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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Victoria Sleeps More With New and Improved Accommodation

Melbourne ended 2013 with strong room occupancy rates, an increase in new hotel openings and impressive revamps, this high note continues in 2014 with a number of new and exciting developments and renovations.

Melbourne's accommodation room stock increased 31.8% from June Quarter 2003 to June Quarter 2013, with an additional +6,702 rooms. Occupancy rates increased by 13.7 percent over this period.
Hotel stock in Victoria increased by 580 rooms to a total of 43,449 in the June 2013 quarter compared to the June 2012 quarter. Victoria's total accommodation takings in the June 2013 quarter increased by 5.5% over the June 2012 quarter to $405.3 million.

Regional Victoria saw a 13.35% increase in accommodation room stock from June 2003 Quarter to June 2013 Quarter with +1,845 rooms in 10 years.

Here are some of the recent accommodation openings and developments.

Melbourne 
The Sebel Melbourne Docklands opened at the end of last year in Melbourne's NewQuay Docklands waterfront precinct. The apartment hotel has water views across Victoria Harbour from a number of its 124 self-contained one and two bedroom apartments with most featuring private balconies. Colourfully designed by internationally acclaimed architects McBride Charles Ryan, The Sebel Melbourne Docklands offers guests the luxury of space with separate bedroom, living, kitchen and laundry facilities.

City centre, Tune Hotel Melbourne, is the first Australian hotel from Malaysian company Tune Hotels, who are behind the successful value minded, pay-as-you-use system which has been extremely popular throughout South East Asia. Tune Hotel Melbourne is located between RMIT University and Melbourne University, two tram stops from the city centre and a short walk to Lygon Street in Carlton and its many Italian restaurants. The hotel includes 225 rooms, a restaurant, cafe and residential apartments. The average hotel room rate is AUD$60-$70 per night with guests paying extra for services.

Located just around the corner from Queen Victoria Market, Oaks on William, which opened mid-2013, features a combination of 220 studios, studio park and studio park deluxe rooms, all of which come equipped with modern full kitchens, chic furnishings, thoughtful appointments and Wi-Fi access. Catering to a wide market of corporate and leisure travellers, Oaks on William is set on the fringe of the legal, financial and entertainment precincts, offering views over one of Melbourne's most frequented parks, Flagstaff Gardens.

United Backpackers, opened on 21 November 2013 and is Melbourne's newest youth hostel. Incorporating a truly Melbourne vibe, the hostel brings the city's laneway culture inside with funky décor and quirky art featured throughout. One of the highlights of the design is a giant mural in the kitchen by local Melbourne street artist Luke 'Presto'. With a capacity of close to 300 beds, United Backpackers offers four to 12 dorm beds as well as private rooms with en suites.  A basement bar will open onsite at the end of January with plans for a rooftop bar in the future.

The funky and unique QT hotel family is one of Australia's most dynamic hotel names and has set its sights on cultural capital Melbourne.  QT hotels are famous for signature designer spaces, bold entertainment services and intriguing interiors and are renowned for pushing the limits of trend with the use of electric art and quirky interiors.  The property has now started construction and is confirmed to be built on 131 Russel Street in the heart of Melbourne's culturally rich city centre and will comprise of 12 stories with 188 guestrooms along with spaces reserved for business meetings and other creative and fun rooms to keep guests entertained.

Sophisticated and chic 4.5 star hotel, The Altus, located on the corner of Harbour Esplanade and Dudley Street will feature 281 guest rooms, 27 serviced apartments and 299 residential apartments.  The building includes super-modern architecture, panoramic views and a stunning rooftop sky deck. The world class hotel stems under the Park Royal brand and is set to be open 2016.

Adding to the wave of new city accommodations of 2013 through to 2014, are numerous impressive refurbishments from big city hotels.

The Adelphi Hotel located amongst the trendy dining and arts precinct of Flinders Lane, re-opened in October 2013 after a seven-month transformation including the world's first dessert restaurant hotel. The new-look Adelphi features 34 rooms ranging from the 90sqm Palatial Suite with prime views of the city, to the spacious 48sqm Plush King Rooms and lead-in 38sqm comfy king and twin rooms. At the heart of the hotel is the signature Om Nom Dessert Restaurant and Bar. The Hotel's signature feature is the iconic glass-bottomed lap pool and deck area which overlooks Flinders Lane.

The funky, modern and fun Hong Kong based Ovolo hotel has taken over The Oaks serviced apartments on Lonsdale Street. The property is located in the cultural district of Melbourne's City centre in the heart of the live theatre, art and dining precinct. The sleek and chic interiors of the hotel aim to reflect Melbourne's laneway culture

Mercure Melbourne Therry Street, located close to the iconic Queen Victoria Markets and the vibrant city shopping precincts, re-opened late last year under the Mercure brand. The property offers 73 newly refurbished studio rooms with fully equipped kitchenettes, catering for both the leisure and corporate market.

