Australia attracts nearly US$10 billion of upper segment hotel projects

Pictured: rendering of Six Senses Burnham Beeches.
Hotel development is looking up in the Land Down Under, with almost US$10 billion of high end sites planned for Australia.

According to the latest figures from THP, a minimum of 173 premium projects are underway, comprising 28,430 keys.

Equal boom

This building boom is spread fairly equally across Australia’s states, with distribution matching the most populous territories list, headed by New South Wales (NSW) on a minimum of 56 prospective hotels, Victoria closely behind on at least 47 and Queesland in third with 35.

In terms of individual cities, NSW’s metropolis Sydney leads the pack with at least 19 sites, Victorian competitor Melbourne keeping pace on a minimum of 15 and South Australian capital Adelaide making the podium on nine.

Upscale and greenfield

Hotel developers are flocking towards the upscale sector much more than the luxury segment, constituting 72% of the high end pipeline, equivalent to 124 projects. The remaining 28%/49 hotels are of five star quality.

Newbuilds are in even more of an ascendancy, comprising 80% of THP’s Australian records, that’s 139 hotels. Just 16 conversions, 11 refurbishments and seven extensions are expected.

2025 zenith

The high end hotel market in Australia is looking to the mid to long term, with 2025 being the apex for deliveries, numbering 52 – 30% of the pipeline. However, a similar amount will arrive in 2024, that’s 48 sites, and further ahead in 2026 another 35 will follow. 12 more are expected by the end of this year, while the remaining 26 are either slated for further in the future or are still to be designated a delivery date.

Likewise, project phase counts are similarly future focused, with 49% of upcoming hotels in planning, equivalent to 84 properties, while another 17 are in pre-planning and one is in a vision stage. At least 59 are under construction and the remaining 12 are at a pre-opening phase.

Brand battle

It’s a very close fight between major hotel groups for Australian expansion, with Marriott International and IHG Hotels & Resorts both on a minimum of 15 developments, and Accor breathing down their necks on at least 14.

Drilling down into the hard brand analysis we see that Veriu Group’s Punthill Apartment Hotels, The Ascott Limited’s Quest Apartment Hotels and Marriott’s Courtyard by Marriott all share the lead on a minimum of five builds each.

Notable addition

One interesting upcoming opening is IHG’s Six Senses Burnham Beeches, with the luxury line converting a heritage mansion and 22-hectare estate in the Dandenong Ranges, 40 km from Melbourne.

The art deco property will house 43 guest accommodations, as well as hospitality venues including a welcome lounge and terrace, a restaurant with outdoor seating, a library bar, and a rooftop retreat. Subject to planning applications, the masterplan will incorporate a premium glamping offer to bring the total accommodations to 82.

Largest project

The largest Australian project by key count is currently the 600-room Hilton Melbourne Square, part of a mixed-use development in Victoria’s capital city comprising residential, commercial, speciality retail and 3,700 square m of open space parkland.

The hotel will feature an executive lounge, four food and beverage outlets, including a rooftop bar and an all-day dining restaurant, a fitness centre, an indoor pool and extensive meetings and events spaces totalling over 2,800 sq m, including a 1,140 sq m ballroom and a 840 sq m junior ballroom.