TFE Hotels is pressing ahead with ambitious expansion plans, opening new properties in Australia, New Zealand and Europe at a rapid rate while launching a new upscale apartment hotel brand, A by Adina, unperturbed by the COVID-19 disruption.
When the A by Adina’s flagship Sydney property welcomes its first guests in April, it will be the 10th property launched by TFE Hotels – a joint venture between Toga Group and Far East Hospitality – in the past year.
But that’s not the end of it – there are still another seven to come in 2021, including four Adina apartment hotels in Germany and the first Adina property in Austria, the Adina Vienna Belvedere, which is also due to open in April.
TFE Hotels chief executive Antony Ritch said it had been an incredible period of growth for the business, which now has 73 hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Europe and another 30 at various stages of development.
“We actually opened two hotels on the same day – one in Auckland and one 5000 kilometres away in Perth,” Mr Ritch said.
“They were both in lockdown and we weren’t actually able to get anyone to them so they were all done locally by the teams – it’s a very unique time.”
TFE Hotels chairman Allan Vidor was philosophical about the timing and jokingly referenced the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when the badly wounded Black Knight declares: “It’s only a flesh wound.”
But the development pipeline was set years in advance and Mr Vidor has no doubt the long-term future of the global travel and accommodation industry remains bright.
“It’s happenstance,” he said of the timing in relation to A by Adina Sydney, which has been something of a passion project and follows the recent opening of A by Adina Canberra.
TFE Hotels bought the site at 2 Hunter St, in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, five years ago for $50 million.
It contracted development of the 22-level building to Vidor family company Toga Construction, which is nearing the end of a lengthy and meticulous build that will cost about $180 million.
“Obviously it would be nice if we were opening to a normal market but we’re still very excited about the opening and the project,” Mr Vidor said.
“However, the impact of the pandemic will pass and I think we’re opening at a time when the market is starting to improve.
“You can start to feel there’s an increasing level of confidence.”
Mr Vidor said there was a need for an upscale apartment hotel brand, which offered more space and self-sufficiency than a traditional hotel.
“The gap we saw was for a very highly curated experiential apartment hotel stay offering a high-end experience with all the amenities of apartment hotel living,” he said.
Mr Ritch said the target market was the “confident traveller, someone who likes to be self-sufficient but really loves to have a high level of service”.
The property features 194 studios, one or two-bedroom apartments and will be priced at the upper end.
Food and beverage is a big part of the offering at A by Adina. The executive chef is Jane Strode, and the property is partnering with restaurateur Maurice Terzini and the team from the Maybe Sammy cocktail bar.
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