Home' Hotel Management : HM APRIL 2015 Contents Ace, the in-house creative team behind Ace Hotel, we definitely plan
to continue incubating ideas, developing brand relationships and
programming engaging events and concerts. We’re opening Ace Hotel
Pittsburgh in late 2015, which we’re very excited about.
BEST WESTERN AUSTRALASIA
General Manager of Development
Why is boutique and lifestyle one of the most popular
segments in the industry at present? Internationally,
this segment grabbed the industry’s attention about a
decade ago when its development was primarily in major
urban markets. It offers exceptional value in terms of design, having a
vibrant energy, and appeals to a younger demographic. The segment was
an alternative to higher priced traditional hotels, trading the values of
guest room size and room amenities for stylish public spaces and smaller
sleeping quarters. As many guests travelled to a city to experience the
place not to spend all their time in a hotel room, this was the idea behind
the boutique and lifestyle segment. Today, lifestyle/boutique hotels have
spread to second-tier cities, suburban locations, and airport markets.
This segment continues to lead the industry in technology and design
innovations. Its main appeal to developers is the higher achievable ROI
due to a more efficient model compared to other segments: more guest
rooms in the same buildable area and more profitable F&B operations.
Additionally, the Gen X, Y, and Z target markets are no longer
emerging, but now represent a massive share of the travelling public.
The exciting design and media buzz generated also draws interest from
Which are your key brands in this space and why should developers brand
with you? Best Western has more than 4000 hotels in over 100 countries
that are independently owned and operated. We have a long tradition of
our properties embracing the local character of their surrounding area.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s when standardisation and predictability
dominated industry trends, we stood proudly of our diversity. I think to
an extent, this core value of Best Western is what many brands are trying
Best Western has also developed and recently launched (in October
2014) an exciting lifestyle prototype called Best Western Vib which is
cutting edge in terms of a lifestyle design and technology. So for new
construction projects, we have a ready-made solution to enter this space.
What are your development expectations and what projects do you have
in the pipeline? Our next project to open will be the newly constructed
Best Western City Lights Perth hotel in Northbridge, Perth. The
Singaporean investment and development group chose Best Western
as its branding partner for this boutique concept because of our design
flexibility and strong global reservation system. As Australia becomes
more closely linked to Asia, developers are seeking brands with a strong
CARLSON REZIDOR HOTEL GROUP
Executive Vice President,
Development, Asia Pacific
Why is boutique and lifestyle one of the most popular
segments in the industry at present? Boutique and lifestyle
hotels are popular because they cater to guests that are
less focused on what the hotel offers, and more on how the stay makes
them feel. Boutique and lifestyle hotels cater to guests looking for a non-
traditional hotel experience.
Typically this category of hotels has a large emphasis on design, a smaller
room count and can be found in the lively urban areas in town. Boutique
and lifestyle hotels have the ability to inject life and revive urban areas.
Often, they have limited F&B and complement the offerings in the vicinity
around the hotel.
Flexible brand standards in many cases have allowed boutique and
lifestyle hotels to be developed as part of adaptive re-use projects. This
allows old buildings to be revived and urban areas to grow off the back of
BRAND TO WATCH:
QT Hotels and Resorts
AHL’s QT Hotels and Resorts is set to add hotels on both sides of the Tasman
and HM has the details.
Amalgamated Holdings Limited’s (AHL) expansion plans for the QT
Hotels and Resorts brand in Australia and New Zealand have hit top
gear with mooted projects now under construction or firmly in the
Speaking exclusively to HM, AHL’s Managing Director, David
Seargeant, said new properties on both sides of the Tasman were not
“QT Melbourne has now commenced construction with a mid-
2016 opening date, while expansion plans for QT include Perth,
Brisbane and the resort areas of Thredbo and Queenstown,” he said.
Seargeant revealed the brand’s first project across the Tasman was
part of a “redevelopment of our Queenstown New Zealand property to
include a QT Resort ”, while a planned complete makeover of Thredbo
Village in NSW would see a QT hotel constructed.
The news comes as it ’s been revealed to HM the company ’s latest
Sydney project, QT Bondi Beach, would now feature a new “QT
Residences” product and according to Seargeant, the property will open
in the third quarter of 2015.
Alongside the QT brand expansion, AHL is also pressing on with
the growth of Atura, which officially opened on the NSW border town
of Albury in late January.
“Another focus is on sites for our Atura brand which will typically
be located in major city business parks and regional commercial hubs,”
he told HM. “[There’s] the launch of Atura Albury and then Atura
Dandenong late February.”
Expansion plans are also afoot for the company ’s first and strongest
“ With strength in the airport hotel business, Rydges has been
appointed operator of the new hotel proposed for Wellington Airport,”
“ We will [also] see a new Rydges open at the Brisbane Showgrounds
and [there’s the] redevelopment of our Rydges Hobart property.
“ We are also expecting to add three to four hotels in the coming
year through opportunities in hotel owners switching brands and
recognising our ability to deliver superior returns through effective cost
management and the strength of our Priority Guest Rewards loyalty
program,” he told HM.
Seargeant said business was good for AHL at present, with and
across Australia and New Zealand, the company was “expecting
RevPAR growth of 5% to 7% for the year”.
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