health embraces the digital health revolution providing access to ondemand Telehealth Doctors seven days a week. Priority Telehealth appointments ensure that a doctor will be available when a patient needs them most.

As part of the solution, HotelCare.Health has also solved the problem on what to do when a guest runs out of medication or inadvertently leaves it at home. HotelCare.Health offers simple and easy prescription renewal. Guests simply fill out a request and a doctor will assess the request and if appropriate issue a prescription within a few hours.

Prescriptions can be taken directly to a local pharmacy, or HotelCare.Health can organise delivery directly to the hotel with secure packaging and real time delivery tracking.

Having enjoyed the move into healthcare services, Mr Phillips is looking forward to working with the accommodation sector again, helping to make health service delivery for travellers that much easier. n

For more information, contact: Cameron Phillips 0408 076 335

Or visit

Speak to a doctor or get a prescription online 21 HOTELCARE.HEALTH NEWS PROMOTION
Hotel guests can now connect with doctors quickly and easily Cameron Phillips

Celebrating the wins

WHAT A DELIGHT it is to finally be heading into the end of the year with life normalising.

It’s hard to believe that we actually have made it through international travel bans, lockdowns, and travel restrictions.

While it has been incredibly tough, there’s no doubt the resilience, determination and generosity which are the hallmarks of this sector have continued to shine strongly.

One of the biggest wins this year for members was the Federal Budget allocation of AU$48 million over four years to support recruitment and marketing in the tourism and travel sectors.

This included a commitment of AU$10 million to support ‘The Hub’ platform which is an important validation of our approach to filling the skills shortfall and workforce gap.

We have put a lot of time and effort into developing industry-led employment pathways that meet members’ needs as we work together to fill the skills and workforce shortages.

We continue to work closely with Tourism Accommodation Association to make sure Government and the key departments understand the realities we are dealing with as we recovery so that the support provided delivers what is most needed.

This year has also been proof positive of the importance of a unified voice.

As our progress towards amalgamation continues, on behalf of the Council and the team, we wish you a healthy and prosperous holiday season.

JW Marriott to make New Zealand debut in Auckland

Marriott to reinvent the iconic Stamford Plaza Auckland, which sold for a record NZ$170 million last month.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL IS set to introduce the JW Marriott brand to New Zealand at the site of the iconic Stamford Plaza Auckland, which sold for a record NZ$170 million last month.

Following a recent signing with Albert Street Operations Ltd, the property will be fully converted to a JW Marriott by mid-2024. It will also undergo a NZ$20 million refurbishment in phases and is expected to reopen on December 16, 2022.

Marriott International Vice President of Hotel Development for Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific, Richard Crawford, said the signing of JW Marriott Hotel Auckland is another positive step forward for the business and brand.

“There are now more than 100 hotels in 35 countries and territories that carry our founder’s name, JW Marriott,” Crawford said.

“This latest signing is another example of Marriott’s dominant expansion in the region and a testament to our confidence in the recovery of travel, particularly the luxury market which we believe is set to thrive in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region.”

The property, which is co-owned by CP Group, Alvarium Investments and Archipelago Capital, will feature 286 rooms of luxury accommodation, an executive lounge and lobby bar, 100-seat buffet restaurant, as well as a smaller speciality dining venue. The brand’s signature JW Garden will allow guests to grow herbs and ingredients as part of the culinary journey.

There are also plans to include a 320m2 function space, four meeting rooms,

an indoor heated swimming pool, large fitness centre, spa, and sauna. The brand’s principle of mindfulness will be an important element of the guest experience, according to Marriott.

Crawford told HM exclusively that the rise in luxury travel presents big opportunities in this market.

“The resurgence in affluent domestic travel has been a major driver of Marriott’s current record period of expansion in the Australia Pacific region,” he said.

“Notably, W Brisbane, W Melbourne, The Ritz-Carlton Perth, JW Marriott Gold Coast and The Tasman (a Luxury Collection Hotel), have been our most resilient performers, throughout our industry’s most challenging time.

“Record average room rates at these hotels has given confidence to hotel developers, who recognize there is now a strong business case for luxury hotels in our region. This investor appetite has seen Marriott announce newbuild St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton resorts on the Gold Coast in recent in weeks, in addition to the landmark signing of the JW Marriott Hotel Auckland deal.

CP Group Managing Director, Prakash Pandey, expressed his confidence in the brand and partnership.

“As the world’s largest hotel company, [Marriott has] the proven power to deliver the very best commercial outcomes for this landmark asset,” he said.

“Importantly to us, Marriott are the global leaders in luxury hotels, and I am confident that together we will deliver a new standard of hospitality excellence in the Auckland market.”

22 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
The New Zealand market is a key area of focus for Marriott


As travel rebounds new trends are emerging for Australia. To help hotels stay ahead, Zsuzsanna Janos, Agoda’s Oceania Director discusses the opportunities.

OTAs are adapting to how consumers plan travel. What are you seeing at Agoda?

Right now, there are several trends at play. Firstly, we are seeing a consistent rise in mobile bookings to more than 60% of bookings. And we’ve worked hard at Agoda to make the mobile experience frictionless for consumers, with better marketing opportunities for hotel partners.

Secondly, more travellers are preferring to book an entire trip on one app rather than multiple platforms. That includes booking hotel rooms or accommodation such as Agoda homes, flights, car rentals or activities.

At Agoda, we’re rolling out our shopping cart, where travellers can add multiple facets of their trip to their cart for a single seamless checkout experience. It replaces the clunky way of booking accommodation, flights, or car rentals in multiple separate transactions.

By improving the user experience, we keep travellers coming back, and that’s important for our hotel partners to achieve higher booking ratios.

Which inbound markets are predicted to have the most traction in 2023 for Australia according to Agoda’s data?

Domestic remains strong, but there’s been an upswing in inbound travel to Australia, more routes are now opening up to help bring international travellers back. What our data shows is a difference in preference when it comes to which Aussie states international travellers are considering for their getaways.

For example, right now Singaporeans are scouring for holidays in Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia. And Victoria was the top-searched state by Malaysians. While visitors from South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and Hong Kong have New South Wales destinations at the top of their list. That sort of information is vital for hotels to have at their fingertips to adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.

At Agoda, we’ve developed an International Rate Channel (IRC) to help hoteliers to attract active international travellers. It allows hotels to target markets with volume, enhancing the hotel’s visibility to reach international guests they couldn’t have reached on their own.

It combines providing incentive for travellers to book value deals, and an investment for accommodation partners, because it maximises inventory and helps fill empty rooms for longer. And we know this is working because for inbound we are seeing longer lead times, double the length of stay and higher booking values.

Sustainable travel is increasingly important, how has Agoda responded?

People want to travel, but they don’t want to negatively impact the beautiful places they’re travelling to, and they expect accommodation providers to take ownership for their impact.

There has been an upswing in inbound travel to Australia

Agoda’s research found travellers want to stay at an environmentally sustainable hotel, in addition to eliminating single-use plastics and managing their carbon footprint.

Travellers are also keen to take ownership for their impact while travelling. Reminding them to switch off lights, turn off air conditioners and shop locally are small acts that collectively have a massive impact.

Agoda is excited to launch the Travel Sustainable Program – connecting environmentally conscious travellers with sustainably-minded properties. We’re raising the profile of properties focusing on sustainability by adding a visible badge to the property through the Agoda platform for travellers to see.

With inflation increasing what trends are you seeing at Agoda?

There probably hasn’t been a better time for Americans to travel with the US dollar so strong, and across our markets in Asia and in Australia, we are seeing travellers from North America coming up the booking ranks. In general, a recent survey from Agoda showed that people weren’t planning to cancel trips, but they were looking to get the best prices and value. Being able to support our accommodation partners through Agoda Special Offers, with appealing value adds such as free breakfast or upgrades will help utilise inventory. n

Readers can find out more at 23 AGODA NEWS PROMOTION
Zsuzsanna Janos, Oceania Director, Agoda

Border delays hamper recovery

DURING COVID, NEW Zealand’s government decided to implement an “immigration re-set”.

Every vacancy must first go through a job check process (including local advertising to confirm no New Zealanders are willing to take it) before it can be offered to foreigners. There are no special rules for isolated tourist destinations that simply don’t have enough permanent residents to fill tourism roles.

The new regime, called the Accredited Employer Work Visa, is experiencing teething problems.

Hotels are reporting that applications can take a long time to process – sometimes much longer than the target response timeframes – with no real explanation or reason for the hold-ups.

Similarly, processing of visitor visas is also under strain. For most of November, Immigration New Zealand’s website has advised visitors “not to book travel until their visa has been approved”. Hardly a warm welcome for high-value international tourists.

More pressure points are looming. First, the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament will be hosted in Australia and New Zealand from July 2023, with a preliminary qualification tournament in New Zealand in February.

Secondly, Chinese tourists will eventually be allowed to travel once more.

Here’s hoping that Immigration New Zealand scales up quickly. New Zealand needs skilled hotel workers to serve fans and athletes at the Women’s World Cup. We also need every athlete and fan to have their visitor visas approved in a timely fashion.

Fit for a Prince

StayWell Holdings’ luxurious Prince Akatoki brand, which recently made a spectacular debut in London, is set for a global roll-out, with hotels slated to open in Bangkok, Melbourne and Sydney over the next four years. JAMES WILKINSON reports from London.

WHEN IT COMES to stylish, new hotel brands, keep Prince Akatoki in mind because it is a name you are about to hear a lot about. From its brilliant debut in London, the brand is about to become a worldwide sensation, with projects coming across the globe, bringing a sense of Japanese calm, style and sophistication when they arrive.

Speaking exclusively to HM, StayWell’s CEO Simon Wan, said the Japanese-infused brand’s expansion would play an important role in the overarching goal of the hotel management company to expand its current 84 locations to 250 over the next 15 years.

The luxurious expansion also comes alongside the roll-out of two more new brands by the company under the Park Proxi (upscale/ upper upscale) and Park Regis by Prince (midscale/upper midscale) banners.

“I am obviously very excited by the success of The Prince Akatoki brand but equally believe the two other new brands that we have created, the Park Regis by Prince and Park Proxi will be able to find their niche and positioning in the market,” he said.

“We have big plans for all these three brands which bring different elements of services and standard to the guests.”

All three brands are already seeing great success with signings across the globe.

“StayWell will manage the expansion of global hotel brand The Prince Akatoki into the Australian market, slated to open in Sydney by 2025 and Melbourne by 2026, as part of the

brand’s plan to cement itself in key gateway cities globally,” he said.

“We are also building a 250-room The Prince Akatoki in Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River and nestled between the world-famous Oriental Hotel and the Shangri-la Hotel in a superb location.

“In addition, we are in negotiation to add at least three more The Prince Akatoki Hotels in key gateway cities in the world [and] our target is to have nine The Prince Akatoki Hotels within 10 years.

“We are also opening a Park Regis by Prince in Dubai early next year and recently signed our first Park Proxi in Egypt,” Wan told HM

What Wan describes as a “new concept in hotel management”, Park Proxi hotels are designed to create a truly local hotel experience by allowing hotel owners to co-create and customise the hotel they desire.

He said this is achieved through deliberately minimising the brand mandatories that usually accompany a hotel design, creating space for true collaboration.

Park Regis by Prince, meanwhile, will provide an evolution of the existing Park Regis brand, offering an upscale and premium hotel experience that is designed to be exceptional yet accessible, according to Wan.

“Positioning as ‘the world’s most thoughtful hotels’, Park Regis by Prince will fuse the Australian and Japanese heritage of the Park Regis and Prince brands, whilst celebrating local influences,” he said.

24 HM The Business of Accommodation NEED TO KNOW
The Prince Akatoki brand is expected to launch in Australia by 2025

“This approach is reminiscent of the stunning five-star The Prince Akatoki Hotel London, the first of its kind globally, and will also be evident with the opening of Australia’s own The Prince Akatoki hotel in the next three years.”

While the new Park Regis by Prince and Park Proxi brands are exciting, the star of the show is the Prince Akatoki brand, which has certainly made a statement in London in a short period of time.

The Prince Akatoki London was recently named one of 21 Forbes five-star rated hotels in the city and it offers a relaxing, stylish stay just moments from Oxford Street, Hyde Park and Paddington Station.

At the property, expect five-star Japanese hospitality that’s loaded up with mindfulness and tranquillity, from the spacious rooms and suites to the wonderful food and drinks on offer.

“We spent close to two years creating this brand including all the hardware design elements and food and beverage concepts as well as all the software development including unique guest experience and services,” Wan told HM.

“This is complemented by the latest in IT technology to improve guest comfort and communication.

“On top of this, we have spent a considerable amount of time on staff training and orientation to ensure they can deliver the service that is expected by guests staying in a luxury hotel.

“We are so proud that this hotel has won the Forbes Travel Magazine 5-star rating amongst only 21 iconic hotels in London.”

When it comes to growth globally, StayWell certainly has some significant goals and adding close to 170 new hotels is no mean feat.

“With a shared focus on building the industry’s number one quality hotel chain, StayWell’s own expansion projects will be integral to the global plans for the business,” Wan said.

“Providing full hotel management services and true turn-key solutions, the driving aim of the newly announced development plans is to deliver returns above owner expectations as a leading hotel management company.

“We are aiming to open about six to eight hotels in the next 18 months and 20 hotels within the next three years, so our expansion plan is on track to achieve 250 hotels within 10 to 15 years working together with Prince Hotels.”