Overlooking Albert Park Lake which is home to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix track, Pullman Albert Park opened its doors in September 2013 following a multi-million dollar renovation. The hotel is the first in the 5-star Pullman brand to open in Melbourne. The hotels 169 guestrooms, executive lounge, meeting spaces and public areas have been updated with contemporary colours, furnishings and technology to create a sense of space to do business and to relax.

Located at the top end of Little Collins Street and immersed in Melbourne's prominent laneway culture, the 174 room Sheraton Melbourne Hotel, opened in March 2014, offering guests spacious and stylish rooms' right in the midst of the city's best shopping, dining, theatre precincts as well as Melbourne's famed sporting venues.  The hotel accommodates for Melburnians and tourists alike and includes conference and convention facilities for those in town for business trips.

More accommodation options will be available for travellers at Melbourne Airportwith Quest opening a property in the airport's business park precinct in October 2014. The 97 room property will compromise of studio, one, two and three bedroom serviced apartments.
To add to the hotel hype, The elegant l Park Royal Melbourne, located at Melbourne Airport, is working with Victorian Farmers and food producers such as Milawa Free Range Poultry to produce a fresh farmer's market menu this winter.  The menu will showcase some of Victoria's freshest and highest quality farm produce including, a range of delectable meals such as Milawa chicken baguettes with pesto mayonnaise and wild rocket leaves, marinated mixed grilled vegetable rolls with goat's curd, Milawa cheese platters and many more.

Melbourne's luxury Art Series Hotel Group will open its fourth Melbourne property, The Larwill in Parkville near the Melbourne Zoo just outside of the city. The property will be a 'studio-style' hotel with 100 rooms set to open in December 2014.

Regional Victoria
In Regional Victoria the appeal of nature-based, food and wine and adventure experiences right on the doorstep of the city, provide international visitors with more reasons to enjoy a night away from the city lights.
Set on 20 acres on the Yarra Valley and located 65 kilometres east of Melbourne in Warburton's leading wine region, the distinguished 4-star hotel, Oscar's on the Yarra, has been restored and rebranded into the BEST WESTERN Yarra Valley.   Built in the 1920's and recently revamped by designer and architect Jack Furago, the 22- room boutique hotel fuses carefully preserved period features with chic modern furnishings to deliver a stylish yet authentic experience for its guests.

An hour's drive from Melbourne in the city of Geelong, the new Vue Apartmentsjust a block back from Corio Bay offers 60 luxury serviced apartments with studios boasting open-plan living areas and free wireless internet. This brand new property is walking distance to the beach, waterfront and restaurants.

Located at an enviable address, number one Great Ocean Road, the RACV Torquay Resort brings a new accommodation experience, unique architecture and range of exciting facilities to the world renowned coastline. The property, which opened on the 4th June 2013, is located on an expansive 18-hole golf course and has spectacular ocean views of Torquay beach the home of surfing. Set over five levels, it boasts 92 spacious accommodation rooms and suites. Additional features include a 25m indoor pool, two tennis courts, extensive fitness and wellbeing facilities, an on-site restaurant, bistro and a bar.

In the stunning Mornington Peninsula, The Mercure Portsea Golf Club & Resortlaunched earlier last year, introduces resort style accommodation to the very tip of the peninsula known as a top golfing, gourmet food and wine destination. After a multi-million dollar development, the 4 star Mercure property boasts panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay and offers 24 state-of-the-art accommodation rooms, all with spectacular views of the improved golf course.

At the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula within the tranquil landscapes of Flinders, the newly constructed, architecturally designed Flinders Hotel is inspired by the natural surrounds and has 40 contemporary styled rooms. Guests can dine at the property's highly regarded Mediterranean restaurant Terminus.

Less than two hours drive from Melbourne in central Victoria's Goldfield region,Art Series Hotel Group has just this May opened its first regional Victoria accommodation in Bendigo. The boutique Schaller Studio Hotel includes 128 art-themed rooms with original artwork in every room.

In the neighbouring town of Ballarat, a multi-million dollar redevelopment to major attraction Kryal Castle saw the 17 luxury on-site Castle Suites completely refurbished, beautifully appointed with hand woven French and Belgium tapestries.

And finally, located in Victoria's largest Alpine Resort, the recently refurbished Falls Creek OT hotel , just a short walk from the Falls Creek Ski Resort offers an endless range of experiences this winter.  The funky hotel resort features spacious and luxurious rooms, large balconies, snow sports, wintery family actives and a wellness centre with scenic spas, Jacuzzi's and saunas. Re-opening for winter months are QTs popular dining and bar options including the interactive and lavish Bazaar restaurant, the snug Sting ray bar and the popular Kran-Ski Hotdog stand.
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