An entrance rendering of the forthcoming voco Melbourne Central.

It’s energetic yet calm, progressive yet comfortable, versatile yet steadfast, vibrant yet relaxed and growing at an unrestrained pace.

With environmentalism and sustainability driving innovation and development everywhere you look, the world needed a hotel brand capable of not just keeping up but one which can set its own relentless pace. One capable of harnessing all of those unique ideas that didn’t quite fit other brands but which fit perfectly to tell a hotel’s story and integrate guests as honorary locals.

And hence, the curtains came up on voco in early 2018.

voco Gold Coast brought the brand to life, opening in late 2018.

Backed by the global might of InterContinental Hotels Group – one of the world’s largest hospitality conglomerates – voco has positioned itself to take advantage of what it saw as a gap in the upscale market that is expected to grow by more than AUD$20 billion in the next five years. And opening its first hotel six months after launch indicates it was not eager to wait to maximise this opportunity.

Everything about a stay at a voco hotel is capable of making you instantly stand back and think ‘Wow’, but that’s just what you see on the surface. Much like Wonka’s chocolate factory, it’s what you don’t actually see that can turn that ‘Wow’ into a ‘That’s so good’.

For kickoff, the warm welcome offered to all guests on arrival, coupled with a small gift, is one of those small gestures with the power to restore a smile to each guest’s face, particularly those who may have travelled a long way or experienced a few bumps on their journey. It’s one of the hallmark elements of hospitality ingrained in the voco name.

Refillable amenity bottles are in place across all rooms at voco Gold Coast.

When you reach your room and lay down on your bed, few people would think that bed was made of recycled material. The normal reaction would be to consider how comfortable it is – another voco hallmark – and not wonder how they made it out of recycled plastic bottles. Indeed, technology has played its part here by converting plastic discards into high-quality bedding, indistinguishable from anything you’d find in any bedding store. Tick one for sustainability.

Get up then and walk over to the bathroom. The glass water bottle is easily recyclable and ensures more than 300 miniature plastic bottles don’t find their way into guest rooms each year. Considering the brand has nearly 4,300 rooms open and another 21 hotels on the way, that’s a lot of plastic all by itself. Couple that with the thousands of miniature plastic bathroom amenity bottles – once viewed as a handy convenience – ending up in landfill, it becomes another ‘Wow’ moment. In place, every voco room has large-format amenity bottles which reduce plastic waste by 80%. Tick two.

Voco Kirkton Park in the Hunter Valley.

Further, dry amenities such as toothbrushes and razors, are also made from biodegradable materials which keeps them from causing harm to the environment. Tick three.

There are many more examples where voco is taking the extra step and putting its money where its mouth is in terms of sustainability. The talk is well and truly being walked.

But perhaps the most exciting part about voco is the inviting charm and charisma exuded through its bright, colourful and inviting lobbies and vibrant food and beverage venues. You won’t find two of the same in any voco around the world, with each location plugging itself into its local community, rolling up its sleeves and injecting some social exuberance.

voco Auckland City Centre is due to open in 2021.

voco is a brand where you don’t necessarily need to walk outside to get a clean breath of fresh air. There’s plenty of that already inside.

Currently, you can find voco on the Gold Coast and in the NSW Hunter Valley but it is in the coming years that the brand will increase its Australasian footprint. Two are in the pipeline in Victoria, with one on its way in Sydney and another in Auckland.