That’s firmly a global expansion, with the United States, Europe and the Middle East coming alongside the home territory of Asia-Pacific.

“Our current focus is in the Asia-Pacific

Prince Akatoki is set to expand globally

region but we have recently just expanded into North America with the signing of a hotel in New York so we will be able to achieve some growth in the US,” Wan said.

“With the success of The Prince Akatoki in London, I believe we can also achieve some expansion traction in Europe.

“We already have nine hotels in the Middle East so naturally we will be able to add more hotels in that region as well.”

In addition to introducing three new brands to the Australian market, Wan told HM StayWell’s commitment to the local hotel industry has seen considerable funds allocated for upgrades to existing products in market.

Upgrades have commenced on properties in Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston, and Pokolbin, with future refurbishments planned for their Blue Mountains and Townsville hotels in 2023, according to Wan. n 25 NEED TO KNOW
Prince Akatoki is a luxury Japanese-influenced brand


Long Way

recruit the best talent from outside the hotel industry and to also recruit and help some colleagues who had been made redundant. And it gave us the opportunity to get everything right.

When you look back now, are there any important learnings that you took away from that period?

Opening a new hotel mid-pandemic isn’t without its challenges. What were those first 12-18 months like for the business?

We opened Melbourne Cup Day, November 3rd, 2020, with very few bookings and an enthusiastic team. The bookings started to pick up and we were holding strong at 90% for NYE; then crash, the North Shore lockdown caused a cancellation frenzy, we ended up just doing 19%. The experience was challenging – a new team, many new to the industry and a gorgeous new hotel with few guests – it was heart breaking. It was difficult to balance the shifts and to have the hotel in full operation, but we kept our doors open and our staff on the rosters. An advantage, during pre-opening, was it allowed us to

We have grown so much from the pandemic, we have learnt how important looking after the team is, communication, nurturing and recognition, the need to feel that their role is secure became paramount. The calmness came from the top within Doma, and Pat Lonergan rallied the leaders daily with us all sharing updates about our strategies. As a smaller company we were able to make changes instantly. We ensured that communication with customers was seamless, made it easy to make booking changes and get refunds, and the guests in house were treated with absolute kindness and care.

Now that leisure and corporate travel have bounced back, what type of travellers is Little National Hotel drawing through the doors?

It’s been amazing. Firstly, the staycays – locals treating themselves, even from just across the bridge or the east. Then it was the corporates, small businesses keen to get back in front of their customers; and now it’s the internationals, the larger and independent companies, as well as, surprisingly, the cruise ship business, all looking for the number one hotel on TripAdvisor! We’re trying to identify our customer. They’re the on trend, mature business traveller that wants a modern tech venue to do business, fashionable and sexy.

26 HM The Business of Accommodation GM Q&A
The Lounge Bar provides an ambient space for guests to relax Sandra Bellamy

The guestrooms at the property demonstrate a really clever use of space. Can you explain how you’ve maximised comfort and cosiness in a compact setting?

Our rooms are designed with everything that you need and nothing that you don’t. The layout has been pieced together by our owners and our director of hotels based on their experiences as they travel, and cleverly pulled together by Bates Smart. We’ve made sure to have quality products and finishes in the room: AH Beard Arms of Morpheus super king beds, full size windows, automated controls for full blackout blinds, delicate curtains, quality glassware, Nespresso coffee machines, Silver Bullet hairdryers, Bluetooth speakers, Chromecast, at-thetouch virtual mini bar and Appelles guest amenities. We’re always keeping the environment in mind with 100% biodegradable slippers for our guests along with Brogo fluffy robes.

It’s refreshing to see such beautifully designed accessible rooms. Was accessibility a key consideration in all aspects of the hotel design?

The Little National Hotel is completely accessible with the latest design requirements throughout, and there are no stairs to contend with. Our accessible rooms are considerately designed around an easy guest movement experience, with access to both sides of the bed, larger shower recess and each is located at the corner of the hotel offering Barangaroo harbour glimpses.

Technology plays a powerful role in maximising convenience at the hotel. What tech features do guests most appreciate?

Feedback from guests shows that they are embracing technology. They love the simple functionality and

connectivity throughout. The kiosk to check in and check out provides a seamless experience. At first, it was a novelty but now it’s a preferred option for the regulars. Our in-room Chromecast is popular and there’s a high usage of the in-room Bluetooth speakers. We have a virtual minibar, guest service requests and express check out all available on the Tapendium tablets. I feel that guests mostly appreciate the ease of use and high quality of products – we succeed at every touchpoint.

While there’s no F&B venue onsite, you’ve managed to create a kind of home away from home where guests can feel comfortable to order in. Can you explain how you’ve done that?

We’re surrounded by the best restaurants in Sydney, so we encourage our guests to go out and explore. However, if they want to order in, we enable that choice. To support the dining experience for Uber Eats etc., we invite the guest to order to their room or to the rooftop bar; we provide bamboo cutlery and accessories as needed, and we meet the delivery at the door and deliver to the guest’s location swiftly. We want our guests to have what they feel like from the best possible venues.

What makes the hotel’s most loyal guests keep coming back to this hotel?

Service. Our service is highly regarded, personal and professional, friendly and warm. The regular guests enjoy the entire property experience, the uniqueness of the Lounge Bar/Library workspace facilities – it’s welcoming, and they can be productive whilst relaxing. Our guests also enjoy that they can chose to interact with the LN team, or they can have a completely automated stay with all tech touchpoints. They have choices and they choose the experience that suits their needs of the day. n 27 GM Q&A
Guests can avail of a bright and spacious co-working space The hotel features an open-air social space Guestrooms are cosy and compact with everything guests need for their stay



Langham Hospitality Group is dipping its toes in the lucrative luxury resort market with its first beachfront property, The Langham Gold Coast. Not only is it a milestone location for the group, it’s also the first Gold Coast development with beachfront access to be built in over 30 years.

Located between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, the 339-room hotel and Jewel Residences occupy the tallest of three majestic towers overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Since opening on June 23, the 5-star property has gradually introduced its full selection of food and beverage venues as well as its traditional Chinese wellness spa, revealing its entire offering just in time for summer.

“The Langham itself will become a reason to come to the Gold Coast,” O’Shea told HM confidently on opening.

“These new experiences are the final jewels in our crown and the cherry on top to The Langham, Gold Coast truly becoming Australia’s best luxury destination.”


Designed with a modern coastal palette and quality finishes, the hotel provides an environment of relaxed luxury. Guests are welcomed through an expansive ground floor lobby with a sky-high ceiling, floral displays, and a retail space, Flavours of Langham, where guests can purchase souvenirs of their stay.

The Gold Coast property retains important signature brand elements throughout that loyal guests will

The Chairman’s Suite features a large, luxurious bathroom

recognise, such as its Service Stylists and Ginger Flower fragrance, but adds a touch of beachside glamour with stylish branded flipflops and beach bags.

While The Langham Sydney is known for its famous pink taxi, the Gold Coast hotel’s vehicle of choice is a Porsche Cayenne. The hotel worked with Porsche Gold Coast to curate a pink vehicle for the opening and recently named the automotive supplier its Exclusive Vehicle Partner, with two Porsche Cayenne E–Hybrids now available for guest transfer services and booking packages.


The ample accommodation includes no less than 17 different types of rooms and suites, with private balconies and views of the ocean or hinterland. Each room includes a large bathtub, separate rainforest shower, 55-inch TV with Chromecast, round dining table with two chairs and a minibar with a range of cocktails.

O’Shea says the rooms have been designed to encourage guests to stay inside longer.

28 HM The Business of Accommodation PROPERTY PROFILE
The Langham Gold Coast occupies the tallest of three majestic towers

“We’ve set up the rooms to offer more of an experience, because they all have fantastic views,” he said.

The luxurious Chairman’s Suite, located on the 20th floor, can cater to up to five guests with two large bedrooms and bathrooms as well as two separate lounge areas to offer privacy for each party.

The marble bathroom, located off the main bedroom, features two separate sink areas, shower, and an opulent circular spa bathtub. There is also a full-size study, dining area, and butler’s pantry, making it a home away from home for guests seeking longer-term stays.


Food and beverage is an integral part of the guest experience at The Langham Gold Coast, with several venues to cater to various dining occasions.

The brand’s signature Michelin-starred restaurant, T’ang Court, leads the offering with its famed Cantonese fine dining. O’Shea expects the notoriety of this venue will draw a lot of interest from locals and tourists alike.

“We have a very famous T’ang Court in The Langham in Hong Kong, which has been rated three Michelin stars for years,” he said.

“The T’ang Court in Shanghai also has a Michelin star, and this will be the first headquarters outside of Asia, so we’ve got big hopes that it will become a great sensation.

“There’s not very many fine dining Cantonese restaurants in Australia.”

Next to T’ang Court, guests can enjoy cocktails at the nearby open-air bar Coral Moon.

On the ground floor, Akoya serves up a generous buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner with ocean views; Palm Court is where guests can enjoy Langham’s famed Afternoon Tea; while the Lobby Bar offers an extensive selection of rare wines, Australia’s finest spirits, and an array of cocktails. Also on ground level, facing the beach, is 26&Sunny – a local hotspot for coffee and food, aptly named after the Gold Coast’s typical weather forecast.

O’Shea previously told HM about the importance of having a variety of quality food and beverage options that appeal to a broad demographic.

“You’re always judged by your food and beverage,” he said.

“We want to be locally loved and internationally famous. And to be locally loved, people from Gold Coast really need to be proud of what they have.”

The hotel’s leisure facilities include an outdoor pool and swim-up pool bar; a state-of-the-art health club that includes a gym and a 22-metre indoor swimming pool with ocean views, and a kids club. To top off the expansive wellness proposition, Chuan Spa offers holistic wellness treatments guided by Traditional Chinese practices.

In order to cater to the returning MICE market, the hotel also features extensive meeting and event facilities including a grand ground floor ballroom, opposite the hotel lobby. n 29 PROPERTY PROFILE
“The Langham itself will become a reason to come to the Gold Coast.”
John O’Shea, The Langham Gold Coast
The Langham’s Service Stylists are on hand to cater to individual guest needs Guests can enjoy ocean views from their room


At Hostplus, our measure of success is what we deliver for our members. But if you’re into awards, we’ve got those too.

We’re proud to have been named 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.

We’ve also been recognised for 20 Years of Platinum Performance, and received awards for MyChoice Super of the Year and Net Benefit.

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. HP1974



Walking into Sébastien Bazin’s office at Accor’s global headquarters in the Paris neighbourhood of Issy-les-Moulineaux is like standing in the lobby of a flagship Mondrian or SO/ hotel. There’s the motorbike and edgy, stylish furniture and wallpaper, and views across Paris and along the Seine.

It’s an appropriate setting for the Chairman and CEO of a hotel chain who has transformed a business from a midscale and upmarket player into a luxury and lifestyle leader since he took the reins of the business in 2013.

Let’s wind the clock back to 2013 and Accor had significant strength across Europe and Asia-Pacific with its ibis, Mercure, MGallery, Novotel and Sofitel brands, with the latter having flagship properties across the world from Sydney to Los Angeles and New York to Fiji.

What a difference a decade makes and under Bazin’s leadership, Accor has acquired businesses like FRHI (Fairmont, Raffles, Swissôtel), Mantra Group, taken shareholdings in hot brands like Faena, Mama Shelter, 25hours, Tribe, 21C Museum Hotels, and formed a joint venture with Ennismore – owners of The Hoxton – to create the world’s most exciting lifestyle hospitality company.

It’s a transformation of epic proportions and alongside being a traditional hotelier in many ways – by offering comfortable lodging, quality food and beverage, event spaces and more – Bazin is continuing to push Accor to always be a leader and not a follower.

32 HM The Business of Accommodation HM Q&A
Accor Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin Mama Shelter’s shared spaces are popular with guests

Let’s take co-working and co-mingling in hotels for example, something two of Accor’s hottest brands Mama Shelter and The Hoxton do brilliantly well. They are helping attract future Accor customers and Bazin knows how much future revenue it can potentially generate.

“Something which has been very interesting for me is how the pandemic accelerated two trends which we made a big bet on six years ago,” he told HM

“One is, could you co-mingle the local community with travellers within the same site? And of course, this started with Hoxton and Mama Shelter 15 years ago.

“It’s not only worked because that’s what people want, including owners, because if they’re going to have half of their revenues from non-hotel revenues, that is a big buffer against a possible slowdown in travel, which I don’t really expect.

“The second trend, which of course is accelerating is working remotely and we’ve never seen so many people in the CBD or downtown Accor hotels coming as a repeat guest twice a week and spending two or five hours and being in the lobby and being welcomed with their own computer and working.

“The master at it is The Hoxton, which is very, very good in having students for a third of the crowd and not paying guests.

“They don’t wait for them to even have a coffee. But they’re young, they’re nice. The only thing we do is ask them to leave at 12:15pm and they come back at 2:30pm. So that’s fine. That table is occupied by a paying guest and they do that very nicely. It’s kind of fun to watch, actually.

“Then the [lobby] all day is occupied by people. Those working remotely come five minutes by foot or by bike, so they really live in the vicinity.

“If we can continue really welcoming the nontravellers, then the travellers will pick that hotel because that is a trendy and nice place in town. So, with

Ennismore, I’ve just never seen numbers like this.”

