Off the back of a succession of openings in Asia, Europe, and Australia last year, TFE Hotels has hit the ground running in 2023 with its flagship brand Adina Hotels launching a design-led experience in Australia and its first Adina Hotel in Switzerland in Q1.
A rolling refurbishment program and robust new hotel pipeline are also on the agenda, with the aim of transforming Adina and its premium A by Adina brand – into global innovators in what leaders term the “Hotel Living” segment of the travel market.
As an owner, developer and operator, TFE Hotels hasn’t pressed pause during the past few years, but instead continued to make longterm decisions and investments in markets and product types that address changing traveller demands, according to Chief Executive Officer Antony Ritch.
“Building a core competitive advantage is key to our future, so we have invested extensively in delivering new experiences, liveability, and design-led concepts across our hotels,” Ritch said. “And in doing so, we have built a business for the future.
“Adina has also implemented a refurbishment program to reinvigorate first generation assets including Adina Town Hall and Darling Harbour in Sydney and Adelaide Treasury; we continue to work to attract great global talent into our organisation; and we have branched out into exciting new markets in Asia and Europe, with more to come.”
Ritch believes that these initiatives have positioned both TFE Hotels and Adina for strong global growth. He says TFE is committed to creating showpiece properties and elevating Adina Hotels to travel experiences where guests are fully immersed in the local neighbourhood, while having thoughtfully designed places to use as their base to work, play, stay and explore.
“When you run real estate with agreements as short as one day, your product must be competitive and relevant to the traveller of today,” Ritch said.
“It is also important each hotel reflects its local environment. Travellers love new experiences, it’s what keeps them moving.”
Australia delivers a quality experience
Adina burst out of the blocks in the first weeks of January with the relaunch of its reimagined Adina Melbourne Flinders hotel.
TFE’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Chris Sedgwick said the brief to designers, Studio Del Castillo, was to reinvigorate all aspects of the hotel from enhancing the arrival experience in the lobby to ambient sleeping comfort in the hotel guest rooms.
“When guests stay at Flinders, they can expect design that showcases the vibrant personality of inner-city Melbourne – its art, fashion and colour – as well as smart functionality,” Sedgwick said.
“Not to mention incredibly generous apartments and lofts, and knock-out views of the CBD, the Botanic Gardens, and the MCG.”
In May, the 106-key Adina Pentridge Melbourne will officially open in the city’s creative north with General Manager, Jesse Kornoff, and Executive Assistant Manager, Alex Bilenki, at the helm.
Set inside Melbourne’s new one-billiondollar dining and entertainment precinct, the newly built hotel, dedicated conferencing and events space, Chapter Place; North & Common Restaurant and Olivine wine bar complement Pentridge’s Victorian architecture.
Like all buildings in the precinct, the Adina Hotel has a FirstRate energy rating of 6.5 Stars, achieved in part by built in solar panels; the use of wood, concrete and recycled concrete in the build; and a rainwater tank recycling system.
The use of specialty high-tech glass to achieve both the acoustics and the rating – in fact the glass has a coating that reacts with daylight to break down dirt, meaning the façade only needs cleaning every 12 to 24 months.
“That’s good news for hotel guests who’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of Pentridge or stunning views of Melbourne’s CBD in the distance thanks to the building’s tapered ends,” said Kornoff.
“We also have EV charging stations in the basement, we’re close to trams, trains and buses for those that want to make the 20-minute commute into Melbourne’s CBD, and we have plenty of pedestrian paths and bike trails onsite.”
“And, in a nod to the adaptive reuse of the former prison site, all window frames, façade framing and the metal panels and ribbons that add shape to the front of the hotel have been cast from recycled aluminum.”
EAM Alex Bilenki is no stranger to operations having worked for Accor and, most recently, at Mount Lofty House.
“The hotel is set to become an event destination offering eight flexible event spaces (under the Chapter Place brand), plenty of onsite parking and four traditional meeting spaces,” she said.
“It’s also ideally situated to soak up the local culture, eateries, parks, and modern art galleries including The Heide and Division Gallery in the billion-dollar Pentridge lifestyle precinct.”
The Adina and A by Adina brands continue to go from strength to strength in this region, according to Director of Development ANZ, John Sutcliffe, with the modern designs and experiences proving a hit with both guests and investors.
With Adina Apartment-style hotel rooms, guests curate their stay and can choose everything from the way the room is serviced, to the way they eat or do laundry, and how much contact they have with the hotel team.
Thoughtful design and functional, yet efficient, use of space enhances the experience. Sutcliffe says it’s a brand that appeals to a range of market segments and investors.
“Our Adina Hotels really showed resilience during the pandemic and will continue to do so,” he said.
“They are versatile with amenities for living on the go – in room cooking, dining, laundry when you need – backed with a variety of hotel services.”
Creative partnerships with world-class operators, like Maybe Sammy at A by Adina Sydney, have elevated the brand further, with Dean & Nancy on 22 named one of the Best New International Cocktail Bars in its first 12 months of operation.
A market leader in Europe
Some 16,516km away from Pentridge, final preparations are being made for the Australian brand to make its Swiss debut with the highly anticipated opening of Adina Geneva.
Adina made its debut in Europe in 2005 with hotels in Copenhagen and Budapest, and quickly expanded into Germany, with the Adina Hotel Berlin Checkpoint Charlie opening in December 2007.
At that time, Adina was the first Australian hotel operator in the European market, and 16 years later, it has become a global player with 40 hotels across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Europe.
With 14 hotels and a total of 2,261 studios and apartments, Adina is also the market leader in the Hotel Living segment in Germany, according to the latest market report by Apartmentservice. Adina was recently recognised by business travellers as the Best Serviced Apartment / Aparthotel, while Adina Munich – Munich’s tallest hotel – just took out the top gong in the European SoAPART awards.
In the last two years, the Aussie brand has successfully implemented an ambitious growth plan that has seen six new properties open, expanding the portfolio to 17 European hotels, with more on the way including Adina Vienna Danube, which is set to move into the 48-storey DANUBEFLATS, Austria’s tallest residential tower, in 2024.
“Our portfolio includes top locations such as Stuttgart and Munich, which are of course very important for us strategically,” said Sedgwick.
“And, with the new openings in Düsseldorf and Cologne, we now have hotels in the most economically important regions of the country.”
Early success in Asia
Riding high on the successes in Europe and Australia, TFE debuted the Adina brand in Southeast Asia last year with the opening of the 88-key Adina Serviced Apartment Singapore Orchard.
In just six months of operation, the property has received several service accolades including TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice (and a five-star rating from almost 500 reviews) and TripZilla Travel Excellence Award.
The operations team delivers thoughtful touches during the arrival experience and throughout the stay that really deliver Adina’s Australian-style of hospitality.
“Our guests are given personalised service during their stay and a warm welcome with a basket full of Australian staples like T2 Tea and Kettle Chips,” Ritch said.
“They’ll find bathroom amenities by Sydney-based Ink and Water; Coffee from the Tablelands, and Source Bulkfoods from Byron Bay.”
In speaking about the global expansion and the transformation of Adina into a leading global brand, Ritch said he was extremely proud of the ongoing growth and the continued evolution to deliver on new experiences across the portfolio.
“Adina is a proven brand for guests and investors and is now repositioned for an exciting future,” he said. “Right now, we are doing a huge amount of work on transforming the brand experience, and we have a great platform and a talented team, to deliver on opportunities for our existing and future owners and developers.”