Hotel wrap: Hilton’s big Canberra plan, Upgradus launches in Australia, New Bali beach club + MORE!

This week’s hotel wrap is so huge that it’s left Travel Weekly‘s reporter with RSI in his fingers, palms and wrists.

Hilton, M20 and Ledrae Hotels confirm negotiations with ACT government to build and operate Hilton Canberra and Trade Centre

Hilton has announced that a Consortium involving M20 Pty Ltd, Ledrae Hotels Pty Ltd and Hilton lodged an unsolicited proposal with the ACT Government, to build and operate Hilton Canberra, as well as a World Technology and Trade Centre in Australia’s national capital.

The Proposal is now being formally assessed by the ACT Government.

Hilton will manage the proposed 253-room Hilton Canberra, which will be Canberra’s first international, full-service hotel brand to welcome both business and leisure travellers.

Discount room upgrade system Upgradus launches in Australasia


Upgradus, a new free-to-use online system, has been launched in Australasia, which the company said will offer customers the option to upgrade at hotels for a fraction of its original cost.

Designed to act as the communicator between the customer and hotel, Upgradus allows hotel stayers, at any hotel in the world, to show an interest in an upgraded room at a heavily discounted rate.

Upgradus allows hotels to offer upgrades direct to their guests in advance, during the ‘silent period’ between booking and arrival. This allows the customer to spend time on a full consideration of the offer in private, without the embarrassment of a public discussion at check-in.

Customers simply log on, type in where and when they are staying and then Upgradus gets to work. It contacts the hotel, lets them know a customer is interested, and if the hotel wants to offer a heavily discounted upgrade just before the stay because the room is still empty, they can.

TAA backs moves to regulate short-term letting

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) NSW has welcomed moves by the State Government to implement a new regulatory framework, including a Code of Conduct, for short-term rental accommodation (STRA).

It is expected a mandatory Code of Conduct would facilitate oversight of STRA providers – including the resolution of complaints and disputes, as well as allowing for disciplinary action to be taken including the issuing of warning notices or “strikes”.

M. Group launches sister property to award-winning Balinese beach club

M. Group is proud to announce the September launch of its latest project in Bali – boutique hotel The Clubhouse at Ulu (featured image) – alongside sister-property Ulu Cliffhouse beach club.

Sitting atop Uluwatu’s dramatic cliffs some two hundred feet above the world famous breaks of the Indian Ocean, The Clubhouse at Ulu is a collection of seven stunning, individually appointed suites.

Each of these is named and inspired by the seven legendary surf breaks that surround the property, including Padang Padang, Impossibles and Racetracks.

Maldives resorts commit to seagrass protection

Six Senses Laamu

The #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign, headed by the Blue Marine Foundation and the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) at Six Senses Laamu, has so far convinced more than 25 percent of resorts in the Maldives to protect their seagrass meadows.

Seagrass is commonly removed in the Maldives when it is found near resort islands reportedly due to operators believing it spoils the clear, picturesque lagoons that tourists expect on holiday, according to Six Senses Laamu.

The country’s Ministry of Tourism has endorsed the campaign to stop the removal of seagrass beds.

More than 30 resorts joined the campaign and collectively pledged to protect more than 8.9 million square feet (830,000 square meters) of seagrass around resort islands across the country.

The website received more than 22,000 visits in a four-month period, with the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass hashtag mentioned over 300 times each day at the height of the campaign. Over 1,600 people from both the local and international community have registered their support to protect seagrass in the Maldives.

Aloft Hotels brings Troye Sivan, Banks, Dermot Kennedy, NJOMZA and Mala Rodriguez back to their roots with ‘Live at Aloft Hotels Homecoming Tour’

Musicians will be returning to their hometowns for free, live music performances as part of the ‘Live at Aloft Hotels Homecoming Tour’.

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s brand for music lovers and music makers, and Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB), the brand partnership division of Universal Music Group (UMG), have joined together for a special tour to thank fans for helping to launch the careers of some of the most talked about artists today.