The next level of co-working is of course members clubs and a number of properties and chains globally have been following the success of Soho House with their own programs, including the ‘new’ Mondrian Shoreditch, which still features The Curtain Club, something that was launched when the hotel originally opened under Michael Achenbaum’s Gansevoort Hotel Group, prior to The Curtain’s takeover by Ennismore.

Bazin said there is firmly room for more members clubs around the world, but acknowledged it needs to be done well.

“The answer is yes [there is potential], but it’s a big but,” he said. “It has to be conceived at the time you build a hotel because people will pay you for membership if they have exclusive space and dedicated space.

“You cannot begin thinking about it by trying to reconfigure existing spaces, it doesn’t work. So, the Shoreditch Mondrian was meant to be that way. And, of course, Soho House are doing it built for this purpose.

“Can you [put them in] probably 5% of Accor hotels? Yeah, you can find a space, but probably no more than 10%.”

Bazin said the future is around maximising existing spaces, including co-working, across Accor’s portfolio, whether the property is a Novotel, Sofitel or under one of the lifestyle brands.

“It’s super easy,” he said. “We are not talking about converting rooms into offices. It has some traction in non-CBD areas or non-capital cities and [instead] in tertiary cities. But that’s not it. That’s not the game.

“The game is ‘can you have a better use of public spaces at a greater number of hours between 8am and 8pm?’

“You know, 90% of that space has been only occupied or non-utilised [at hotels] for the last 40 years.

“And people coming to work, they’re not fussy about it. They’re very happy to sit down on the sofa. You have to 33 HM Q&A
The Hoxton is drawing a new generation of customers to Accor

rethink the furniture, but that’s about it.”

As Bazin said, the opportunity is about hotels further cementing their place in the local community and finding more opportunities to bring the locals in and in turn, turning them into future clients for Accor.

“When you think about it, it is a 180-degree change of paradigm in terms of the way you see and you act for 40 years and the only thing we’ve been thinking of are the travellers. We did not even pay attention to the local community.

“It’s been 10 years now where all of that has been shifting and I think some people do it better than others. Because it is not part of the DNA of many commercial people in any big chain. Those customers are repeat, loyal and don’t go through any OTAs,” he said.

Since Bazin has been at the helm of Accor, there has also been a noticeable shift in the level of food and beverage across the company, which continues to get better.

Thanks to the company’s partnership with leading gastronomy and party business Paris Society, things could really shake-up across the company, particularly in the mid-market and upmarket segments if Bazin gets his wish.

“It is true we have done [great F&B] for the luxury and lifestyle segments,” he told HM. “Did we really make it for Novotel, Mercure and ibis? Not yet.

“We tried so many different recipes and it’s much better than it was, but it’s not yet where I want it to be.

“What I’m dreaming about, and I don’t know how feasible it is, is asking Ennismore, which has 20 different restaurant IPs that they own, and Paris Society, which is the best ever operator here in Paris with 22 restaurants and nightclubs and their own IP, to put together a team and within those 40 concepts, probably half of them would work into a Novotel, Mercure or an ibis.

“So, can we really import the savoir faire to the legacy brands of Accor? Clearly, it’s doable, but I need my

GMs to endorse it. And of course, there’s always some resistance factor, but that’s okay,” Bazin said.

In Australia, some of Accor’s owners have raised the bar with food and beverage, like the Oscars Group, who have transformed Novotel Wollongong into the South Coast’s hottest food and beverage driven hotel, and in New Zealand, CP Group’s passion for fantastic bars and restaurants in Auckland.

The challenge is firmly globally after so much success locally and no surprise some of Accor’s hotels continue to set benchmarks globally.

Bazin said the team in Pacific have certainly been at the forefront of helping the company adapt and grow. They have been embracing new brands like Mondrian, Hyde, JO&JOE and Mama Shelter and signing new deals and taking ideas like co-working and food and beverage from the best in the business.

Having teams across the world like those in the Pacific, led by the talented Sarah Derry and her exceptional leadership, has made Bazin’s job easier, he told HM, as the company has continued to adapt under his tenure.

“This company is probably easier to run and more daring than ever. I’ve been daring, but I’m not alone anymore,” he said.

“We have been transforming every two years and I probably need to pause a bit, but I cannot as this company should continue to transform.

“We went from ‘get light’, which is the asset light model, to ‘get broad’, which is all the acquisitions of brands, from 13 [when I started] to more than 40 today, to ‘get fit’, which was a really big 20% labour cost saving during the pandemic, and now it is ‘get focused’.

“I think we are going to have a fifth focus coming for me or my successor, but I don’t know.”

While Accor has had some phenomenal brand growth, Bazin hasn’t ruled out further adding to the incredible portfolio he has built up.

34 HM The Business of Accommodation HM Q&A
Mondrian Shoreditch has a successful members club

“You’ll see some bolt-on acquisitions,” he told HM. “So, anything between EUR100 million to EUR500 million or like we have done with The Hoxton, which was a partnership. But, you’ll see more of those because people will be consolidating a brand within one geography.

“A lot of people are still fragile and probably very much happy to merge or co-mingle.

“Accor is probably the partner of choice [for brand owners], because our company’s huge respect for different cultures, different brands, DNA and education and because Accor is the best at opening in [places like] Chile, Peru, Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia, Korea, because we’ve done that as part of our DNA for 50 years.

“You’ve seen that with Tribe, Hyde and JO&JOE in New Zealand and we don’t shock people. We don’t kill what [the brand owners] built and we protect it and it’s the reason we co-mingle together [with brand owners].

“So, with over 40 brands that to do exist, we’ve been really paying attention to those differences, which is the reason why we bond together,” Bazin said.

Over the past decade it has been remarkable to see what Bazin has done with Accor. He partnered with the right brand owners, ones that he found to be a perfect fit, like The Hoxton, Faena, Mama Shelter and 25hours, and has helped them grow with the owners still involved. Bazin also helped launch ALL (Accor Live Limitless) and super-charge it to the world on the front of his favourite sporting team, Paris Saint-Germain, which he was also Chairman of.

Bazin has an amazing talent for growing and promoting some of the industry’s best staff.

His vision is incredible, his passion is electric and he is a Hotelier the entire industry can be proud to call one of their own.

It should come as no surprise then that this year at the 2022 HM Awards, Bazin received one of the industry’s highest accolades, the Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award.

That honour is about recognising someone who has gone above and beyond for the industry and those who work in it. During the pandemic, Bazin helped raise funds for Accor staff across the world with the ALL Heartists fund, he has continued his push for more diversity in the workforce and he has helped champion service in every Accor property.

Bazin truly has become a legendary figure in the accommodation industry over the last decade and like many in the sector, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next. n


After five years working in several financial positions in New York, San Francisco and London, Sébastien Bazin was appointed CEO of Hottinguer Rivaud Finances, an investment bank, in 1990, and then CEO of L’Immobilière Hôtelière, a hotel developer in France, in 1992.

In 1997, he moved to Colony Capital, a private real estate investment firm, to head up its European branch and lead several acquisitions, principally in the hospitality sector (Générale des Eaux, Club Méditerranée, Lucien Barrière, Fairmont & Raffles, Buffalo Grill, Château Lascombes, Stadia Consulting and others).

He joined Accor’s Board of Directors in 2005 and, via Colony Capital, became a Paris SaintGermain shareholder in 2006 and the club’s Chairman in 2009.

In August 2013, he resigned from his duties at Colony Capital and was appointed Chairman and CEO of Accor.

Sébastien is Vice-Chairman of the Gustave Roussy Foundation’s Supervisory Board, and has been a member of GE’s Board of Directors since 2016. 35 HM Q&A
The 25hours brand will make its Australian debut in Sydney’s Paddington in 2023
“This company is probably easier to run and more daring than ever. I’ve been daring, but I’m not alone anymore.”
- Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, Accor



Event production experts and venue sales teams need to be close collaborators to maximise space, increase room turnover and expand a venue’s creative potential. Here’s how your venue can capitalise on a resurgent market in Australia and the South Pacific.

Warm welcomes. Creative staging. A seamless service wrapping around an unforgettable event. These are the hallmarks of a successful eventvenue partnership, in which both teams, those hosting the space and their chosen production experts, help clients achieve the extraordinary together.

Great design, creativity and a seamless production service bring events to life for clients. But if your in-house event partner pitches a strategy alongside venue partners from the beginning, they can show how relationships pave the way to a better overall experience.


Set your venue for success by having the right people in the conversation from the start. Better technical knowledge, production expertise and an awareness of what the teams and space are capable of can sway briefing discussions in your favour.

Clients get to see both teams working together from the beginning to share creative ideas and innovative solutions, instilling confidence in the venue and event production partnership and their ability to deliver successful outcomes. We make sure there’s always an answer to the brief; a clear solution and event design, and that this is

36 HM The Business of Accommodation PROMOTION
Encore National Sales Director, Michael Magafa, examines the relationship between venue teams and in-house event providers for effective sales conversions. Michael Magafa Encore’s video and image renders show clients what to expect

communicated perfectly, as we’re there together along the journey.

Meanwhile, a picture tells a thousand words. At Encore, our video and image renders not only illustrate what our clients can expect but give us the chance to show how our solutions enhance the event experience.

We often use digital visualisations or renders to support clients to understand how to maximise the space, thus assisting our venue partners with the sales process. Recently, Encore worked with a Sydney venue, taking the initial brief and designing life-like visual renders for an overseas client. It gave them an exact representation of how the event will look on the day. Our venue partner showcased their space in the best possible light, leading to a booking without any physical site inspections.

A strong partnership helps with maximising venue usage too. Commonly, for instance, venue A hosts a conference, but venue B hosts the gala. Encore’s team of production and creative specialists, on the other hand, think creatively to transform a room, completely “flipping it” for another function so venue A can host both.


By integrating sales and event teams, it’s far easier to price many of the must-haves and could-haves the client may be asking for. Attending site inspections together allows both parties to understand the clients’ needs early on, allowing us both to present concepts that not only match the brief but also to make suggestions that fit within the client’s proposed budget.

In addition to avoiding unwanted surprises, audio visual consultants can suggest ways in which to achieve an outcome with varying options. If your event production partner can meet the client early, they can explain costs, their impact on the event and which alternatives are viable.

By bringing your production team into your sales cycle early, they can also offer their own unique, creative services and production expertise; all leading to an expert, end-to-end solution and ultimately strengthening your client relationships.


A recent Encore survey showed that our clients want a tailored approach to their events, bolstered further by our research on event planners’ changing attitudes to technology and venue equipment. We found that 61.9% of event planners would prefer to remove some installed equipment for more flexible staging, lighting, audio, and other production demands.

Events, of course, take a lot of technical and logistical planning — even more for bespoke arrangements. From large conferences to workshop rooms and breakout meeting spaces, there are countless configurations to perfect such as run times, audio and lighting cues, rigging, screen placement, seating, and stage positioning. For larger productions, having the support of a partner that has access to a wider range of inventory allows venues to be able to present even more options, showcasing the versatility of their event spaces even further.

Intricate venue knowledge means that event production partners can use a combination of installed and mobile equipment to deliver a flexible layout and design. Equipment can be utilised or wheeled out and packed down for a freer, more customisable setup. With event production teams having gauged the space well in advance, they can work faster and more precisely, dealing with quick changes as they arise.

Our teams are passionate about creating the very best event experiences for our clients. Our venue partners trust us as we are a local company with global reach, with the goal to follow our customer journey through out. Developing strong venue relationships between both sales teams allows us to showcase spaces in their best light whilst building a level of confidence with clients to ensure they continue to return.


Encore creates memorable event experiences that engage and transform organisations. As the global leader for event technology and production services, Encore’s team delivers award winning events through design, advanced technology, staging, and digital solutions for in-person and hybrid events. Encore operates in more than 20 countries across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, throughout Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Encore is the trusted partner of choice for over 100 leading hotels and venues in the region. n

Connect with me to discuss your venue’s needs. 37 ENCORE NEWS
Digital visualisations help clients to understand how to maximise the space



Arecord crowd of 1,000 hotel industry professionals were in attendance at the 20th HM Awards, presented by Sealy Posturepedic, at The Star Event Centre on Friday November 25.

The industry came together to celebrate the outstanding properties and people across Australasia in spectacular fashion at this soldout black-tie event.

The 2022 awards were hosted by HM magazine and almost 50 categories were presented on the night to deserving winners across a range of divisions, from people and departments to properties and chains.

This year, HM received an overwhelming response from the industry with 1,825 nominations submitted, a 46% lift on the previous year.

Amongst the major awards presented at the event, Accor won Accommodation Chain of the Year, while InterContinental Hotels and Resorts and Ovolo Hotels won Hotel Brand of the Year.

On the property front, Cordis Auckland and Crown Towers Sydney were the winners of the Australasian Hotel of the Year category.

The major winners in the People Awards were The Ascott Limited’s David Mansfield, who won Australasian Hotelier, and Barry Robinson from Travel + Leisure, who was awarded Asia-Pacific Hotelier.

Langham Hospitality Group’s Brett Butcher was inducted into the Hall of Fame and Accor’s Sébastien Bazin received the Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award for his efforts in supporting his teams during the pandemic.

At this year’s event, the People categories were split into two winners – one for Australia, and one for New Zealand and the Pacific, ahead of a new satellite HM Awards event to be held in Auckland in 2023.

