By James Wilkinson in Albury
Amalgamated Holdings Limited’s (AHL) hip regional and city fringe brand Atura has made its debut in Albury on the site of the former Rydges Hotel on Dean Street.
The mid-market Atura brand, which carries the same DNA as big sister QT Hotels and Resorts, adds some flavour to Albury through exposed high ceilings, an American-inspired bar and restaurant, lobby with a snooker table, a pool with new decking, a quirky grab and go at reception and rooms with edgy wallpaper.
The 140-room property, originally opened as a Travelodge in 1973 by then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, is also a local star for events and the refurbished meeting spaces are already a hit with bookings for local conferences, meetings and weddings.
Speaking exclusively to Spice at the launch of Atura Albury last Friday night (Jan 30), Atura Hotels and Resorts’ Director of Operations and Development, Geoffrey York, said having this calibre of property was a “game changer for the region” and the new-look hotel was “already proving popular for locals and visitors like”.
The opening of Atura Albury was officiated by Albury Mayor Kevin Mack, who praised AHL for investing in the city and bringing the former Rydges hotel up to a world-class standard.
He said the debut of Atura Albury “couldn’t come at a better time”, with the city significantly investing in new infrastructure including the Albury Art Gallery, which is undergoing a AUD$10.5 million renovation and is set to be the largest art exhibition space in New South Wales outside Sydney.
The Gallery, set to re-open in mid-2015 is expected to have some of the most renowned permanent collections and travelling shows ever seen in an Australian regional town, according to Mack.
The hotel’s makeover was undertaken by leading designer Nick Graham, who was given a brief to create “urban, high-energy and art-inspired public spaces” by AHL and the Group’s Managing Director, David Seargeant, said that’s exactly what’s been achieved.
“Atura Hotels brings a fresh approach to the Australian accommodation industry and is definitely something new for regional NSW,” he said.
“The Atura brand is part of a growing global trend towards design-driven hotels offering guests a unique experience – Atura does this with even more value.
“We’ve been delighted at the response to the properties launched and indeed the awards won by our flagship Atura Blacktown property and look forward to launching more Atura Hotel properties throughout Australia over the coming years,” he said.
Atura Albury is the third property for the brand, alongside hotels in Blacktown outside Sydney and Dandenong near Melbourne.