Hotel wrap: OYO’s big US investment, Canberra gets a Sebel, Accor’s Raffles expansion + MORE!

Good news, folks: it’s almost FRIDAY! To celebrate, we’ve wasted most of our morning putting together a longer hotel wrap than usual so you can waste half your afternoon scrolling through it.

LUX* North Male’ Atoll unveils its LUX* retreats


Built on three stories, these penthouse-style villas inspired in design by James Bond, present nearly 1000 square-metres of play area and offer an experience of luxury that is unparalleled in the Maldives.

This unique configuration of the LUX* Retreats, which can accommodate up to 8 guests, appeals to families and friends travelling together. The extremely private villas with their 24-hour butler service, in-villa spa treatments, unlimited laundry service and a fitness area and sauna, present the ideal spot for a celebration or a gathering.

What sets these retreats apart is their immense rooftop overlooking a private infinity pool below. A first for the Maldives, residents of the LUX* Overwater Retreat (997 sqm including 389 sqm of indoor open space living) can even dock their private yacht at their villa, while guests staying in the expansive LUX* Beach Retreat can enjoy their own stretch of beach.

The LUX* Resorts & Hotels team brings us its second property in the Maldives, on the island of Olhahali, a six-hectare island fringed by a house reef steps of the beach.

OYO Hotels to invest $300 million in the US; brings great living spaces to over 10 states

OYO Hotels & Homes, the young hotel startup, which also happens to be one of the world’s fastest-growing hospitality companies, celebrates its growth in the U.S. by announcing plans to invest $300 million over the next few years.

The new-age hospitality company currently offers great living spaces throughout its 50+ OYO Hotels in 35 cities and 10 states, led by a strong team of more than 350 OYOpreneurs across 15 states.

This growth will be driven by two brands -OYO Hotels & OYO Townhouse – that operate on the philosophy that everyone, every day should
experience #LivingTheGoodLife.

The world’s sixth-largest chain of hotels, homes, and living spaces in the world, OYO Hotels & Homes currently offers its unique service at popular cities across the United States, including Dallas, Houston, Augusta, Atlanta and Miami, and promises to soon expand its presence to cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mantra South Bank partners with Brisbane writers festival 

Brisbane Writers Festival Audience

Celebrating the power and wonder of literature, leading readers, writers and innovators from around the world will congregate to the South Bank cultural precinct from September 5 to 8, 2019 in readiness of the Brisbane Writers Festival.

This year, all Brisbane Writers Festival ticket holders are entitled to a 10 per cent discount at Mantra Hotels properties in Brisbane. Discounted accommodation at all Brisbane properties can be booked at using the promo code BrisbaneWriters.

Salt Meats Cheese, Mantra South Bank’s newest restaurant and Italian hotspot, will be serving a signature ‘Book Worm’ cocktail for the duration of the festival for those looking for a captivating twist and surprising ending.

Accor introduces The Sebel apartment brand to Canberra

The Sebel Canberra Civic exterior_2

Accor has welcomed its first Sebel branded apartment hotel to Canberra with the opening of The Sebel Canberra Civic, together with Canberra developer, ZAPARI.

The Sebel Canberra Civic adds 144 luxury serviced apartment style rooms to Canberra’s burgeoning hotel supply. Spanning 11 floors, the property boasts 126 studio rooms with kitchenette facilities as well as 9 one-bedroom suites and 9 two-bedroom suites with full kitchen facilities. The ground floor space is home to retailers, restaurants and bars, leased to external operators.

Commanding a prime position in the heart of Canberra’s CBD, the new-build hotel is located within the Civic Square precinct, surrounded by a mix of office buildings, government departments, restaurants and entertainment venues. Civic Square is home to ACT Legislative Assembly, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Civic Library and Canberra Theatre, along with many local cultural organisations.

Mercure Canberra ‘on the Monet’ with special package for the National Gallery’s new blockbuster Monet exhibition

Claude Monet Impression, sunrise

Visitors wanting to view the National Gallery of Australia’s new blockbuster exhibition Monet: Impression Sunrise can take advantage of a special package at Mercure Canberra that includes accommodation and tickets to the exhibition.