A new category titled “Innovative Collaboration” was also introduced to recognise the importance of collaborating with other businesses. Ovolo Hotels (Ride Here. Ride Now) and The Rees Hotel Queenstown x

The Helicopter Line (Heli-Crayfish Experience) were the worthy winners in this category.

“On behalf of the HM magazine team, I’m proud we have been able to recognise the leading people, departments, properties, chains and brands across Australasia in front of our largest ever audience,” said HM Awards Founder and Chief Judge, and HM magazine Editor-In-Chief, James Wilkinson.

“There is some incredible talent in the accommodation industry in Australasia and so many received the recognition they most definitely deserved. Well done to everyone.”

At the 2022 HM Awards, a silent auction and a Sparkling Bar also helped raise over $17,000 for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation. Hotel companies and suppliers generously donated almost $100,000 worth of prizes for this great cause.

On the night, Dr Neevika Manoharan, a Consultant Paediatric Haematologist/ Oncologist and Subspecialist in Paediatric Neuro-Oncology, spoke passionately about the

38 HM The Business of Accommodation

power of donations in improving healthcare technology for critically-ill children.

Over the past 20 years, 12,500 people have attended the HM Awards, and more than 1,000 awards have been won by hotels across Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

The 2022 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence were presented by Sealy Posturepedic; co-hosted by the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) at Torrens University Australia and Hostplus; sponsored by Foxtel for Business, ahs Hospitality, ARMA, De Beaurepaire Wines, S.PELLEGRINO, FutureLog, HoneyBadger Technologies, Assa Abloy, Comcater, TimeFlyz, and Cvent; and supported by the Accommodation Association (AA), AHICE, Beer Republic, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), TravMedia, Watson Farley & Williams and WAYFARER.

Congratulations to all the winners and highly commended. n 39
Co-hosted by This year’s HM Awards raised over $17,000 for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation Accor Pacific CEO Sarah Derry accepting the award for Accommodation Chain of the Year.

1. Serviced Apartment Property

Sponsored by

WINNER: Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Skye Suites Sydney The Star Residences Gold Coast

Award presented by Peter William, Sealy, and accepted by Simon Anderson, Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

2. Economy Hotel

Sponsored by accommodation association

WINNER: Brassey Hotel

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Adabco Boutique Hotel Travelodge Hotel Hobart

Award presented by Michael Johnson, TAA and AAoA, and accepted by Kathryn Carling, Brassey Hotel

3. Midscale Hotel

Sponsored by


DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne – Flinders Street


Atura Adelaide Airport PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

Award accepted by Anke Sieder, Double Tree by Hilton

40 HM The Business of Accommodation

Co-hosted by

4. Upscale Hotel

Sponsored by WINNER: Quincy Hotel Melbourne


Little National Hotel Sydney The Woolstore 1888 By Ovolo

Award accepted by Tish Nyar, Quincy Hotel Melbourne

5. Upper-Upscale Hotel

Sponsored by

WINNERS: Hilton Sydney Hotel X Fortitude Valley


Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands QT Sydney

6. Luxury Hotel


Crown Towers Sydney Eos by SkyCity


Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

The Langham, Gold Coast 41
Award presented by Michael Benikos, ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, and accepted by Hayden Hughes, Hilton Sydney Award presented by Michael Benikos, ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, and accepted by Melisah Collins, Hotel X Sponsored by Award presented by Swashna Deo, HoneyBadger Technologies, and accepted by Chris Kemlo, Crown Towers Sydney Award presented by Swashna Deo, HoneyBadger Technologies, and accepted by Jodi Brown, Stephanie Patterson, and Siddhartha Kaul of EOS by SkyCity

7. Australian Lodge

Sponsored by accommodation association

WINNER: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sequoia Lodge Spicers Peak Lodge

Award presented by Michael Johnson, TAA and AAoA, and accepted by Connie Beltran and Cindy Hung, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

8. Business Hotel

Sponsored by

WINNER: Hyatt Regency Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Brisbane Marriott Hotel SKYE Suites Parramatta

Award presented by Sachin Sabharwal, Timeflyz, and accepted by Jane Lyons, Hyatt Regency Sydney

9. Resort

Sponsored by

WINNER: InterContinental Hayman Island Resort


Crystalbrook Byron The Langham, Gold Coast

Award presented by Will de Beaurepaire, De Beaurepaire Wines, and accepted by Mark Newey, IHG

42 HM The Business of Accommodation

Co-hosted by

10. Hotel Interior Design

Sponsored by

WINNERS: Kimpton Margot Sydney Spicers Tower Lodge

HIGHLY COMMENDED: InterContinental Sydney The Langham, Gold Coast

Award presented by Gina Lawrence, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Katherine Young, Spicers Retreats

11. Boutique Hotel

Sponsored by



Islington Hotel, Hobart

The Reef House Boutique Hotel and Spa

Award presented by Will de Beaurepaire, De Beaurepaire Wines, and accepted by Emily Russo and David Sude, QT Hotels and Resorts

Award presented by Gina Lawrence, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Bruce Ryde, Kimpton Hotel Sydney 43

12. New Hotel

Sponsored by WINNERS: The Langham, Gold Coast The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel


QT Newcastle Sofitel Adelaide

Award presented by Scott Wiedemann, Foxtel Business, and accepted by John O’Shea, The Langham Gold Coast; and Harry Singh, Marriott International

13. Meetings and Conferencing Property

Sponsored by

WINNER: Shangri-La Sydney HIGHLY


Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa

Award presented by Chela Evans, cvent (far right) and accepted by (front) Sagar Pore, Michele Menegazzi, Marlii Carroll, Mandy Huang, Suvi Santhadkarn, (back) Brent Morley, Deane Brosnan, Alex Scott, and Fasi Tuku’aho

44 HM The Business of Accommodation

15. Day Spa

14. 45
Co-hosted by Award presented by Belinda Roberts, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Luke Moran, Lancemore Hotel Group; and Alison Bourn and Hang Nguyen, Spicers Retreats
COMMENDED: Crystalbrook
Regional Property Sponsored by WINNERS:
Lindenderry Red Hill
Hidden Vale HIGHLY
Byron Ladybay Resort
Sponsored by WINNER: Crown Sydney Spa, Crown Towers Sydney HIGHLY COMMENDED: Eos Spa + Wellness, Eos by SkyCity The Darling Spa, The Darling Hotel
Award accepted by Melissa Vitalis,

16. Hotel Bar

Sponsored by

WINNER: The Bar, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Dean & Nancy on 22 at A by Adina Sydney Mary Mary, The Tasman


17. Hotel Restaurant

Sponsored by WINNERS: Alibi Bar and Kitchen, Ovolo Woolloomooloo Nineteen at The Star, The Star Gold Coast

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Luke’s Kitchen, Kimpton Margot Sydney Tesoro, Movenpick Hotel Hobart

46 HM The Business of Accommodation
presented by Will de Beaurepaire, De Beaurepaire Wines, and accepted by Marcus Chan, IHG Award accepted by Kieron Hunt, Ovolo Hotels Award presented by Michael Hyde, Comcater, and accepted by Sarah Hunt, Nineteen at The Star, and Richard Fidelj, The Star

18. Tech Hotel

Sponsored by



Co-hosted by

19. New Zealand Hotel

Sponsored by


Cordis Auckland Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa

Award presented by Scott Wiedemann, Foxtel Business, and accepted by Mehul Desai, Nathan Brown, Farzana Khan, Mitchell Turner, Alex Mooser, and Jarod Senior, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour COMMENDED: Aiden Darling Harbour Eos by SkyCity The Rees Hotel Queenstown Award presented by Justin Jones, ahs hospitality, and accepted by Jeffrey van Vorsselen, Langham Hospitality Group, and Franz Mascarenhas, Cordis Auckland Award presented by Justin Jones, ahs hospitality, and accepted by Jeremy Samuels, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa

20. New Zealand Regional Property

Sponsored by

WINNER: Pullman Rotorua

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Fable Dunedin Swiss-Belboutique Napier

Award presented by Robert Williams, Watson Farley and Williams, and accepted by Jeremy Samuels, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, on behalf of Pullman Rotorua

21. New Zealand Lodge

Sponsored by

WINNER: Wharekauhau Country Estate

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Delamore Lodge Owen River Lodge

Award presented by Tara Ducrou, HM Magazine, and accepted by James Wilkinson, HM Magazine, on behalf of Wharekauhau Country Estate

22. Fijian Property

Sponsored by

WINNERS: Castaway Island Resort Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

HIGHLY COMMENDED: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa Vomo Island Fiji

Award presented by Will de Beaurepaire, De Beaurepaire Wines, and accepted by Dorcas Smuts, Outrigger Hospitality Group

Award presented by Will de Beaurepaire, De Beaurepaire Wines, and accepted by Sarah Derry, Accor Pacific, on behalf of Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa

48 HM The Business of Accommodation

23. South Pacific Property

Sponsored by

WINNER: Pacific Resort Aitutaki

Award accepted by Ruth Hogan, HM Magazine, on behalf of Pacific Resort Aitutaki

24. Marketing Campaign

Sponsored by 49
Co-hosted by
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Stanley Hotel and Suites, Port Moresby Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Award presented by James Wilkinson, Wayfarer, and accepted by Sandra Bellamy, Little National Hotel Sydney, and Anthea Dimitrakopoulos and David Ridgeway, Quest Apartment Hotels
WINNERS: Little National Hotel Sydney
Apartment Hotels
Hotels & Resorts

25. Innovative Collaboration

Sponsored by

WINNERS: Ovolo Hotels

The Rees Hotel Queenstown x The Helicopter Line

26. Environmental Program

Sponsored by


Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Wildlife Retreat at Taronga


Spicers Retreats

The Hotel Britomart


Marriott Bonvoy partners with Tennis Australia

The Hotel Britomart, x Mavis and Osborne

50 HM The Business of Accommodation
Award presented by Simon Pawson, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, and accepted by Ryan Tuckerman and Gabriel Polias, Ovolo Hotels Award presented by Simon Pawson, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, and accepted by Mark Rose, The Rees Hotel Queenstown Award presented by Paul McDonough, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Sara Wilkie, Wildlife Retreat at Taronga; Dorcas Smuts, Outrigger Hospitality Group, and Bob Smuts

Co-hosted by



27. Concierge

Sponsored by

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nikolas Adams, Park Hyatt Auckland Siddhartha Kaul, Eos by SkyCity

28. Hotel Chef

Sponsored by


Corey Hume, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown Harold Hurtada, Nobu Sydney, Crown Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: James Laird, QT Auckland

Fiona Weir, PepperBerry, Hilton Darwin 51
Tautau, DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Leticia Waechter, Crown Towers Sydney Award accepted by Fabien Dewelle and Eshni Chetty, Hilton, on behalf of Kevin Tautau Award presented by Helen Wood, Hostplus, and accepted by Leticia Waechter, Crown Towers Sydney Award presented by Frank Iaria, Sanpellegrino, and accepted by Corey Hume, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown Award presented by Frank Iaria, Sanpellegrino, and accepted by Harold Hurtada, Nobu Sydney

29. Food and Beverage Associate

Sponsored by


Abhishek Kurade, Rydges Christchurch Latimer, NZ Jarod Senior, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Jack Johnson, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Melissa Ward, Lancemore Macedon Ranges

Award accepted by Jarod Senior, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

30. Human Resources Associate

Sponsored by


Katherine Ireland, Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific Kimberly Ford, Cordis Auckland, (in memoriam)

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Kim Garner, TFE Hotels Petru Domingues, EVT New Zealand

52 HM The Business of Accommodation
Award accepted by Katherine Ireland, Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific Accepted by Franz Mascarenhas, Cordis Auckland, in memory of Kimberly Ford

Co-hosted by

31. Sales and Marketing Associate

Sponsored by


Clare Read, Eos by SkyCity Julie Lumsden, Accor New Zealand


Lisa Breckon, Fable Hotels and Resorts New Zealand Michael Fletcher, W Melbourne

Award presented by Mila Todorovic, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Jodi Brown and Stephanie Patterson, EOS by SkyCity Adelaide, on behalf of Clare Read

32. Communications Associate

Sponsored by


Chris Lee, QT Hotels & Resorts

Chris Waite, IHG Hotels & Resorts

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Angela Cowley, Eight Communications Sally Yuen, Marriott International Fiji & Samoa 53
Awards presented by Dominika Dryjski, Travmedia, and accepted by Chris Lee, QT Hotels and Resorts, and Chris Waite, IHG Hotels and Resorts

33. Front Office Associate

Sponsored by

WINNERS: Bjorn van Ginkel, QT Auckland Diandra Noble, Ovolo The Valley

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Janani Munasinghe, The Sebel Auckland Manukau Van Nguyen, Rydges Sydney Airport


34. Finance Associate

Sponsored by


Rajnesh Kumar, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Umesh Pathak, Nesuto

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Helen Ip, IHG Hotels & Resorts Sumeet Raj, Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort

54 HM The Business of Accommodation
Award accepted by Chris Greening, QT Wellington, on behalf of Bjorn van Ginkel, QT Auckland accepted by Roberto Russo, Ovolo Hotels, on behalf of Diandra Noble, Ovolo The Valley, Brisbane Award accepted by Umesh Pathak, Nesuto Award accepted by Dorcus Smuts, Outrigger Hospitality Group, on behalf of Rajnesh Kumar

Co-hosted by


Revenue Management


Sponsored by


Greg Campbell, Accor Queenstown properties

Suzette Gunn, Accor Hotels


Lilia Player, Nesuto New Zealand Max Houri, Hilton Surfers Paradise

36. Housekeeper

Sponsored by


Cherie Mackay, The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga Kim Haynes, QT Queenstown & Rydges Queenstown


