It’s been a strong start to 2011 for Mirvac Hotels and Resorts in Australasia – a year that has seen a new CEO take the helm, a prominent property win a major award and the company get heavily behind the new loyalty program for the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA).
Stephen Burt heads the Hotel Funds division of Mirvac Funds Management, which comprises two wholesale funds currently comprising 20 hotels throughout Australia and New Zealand with a cumulative value of some AUD$1 billion. Mirvac is investing in hotel property on behalf of both Australian and offshore investors.
Burt took over the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer November 2010 for the Mirvac hotel and resort division of over 45 hotels and resorts throughout Australia and in New Zealand under such well known brands as: Quay Grand, The Como, Quay West Apartments and Resorts, Sea Temple Resorts and Spas, Sydney Marriott Hotel, The Sebel Hotels, Resorts and Residences, Hotel Lindrum, Cairns Harbour Lights, Citigate Hotels, Q Station and Harbour Rocks Hotel; along with nine stand alone day spas, eight of which are branded under Mirvac’s signature Mii Spa, plus four internationally recognized golf courses.
Burt has worked in the hotel industry for over 20 years in the fields of hotel investment, hotel operations and hotel brokerage.
He holds a Bachelor of Financial Administration. Career appointments have included Managing Director of the holding company of Radisson Hotels Asia Pacific and Joint Managing Director of hotel real estate company JLW TransAct (now Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels).
LEADING THE WAY IN EVENTS
The Sebel Albert Park Melbourne has been named ‘Best Meeting Venue over 500 Delegates’ in Victoria at the Meetings and Events (MEA) Industry Awards.
The MEA Awards recognise excellent business practice in the meetings and events industry. They encourage industry professionals to excel in the achievement of their business and personal goals, and reward those who achieve outstanding results.
The category for ‘Best Meeting Venue over 500 Delegates’ covers hotels and meeting venues, including purpose-built Convention Centres without accommodation.
Accepting the award, The Sebel Albert Park Melbourne’s Director of Sales – Conferences and Events, Keren Southgate, could barely contain her excitement as she paid tribute, on behalf of General Manager Craig Bond, to everyone who had contributed to the hotel’s win.
“We all know that to be successful, a world-class meeting venue and hotel needs a dedicated, professional team willing to go that extra mile for their clients and I am proud to say that we have that team,” she said. “In fact they’re the A-Team.
“From the food and beverage and kitchen brigade, to our entire conference and events team including technical services, everyone is passionate about their work and are fully committed to ensure that each and every event we hold is a winner.
“The hotel has been on an amazing journey over the past few years and to be recognised by the industry as the best venue in Victoria for conferencing and events catering to over 500 delegates, has definitely made the journey worthwhile,” Southgate said.
As host of the gala evening as well as award recipient, the hotel’s conference and events team showed guests their winning style with a flawless event that showcased their great event spaces, as well as fantastic food and beverage and a slick technical presentation – all the ingredients for a great awards night.
The Sebel and Cititgate Albert Park Melbourne will join winners from other States and Territories for the MEA National Awards to be held in Brisbane on April 19, 2011.
A CORNERSTONE OF GHA’S NEW LOYALTY PROGRAM
Mirvac Hotels and Resorts and fellow Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) member brands have launched an industry-first guest loyalty program.
The new GHA Discovery program – the first-ever uniting independent luxury hotel brands – was created to deliver recognition and experience-based rewards across 12 brands and nearly 300 hotels globally, turning a business trip or weekend getaway into a one-of-a-kind adventure.
With a heightened level of personalised service, not points, the program also provides access to more than 1000 exceptional Local Experiences – designed by the local hotel employees to provide exclusive access to off-the-beaten path activities around the world.
Some of the benefits members can enjoy include:
GOLD (from enrollment to nine nights)
-Membership profile of preferences;
-Choice of Gold Level Local Experience after first stay at a GHA brand;
-Choice of complimentary newspaper;
-Complimentary Internet access; and
-Complimentary bottled water
PLATINUM (10 to 29 nights)
Gold Level privileges, plus:
-Choice of Platinum Level Local Experience;
-Upgrade to next room category at check-in;
-Late check-out until 3pm;
-Guaranteed room availability 48-hours prior to arrival; and
BLACK (30 or more nights)
Platinum Level privileges, plus:
-Choice of Black Level Local Experience;
-Double upgrade at check-in;
-Early check-in beginning at 9am and late check-out until 6pm;
-Guaranteed room availability 24 hours prior to arrival;
-Personal choice of local amenity; and
-Local brand benefits (such as access to Executive Lounges, laundry service and more).
Local Experiences vary by membership level – the higher the membership level, the more exclusive the reward. After just one qualifying stay at a GHA hotel, Gold Level members can learn to play traditional Boduberu drums in the Maldives or take a sunset drive through a nature reserve in Namibia. Platinum Level members can take in a rugby match in New Zealand or rehearse for Carnival at a celebrated samba school in São Paulo, Brazil. Guests who reach the Black Level membership can enjoy access to a private cruise along the Potomac in a former Presidential yacht, a helicopter tour over the LA skyline or learn to surf in Bali.
“We are very pleased to see this project come to fruition,” said Stephen Burt, CEO of Mirvac Hotels & Resorts. “GHA Discovery will allow our guests to receive enhanced service and recognition, and provide peace of mind by helping them select accommodation that meets the service standards they are accustomed to receiving with Mirvac, while also enjoying unique access to incredible local experiences worth talking about when they return home.”
Based on the airline alliance model, GHA is the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands. Five years of technological development, collaboration, research and strategy went into creating GHA Discovery. Each member brand utilises a consistent reservations and customer database platform enabling guests’ membership status and personal preferences to be recognized at all hotels – regardless of the brand.
“GHA Discovery was built with the philosophy that recognition and authentic, local experiences – and not just collecting points – are the true pillars of a rewarding hotel loyalty program,” said Chris Hartley, CEO of the Global Hotel Alliance. “Whether taking advantage of spare time on a business trip or exploring a destination through a local’s eyes on a weekend, the guest experience begins with personal recognition at the front desk of our hotel brands and is made richer with adventures that are not easily accessible to the general public.”
GHA is currently comprised of Anantara, Doyle, First, Kempinski, Leela, Mirvac Hotels and Resorts, Marco Polo, Omni, Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL, Shaza and Tivoli hotels and resorts, encompassing nearly 300 luxury hotels with over 65,000 rooms across 48 different countries. Guests may book a reservation with any of the 12 participating hotel brands at one centralised website at gha.com and learn more about GHA Discovery and the Local Experiences at ghadiscovery.com.