Brands build momentum in Australia

A strong performance during 2023 at Australian hotels has encouraged developers to take a closer look at the sector, and the big brands are signing up to new hotel projects, as they move from planning to construction

Major hotel brand groups are building their pipelines in Australia, as the nation’s developers rebuild momentum following the pandemic.

A slew of deals were announced in April and May 2024, many around the region’s AHICE conference, held in Adelaide this year. Confidence is also heightened following a strong performance from the hotel sector in 2023, with rising occupancy and revenues.

Kimpton coming to Brisbane

Among the signings are a new Kimpton hotel, bound for Brisbane. Brand owner IHG Hotels & Resorts has committed to launching the brand in partnership with Kokoda Property, with the hotel opening in the suburb of Teneriffe in 2028. The new build hotel, the second Kimpton in Australia, will be part of a mixed-use development and feature 155 rooms with a 200 seat restaurant on its 14th floor. IHG has 14 luxury and lifestyle hotels open in Australia, with a further five in the pipeline for brands including InterContinental, Six Senses and Hotel Indigo.

Accor will be bringing its Pullman brand to Launceston, Tasmania where developer Red Panda Property will convert a heritage building to create the 139 room hotel. Around AUD45m will be invested in the project, which is expected to launch in 2027 and will be Accor’s sixth hotel in the city. Designers for the project, blending heritage with contemporary hotel style, will be Cre8tive Hotels & Lifestyle. Guests will enjoy great views from a rooftop bar on what will be the second tallest building in the area.

And in Sydney, Accor will be adding another heritage property to its portfolio, as the Hotel Woolstore 1888 joins its Handwritten Collection. Converted from an industrial warehouse, the 90 room hotel opened in 2013 and features high ceilings and a seven storey atrium. The hotel has recently been acquired by new owners Shakespeare Property Group. It will be the fifth partnership between Shakespeare and Accor. Handwritten already includes two local properties in its portfolio, the Hotel Morris Sydney and Wonil Hotel Perth.

Hilton adds in Queensland

In Townsville, Queensland, Hilton has agreed to add a Garden Inn branded hotel, which will be developed by Focus Pacific Property Development. The 190 room property should be ready for opening in 2026, and will sit alongside the Queensland Country Bank stadium. Focus Pacific plans to use modular construction for the project, to help ensure greater control on timeline and build costs.

Also building its presence in the Australian hotel market is newcomer and third party management specialist Trilogy. The startup, headed by three industry veterans, has signed almost 1,200 rooms to its portfolio of managed hotels, and recently added the Pullman Sydney Penrith to its roster. The 153 room hotel was developed by Panthers Group, and operates under a franchise agreement with Accor.