Carla Acosta, Pier One Sydney Harbour Rose Tubuitamana, Club Wyndham Denarau Island 55
Award accepted by Jeremy Samuels, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, on behalf of Greg Campbell Award accepted by Suzette Gunn, Accor Hotels Award presented by Leanne Graham, ahs hospitality, and accepted by Cherie Mackay, The Wildlife Retreat at Taronga Award accepted by Antonela Comuzio, QT Queenstown, on behalf of Kim Haynes

37. Hotel Engineer

Sponsored by WINNERS:

Aldo Sousa, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

Alvyn Chandra, Club Wyndham Denarau Island


56 HM The Business of Accommodation
COMMENDED: Andrew Porgas, DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Steve Luxford, Crown Sydney Award accepted by Liam Byrnes and Kyle Wilson, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, on behalf of Aldo Sousa Award accepted by Nathan Hunt, Wyndham Destinations, on behalf of Alvyn Chandra, Club Wyndham Denarau Island


38. Rising Star Sponsored by




39. Ashley Spencer Service to the Industry Award



Award 57
Co-hosted by by Sébastien Bazin, Accor presented by James Wilkinson, HM Magazine, and accepted by Sarah Derry, Accor, on behalf of Sébastien Bazin Chris Lee, QT Hotels & Resorts Chris Purdy, Accor Apartments & Realty COMMENDED: Jason Piper, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley Ruby Trafford, The Rees Hotel Queenstown presented by Helen Wood, Hostplus, and accepted by Chris Lee, QT Hotels and Resorts presented by Helen Wood, Hostplus, and accepted by Chris Purdy, Accor Apartments and Realty

40. South Pacific General Manager

Sponsored by WINNER: Justin King, Vomo Island Fiji

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Darren Shaw, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Neeraj Chadha, Marriott International

Award presented by Antony Raiteri, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Justin King, Vomo Island Fiji

41. New Zealand General Manager

Sponsored by


Jeremy Samuels, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa Mark Rose, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown


58 HM The Business of Accommodation
COMMENDED: Doron Whaite, QT Auckland Franz Mascarenhas, Cordis Auckland Award accepted by Jeremy Samuels, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, and Mark Rose, The Rees Hotel Queenstown

Co-hosted by

42. Australian General Manager

Sponsored by


Jodi Brown, EOS by SkyCity

Mark Hodge, The Star Gold Coast


HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ajay Vaid, Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach & Novotel Wollongong Northbeach

Jane Lyons, Hyatt Regency Sydney

43. Service to the Community

Sponsored by WINNER:

Coogee Bay Boutique Hotel


Crystalbrook Bailey The Langham, Sydney

Award presented by Antony Raiteri, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Joseph Akle, and Matthew Barlow, on behalf of Coogee Bay Boutique Hotel 59
presented by Daniel Amos, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Mark Hodge, The Star Gold Coast Award presented by Daniel Amos, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Jodi Brown, EOS by SkyCity, Adelaide

44. HM Awards Hall of Fame


60 HM The Business of Accommodation
Sponsored by INDUCTEE: Brett Butcher, Langham Hospitality Group
45. Hotel Brand Sponsored by WINNERS: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Ovolo Hotels HIGHLY COMMENDED: Crystalbrook QT Hotels & Resorts
presented by James Wilkinson, HM Magazine, and accepted by Franz Mascarenhas, Jeffrey Van Vorsselen, and John O’Shea, Langham Hospitality Group Award presented by Jerome Casteigt, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, and accepted by Roberto Russo, Amanda Cottome, Raymond George, Wayne Toranto, Gabriel Polias, Kieron Hunt, Ryan Tuckerman, Nicole Downs, and Matthew Bentley, Ovolo Hotels Award accepted by Matthew Tripolone, IHG Hotels and Resorts

46. Accommodation Chain

Sponsored by


HIGHLY COMMENDED: IHG Hotels & Resorts Hilton

Award presented by Helen Wood, Hostplus, and accepted by Sarah Derry, Claire Haigh, and Steven Lake, Accor

47. Australasian Hotel Sponsored by

Co-hosted by


Cordis Auckland Crown Towers Sydney

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Park Hyatt Auckland Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour 61
Award presented by Antony Raiteri, Sealy Posturepedic, and accepted by Chris Kemlo and Mark Holmes, Crown Towers Sydney; and Franz Mascarenhas and Jeffrey van Vorsselen, Langham Hospitality Group

48. Australasian Hotelier

Sponsored by


HIGHLY COMMENDED: Leanne Harwood, IHG Hotels & Resorts Sarah Derry, Accor

49. Asia-Pacific Hotelier

Sponsored by WINNER: Barry Robinson, Travel + Leisure

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Jeff Wagoner, Outrigger Hospitality Group Rajeev Menon, Marriott International

62 HM The Business of Accommodation
David Mansfield, The Ascott Limited Award presented by James Wilkinson, Ruth Hogan and Tara Ducrou, HM Magazine, and accepted by Barry Robinson, Travel + Leisure Award presented by James Wilkinson, Ruth Hogan and Tara Ducrou, HM Magazine, and accepted by Anthea Dimitrakopoulos and David Ridgeway, Quest Apartment Hotels, on behalf of David Mansfield

Presentation partner message

AS PROUD SPONSORS for the 14th year of the HM Awards, Sealy Posturepedic® would like to congratulate all of the award winners and nominees for 2022.

We are thrilled to return to the HM Awards once again as a presenting partner for this fantastic event that recognises and celebrates the biggest and brightest stars in the accommodation industry.

The last few years have been challenging for most of us but even more so for the Australian hospitality and accommodation industry. The good news is that we are now on the other side. We have all learnt a lot and have come out of the COVID pandemic with a new found energy and enthusiasm for supporting small business and local communities. For us here at Sealy, we are passionate about supporting our local community.

Sealy Posturepedic® mattresses are 100% Australian made and Australian owned. We are proud to employ over 700 local Australians

who hand craft each and every Sealy Posturepedic® mattress by hand, using Australian sourced materials.

As always, it was great that we could come together at The Star and catch up with some familiar faces. We would like to say congratulations and a big thank you to the HM team for putting together such an incredible event.

Thank you also for everyone who kindly donated towards the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation through the silent auction. This is a great foundation, and we are proud that we can help to support sick kids.

And finally, on behalf of Sealy, we would like to thank everyone who attended on the night and in particular all the people and properties nominated for awards and those who won. We look forward to coming back in 2023. 63 Co-hosted by

Co-host partner message

HOSTPLUS IS A proud partner of the HM Awards and would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists in 2022. The HM Awards are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the strong comeback of the industry and its resilience and determination to be better than ever.

Congratulations once again to all those recognised at this year’s HM Awards. We can’t wait to be back next year!

Co-host partner message

THE 2022 HM Awards wrapped up an exciting year as we see the hospitality industry enter a new chapter of growth. Of course, the best possible way to celebrate our resilient industry is to honour some of the hard-working and talented professionals who have flourished.

We were incredibly proud to see some familiar faces on stage, with 22 Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) at Torrens University alumni receiving award nominations this year. It thrills us to see our graduates grow into world-leading hoteliers.

It’s why we’re passionate about quality education for the next generation of hospitality leaders. With shortages of skilled professionals in Australia and abroad, the hospitality industry needs innovative forms of training to upskill current staff, as well as develop and retain new talent.

As educators, we must offer flexible and cutting-edge training options to attract this talent. BMIHMS has risen to this challenge with a range of digital on-demand short courses, online qualifications and VR learning options all designed for busy professionals.

We wholeheartedly congratulate the HM Award winners for this year, and wish you every success as the leaders of tomorrow.

64 HM The Business of Accommodation
Co-hosted by
HM Awards photography by Considered Image and Oneill Photographics


Hotels are taking contactless locking technology up a notch as guests demand convenience throughout every touchpoint of their hotel stay. While many are now opting to roll out digital door locks, Hyatt has become the first to do so through Apple Wallet.

Guests at select Hyatt hotels can access their room, the pool, fitness centre, and other common spaces by holding their iPhone or Apple Watch up to the NFC-enabled door lock, which is provided by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions.

Using the Apple Wallet removes the need to swipe through apps to access a key, and if Express Mode is enabled, guests don’t even need to unlock their device to use it as a room key.

By cutting out these additional cumbersome steps, Hyatt and Apple aim to provide a streamlined, seamless guest experience.

Hyatt’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Digital and Technology, Julia Vander Ploeg, said the decision to upgrade the technology stems from guest and member feedback.

“We heard that [guests] want access to be near-instantaneous,” she said.

“Room keys in Apple Wallet is an easy, convenient, and secure room key option for our guests when they travel”.

The Hyatt exec described the innovation as a “game-changing digital experience”.

“Many consumer technologies evolve through a ‘tipping point’ that drives a change in adoption,” she said. “We believe our

collaboration with Apple on this new approach to room keys in Apple Wallet can be exactly that.”

The tech addition complements Hyatt’s digital check-in experience, through the World of Hyatt app, which allows members to personalise their stay by selecting room upgrades and housekeeping preferences, among other options.


After booking their stay at one of the participating hotels, guests can immediately add the room key to Apple Wallet via the World of Hyatt app. After checking in, available digitally through the app, the room key is activated on the guest’s iPhone and paired Apple Watch.

If the guest opts to change rooms or add a few extra nights to their stay, the room key is automatically updated. The Apple Watch room key is accessible for up to five hours after the device is in need of a charge.

Hyatt’s latest technology is supported by ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions door locks and its Vostio Access Management cloud-based solution, which provides the digital key information that is delivered to guest devices.

The technology was initially launched at six US hotels and is being rolled out to more hotels across the group.

Hyatt will continue to provide a digital key for iPhone and Android users through the World of Hyatt app. More than 600 Hyatt hotels are using digital keys in this way.

Hyatt says that it is offering room keys on multiple digital platforms to give members more choices during their stay. n 65 TECHNOLOGY
Room keys will be available for Hyatt guests who are iPhone users through Apple Wallet Hyatt guests
access the room key via their Apple Watch
“Many consumer technologies evolve through a ‘tipping point’ that drives a change in adoption.”
Julia Vander Ploeg, Hyatt




Tell us about how ahs hospitality first came about?

Leanne Graham

Having started as a family run business in Perth 29 years ago, ahs hospitality has grown into the largest outsourced provider of housekeeping services in Australia and New Zealand. It has evolved over the years and was purchased by Recruit Group 12 years ago, making us part of a larger group of companies that all work towards providing ‘opportunities for life’.

How important is quality housekeeping to the guest experience?

Housekeeping is critical – it always was and now even more so as travel begins to become a larger part of our lives again. There’s the experiential element, which should be seamless. Everything a guest needs is available with relative ease, and it’s clean, well presented and in good working order. Further to this, most guests will at some point interact with a member of the housekeeping team. It doesn’t matter

who they are employed by, they must still have a smile and a genuine desire to assist the guest if needed. Then there’s the health and wellbeing element, which perhaps wasn’t such a concern for people until now. Guests watch when and how cleaning is undertaken and have a view on what an appropriate and safe cleaning process looks like. The guarantee of quality in our processes and standards is one of our most appealing factors to our partners as it so heavily influences guest experience.

Have you experienced an increase in hotels opting to outsource housekeeping to survive the current labour shortage?

Whilst there are some who want to remove risk from their business, and look to outsourcing to do that, there are others who want to take back control of their workforce, however this tends to be the smaller/independent properties. It really depends on the experience that the hotelier has had during the ramp up phase post lockdowns and if they or their outsourced partner had the capability to recruit well and then retain staff. There is definitely a tendency to outsource for new properties so that the risk of establishing a productive workforce sits with the outsourced provider.

What are the benefits of outsourcing housekeeping?

Now more than ever, the largest benefit is commercial. Whilst the cost profile of outsourced services has gone up the same as all other cost inputs, the money saved on recruitment, training and other aspects of HR is significant. Coupled with zero risk around productivity shortfalls impacting the hotel P&L, there is very real commercial impetus.

The other major benefit is scale. Given the current labour market is still a challenge, having scale in the workforce is really important when dealing with fluctuating occupancy and demand. n

66 HM The Business of Accommodation SUPPLIER PROFILE
Guests expect clean and well-presented hotel rooms on arrival

A transfer to Tokyo

In an exciting career that has taken him from Australia to Singapore, PAUL RUMPFF recently transferred to Tokyo to become Chief Concierge at The Strings by InterContinental.

Tell us about your career path to your current position at The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo?

Working in the hotel industry for many years in Australia, I always wanted to explore the opportunity of a hotel pre-opening and working overseas. Achieving my Les Clefs d’Or Membership in Australia seven or eight years ago opened doors to pursue this dream. After working at the InterContinental Melbourne Rialto, in February of 2017 I transferred to the pre-opening team of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay as Chief Concierge – this was a priceless experience. After almost six years in Singapore, I had the opportunity to further my international global hotel career by joining the team at The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo, which I accepted with great excitement.

Have you found it helpful to be able to consult your local Les Clefs d’Or associates in each country when researching local venues and services?

Representing Les Clefs d’Or Australia for the Andy Pongco Award in Dubai of 2016 and standing in front of almost 650 attendees assisted to build the foundation of my international network of friendships and contacts across the globe. In Singapore and Japan, the local Les Clefs d’Or members

provided introductions to build on my global knowledge and understanding into the tourism industries in each country.

