It’s no longer enough to be newer, bigger or better in the highly competitive hotel game. Now it’s all about high-tech, art-inspired, eco-conscious or specialist wellness offerings. Discrete anonymity is out and making connections is where it’s at. Less home-away-from-home and more experiential.
Hotels are no longer merely a place to rest your head. Millennials lead the charge demanding more in our on-demand world. Swiping left or swipe right?
‘Hotels of the Future’ already offer wellness, art, dining and environmentally sustainable experiences.
Now that we’re thinking globally and acting locally we no longer want the same cookie-cutter room in Abu Dhabi as Adelaide. Hotel design is increasingly tailored to the location with re-purposed breweries (Sydney’s Old Clare Hotel) or the importance of nature and keeping environments pristine through sustainable architecture and soft environmental footprints (Capella Lodge).
Tourism Accommodation Australia’s latest report – “The Innovation Revolution Transforming Australia’s Hotel Industry” reveals 200 new or upgraded hotels will be launched by 2025. Global names like Marriott, IHG and Hilton will intro new ‘Millennial’ brands while the smaller boutique brands like Ovolo, QT and the Art Series Hotels will expand with more one-off properties offering unique, local experiences.
Ladies and Gentlemen behold just some of the latest guest-centric, communal, designer and sustainable hotels in Australia and across the globe.
Next Story Group had already predicted the future years ago. Both Next and Sage brands led the way with innovative touches from free mini-bar items, sleeping pods to in-room iPads. The latest from Next – Kafnu could never, ever be called a hotel brand; it’s really more a series of work, creative, fun and resting spaces. Their tag-line? ‘An urban village for the new generation of creators’. Kafnu is designed for ‘slashies’ to ‘work, play, learn and stay.’
After opening Hong Kong, Taipei and Bengaralu in the last twelve months, Kafnu now is planning 50 new properties across Asia-Pacific in the next three years! Think podcast studios, oxygen rooms, dedicated gin bars, co-working spaces, 24/7 pilates classes and virtual gyms with a boutique hotel attached.
Riley opened in Cairns last November and is just the first stage of the Crystalbrook Group’s re-fashioning of the tropical North Queensland capital. The mantra #responsibleluxury might seem incongruous with a 311-room, expansive lagoon pool (complete with beach), rooftop bar and 24/7 gym hotel but Riley’s eco-credentials are impeccable.
Paper-free check-in and out, no plastic drinking bottles or straws and plastic guest room key cards have been replaced by 100% recycled wooden cards, recycled cardboard coat-hangers, recyclable coffee pods and sugar cane and corn replacement product for bags and takeaway containers. 80% of fruit and vegetables served at Riley are sourced within 3 hours of Cairns while Crystalbrook also farms its own beef.
The 5-star Riley is a founding member of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef – and will donate $100 from each room night booked in the first week to the environmental group.
Billed as Sydney’s first boutique, luxury serviced apartments in the CBD, Skye Suites Sydney opened late last year in Kent St. Skye Suites combines 21st-century technology with a dazzling, evening light show.
World-renowned architect Koichi Takada has incorporated arched metal fins that curve over the Horizon Lounge and rooftop that filter through the entire building’s design. Crown Group has worked with Sydney City Council to restore Skittle Lane. Reflect – an illuminated, 12-metre sculpture with thousands of LED lights transforming according to the sound and movement of people beneath in the new restaurant strip.
Tagged as Australia’s first urban resort, the Calile Hotel has brought a decidedly Beverly Hills glam (without the glitz) to James St, Brisbane.
This oasis of calm is also home to the second outpost of Hellenika – the award-winning modern Greek restaurant. The restaurant opens to a vast pool terrace with dining under the stars at poolside cabanas. An all-new dining precinct, Ada Lane tag-teams the Calile with 5 new bars and restaurants.
With 10 treatment rooms, KAILO Wellness Medispa also calls the pool deck home and will provide holistic wellness experiences. From ancient treatments to modern medical/beauty procedures, KAILO is in hot demand with those after a side of rejuvenation with their vacay.
The River City saw ten new additions to the hotel scene in 2018, with Westin Brisbane offering something a little different on its Queensland debut. The focus is on health and wellness with a Westin WORKOUT fitness studio and Australia’s first Heavenly Spa. Stretch and balance classes are available on the pool deck. And what would a CBD hotel be in 2018 with a ‘Run Concierge’ – a resident running buddy for health-conscious guests?Part of a new mixed-use development called Mary Lane, the hotel will operate a number of dining spots, creating a new ‘it’ place in the centre of town.
The Westin Brisbane opened last November – see our full review here.