The global, eight-stop Homecoming Tour will feature performances from UMG artists at Aloft’s newest and most notable hotels that are located in some of the best music cities around the world, including:

  • 23 August: NJOMZA at Aloft Chicago Mag Mile (United States)
  • 15 September: Troye Sivan at Aloft Perth (Australia)
  • 3 October: Mala Rodriguez at Aloft Madrid Gran Vía (Spain)
  • 20 November: Dermot Kennedy at Aloft Dublin City (Ireland)

Additional tour stops will include a performance by BANKS at a U.S. Aloft property (TBA) as well as other artist performances in Dubai, Shanghai and South America in late 2019/early 2020.

Those looking to attend Live at Aloft Hotels Homecoming Tour performances should RSVP at Please note capacity is limited, RSVP does not guarantee entry and attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests must be of legal drinking age.

JW Marriott debuts first Marquis hotel in China

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong

Marriott International Inc. has announced the opening of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong, marking the first JW Marriott Marquis hotel in China.

The 515-room luxury property debuts in Shanghai’s most dynamic commercial neighborhood situated near the Huangpu River and Lujiazui Central business district.

Owned by China’s Luneng Group, the new hotel is inspired by principles of mindfulness and features touchpoints of JW Marriott’s intentional and reflective focus.

Banyan Tree Essentials launches first coral reef-safe sunscreen

Banyan Tree coral reef-safe sunscreen

This summer, Banyan Tree Hotel & Resorts’ spa treatment-inspired bath and body line, Banyan Tree Essentials, introduces a new coral reef-safe mineral sunscreen.

The Banyan Tree Coconut & Seaweed Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++ is designed to soothe and protect the skin before and after sun exposure, while minimising impact on the marine environment.

As part of the hotel group’s efforts and commitment towards marine conservation, Banyan Tree Essentials’ first reef-safe sunscreen contains 100 per cent non-nano mineral filters Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide, free from chemical UV filters.

The mineral filters found in the Banyan Tree Coconut & Seaweed Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++ acts as a physical barrier between skin and the sun, blocking out both UVA and UVB rays without being absorbed into skin – ideal for both sensitive skin and the fragile coral reefs.

In recent years, compounds in chemical sunscreens have been found to be among the key contributors to the pollution of the ocean, causing irreparable damage to coral reefs.

Oakwood continues APAC expansion with opening of new property in Sanya, China

Oakwood apartment Sanya, China

Oakwood, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree”), has announced the official opening of Oakwood Apartments Sanya, its eighth property in China.

Located within the Tianya district, it will be the Chinese coastal city’s first internationally branded serviced apartment.

Offering a total of 163 elegantly appointed units with a wide selection of studios, one-, two- or three-bedroom options to suit every traveller’s needs, Oakwood Apartments Sanya will attempt to change the city’s hospitality landscape through Oakwood’s renowned service excellence, residential comfort and locally immersive experiences.

Ovolo Hotels moves away from single-use bathroom amenities

Ovolo OMG amenities

Ovolo Group is excited to announce the launch of its own range of OMG bathroom amenities throughout all hotels across Hong Kong and Australia, in collaboration with Vanity Group.

A bold move away from single use bathroom amenity plastics, all OMG Amenities are designed sustainably, making use of re-fillable, tamper-free pump bottles.

The bottles are HDPE recyclable, reducing the contribution to landfill and through this initiative, Ovolo Woolloomooloo alone has reportedly seen a 98 per cent reduction in this form of plastic.

Four Points celebrates new discovery package to mark Chippendale’s 200th anniversary

Four Points Chippendale 200th anniversary

The Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park is celebrating its first anniversary with the launch of a special package commemorating the 200th anniversary of Chippendale, the suburb reborn as one of Sydney’s hippest art and lifestyle precincts.

To mark the 200th anniversary, the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney Central Park has launched a specially-designed walking tour brochure that guides visitors through Chippendale’s heritage, its cutting-edge architecture, the vibrant Kensington Street dining strip, and the suburb’s eclectic collection of galleries, including White Rabbit.


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