Do you notice any major differences in the guest requests you receive overseas from those you received in Melbourne?

Assisting guests with booked out restaurants or recommending bars and cafes has been similar, however, outside of these requests, each country is different in what it offers travellers. In Melbourne, I recall acquiring special theatre/concert tickets and box seat sporting tickets, whereas in Singapore, it was recommending the local hawker markets, cultural areas, and beautiful gardens or forests.

Do you see Japan as the final destination in your journey as a transnational Concierge?

To be honest, I thought Singapore became a second home outside of Australia, after meeting another hotelier and buying a home there. I hadn’t foreseen the opportunity of Japan, but when presented we both jumped at it to further our global careers. Whilst we miss our friends and families in Singapore and Australia, we are loving living in Japan and the new challenges it presents. There could be another opportunity that presents itself in Japan, another country, or even back home –we never know. n

A reluctant decision

IN THIS (HOPEFULLY) post-COVID era, challenges remain, and nowhere more so than in the hospitality and tourism industries. Despite the ongoing enthusiasm and support of our hotel general managers, and tourism industry partners and exhibitors, our Western Australian members have reluctantly had to make the decision to reschedule the third annual West Australian Les Clefs d’Or Tourism Expo from November to March 2023. This was entirely due to the continuing shortage of guest service staff in hotels Australia wide. While many general managers and HR departments value the opportunity for their staff to learn more about the attractions and tourism operators available for their guests, it was proving impossible to spare enough staff to attend to the event to make it viable. Hopefully by early next year, this situation may have begun to turn around.

There was good news to be found amongst our members, however, with Ricardo Oliva Farrarons promoted to Chief Concierge at The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, and a new member announced in Mark Nicholas of Crown Towers Perth. We were also very happy to see our associates in Les Clefs d’Or Japan celebrate their 25th anniversary, attended by Australian member

Hidetaka Tanaka, and former members

Yuki Kimura (now a member of Les Clefs d’Or UK), and Paul Rumpff (currently in the process of transferring to Les Clefs d’Or Japan). 67 CONCIERGE CORNER
Paul Rumpff (centre)



At every tier, guests expect to have the essential in-room appliances to hand during their stay, from hair dryers to coffee machines and the all-important iron, which often gets whipped out at the last minute before a meeting or dinner.

Today, the standard for these appliances is higher than ever. Modern hotels are raising the bar with sleek and innovative devices that reflect the brand itself and complement the interior design.

Little National Hotel Sydney is an example of this, opting for no-fuss, minimalist designs that fit in with the colour palette of the room.

Aiden Darling Harbour, among others, has ditched the traditional ironing setup in favour of a sleek, easy-to-use clothes steamer. Meanwhile, at QT Hotels and Resorts, guests now have Dyson’s popular haircare tools to hand to create the blowdry or updo that they would at home.

Weatherdon, a specialist provider of quality appliances to the hotels and hospitality industry, reports demand is high for discreet styles.

“We are seeing a rise in enquiries for smaller, more compact kettles fit for the guest room kitchen, as well as standard electrical appliances, like irons and hairdryers,” said Managing Director, Robert Weatherdon.

“Hotels don’t want big boxy appliances taking up lots of space.”

In terms of the look and feel, Weatherdon said classic, neutral colours continue to dominate but interesting variations are coming to the fore.

“Trends and patterns have remained consistent for the most part, with product styles kept neutral in tone, with elements of colour making an appearance to match the interior,” he said.

“Brass, Rose Gold, and specifically Matt Black finishes are all the rage now too. Our Nero brand Professional AC Motor hairdryer encompasses this perfectly, with its sleek modern design, neutral black colour, and rose gold accents.”

Sticking to classic colours is a wise move for hotels in the long run, as trendy colours can date quickly. Weatherdon also advises hotels against falling for fashionable, of-the-moment products.

“One of the patterns we’ve noticed is that hotels will purchase ‘inseason’ unique products, which do not stand the test of time in terms of style and maintenance,” Weatherdon said.

“Hotels, especially the boutique ones, are a culprit of this. This is fine with initial fitouts where they source specialty products, but it becomes problematic when they are searching for replacements.”

When introducing in-room appliances, Weatherdon says usability and safety standards also need to be carefully considered.

“Consider where you place your hairdryers, power points/outlets, and the ease of use of the product itself, so that all guests are accommodated for,” he said.

“It’s all about giving them a memorable experience at the end of the day.” n

68 HM The Business of Accommodation ROOMS DIVISION
Little National Hotel Sydney takes a minimalist approach to in-room appliances All QT guests now have access to Dyson haircare tools




Emma Wong, Associate Professor and Program Director, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, Torrens University Australia

According to the OECD (2022), people with a postgraduate degree earn 21% more than average and enjoy better social outcomes. But not all postgraduate programs in hotel management are created equal. Most have specific target markets that are defined by career stages. Masters programs with a full-time option and internship component, for example, are usually for

career starters. Part-time MBAs, on the other hand, are designed for aspiring GMs. DBAs are more exclusive –suitable for industry veterans with executive experience. Among those who do not want to commit to a full degree program, micro-credentials are increasingly popular. However, not all of them are ‘stackable’ or convertible into credits of a degree.

So, if you want to pursue a postgraduate qualification in hotel management, where do you start? Apart from the obvious, such as provider’s reputation and cost, consider these factors, too:

Peer learning – At postgraduate level, you learn as much, if not more, from your peers as you do from your professors. Choose a program that targets people with a comparable amount of industry experience.

Alumni network – Knowledge and testamur will not be the only thing you gain from a degree. Successful alumni you meet during and after your studies can open doors. Choose a program with history and a strong alumni network.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) – If you have some industry experience under your belt, you may be eligible for RPL. That also determines the actual length and cost of your studies.

Commitment – Some courses are offered in intensive mode (e.g. 6-week block). Some may require on-campus attendance. Check that the program is compatible with your work and lifestyle.

70 HM The Business of Accommodation
Students can opt to specialise in areas such as culinary arts
Apply now. Start February 2023

Kellie Lumsden, Head of ICHM

In an industry that is still feeling the impacts of COVID-19, there have been many outcomes that have accelerated the evolution of the Higher Education sector towards effective online and hybrid learning. Online study isn’t new or innovative, however, speaking frankly, in many institutions pre-COVID, it was stagnant, uninspiring, and lacking in ways to draw people together in the collegial way that all education should aspire to deliver.

We are now seeing an overdue trend of “learn anywhere”, the required extension to study anytime, and the rise of truly immersive and experiential learning within curated and supported industry settings. The combined use of work integrated learning with curriculum embedded to provide the theoretical learning outcomes was once only applied within a classroom setting. This has now come about due to the combination of Higher Education institutions responding to situational obligations to bring to life student employability needs, coupled with national skills shortages and the voices of industry leaders pleading for trained staff now.

This has forced the removal of traditional exam and report type assessment which dominated postgraduate study and allowed for the authentic industry-connected assessment to become the norm. For leaders wishing to extend their knowledge and frontline industry-based learners short on time and resources, this allows for postgraduate studies to be completed in tandem with work responsibilities as a contributing part of the learning outcomes.

While the concept has existed for years, this innovative idea has largely been implemented poorly, resulting in little impact or outcome, and limiting its

full potential. Learn anywhere has been the foundation of vocational learning for years and now the Higher Education sector is starting to catch up.

Postgraduate on-the-job learning provides instant engagement, improved productivity, and positive outcomes for both the learner and industry simultaneously. At ICHM this is part of our DNA with all programs embracing on-the-job learning with theoretical connection. The ICHM Masters degree offers an industry-based research problem to be solved with the host institution enjoying the benefits of this connection. Perhaps a true opportunity for innovation to grow and be nurtured from within.

Andrew Dolphin, ManagerHigher Education, William Angliss Institute

William Angliss Institute is wellpositioned to create industry leaders through postgraduate qualifications and I am pleased to announce two new postgraduate qualifications for 2023. These have been designed in collaboration with industry leaders and based on an analysis of data-driven trends to meet the needs of the hospitality sector now and into the future.

Master of International Hospitality Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurial graduates of this course will offer creative solutions to new and old problems facing hospitality, driving innovation and sustainability in businesses, or forging their own creative paths.

Master of International Hotel Leadership: Students generate a deeper, more holistic understanding of who they’ll become as leaders, and how to match leadership traits to meet industry expectations and solve real-world industry problems.

These courses use experiential learning opportunities to intertwine the skills and knowledge of future leaders in hospitality, international hotels, and resorts. Graduates will advance their careers and give their employers an edge over the competition.

Postgraduate courses already on offer include the Master of Food Systems and Gastronomy, which is the only qualification of its type in Australia that guides graduates to be positive change agents for food systems by exploring how ethics, politics, culture, ecology, and food industry practices can transform food systems for the better.

As a specialist institution, we’re focused on providing graduates ready to have a positive impact in the foods, tourism, hospitality, and events industries. Our postgraduate courses are ideally placed to meet the industry expectations now and into the future, supporting graduates to become impactful positive leaders, change agents, and creative thinkers. n

72 HM The Business of Accommodation
Online learning is evolving as students call for options to learn from anywhere
“We are now seeing an overdue trend of ‘learn anywhere’, the required extension to study anytime, and the rise of truly immersive and experiential learning.”
Kellie Lumsden, ICHM


“These sessions reinforce IHG’s contribution to its staff, equipping them with essential knowledge about super with the aim for them to make better decisions for a better future in retirement,” said Hostplus Executive Manager, Client Relationships and New Business, Helen Wood.

“IHG team members can also take Hostplus with them throughout their working life with IHG and beyond, ensuring consistent support at every stage of their development.”

IHG’s Lynda Ugarte said the educational program has been a great benefit to staff.

Financial security is an important talking point in the hotel industry in the wake of the pandemic, as professionals seek security and stability after a challenging two years.

For hotels, it’s of great importance to offer a secure and supportive environment for their teams. This is a key focus for IHG Hotels and Resorts.

Despite an industry-wide labour shortage, IHG reports that it is continuing to win top talent – thanks in no small part to its holistic approach to employee wellness.

“We are delighted the hotel business is back up after the impacts of COVID-19 and we are hiring great talent despite the challenging market –our biggest challenge is filling our roles quickly enough,” said IHG’s Head of Human Resources – Japan, Australasia and Pacific, Lynda Ugarte.

IHG offers its employees a range of benefits to retain its key talent, such as the ability to accrue personal leave and take it with them as their career progresses at IHG. Supporting financial wellness is also a key factor.

IHG’s partnership with leading industry super fund Hostplus, spanning more than 15 years, provides essential superannuation education to IHG’s employees across Australia.

“If you’ve got financial wellness right, it helps colleagues to underpin their physical, mental and career aspects – all the important parts of their working and home life,” said Ugarte.

Hostplus continues to provide IHG staff with superannuation education sessions and conversations about how they could catch up on their super contributions to help restore their retirement and super objectives.

“It’s wonderful to see our staff understand how well their super serves them over their lifetime and IHG is thrilled to play a part in this,” she said.

Hostplus has grown to be one of the largest industry super funds in Australia with 1.6 million members, more than 280,000 employers and AU$90.5 billion in funds under management.

Known as the super fund for the hotel sector, Hostplus provides a wide range of superannuation services and appropriate educational support to its partner employers and their staff with the aim of adding real benefit outside of its strong long-term investment returns and low administration fees.

The Fund, which was awarded the SuperRatings 2023 Fund of the Year Award, the Net Benefit award and was recognised as a 20-year Platinum rated fund, plans to launch a self-serve employer hub adding to its digital offering for its partners in the new year. n

This information is general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if this information is appropriate for you in light of your circumstances before acting on it. Please read the relevant Hostplus Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), available at before making a decision about Hostplus. For a description of the target market, please read the Target Market Determination (TMD), available at Go to for rating and award criteria. Awards and ratings are only one factor to be taken into account when choosing a super fund. Past performance information is not indicative of future performance. 73 FINANCE
Hotel companies like IHG are helping employees better understand superannuation


and purchase behaviour. This places an even greater emphasis on the importance of insights derived from data, employee skill development, and ensuring internal communication lines are actively engaged to share, analyse, assess, and pivot strategies quickly when and where it is needed.”

In a bid to yield better results in the current market, some hotels are investing in revenue management systems and market monitoring. Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has introduced a revenue management program over the past 12 months and reports that the results have been “game-changing”.

With international travel slow to return to Australian shores, the hotel industry is looking for ways to leverage the continued boom in domestic travel.

According to Tourism Research Australia’s latest figures, in the month of August 2022, domestic travel spend was up 30% to AU$8.1 billion when compared to August 2019.

Australian Revenue Management Association (ARMA) Chief Executive, Melissa Kalan, told HM that while there has been great progress, it will be some time before normal business resumes.

“Whilst there have been some pleasing results for the broader industry both domestically and across APAC, in particular regional areas, and sectors such as holiday parks and resorts, the predictability with high certainty we previously enjoyed, and with a high degree of confidence, is still not there for the mid to long term,” she said.

“Although we remain optimistic, we must remain attentive to global events and changes that may continue to impact consumer demand

“We’ve seen outstanding returns on investment for hotels across all five Choice Hotel brands,” Choice Hotels Asia-Pac Director of Performance and Revenue Management, Anthony Stanley, told HM “Owners and general managers are actively engaging with our revenue managers and see them as an integral part of their team.