This is the first time that the painting that defined the Impressionist art movement—Claude Monet’s ‘Impression, sunrise’ – has been shown in Australia, and the exhibition will run until 1 September.

The NGA website is the best source of information for these events:

Mercure Canberra Monet, Impression Sunrise Accommodation Package includes:

  • Overnight accommodation for two people
  • Full Buffet Breakfast served in our Courtyard Restaurant
  • Two tickets to the Monet, Impression Sunrise exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

The package is available from $189 per couple (per night) – subject to availability, conditions apply.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts accelerates NZ expansion with Safari Group

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,200 properties across more than 80 countries, has announced the expansion of its portfolio in New Zealand in partnership with Safari Group, its long-term partner in the country, with the signing of a new Ramada by Wyndham hotel in Wellington.

Scheduled to open in late 2020, the brand-newRamada Suites by Wyndham Taranaki StreetWellington will mark the company’s debut in Wellington with 93 contemporary rooms and conference facilities in the heart of New Zealand’s capital city.

This latest signing brings the two companies’ joint New Zealand pipeline to seven hotels, out of which three new construction properties will open this year in key destinations nationwide. The company currently licenses or operates nine hotels across New Zealand, five of which are Safari Group developments.

Cobblers Cove, Barbados unvails dramatic five-year transformation


Cobblers Cove, one of the Caribbean’s finest family owned-hotels, will unveil a dramatic new look this October following a five-year programme. Located on the island’s quiet west-coast, the refurbishment of the all-suite hotel has been overseen by the watchful eye of Sam de Teran who has transformed this iconic property into one of the chicest places to stay in the Caribbean.

The final chapter of this story will see the unique collaboration with leading designer Soane Britain.

The ongoing work has seen the transformation of all the suites, guest areas, swimming pool and pavilion while retaining the heritage, charm and character the hotel is best known for.

The powder pink exteriors with its pretty white woodwork are complemented inside with elegant shades of blue, pink and green, hand-printed linens and rattan furniture.

The Peninsula Manila to be transformed into an all-club hotel

The Peninsula Manila New Rooms 2

The Peninsula Manila has announced the phased refurbishment of its guest rooms and suites, as well as the unveiling of The Gallery Club Lounge – the hotel’s all-new, third-floor 90-seat guest lounge accessible to suite guests, featuring a range of refreshments and live music.

Accor announces two new Raffles for Asia as brand continues strategic expansion 


Since acquiring the legendary Raffles brand in 2016, Accor has announced plans to almost double the iconic collection, with recent openings including Raffles Maldives Meradhoo and Raffles Shenzhen, as well as upcoming projects including Raffles Udaipur and Raffles Jaipur.

Today, the Group adds a further two landmark projects to the pipeline with Raffles Bali set to open in 2020 and Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore planned for 2022.

With at least four hotels in the development pipeline, the Group will grow the brand by at least 50% in Asia, while planning further flagships for Europe, the US and Middle East including Raffles London in the former War Office, Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences and Raffles Palm360 Resort Hotel & Residences.

Australian Chef Victor Liong pop-up collaboration at Amankila 

Amankila, Indonesia - Bale at the Main Swimming Pool

Amankila in eastern Bali has announced an exclusive three-day residence with renowned Australian-Chinese Chef Victor Liong from 5 – 7 July 2019.

The pop up, in collaboration with Hennessy, will comprise three evening events – a “Four Hands” family-style dinner with Amankila Executive Chef and fellow Australian Shane Lewis followed by a cognac tasting afterwards; a 4-course degustation dinner with cognac pairing; and cognac reception followed by a 3-course Table d’Hôte poolside under the stars with wine pairing.

With a career cooking in kitchens of some of the country’s most innovative and well-respected restaurants, Victor Liong has made waves in the culinary scene with his first restaurant Lee Hoo Fook opening in Australia’s culinary capital, Melbourne in 2013.

