Hybrid hotel / co-working brand Kafnu is undergoing its final testing stages ahead of the brand’s introduction to Australia in the Sydney fringe suburb of Alexandria on 01 March, with HM this week enjoying a peek inside.
Located next door to the area’s iconic Grounds of Alexandria social hub, Kafnu Alexandria will be the brand’s fourth globally following openings in Taipei, Hong Kong and Bengaluru, India. A fifth will open its doors in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo late this year.
Kafnu Alexandria features 16 comfortable and in many cases sizeable hotel rooms, but the real story are the ‘plug and play’ co-working and hot desking opportunities and facilities on-site, aimed at companies from one person up to small and medium enterprises.
Even before opening, Kafnu Alexandria boasts a membership book of nearly 100, with this expected to explode immediately prior to and just after opening as word-of-mouth spreads. Operating and manned by staff 24/7, the three-level facility offers space for over 300 entrepreneurs, businesspeople and companies in addition to overnight guests.
In addition to a menagerie of open desks in blocks of six – separated somewhat by small noise-cancelling barriers – Kafnu Alexandria is littered with meeting rooms in a variety of sizes. Members can access training rooms with kitchenettes, AV facilities and whiteboards to meeting rooms of six seats and up all the way down to individual breakout spaces of one and two chairs only or even a collection of beanbags. A relaxation room fitted with the “O2 chair” is also available for some quiet chillout time as needed.
For those in creative lines of work, the property also offers a fully-equipped podcast production booth and photo studio featuring green and white screens and even a mannequin for fashion designers producing their upcoming collections.
Leisure facilities are also plentiful, with bar and food service available on call. Kitchens allow users to bring and prepare their own food, with plenty of tea and coffee making options. A particular highlight is the gym, which features a schedule of virtual reality classes including the opportunity to ride around the French countryside on stationary bikes – pushed all the way by a virtual instructor.
Next Hotels & Resorts Regional Vice-President ANZ, Alex Billing, said that despite the exciting concept of Kafnu, the brand was keen to move very carefully and strategically in terms of growth.
“I think there is so much opportunity in this space right now, that quite frankly if we wanted 10 of these tomorrow, we could click our fingers and the opportunities are there, we don’t want to do that. We have a really considered growth platform.
“We were really picky about Sydney in particular. When we looked at Sydney, we looked at CBD, but we just felt that it probably wasn’t the right area for the Kafnu brand. We wanted to be anchored in probably more of an up and coming area.
“When you look at Alexandria it’s an industrial area, it’s a very entrepreneurial area, a lot of small growth businesses, and we saw it as a great hub as a location between the city and the airport.”