Australia’s first Oakwood Premier scheme eyes October launch

by | 27 Aug 2021 | Design

Brought to life by a team that includes CHT Architects and SORA Interior Architecture + Design, the AU$150 million Oakwood Premier Melbourne is nearing completion.

The capital of the Australian state of Victoria is preparing to welcome a 392-key scheme with outstanding amenities.

Targeting executives and business travellers

Occupying a landmark 139-metre building at 202 Normanby Road, Southbank, Oakwood Premier Melbourne is set to celebrate its grand opening to the public on 26 October 2021. Catering primarily to executives and business travellers, it’s conveniently situated just a four-minute walk away from Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre.

The scheme boasts 132 rooms intended for short-stay guests and a further 260 studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments tailored towards mid- to long-term visitors. Although it’s actually the tenth Oakwood Premier project to open worldwide, it bears the distinction of being the very first in Australia.

“Oakwood Premier Melbourne marks our return to Australia after five years since we debuted the Oakwood brand in the country with the opening of Oakwood Hotel & Apartments Brisbane in 2016,” said Dean Schreiber, chief executive officer, Oakwood. “This second foray comes at an opportune time where serviced apartments have increasingly been recognised not just as an alternative to hotels but as a preferred accommodation both for leisure and business travellers. We are excited to introduce the Oakwood Premier brand in Australia.”

Taking its cue from the Yarra River

Developed by Yarra Hotel Group, Oakwood Premier Melbourne is being designed by CHT Architects, with interiors by SORA Interior Architecture + Design. Its lobby boasts a spectacular commissioned artwork by Mika Utzon Popov, grandson of the architect behind the Sydney Opera House; this tactile 3D talking point is inspired by the Yarra River nearby. The driveway outside also has a waterfall wall feature with a bird’s-eye representation of the river.

The AU$150 million (US$108.8 million) project, which has been in development since 2017, is being constructed by Hamilton Marino Builders.

“We have designed a contemporary and modern aesthetic, combining a sense of grandeur that is inherently suited to Melbourne’s culture,” explained Mark Gifford, team leader, CHT Architects. “This new bronze glistening landmark will prove to deliver a memorable experience for all guests.”

A 360-degree rooftop bar

Notable facilities across the project include the 40th-floor Sky Bar Melbourne, a 360-degree rooftop bar opening on 1 December 2021; an all-day dining restaurant; a lobby bar; an indoor / outdoor fitness centre; two function areas; three meeting rooms; a coworking space; two outdoor green spaces; and a games room.

Yarra Hotel Group is partnering with Oakwood to operate the scheme.

“The current climate of the hospitality industry across the world leads us to believe that operating under the Oakwood Premier brand would be an ideal fit for this development,” said Norman Khan, managing director at Yarra Hotel Group. “We know that Oakwood provides effortless excellence and considering the detail and luxurious features this property offers, this is set to be a perfect match.

“We are proud to be the first company to launch this iconic brand in Australia in one of the world’s great cities and cannot wait for guests to enjoy what this property has to offer.”

Update (31 August): Following publication, Oakwood Premier Melbourne’s opening date has been pushed back to 15 November.

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