Antony Ritch, CEO, TFE Hotels

In the 22nd edition of the HM Industry Leaders Forum, HM invited leading hoteliers, tourism professionals and suppliers across Asia Pacific and the world to their insights into the hotel landscape and their outlook for the year ahead.

Here, TFE Hotels Chief Executive Officer, Antony Ritch, reveals an innovative new hotel “lab” is in the final stages of development in Berlin.

In recent times there’s been a real shift in both the economics behind hotel operations as well as customer expectations and we’re excited to see how the industry responds.

Over the past few years, we have focused on transforming TFE into a hospitality business that is increasingly digitally enabled, design-led and dining-focused.

In 2023, TFE Hotels solidified our portfolio with the opening of a number of unique-to-market hotels.

Adina Apartment Hotel Pentridge Melbourne (which opened in Feb 2023) was an exciting moment for TFE Hotels, particularly with the F&B venues, North & Common restaurant – which was awarded a Chef’s Hat five weeks after opening – and the award-winning Olivine wine bar and Chapter Place event centre. 

The Interlude’s indoor pool and wellness space

Within the same precinct we then launched The Interlude – a highly anticipated 19-room, boutique hotel offering in Melbourne’s newest $1billion lifestyle precinct at Pentridge, which received international media attention.

We then had the opportunity of opening our first Vibe Hotel in South Australia, with the launch of our design-led Vibe Hotel Adelaide in partnership owner/developers Guava Lime and Loucas Zahos architects. With local architects as owners, the hotel is visually stunning – a serpentine chandelier is suspended in the lobby from a raw concrete ceiling, Australian colour palettes and views to the Adelaide Hills are framed by floor to ceiling windows – and speaks to the hotel’s South Australian roots.

In March, TFE debuted our home-grown Adina Hotel brand in Switzerland, and opened the first Adina Serviced Apartments property in the Austrian capital, Vienna. 

We also invested heavily in digital, and having run extensive trials in 2023, are looking forward to launching our first products to market in the coming year.

As I look ahead, 2024 is shaping up to be an incredible year as we prepare to roll out new products, brands, and guest experiences around the ‘three Ds’ – Design, Dining and Digital.

An artist’s impression of The Eve Hotel Sydney

In addition to an innovative new hotel “lab” that’s currently in the final stages of development in Berlin and will be opening to the public this year, we will celebrate the Vibe Hotel brands twenty-first birthday in Australia.

In the second half of the year, we’re excited to introduce ‘The Eve Hotel Sydney’, developed and owned by TOGA Group. Located at the crossroads of Redfern and Surry Hills this SJB-designed hotel is aiming to create spaces where guests and visitors can immerse themselves in the art, cultural, and culinary offerings from the local community.

Of course, we have a few more surprises up our sleeve and a strong pipeline of hotels including The Hannah St. Hotel in Melbourne’s Southbank – with diversified property developer Time and Place – which is under construction now and we look forward to releasing more details later in the year.