Offering elegant, balanced Chinese dishes in in the heart of the city’s laneways, Victor Liong’s Chinese menu heroes the authenticity of Chinese flavours embracing lightness and modernity.

Karma Group returns to Thailand’s Koh Samui with Karma Apsara 


Karma Group has announced a return to Thailand’s Koh Samui with the opening of Karma Apsara, a tranquil oasis located on the pristine coconut grove slopes of the fabled holiday island, and we thought this would be of interest to you and your readers.

Located on an elevated slope in Mae Nam along Koh Samui’s breathtaking north coast, Karma Apsara brings together 32 spacious one and two-bedroom residences offering both garden and ocean views.

Stay above the ground and below the ground

WhiteCliffs Underground Motel new room

Outback NSW tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback, has marked the release of a new stay and tour package this October at the brand new Broken Hill Outback Resort by offering a 20 per cent discount for bookings made by July 31,2019.

The new, four-day combo deal offers a two-night outback tour in far west NSW from October 3, 2019, coupled with a night in a deluxe spa unit at the new Broken Hill Outback Resort.

IHG and Sands China Ltd. announce InterContinental Alliance Resorts partnership

The Venetian Macao

IHG and Sands China Ltd. announced today that The Venetian® Macao and The Parisian Macao will become InterContinental Alliance Resorts partners, effective immediately through 2027. In addition, The Londoner Hotel in Macao will join the alliance when it is completed in 2020. Together with the existing two The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas properties, the expansion will bring the number of InterContinental Alliance Resorts’ Sands properties to five.

Radisson Collection to launch in Asia Pacific with restored heritage retreat in Australia’s Blue Mountains

0626_Signing of the first Radisson Collection in Asia Pacific_hi-res_2

Radisson Hotel Group™ is proud to announce the signing of the Asia Pacific region’s inaugural Radisson Collection hotel, to be located in Australia’s alluring Blue Mountains.

Scheduled to open in 2023, Imperial Hotel, A Radisson Collection Hotel will mark the rebirth of one of Australia’s first great “tourist hotels”, which opened in 1878 and has hosted Prime Ministers and royalty, including King George V and George VI. It remains an iconic building today and the symbol of a prosperous era in Mount Victoria.

The original Imperial Hotel building will now be restored to its former glory and a collection of stylish chalets will be built in the property’s 1.85-acre grounds.

Upon reopening, this characterful hotel will feature 60 keys, an elegant all-day dining restaurant, a lobby lounge, bar, gastro-pub and a well-equipped fitness center. A ballroom, outdoor terrace and marquee will create a theater for exceptional events and weddings.

Five-star rating awarded to Brisbane’s Gambaro Hotel


Gambaro Hotel, part of the TFE Hotels Collection of bespoke properties, has been accredited five stars by Star Rating Australia. The star ratings are based on an independent property review and represent the quality, condition and cleanliness of guest facilities.

The 68-room property on the fringe of Brisbane’s CBD was commended for its “beautifully furnished rooms with simple yet elegant colours and styling throughout.”  Gambaro Hotel’s outstanding customer service, leisure facilities and proximity to Suncorp Stadium were praised along with the hotel’s overall cleanliness.

The five-star rating follows a recent TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for Gambaro Hotel. The hotel was one of 44 TFE Hotels recognised globally by the world’s largest travel platform.

Legendary workouts with a-list Hollywood trainer 


W Brisbane is disrupting fitness boundaries and taking hotel wellness to a new level, bringing on board Australia’s A-list celebrity trainer, Luke Zocchi to pump up their new FUEL program launching in July.

Guests will be encouraged to get their sweat on and train with Zocchi, who has curated high energy 20 minute fast and furious in-room workout videos to push you to your limits. He’s the man known for transforming Chris Hemsworth’s body for Thor and will now be available on demand at W Brisbane, bringing to life the W brand’s Detox.Retox.Repeat mantra.

Tank Stream Hotel champions localism with new ‘Taste of NSW’ menu

Le Petit Flot table

Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel is highlighting its deep connection with NSW by offering diners a ‘Taste of NSW’ wine menu to complement dishes utilising the best of NSW produce.

