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Luxury Accor brand SO/ sets its sights on Australia

SO/Melbourne will begin to shake up Melbourne’s social scene from 2023.

Melbourne will become home to Australia’s first SO/ hotel after Accor confirmed the brand’s ongoing expansion in Australasia via a newbuild in the Victorian capital.

Overlooking Flagstaff Gardens in the northern end of the CBD, the 288-room SO/Melbourne will be situated close to Queen Victoria Markets and Marvel Stadium, well served by existing public transport links including train and tram. The hotel will follow a familiar narrative for new hotels to be developed in the city, adopting a mixed-use operational model and offering commercial office space, ground-floor retail and a co-working centre.

Highly avant-garde in its design, the hotel will feature numerous elements of artistic flair in line with the city’s social flair. Accor has confirmed one of the world’s most celebrated fashion designers will be recruited to bring the SO/ Melbourne scene to life via their own artistic talents, similar to SO/ Auckland, which showcases the creative nous of colourful designer WORLD across its guest and public spaces.

SO/Melbourne will occupy floors 11 to 34 within an urban regeneration development by MIT Group Holdings – the construction arm of the Melbourne Institute of Technology. The hotel will incorporate an existing heritage-listed building as part of its lower-level design to reflect the history of the area.

An exterior rendering of the future SO/Melbourne.

Guest facilities will include a signature SO/ Club Lounge, speciality restaurant and bar as part of a sky deck, all-day dining and outdoor terrace, lobby lounge and café, a ballroom and a variety of meeting spaces. A SO/SPA and SO/FIT wellness and fitness centre will also feature, along with a swimming pool. The co-working centre will feature across the lower levels 1-10, with commercial offices on the upper levels.

Accor Chief Operating Officer Pacific, Simon McGrath, said guests today were looking for travel experiences that excite the senses and help them feel connected to their destination.

“SO/Melbourne will bring a bold and playful energy to Melbourne, blending the brand’s vibrant luxury services with the heart and soul of the destination.

“This flagship hotel will be the place to be seen to socialise, appealing to chic travellers and Melbourne’s savvy early adopters who are renowned for having their finger on the pulse.”

SO/Melbourne will be the brand’s ninth in the global collection and second in Australasia, with the hotel expected to open doors to guests in 2023.

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