Accor is set to launch its economy brand Ibis into the Adelaide market, following the signing of an agreement with hotel developer and investor, Hines Property, who will build a new hotel in the heart of the city’s CBD.
The AUD$65 million hotel development has been the talk of this week’s Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Hotel Industry Conference (ANZPHIC) at Hilton Sydney and came just hours after the news of a new Quest property in the South Australian capital.
The project, which received planning approval in March this year, will be located in a prime location on Grenfell Street which houses many of the major corporate institutions and also enjoys immediate access to the shopping precinct of Rundle Mall and leisure based attractions in the city.
The new hotel will reach 17 levels to the Adelaide skyline with panoramic views over Hindmarsh Square and to the Adelaide Hills.
Timing of the development will coincide with the opening of the expanded Adelaide Convention Centre and redevelopment of Adelaide Oval with construction planned to commence later this year with a scheduled opening early in 2014.
With 307 guest rooms, Ibis Adelaide will be the largest Ibis Hotel in Australia and will be a major boost for Adelaide’s tourism sector which is dominated by 4- and 5-star hotels.
The hotel will also be the first purpose-built economy hotel in the CBD for over two decades and the first internationally branded hotel of its type to open its doors in Adelaide.
The Ibis Adelaide will join a network of Ibis Hotels across every other mainland state capital in Australia and will join a network of over 900 Ibis hotels worldwide.
The announcement of the new Ibis in Adelaide follows Accor’s decision earlier this year to give its Ibis brand “megabrand” status, creating three tiers for the brand – Ibis Budget, Ibis Hotels and Ibis Styles.
The Ibis brand is the biggest economy hotel brand in the world, with Ibis Adelaide joining a global network that includes cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Auckland.
“This will be a key development for Adelaide,” said Accor Pacific’s Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath.
“The economy hotel sector is the fastest growing market in global travel, and is set to grow even faster with the rapid expansion of low-cost carriers. Many other hotel groups have talked about developing economy hotels in Australia, but only Accor has delivered the product. We expect to announce another major new Ibis project later in the year.
“What is different about Ibis is that it has invested extensively in giving a premium economy experience. Ibis hotels are quite different from 3-star hotels of just a decade ago, with the brand offering premium bedding, very contemporary design and outstanding use of space, so that we can offer a quality product but at a genuine 3-star price.
“The hotel’s launch will stimulate travel from a range of sectors, but particularly business and leisure travel. The brand is known around the world and particularly in Australia’s key Asian markets such as China, Indonesia, Singapore and India. A state of the art Ibis will open in a few months in Hong Kong and this will give the brand even greater visibility in the burgeoning Asian market, added Mr. McGrath.
Hines Property is no stranger to hotel development having recently completed the award-winning AUD$100m Crowne Plaza Adelaide hotel. The company has also developed numerous other apartment projects and hotel projects in Adelaide.
“The Adelaide Hotel market has a predominance of older style properties operated at the four and five star level and there is an evident gap in the market for both new hotels and those which are operated at the premium economy level,” said Hines Property Managing Director, James Hines.
“Traditional hotels have so many underutilised guest services and facilities which ultimately increase room rates charged to guests. At Ibis Adelaide we won’t be offering shoe shine services and room turn downs but we will be offering a hotel of high quality and design. By limiting services to those which are essential to our guests we will be able to offer extremely competitive and compelling room rates in an excellent location which is ideal for both corporate and leisure travellers.
“We have been through a rigorous hotel operator selection process and we have appointed Accor to operate this hotel as they are widely regarded as one of the global leaders in managing economy hotels,
”We expect Ibis Adelaide to set the standards for premium economy hotel accommodation in Australia,” Hines said.
Ibis Adelaide will offer guests restaurant and bar facilities, a fitness centre, business centre, guest lounge, conference and meeting space and comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage throughout the hotel.
The launch of Ibis Adelaide will build on Accor’s already substantial presence in South Australia, complementing hotels such as Mercure Grosvenor, Sebel Playford, Rockford Adelaide, Grand Mercure Mount Lofty House and Novotel Barossa Valley Resort.