Fresh water from the Tank Stream was the reason the NSW colony was established at what is now called Sydney Cove – and the Tank Stream Hotel was developed above the still-flowing stream, which prompted the naming of the hotel restaurant, Le Petit Flot (the little stream).

Le Petit Flot’s chefs and restaurant team have designed a special set of dishes to showcase the best of the State’s produce, utilising Wagyu beef rumps from Kilcoy Global Foods in northern NSW; racks of lamb from Junee, pork belly from Braemar, and chicken from the Southern Highlands.

They will be partnered with a new selection of wines from long-established NSW wineries such as Hungerford Hill and Dalwood Estate, Australia’s oldest wine label. The wines showcase classic local Hunter Valley varietals such as Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz as well as Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the cooler Hilltops region.

Victoria’s Finest Accommodation Hotels and Venue Staff Recognised


Victoria’s top accommodation hotels and venue staff have been honoured at the 2019 Tourism Accommodation Australia (Victoria) Awards for Excellence.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne tonight attended by almost 500 hospitality, business and political leaders including Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz.

A highlight was the presentation of the prestigious “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” award, which recognises the sustained influence of an hotelier or industry leader who has made a significant contribution to Victoria’s tourism and accommodation sectors.
This year’s worthy recipient was Karen Bolinger.

In her role as CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau, Bolinger was central in delivering over $2.4b in economic contribution to the Victorian economy and more than 570,000 meeting delegate days.

  1. Apartment Accommodation of the Year – The Sebel Melbourne Docklands
  2. Hotel Restaurant of the Year – Bankvale Run, Marnong Estate & Locanda Restaurant, Rydges Melbourne
  3. Engineer and Maintenance Employee of the Year – Peter Nesbit – Hyatt Place Melbourne, Essendon Fields
  4. Hotel Club Lounge of the Year – The Langham Melbourne
  5. Outstanding Community Service and Achievement – Grand Hyatt Melbourne
  6. Mid-Range Accommodation Hotel of the Year – Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders
  7. Regional Hotel Restaurant of the Year – Wickens at Royal Mail Dunkeld, Royal Mail Hotel Dunkeld
  8. Deluxe Restaurant of the Year – Pascale Bar & Grill, QT Melbourne
  9. Revenue Manager Employee of the Year – Yvonne Qian – Sheraton Melbourne Hotel
  10. Boutique Style Accommodation of the Year – The Provincial Hotel, Ballarat
  11. Concierge of the Year James Spielvogel – InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
  12. Best Marketed Accommodation Provider – Ovolo Laneways, Melbourne
  13. Outstanding Achievement in Training – Grand Hyatt Melbourne & Melbourne Marriott Hotel
  14. Hotel Industry Rising Star Award – Tim Deeks – Crown Towers Melbourne
  15. Outstanding Contribution to the Industry – Karen Bolinger, in her capacity as Chief Executive Officer – Melbourne Convention Bureau
  16. Front Office Services Employee of the Year – Laurent Johnson – Melbourne Marriott Hotel
  17. Best Environmental and Energy Efficiency Practice – Amora Hotel Riverwalk Melbourne
  18. Regional Accommodation of the Year – Quality Hotel – Wangaratta Gateway
  19. Excellence in Innovation – Grand Hyatt Melbourne
  20. Sales Employee of the Year – Maya Gray – Grand Hyatt Melbourne
  21. Marketing Employee of the Year – Elissa Hayes – Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa, Yarra Glen
  22. Food and Beverage Services Employee of the Year – Annie Crowe – InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
  23. Back of House Employee of the Year – Keith Wilson – Grand Hyatt Melbourne
  24. Hotel Bar of the Year – Market Lane – InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
  25. Chef of the Year – Grant Flack – Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa, Yarra Glen
  26. Resort Style Accommodation of the Year – Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa, Yarra Glen
  27. Housekeeper Employee of the Year – Rebecca Bruhn- Rydges Melbourne
  28. Superior Accommodation Hotel of the Year – Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne
  29. Deluxe Accommodation Hotel of the Year – Crown Towers Melbourne


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