More hotels, more rooms, more luxury
The Ritz-Carlton Perth isn’t the only exciting newcomer to the Australian hotel scene. It seems the entire nation is in the midst of a hotel renaissance, with the country experiencing the biggest hotel building boom since the 2000 Olympics.
According to data from Tourism Australia, after a prolonged period of limited new supply, developers have begun to recognise Australia’s solid tourism demand and a range of exciting hotel products are being built as a result.
As of July 2019, there were a total of 53,227 rooms in the pipeline until 2028, from a total of 305 hotel projects. It’s all about the ‘lifestyle hotel’, as boutique brands grow at a rapid rate, and cater to the changing demands of travellers, which include hotels that showcase localism, wellness, individualism, art and sustainability, according to a 2018 report by the Tourism Accommodation Australia.
“While the concentration of new hotel openings has been in cities such as Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide over the past four years, the new era of hotel development is sweeping across Australia, with 200 new or upgraded hotels scheduled to be launched by 2025. Australia is at the forefront of the global hotel renaissance, with ‘Hotels of the Future’ already opened, changing the face of the hospitality industry and introducing world-class design…” the report says.
So what exciting new openings have we seen this year?
ReefSuites, Great Barrier Reef
It’s now possible to spend the night underwater at the Great Barrier Reef. Cruise Whitsundays’ ‘Reefsuites’ at Hardy Reef feature floor-to-ceiling windows affording guests panoramic views of marine life, while the renewed Reefsleep experience allows up to 24 guests at a time to sleep under the stars on the pontoon’s top deck in specially designed ‘reefbeds’. The full Reefsuite experience includes a return cruise out to the reef, all meals and beverages, a selection of marine activities and overnight accommodation.
Wildlife Retreat at Taronga, Sydney
Animal lovers, listen up: Wildlife Retreat at Taronga might just be the hotel of your dreams. The impressive new retreat not only gives guests the chance to wake up to the rustling of a bandicoot or the call of a lyrebird, and to revel in the natural beauty of the surrounding bushland, but all from the comfort of a five star room. Meanwhile, the restaurant, Me-Gal – exclusive to Retreat guests – boasts some of the most spectacular views in all of Sydney.
The Adnate, Perth
Australia’s ninth Art Series hotel, The Adnate, opened in Perth’s city centre in October, adjacent to the capital’s luxury shopping locale of King Street. The first Art Series hotel to open in Western Australia, the 250-room, colourful hotel follows the opening of The Fantauzzo in Brisbane in June. Inspired by the powerful, multicultural portraiture of renowned Australian big wall street artist, Matt Adnate, The Adnate features one of the world’s largest ‘mega murals’ – a monumental artwork spanning 25 storeys. Signature art experiences at The Adnate include the brand’s famous art tours, in-room art channels and art libraries to get up close and personal with Adnate’s work.
Midnight Hotel, Canberra
Part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, Midnight Hotel opened in September in Braddon, one of Canberra’s emerging and creative inner-city suburbs. The sculptural, contemporary and architecturally-focused hotel showcases sharp, textural materials such as polished concrete, glass, metal and brass, while each of the 199 premium guest rooms features a unique, custom artwork designed and created by acclaimed artist, Thomas Bucich.
Bailey, a Crystalbrook Collection Hotel, Cairns
Following the opening of Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Hotel in Cairns in November 2018, comes the debut of lifestyle hotel Bailey, the arty and creative sibling. Another sibling hotel, Flynn, will also open early 2020. Located in the heart of Cairns’ flourishing cultural precinct, Bailey celebrates art in all its forms, with dedicated spaces for art within the hotel’s public areas. Each of the 12 guest floors is also designed to feature separate artists, with this art changing regularly.
Moss Hotel, Hobart
41-room boutique hotel Moss opened its doors in Hobart in June as a hidden retreat tucked above the historic docks of Salamanca Place. Positioned within the original warehouses of the area that were once home to Hobart’s traders, whalers, publicans, gentlemen and convicts, the boutique hotel is heavily inspired by local scenery, incorporating features that are unique to the state. Think: Tasmanian Blackwood, colours, textures, and patterns found in the natural Tasmanian landscape, and Tasmanian Sandstone side tables – collectively creating a true sense of place.
And if those aren’t enough, there’s the slew of luxury hotels that have opened over the last few years in Brisbane.