“The results speak for themselves, with revenue managed hotels in Australia outperforming market RevPAR in Q3 this year by almost 45%. In New Zealand, where the market is still in recovery, we’ve seen a significant increase against market in Q3 RevPAR performance of 154%.”

Revenue Management has become an essential component of Choice Hotels’ offering, and hotels in the group are rapidly testing and transitioning to these services.

“If you’re not taking advantage of the revenue management services on offer in the market, then you’re leaving revenue on the table,” Stanley said.

Choice’s automated revenue management tool, choiceMAX, helps franchisees effectively manage hotel room rates, channels, and inventory. It also integrates with the choiceADVANTAGE property management system and is configured to forecast and make recommendations on rates up to 365 days in advance, optimising pricing multiple times a day.

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Revenue management experts advise investing in technology to facilitate better upselling

“It gives entry-level insights into local market trends, giving owners the ability to set rates in a more meaningful way,” Stanley said.

In the first half of this year, Choice calculated that having dedicated revenue managers assessing and setting rates for properties increased average daily rate at participating hotels by $13.50 per room per night.

“The maths is simple and shows the significant impact revenue management has on profitability for hotels over the course of a year by virtue of maximising their yield,” Stanley added.


When it comes to revenue management, Kalan says “risks exist in the inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and inaccuracies”.

She points to the trend towards the 0-7 day booking window and says a great opportunity can be had or missed here.

“This depends on the property’s confidence that the demand will come and the confidence to not panic and react,” she said.

“This confidence can only come from data-driven insights and staying alert and aware of any changes that may impact this booking window trend.”

Kalan also highlights the importance of tapping new revenue streams through upselling, something that she says has been a missed opportunity in hotels due to a lack of technology, training, and time.

“Addressing these areas to ensure a consistent degree of upselling is critical, as is the need to incorporate a retailer’s mindset and focus on attribute-based selling techniques as much as possible,” she said.

Using source market data to help shape content and campaigns is another recommendation to ensure a consistent digital experience for customers, and she advises a review of all policies and campaigns to analyse impact on financial performance.

“Complete a risk versus benefit assessment within the context of all other guests using your property and its facilities and other market segments now increasingly available to you and consider if they are worth keeping, adjusting, or removing. An example of this may be a pet policy,” she said.

“I would also encourage all operators to invest in upskilling their teams in sales and how to sell smarter, this should also include reservations staff,” she added. n 75 FINANCE M a s t e r o f R e v e n u e M a n a g e m e n tE X E C U T I V E E D G E A d v a n c e d C e r t i f i c a t e o f R e v e n u e M a n a g e m e n t - A M B I T I O U S L E A D E R C e r t i f i c a t e o f R e v e n u e M a n a g e m e n t F o u n d a t i o n s - T H I N K C H A N G E G R O W Y I E L D M A X - E d u c a t i o n S u p p o r t P r o f e s s i o n a l M e m b e r s h i p R e c r u i t m i c e s A R M A www.arm com A
I N D U S T R Y E V E N T S T h e G l o b a l R e v e n u e M a n a g e m e n t S t u d e n t S y m p o s
i u m & S t u d e n t C h a l l e n g e - M a r c h 1 a n d A p r i l 1 9 2 0 2 3
A P A C R e v e n u e M a n a g e m e n t S u m m i t - A i r , L a n d & S e a - M a y 2 3 a n d 2 4 2 0 2 3 - S y d n e y T o u r i s m E m p l o y e e A w a r d s 2 0 2 3 e y
A R M A b y
“If you’re not taking advantage of the revenue management services on offer in the market, then you’re leaving revenue on the table.”
Anthony Stanley, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac



maintaining consistency within their property. Working with our team, franchise owners have access to our highly skilled experts led by Danesh Bamji, Vice President of Franchise, who is firmly focused on driving a strong performance for our owners and partners within the Accor franchise network.



Dickson, Partner

Hotel franchising has increased in popularity in leaps and bounds. Marriott, IHG, Accor and Wyndham all conduct substantial franchising operations in Australia.

ACCOR PACIFIC Lindsay Leeser, SVP Development and Franchise

In the Pacific, the number of business owners investing in a successful franchise model is growing. The benefits of franchising are substantial, and our partners hit the ground running with the value that franchise delivers to them. Franchise properties have instant access to our network and tools, which includes global brand recognition, leading revenue management systems, our world-class loyalty programme and high impact digital marketing campaigns, which are critical to success and profitable growth. Customers want an incredible experience during their stay, where they are well cared for and near to restaurants, amenities, and activities they enjoy. Our consumer insights and data research enables us to get close to the guest and shape the hotel offering accordingly. Accor is investing significantly in technology and focusing on helping franchisees generate more bookings for their hotels, while

Franchisors provide most of the benefits to hotel owners which are provided by hotel managers – branding, centralised services (such as reservations, customer and employee surveys) and technical support. Importantly, franchisors do not offer services relating to oversight of hotel operations. This is attractive to some owners who desire to have a hands-on role in relation to hotel operations.

Franchise fees usually consist of an application fee, ongoing licence fees based on a percentage of gross room and food and beverage revenue. There may also be marketing fund contributions, reservation system and loyalty programme fees and, in the case of new builds, a technical service fee. The franchise term is usually between 10-20 years. Franchises usually do not contain any restrictive area provisions which means that the franchisor can effectively grant as many franchises in any geographic area as the market will allow. This can complement a growth strategy in gateway cities which are already saturated with hotel management agreements with extensive restrictive area provisions. There is usually little or no negotiation of the franchise documents which keeps legal and other fees and expenses to a minimum.

76 HM The Business of Accommodation DEVELOPMENT
Hotel X in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley was the first of IHG’s Vignette Collection to open globally

In Australia, the Franchising Code of Conduct provides a number of benefits to franchisees, including initial and ongoing disclosure regarding the franchised brand and contractual protections. This represents a significant ongoing compliance burden for the hotel franchisor. In addition to this, franchisors are also closely scrutinised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Regulator.

The increasing popularity of franchises may also accelerate the take up of manchises – management agreements with an owner option to convert to a franchise. It gives an owner the flexibility to engage professional operational expertise during the ramp up period of hotel operations and then take over day to day control when hotel operations stabilise. This arrangement also deals with one of the significant management agreement issues – how to effectively deal with sustained and profound operational underperformance without recourse to legal action regarding questionable performance termination provisions which are commonly found in management agreements.


The hybrid working model is now well and truly embedded into office work culture, and developers and landlords are having to rethink their business models and adapt to mixed-use concepts.

This is transforming how, when and where we work, rest and play. However, hybrid is not just a choice between working in the office or at home, it’s also leading to the rising trend of the “bleisure” and “workation” market segments, where a new generation is linking business with leisure. This is transforming the traditional booking patterns for hotels leading to requirements for extended-stay and self-contained accommodation. Today’s guests are demanding more from their stay – they want where they stay to reflect the destination experience and the community that surrounds it.

This rapidly moving trend is having profound implications for development and hotel brands. Hotels must be agile and adapt so that their brands represent the community in which they reside, in addition to the value that the hotel brand itself represents.

Future success will be measured by how often the local community utilises the hotel’s facilities including restaurants, bars, and ancillary services. Once the hotel becomes a local ‘place to be’, guests looking for an authentic community experience will gravitate to stay there – “If it’s good enough for locals it’s good enough for me.”

The pandemic has been a game changer, creating a generation who demand work-life balance and an environmentally friendly and sustainable ESG one at that. Developers who respond and embrace flexible projects will have the agility to capitalise on current trends and adapt to the new and fast emerging ones.

BWH Hotel Group is embracing this change, illustrated by the launch of Aiden (our lifestyle brand) in Sydney in January 2022 and the upcoming launch of Executive Residence (our Extended Stay brand) in Brisbane in early 2023. It is also why we have just introduced Home by BWH, a new extended stay brand, and are launching World Hotels Crafted in both hard and soft brand lifestyle formats in 2023 and beyond.


Staff shortages and high demand have made it hard for business owners to look ahead and ensure their property is well positioned going into 2023. As we come out of the holiday busy period, as interest rate rises start to hit home and the industry sees a slowdown, independent operators may struggle to stay front of mind with guests.

We’re already experiencing growing interest in franchising opportunities with the Choice brands, and I expect this will peak in late February or early March as the current economic climate starts to have an impact.

New franchise enquiries are showing particular interest in our global distribution network, our revenue management service and driving profitability, and the procurement savings they can make with the buying power of one of the world’s largest accommodation franchisors.

We’ve heard from current franchisees that our distribution network is a key factor when they decide to join us and is something they would find impossible to build or maintain on their own.

We have relationships with all major consortia, OTAs and GDS providers in the Asia Pacific region and internationally. We also bring an established and growing network of almost 1,000 corporate clients in this region with negotiated rates across the Choice Hotel portfolio.

Having a head office sales team working with hotels, to ensure their hotels are represented as preferred accommodation suppliers when new industry or retail chains move into their markets has been key. Often these relationships already exist in other parts of the country, but without the group to leverage existing relationships, hotels would struggle to get their foot in the door.

Loyalty is playing a bigger role now, with our Choice Privileges program growing rapidly month-on-month to 520,000 members across Australia and New Zealand.

Playing at scale, in an increasingly tight market, is going to make all the difference for mid-scale hotels who are eager to drive corporate bookings and build loyalty and repeat bookings.

We expect strong growth in the midscale and upper midscale segments, which account for over 50% of hotel supply in Australia. Australians continue to holiday here, and they are looking for the best value for money and superior service and facilities. They are loyal to brands they trust will deliver on their expectations.

It’s a promising outlook with a strong pipeline already heading into 2023. We have recently bolstered our development team, with a team of four in Australia and a Development Director in New Zealand to capitalise on leads and enquiries in the pipeline. 77 DEVELOPMENT
BWH Hotel Group’s Aiden brand is designed to attract guests looking for an authentic community experience



Hotel Franchise Agreements or, as we feel they should more correctly be named, Hotel Brand License Agreements, dominate the branded hotel chain landscape in many regions of the world. The model is simple and works well for a hands-on hotel owner who wishes to retain day-today operational control of their hotel, whilst leveraging the brand and distribution power that comes from a larger hotel network.

This model is now gaining popularity amongst the hotel owner community in Australasia, and we see good opportunities for growth in this space. At EVT we offer Brand License Agreements for our Rydges, Atura, and Independent Collection brands, and this new business model is growing quickly.

There are a number of reasons owners tell us that they choose to partner with EVT. Our brands deliver above market results; we have a solution for every property; we have a local team with global reach; and we think and act like owners.

Our team follows the philosophy of thinking global and acting local. All EVT local and international distribution systems, and loyalty, sales, and marketing platforms rival competitor chains. Plus, we go a step further to cater to the local needs of each hotel, with hotel brand standards locally focused and relationships built on the needs and requirements of each individual hotel owner.

At EVT we think and act like owners, because we are hotel owners. This is a key competitive advantage, and this ethos makes a big difference to hotel owners who choose to partner with EVT.


IHG Hotels and Resorts has an enormously popular franchise model globally and these days we are seeing a growing appetite from owners who are keen to explore franchising opportunities in Australasia. There’s good reason. Not only do we have some of the world’s largest and respected brands and a vast distribution and loyalty platform, we offer a market-leading franchise support proposition that provides access to our global hotel management expertise. This means an owner can retain operating control over their asset while taking advantage of all the best IHG has to offer.

Our brands make it a very easy decision. As the world’s largest hotel brand family, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express come with instant recognition for domestic or overseas travellers, and represent low cost, high return mainstream brands to operate. Our newest brands, voco and Vignette Collection, offer plenty of flexibility and so they make sense for conversions and new builds alike –and that’s a big part of why they have been such a success in this market, with voco Gold Coast and Hotel X (Vignette Collection) opening as the global firsts for their brands. In fact, voco has been IHG’s fastest-ever brand rollout. When you see great franchise hotels like voco Melbourne Central, voco Brisbane City Centre and voco Auckland City Centre, it’s easy to see why. Vignette Collection gives owners of independent luxury and lifestyle hotels the opportunity to retain their distinctive identity, while benefitting from our scale and network.

While many owners prefer to have their properties managed by a global leader like IHG, we recognise that some look to manage their assets themselves, or via a bespoke third-party operator. That’s where franchising is a great model that allows owners and operators additional flexibility.


Richard Crawford, Vice President of Hotel Development – Australia, New Zealand and Pacific

As the world’s largest hotel company, with 8,200 hotels and more than 800,000 people, Marriott International manages and franchises hotels in 139 countries. In North America, franchising is our most prolific platform – and this trend is gaining strong momentum across other continents, as hotel owners seek to future proof their businesses through affiliation with a recognised global brand.

Franchisees benefit from the full power of Marriott’s leading sales, marketing, distribution, and loyalty programs, whilst maintaining day-to-day control of their hotel asset and operations. Notably, most Marriott franchisees point to the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program as their single most potent market source, because our 173 million global members commonly represent 50% of occupancy at Marriott’s franchised hotels. Importantly, these guests stay longer and spend more money than non-loyalty members, and the cost of sale to franchisees is very low (compared to commission levels that apply to other channels).

