Courtyard by Marriott made its Melbourne debut with the opening of a 150-room hotel on Bateman Street on Thursday.
Courtyard by Marriott Melbourne Flagstaff Gardens is a 4-star hotel that aims to serve the corporate traveller primarily and offer another price point for guests visiting Melbourne.
“We expect, certainly Monday through Friday, that we will see strong corporate pickup, especially for those wanting to do business in west Melbourne,” Marriott International, Area Vice President – Australia, New Zealand & Pacific, Sean Hunt, told HM.
“What’s great about this brand is it dovetails behind our 5-star luxury brands and creates another price point. If you want a nice, clean hotel room, conveniently located for business, you’ll probably choose this brand.”
The hotel lobby features a central landscaped courtyard which leads through to contemporary rooms and suites equipped with flat-screen televisions, work desks and, in many rooms, the brand’s signature window side lounger.
Food and beverage offerings include an all-day dining restaurant, bar and ground floor café.
“We’ve partnered with Pablo and Rusty’s, which is a very iconic Australian coffee brand,” Hunt explained.
“We need great coffee to compete in that space. Melbournians are very proud of their coffee culture.”
It’s the first Marriott hotel to open in Melbourne this year, but Hunt said it won’t be the last.
“We’re opening three more,” he told HM.
“We’ve got an AC by Marriott opening up in Fisherman’s Bend, South Bank next month, followed by a Ritz Carlton — where guests will check in on the 80th floor in the amazing sky lobby – opening up in Q3, and finally we’ll open up the Meridian in the centre of the city.
“That will be our 11th Hotel opening in Melbourne and we’ve got probably another eight or nine more to come.”
There are more Courtyard by Marriot hotels in the pipeline for New Zealand, Western Australia and other markets, according to Hunt.
“We’re seeing strong development, strong growth. And I think we’ll also see some conversions as well to Marriott brands throughout Australia in the next few months which we will announce in due course,” Hunt said.
Bookings on the rise
Alongside Marriott’s development plans, the business has been buoyed by a lift in hotel bookings across its portfolio.
“We’re seeing very, very strong pick up. All of our hotels across Australia will run more than 50% this month, and we expect that to ramp up to over 60% next month.”
“And 68% of our forward bookings are Marriott Bonvoy members.”
W Hotel opening
While the highly anticipated opening of W Sydney may not hit its target opening of November, Hunt is optimistic that it will open before the year end but insists that the priority is getting it to the standard expected.
“We’re still working through that,” he said.
“We’d love to get it ready for New Year’s Eve this year, and there’s still a strong chance that’s a possibility, but, for me, it’s better to get it done properly than getting it done [more quickly].
“It’s a $1.2 billion dollar build. It’s the largest W in the system — 600 rooms with 165 suites. It needs to be a world-class W Hotel, so we’re very focused on that as the outcome rather than the timing.”