Hotels

Tune commits to Australia as Accor takes over its Melbourne hotel

Anne Majumdar

Tune Hotels Group has insisted it is not exiting Australia despite AccorHotels’ announcement it will take over the management of Tune Melbourne next month.

Accor confirmed it will rebrand the property to ibis Melbourne Swanston Street on May 1, following Aligned Fund Management’s February acquisition of the 225-room hotel for $52 million from TP Real Estate Holdings – a joint venture between Air Asia owner Tony Fernandes and Singapore-listed Plato Capital.

The deal took AFM’s Australian portfolio to six hotels, which also includes the AccorHotels’ managed ibis Budget Perth Airport hotel. In January, it acquired the TRYP by Wyndham street art hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley for more than $20 million.

Tune had been expected to continue to manage the property, the Australian Financial Review reported at the time. However, Accor confirmed yesterday that the property would become the third ibis (red) hotel in Melbourne CBD, the 15th ibis hotel to open in Australia and the 65th nationally in the ibis megabrand family of ibis, ibis Styles and ibis Budget.

However, Tune chief executive Mark Lankester stressed the sale of the property does not mark the end of the hotel group’s foray into Australia. The Swanston St property, which opened in October 2013, is currently Tune’s only Australian hotel, despite talk of a Sydney Airport hotel that had been slated to open last year.

“We’re not exiting the Australian market at all,” he said. “We are looking at other development opportunities across Australia.”

On confirming the new addition, Accor chief operating officer Simon McGrath said economy hotels have “rightfully found their place in the market” following significant changed over the course of the last decade.

“Ibis hotels offer premium bedding with Sweet Beds, smart space-saving design, latest technology and convenient locations, making the travel experience more accessible and enjoyable for cost-conscious travellers,” he said.

‘We look forward to welcoming ibis Melbourne Swanston Street into the ibis family and expanding our economy hotel network in Melbourne.”

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