In the Australia and Pacific region, Marriott has historically engaged in Hotel Management Agreements, however our recent foray into franchising has been a great success. Midnight Hotel, an Autograph Collection hotel in Canberra, and Courtyard by Marriott Brisbane,

78 HM The Business of Accommodation DEVELOPMENT
We look forward to meeting with new potential franchise partners to discuss their ambitions, and to work together to assess how IHG and our brands can add value to their assets. Marriott Executive Apartments in Port Moresby will open in mid-2023 Franchise hotel voco Melbourne Central opened earlier this year

South Bank, are the first hotels to benefit from our new focus on franchising, and Marriott Executive Apartments in Port Moresby will follow, when it opens in mid-2023.

With 31 brands, Marriott has a solution for most franchisees, and a topical advancement for our franchising prospects was the recent announcement of our newest brand – Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy. This brand will target owners of self-contained accommodation who wish to maintain their own independent hotel name, whilst belonging to a “collection” brand and benefiting from the power of Marriott’s immense market reach and global profile.


John Thompson, Head of Commercial for Australia and New Zealand

Minor Hotels is firmly focused on maintaining a significant development pipeline, and we see franchising as a pivotal part of the acquisition and growth strategy for the business. Based on continued positive performance, particularly in regional locations in Australia, we are targeting franchise opportunities to expand our Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites and Avani Hotels and Resort brands across the region.

We anticipate growing Oaks’ upscale serviced apartment model as well as Avani’s lifestyle offering with business owners in new and existing locations across the country. We wish to work alongside franchise partners to fuel their performance through our strong sales, marketing, distribution, and procurement functions.

Minor has initially partnered with KPAT, led by Kenneth Wagner, to move two Oaks properties to franchise in January 2023 as well as building the new Avani Mooloolaba Beach Hotel which will operate under franchise and is slated to open in early 2025.

We see the future for franchising in Australia as very bright. With independent hotel operators keen to protect and grow their assets through partnerships with well-established hotel operators, we believe now is the right time to take our experience and flexible partnership agreement to market and work with partners across the country to improve performance and provide market leading insight and commercial and operational expertise.


Quest continues making corporate stays effortless, and we are seeing strong demand from existing and new business owners looking to take advantage of the strong growth pipeline into 2023.

Many existing Quest franchise business owners are keen to take their next step by purchasing additional Quest hotel businesses, having experienced firsthand the resilience of the award-winning Quest franchise business model throughout the pandemic.

While other hotel brands hibernated, Quest properties kept their doors open and built lasting relationships with corporate clients dealing with the new travel challenges posed by COVID.

The pandemic prompted many to evaluate their careers and work-life balance. This has driven significant interest in Quest Apartment Hotels from external candidates, who are looking to Quest business ownership as a way to secure their financial future with a proven franchise system that’s delivered for three decades and counting.

Specifically, a surge in interest from hospitality professionals has occurred. They see the strong opportunity to buy into an established Quest hotel franchise business and build its value by drawing on their industry experience, with a long-term view to ultimately own one of the many new Quest greenfield hotel businesses due to open in the years ahead. In the last year alone, six established franchise businesses have transitioned to new business owners.

Suburban Perth is seeing strong demand from prospective business owners interested in Quest Joondalup and Quest Perth Ascot, as corporate travellers call for more options outside CBD locations – particularly for longer stays. Likewise, Sydney’s suburbs are also attracting strong interest, with Quest Woolooware Bay in the south and Quest Blacktown in the west and due to open in 2023 and 2024 respectively. 79 DEVELOPMENT
will look to franchise opportunities to expand the Avani brand
Quest Collingwood is set to open in March 2023


The growth of hotel brand franchising, particularly in the context of third-party operators, has over the last 18 months been a recurring topic at conferences. In a market dominated by straight management agreement structures, in many ways that is a breath of fresh air, and allows both owner-operators at one level, and sophisticated funds platforms at the other, to access brands and distribution, whilst applying a tailored management solution.

Whilst that blend can be an optimising solution for some properties/ segments, my observation is that the noise around third-party operators is vastly outstripping the actual deal flow. Just like any other structure, only the very best are going to succeed. The list of operators in ANZ who have organically grown a third-party management platform, is very, very short.

On the franchisor side, there are barriers to entry in gearing up for franchising locally – systems, people, structuring and compliance. Australia has a franchising regime that is more geared toward take-away food operations, than it is hotels, and is very prescriptive. Those high barriers to entry favour the bigger players and some of the large global groups have significant critical mass in franchising onshore. Breaking into that space for brand-owners without an existing platform is tough, both on cost and timeline, and getting priority for that for our market from their management internally.

For outsourced operators similarly, the initial hurdle is setting up the management platform. To be compelling an operator needs to be able to point to systems, people, success. As good an opportunity as this space in the market looks, that cannot be achieved instantly, and involves initial costs that will outpace incoming revenue. Like any start-up that involves initial cash-burn and requires disciplined investment. Predictably that scale is important.

And for owners, with full management fees in Australia and the Pacific being thin by global standards, there is simply less room for a franchise fee (a broad spread here – think 2-6% of rooms revenue)

plus a third-party operator fee (say 1-2% base, 5-7% incentive) model to be compelling by itself. Of course, effective management is about more than just headline fees, and third-party operators will argue, and the best will I am sure be able to demonstrate, stronger drop through/ margin when they are operating, producing better NOI when compared to a straight management structure.

But since when should anything worth doing be easy?



We are witnessing an uptick in owners’ interest with the franchising model. Owners are now beginning to understand that if they want to exert more control over their hotel operations, and benefit from a significantly lower fee structure, compared to HMAs, then franchising is the way forward. From branding and distribution perspectives – which are the main drivers to putting bums in beds in hotels, there are very little differences between the two models – yet under franchising, owners save significant fees, and with the ability to operate the property themselves, the operating margins will often be better.

I believe that coming out of COVID, we are also witnessing a surge in guests seeking to book direct. Franchisees are going to be a primary benefactor of this trend. Hotels will need to ensure that they have viable direct booking options with marketing support and spend behind. By partnering with a company like Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, the largest hotel franchisor in the world with tried and tested systems in place, will only serve to reduce cost of bookings and thereby improve operating margins.

By priding ourselves on having a brand for every occasion, this further enables existing and potential business partners to identify a brand suitable for their market and target guest profiles. Through our ‘Owner First’ mindset and robust on-ground presence, we constantly collaborate with hotel owners to achieve win-win outcomes. n

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Wyndham is expanding its lifestyle brand TRYP to new locations including Adelaide



The Northern Territory has emerged as one of Australia’s leading growth markets. Following an influx of new high-quality room supply in Darwin and a boom in domestic leisure travel, performance KPIs in the region are now significantly above pre-COVID levels. Darwin recorded 44% RevPAR growth to AU$137, on a rolling 12-month period through to September 2022, reflecting an ADR of AU$219 (+34%) and occupancy of 63% (+7%). With the region acting as a gateway to major tourist destinations, and as the international tourism market recovers, CBRE expects the Darwin hotel market to continue its strong performance into 2023.

Adelaide has recorded a boost to visitation underpinned by both leisure and corporate demand. The region’s strong appeal led to a 17% uplift in hotel occupancy on a rolling 12-month period through to September 2022. RevPAR growth also outperformed, rising 41% to AU$120. As a slew of new high-quality supply has entered the market, ADR rates are now well above pre-COVID levels, up 21% to AU$181. These performance indicators are expected to remain strong as Adelaide’s supply pipeline will soften throughout 2023 with a limited ~660 rooms under construction. Driven by strong market conditions and the tightly held nature of the Adelaide hotel market, investment appetite in the region is robust.

The recovery of the WA hotel market has been quicker than anticipated. Perth recorded a 29% RevPAR growth rate to AU$122 on a rolling 12-month period through to September 2022, reflecting an ADR of AU$193 (+14%) and occupancy of 63% (+14%). Perth is well positioned to meet this demand with recent new high quality room supply totalling 791 keys. A further 1,072 rooms are currently under construction or have development approval. These include Elizabeth Quay, Courtyard by Marriott, Ausotel Kings Park, and the Dorsett Hotel. Sales have been limited, with the Peppers King Square in Perth recently transacting via CBRE for AU$26 million to Singapore-based High Street Holdings. New entrants are looking to expand their portfolios outside of the major markets and believe the hotel sector offers an inflationary and market hedge. Mid-market hotel assets priced between AU$20m and AU$50m are in high demand.


Turning our attention to market trends and patterns that have been emerging in the cities of Adelaide, Darwin and Perth, for each of these markets 2022 has been a year of extraordinary trading improvement and continued recovery.

In the case of Adelaide, core to its trading character in 2022, was the widely reported surge in domestic leisure demand. Year to date, Adelaide’s ADR has grown from AU$149 in 2021 to AU$187 in 2022. We further note that the year-to-date ADR in 2022 is some 25% higher than 2019 levels. We consider that this extraordinary improvement is not just a consequence of a post-COVID ‘bounce’ and normalisation, but also the positive effect of new supply. It appears that a position to hold rate and resist early discounting has been taken amongst new entrants.

Darwin has benefited from growth in terms of both business volumes and ADR, which are substantially ahead of pre-COVID levels. In RevPAR terms, Darwin has been operating at a level that is approximately 47% ahead of 2021 and 70% above 2019 levels. Darwin is a market that has a particular orientation towards corporate and commercial activity and more particularly, but not exclusively, a leaning towards the resources sector. The resumption of defence exercises in NT has also been a positive in relation to the hotel accommodation sector.

Perth has benefitted from both robust leisure and corporate demand (of which a proportion is also resources related). Although year-to-date occupancy remains below 2019 levels, Perth’s RevPAR trajectory is positive owing to ADR growth. However, we observe that it is a market that is more reliant on interstate and international airlift. Owing to a moderation in airlift and an escalation in interstate airfares to and from WA, relative to historic levels, the cost of flights to and from WA have substantially increased and is thought to be somewhat of a handbrake on business volumes at the current time.

Noteworthy is that, while each of these markets are demonstrating improved trading, there remain segments that have yet to fully recover to 2019 levels. Colliers anticipates that domestic corporate still has some way to go before returning to pre-COVID levels. Similarly, inbound demand has yet to normalise and reach 2019 levels. As a result, there remains headroom for further demand growth over the near and medium term. 81 REAL ESTATE
Hayley Manvell, Director, and Ally McDade Associate Director, Research Julian Whiston, National Director, Hotels
WA’s hotel market recovery has been quicker than expected

Getting To Know... Martin Rinck

In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, taking him to roles in 12 countries on three different continents, MARTIN RINCK has learned about the importance of creating a positive impact. Here, the Founder and CEO of Cervo Advisory and Executive Director of Small Luxury Hotels of the World shares some of the most important career learnings he has had along the way.

Tell us about your first job in the accommodation industry?

My first job in the industry was at age 14 when I interned in the kitchen and in housekeeping at a low-budget, bustling motel. While I did find it fascinating, it was during the management trainee program at the InterContinental in Hamburg where I truly developed the ‘fire in the belly’ and passion for the industry, sparked by an inspiring GM who was an incredible leader.

Who inspires you personally or professionally?

Those that inspire me the most all share similar qualities: they are hard-working, determined, humble, positive amidst adversity, authentic and relatable. When I think of these qualities, Nelson Mandela and Roger Federer immediately come to mind. Mandela, in particular, has long been an inspiration to me. His famous saying, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” has been a guiding force for my long-standing involvement in Room to Read, which I have supported for well over 15 years, and have now officially joined the Board of the Swiss Chapter to continue making an impact on the education of young girls – something that is very close to my heart, being a father of two amazing girls.

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned during your career?

The hardest time in my career was undoubtably during COVID-19, where I had to make some of the most difficult, heart-wrenching decisions. To release nearly half of a team – for no fault of their own – is not something I would wish upon any leader. During that time, the only way to handle the situation was to treat others with dignity, respect and in a way that you would want to be treated if in their shoes. It was a reminder on the importance of empathy.

What’s your advice for leaders looking to have an impact on community and the environment?

First and foremost, be genuine, authentic and follow your heart. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” You will garner immediate respect just by demonstrating your dedication and passion for what you do. And always remember to go out of your way to make a difference in people’s lives whether that be with colleagues or in the community. To sum it up with a Maya Angelou saying I often draw inspiration from: “… People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” n

On the Move

The latest key appointments across the hotel industry.

AC Hotel Marriott Melbourne Southbank General Manager, Harry Singh, has been promoted to Marriott International Area Director of Operations for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific (ANZP), after two decades with the company.

Vista Hospitality Group has appointed Raelene Ohlson to the role of Director of Sales and Marketing at voco Brisbane City Centre and Hotel Indigo Brisbane City Centre. She brings extensive meeting and events experience from major MICE hotels around Australia.

Shin Ching has been appointed Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Little Collins He brings over a decade of local and international experience in senior management roles at Hilton Glasgow, Stanley Hotels and Suites – Port Moresby, Hilton Cairns and Stamford Plaza Melbourne.

Marriott International has appointed Karryn Cutcheon to the position of Regional Director, Global Sales for Australia and New Zealand. She will lead sales performance and report to Vice President of Global Sales, Ramesh Daryanani.

Karl Marshall takes up the role of Hotel Manager at The Langham, Melbourne. Originally from New Zealand, Marshall worked in Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt from 2001 until 2006 before spending over a decade overseas, working in Dubai, Tanzania, South Africa, and most recently Oman, where he was the General Manger of Alila Jabal Akhdar.

82 HM The Business of Accommodation PEOPLE
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