It seems not a month goes by without the opening of a new hotel in any one of Australia’s major cities, and the competition is driving operators into new territory.
The established chains are rolling out their tried and tested formulas with newer and more luxurious amenities, but the boutique hotel market where things are really evolving.
With our sense of travel changing in recent times, travellers now want a more refined and unique experience from their hotel stay.
Here are some of the newest and most interesting boutique hotels from around Australia.
1. MACq01 – Hobart TAS
Travellers are looking at hotels as more than just a room for the night, with many desiring to experience the place that they’re staying and receive a more localised experience. MACq01, in the booming tourism hotspot of Hobart, takes that desire very seriously.
The team has designed the hotel “around the stories of those who have shaped the Tasmanian landscape, past and present”. In the design phase, they identified five uniquely Tasmanian personality traits such as “The Grounded, Yet Exceptional” or “The Curious and Creative” and have sought to represent these traits right throughout the hotel, and into each room.
The hotel also employs a number of local storytellers, to delve in and explain the local artefacts displayed around the hotel, or also about the colourful characters who have crafted the island’s spirit.
2. Little Albion Guest House – Surry Hills NSW
The Little Albion Guest House in Sydney’s trendy Surry Hills really does invoke the essence of its name. The plush 35-room hotel has an intimate, local and original design focus and has seamlessly merged an existing heritage building with modern hotel amenities.
The whole hotel operation also taps into the consumer trend where travellers want the luxury and service of a traditional hotel but the ease and comfort of home.
As boutique hotels begin partnering with Airbnb for their booking systems, this is also the first hotel in the world that can be booked out entirely via the industry-disrupting platform, for $15,000 per night.
The hotel is run by a number of hosts, each with local knowledge and service experience to maximise their guests’ stay.
3. Ovolo Inchcolm – Spring Hill QLD
The savvy minds behind the Hong Kong-based, family-run, Ovolo Hotels, have travellers modern affinity with social media at the forefront of all their hotel destinations. The properties, spread across Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne, have been added to with Ovolo Inchcolm in Brisbane’s Spring Hill.
Having recently renovated and relaunched the hotel in a 1920s building, the design of the space invokes the charm and heritage of days gone by.
The boutique hotel chain regularly prompts travellers to cover their stay, using their personalised hashtags on social media, which isn’t too hard, given the array of Instagram-worthy nooks throughout the hotel.
Paramount House Hotel – Surry Hills NSW
A lot of hotels try to use the tagline “live like a local” in their marketing pitch, but none pull it off quite as well as Paramount House Hotel.
The design team has transformed the heritage-listed Paramount House, which was once the home to Paramount Pictures Studios here in Australia, into a boutique inner city hotel where the owners promise a rich and layered local experience.
The hotel is intricately woven into the local neighbourhood of Surry Hills where the perfect balance of grit and polish creates some of the city’s most interesting attractions.
Right from check-in, this isn’t your normal hotel experience. The simple and refined front desk is located through a bustling cafe, where the reception staff will pour you a cold beer first, before taking you up to your warehouse apartment-like room.
United Places Botanic Gardens – South Yarra VIC
Subtle luxury is the mantra that United Places Botanic Gardens in Melbourne is striving to achieve. Having only just opened in June 2018, the boutique accommodation, perched on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra, features 12 suites, designed to incorporate the sophisticated apartment-like qualities for which this part of Melbourne has become known.
The opulent interiors create a cosmopolitan feel that samples the best of what Melbourne design, food and location have to offer. The ground-floor restaurant, Matilda, is run by award-winning chef Scott Pickett who will also be curating the daily in-room breakfast.
And the final touch of luxury is your personal butler, on-call to anticipate your every need.
Tribe – West Perth WA
The ethos behind the sharing economy has also filtered into the hotel industry with some operators choosing to pare back hotel features and room details, to instead put more focus on the public and shared spaces.
Tribe Perth is the first hotel from Tribe Hotels, with properties in Adelaide and Hobart coming in 2019. The 18-square-metre hotel rooms pack a lot of punch into a small space with the company finding travellers are willing to sacrifice some room space for a more overall high-end environment.
The lobby has been expertly designed featuring custom designed furniture, green walls, banquettes, and theatrical lighting, ensuring guests will be able to socialise or find themselves a cosy nook to enjoy.
The Collectionist – Camperdown NSW
Over the years, travellers have grown used to a fairly standard type of hotel room, incorporating more-or-less the same layout and furnishings. That’s probably why a new wave of boutique accommodations seem to be rejecting the cookie-cutter approach completely.
The Collectionist Hotel in the urban suburb of Camperdown takes this to the next level with 40 uniquely designed rooms that guests can personally select at check-in, depending on their desired taste.
The hotel collaborated with four creative studios and 13 artists to ensure that no two rooms are alike. The creative minds behind the hotel design were inspired by a car hire experience in the US, where they could personally inspect and choose their desired vehicle at pick-up, and thought the same flexibility of choice would align with hotels even better.
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