Around 70 guests arrived at the Novotel Brisbane South Bank last week (7 June 2018) for its official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Notable guests in attendance included: Brisbane Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk; South Brisbane Novotel Managing Director Arthur Liu; Grace Jeng, president, First Commercial Bank Taiwan; Matt Young, VP Operations, AccorHotels Queensland and Northern Territory; Jean-Philippe Lagarde, GM, Novotel Brisbane South Bank, Jessica Kao, Director, Taipei Ecoonomic and Cultural Office, Brisbane and Venerable Yi Lai, a spiritual leader in Australia’s Buddhist community.

Accor Vice President of Operations for Queensland and Northern Territory, Matt Young, said: “South Bank is bustling! Over 12 million people visit the area annually for conferences and business events generating $391 million in economic impact to Brisbane.”

Speaking to HM, Mr Liu said: “For me, the Novotel Brisbane South Bank holds a special significance. My family first came to Brisbane during World Expo ’88, a marvellous time in Brisbane’s history, and the reason I fell in love with the city. South Bank is the legacy of Expo ’88”.

“My children were born just near here at the Mater Hospital, and my temple celebrates the Buddha Birth Day Festival in South Bank every May.

“Friends and family from home and abroad love to visit the South Bank Parklands, and this space holds many memories for me on a personal level. Where thirty years ago Brisbane welcomed my family; today the Novotel Brisbane South Bank will welcome families from far and wide.”

AccorHotel’s Director of Marketing Mark Newburn told HM that one month prior to opening, Novotel Brisbane South Bank underwent a Buddhist ritual purification ceremony led by Venerable Master Yi-Lai.

“The venerables purified every space in the hotel including guest rooms, public areas, back of house, and even the car park,” he said.

The 4.5 star hotel, designed by NRA Co Lab, has 238 rooms and is situated within close proximity to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum and Science Centre and Streets Beach.

Meanwhile, according to CBRE Hotels’ National Director Wayne Bunz, the latest influx of design-driven hotels coming to Brisbane, such as the Novotel, is the direct result of a change in consumer attitudes towards ‘cookie cutter’ hotels.

“Gone are the days of the cookie cutter approach to hotels, with these new properties catering to travelers seeking local experiences and eye catching designs,” Bunz said.

“Brisbane is no longer going to be the poor cousin to Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Bunz said, noting that the new wave of construction was focused on lifestyle and ‘designer’ hotels that appealed to individual needs and were taking luxury to new levels.

Other new Brisbane-based hotels due to come online over the coming months include: Emporium Southpoint, Adina George Street, Westin Brisbane, Calile Hotel James Street and Art Series Howard Smith Wharves.