Australia’s 10 Newest Boutique Hotels


Four years into a construction boom that has added almost 27,000 new hotel rooms across the country, international visitors and local travellers are reaping the benefits of a glut with cheaper rates and more choice.

However, the emergence of homegrown boutique chains, attempting to grab a greater slice of the tourism pie, has diversified the breadth and depth of hotel offerings around the country.

Guests expect more for their money than just a room at the inn and industry innovators are reacting, brimming with bright ideas. The tech-driven shift in traveller needs over recent years has forced an evolution in hotel operations, leading to personality-based offerings.

Among the leading trends is the hotel as co-working space and community hub, an open door to the outside world so guests feel connected rather than cocooned in a foreign city.

Other hoteliers are providing exhibitions, events and creative collaborations that thrust guests into the local scene.

New hotel developments are now being designed to complement the local landscape, with street art, edgy design and a focus on local produce on restaurant, bar and function menus.

Take a look at ten of the latest boutique offerings around Australia set to open soon.

Midnight Hotel, Canberra

Midnight Hotel, by independent hotel operator Iconic Hotels—the hotels division of property developer Geocon, is the developer's eighth hotel.

Featuring 199 premium rooms, a restaurant, bar, indoor swimming pool, wellness centre, conference and event spaces and guest lounge, the hotel is part of Geocon’s $200 million development in Braddon, central Canberra. The hotel is on track to open in late 2019.

Kafnu, Sydney

Kafnu made its Australian debut in Alexandria, New South Wales when opening in March 2019.

The hotel combines the best elements of a shared workspace, a boutique hotel and a social community. Facilities include 16 guest-rooms, co-working spaces, media production and podcast studios, a virtual fitness centre and a bespoke gin bar.

The hotel is located next to the iconic Grounds of Alexandria café, and is positioned between the Sydney Airport and CBD.

Voco Sydney, Sydney

Earlier this year Chinese-backed developer Linzhu switched Intercontinental Hotel Group brands from Holiday Inn to the more upscale Voco, the fifth Australian hotel for Voco since its mid-2018 launch.

The new hotel will be located on Pitt Street, scheduled to open in 2020, will include 301 guest rooms designed around the concept of “me time” and an eye-catching “green waterfall” falling from the rooftop of the 17-storey tower.

The tower in the heart of Sydney’s CBD will also feature a 1,000sq m private art gallery and ground floor retail concourse.

QT Hotel, Newcastle

Operated by ASX-listed Event Hospitality & Entertainment, QT Hotel is set to debut in Newcastle later this year after revamping the former David Jones building in the city centre.

The 106-room hotel will be housed within the 111-year-old building on Hunter Mall in Newcastle's East End as part of a $700 million mixed-use development by Sam Arnaout's Iris Capital.

QT Newcastle is the fourth location secured by Event in the past 12 months with a QT Auckland to open this year and QTs in Parramatta and Adelaide to open in 2021.

The Tasman, Hobart

Marriott International has partnered with Melbourne's Schwartz family to develop Hobart's first luxury hotel in more than a decade.

The new 128-room hotel at Parliament Square, dubbed The Tasman, is operated under Marriott's five-star The Luxury Collection brand, marking its first entry into the Australian market.

The Tasman — a $150 million redevelopment of a heritage building in Hobart's Parliament Square — is set to boast 152 guest rooms and suites with carefully restored features when opening in September 2020.

The Luxury Collection Hobart is operated by Marriott under an agreement with owner Trawalla Group, the investment firm led by power couple Carol and Alan Schwartz.

Hyatt Centric, Hobart

The Hyatt Group will operate a new $40 million hotel in Hobart’s bus mall, which was approved by the Hobart City Council in 2016.

Designed by Neal Mackintosh, of Jaws Architects, will be five star with a restaurant, bar and function rooms.

The Singapore-based developer, Elizabeth Tasmania, removed 10 metre in height from the original plan in order to gain the council approval.

Elizabeth Tasmania and Hyatt are working with JAWS Architects and Dreamtime Australia Design “to create bespoke, artisan and inspired interiors” for the 221-room property, in keeping with other Hyatt Centric hotels around the globe.

Quay Perth, Perth

In June, Perth welcomed the addition of another boutique hotel, with Quay Perth located on Perth’s waterfront Esplanade.

The 80-room hotel is part of the Louis T Collection and offers a co-live, co-work and co-play destination.

The multi-million-dollar redevelopment has transformed the former hotel, with new guest rooms and public areas, all-day sidewalk eatery Community at Quay, a chic rooftop bar and restaurant HQ Bar & Kitchen, plus co-working spaces offering views of Elizabeth Quay.

Riley, Cairns

Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, owned by Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud, opened in late 2018 marking Cairns’ first new five-star hotel in over 20 years.

The resort features 311 guest rooms and suites, most with balconies, three restaurants, a rooftop bar, an expansive lagoon pool and private beach, day spa, 24-hour fitness centre and six event-function areas.

The development included the refurbishment of the old Rydges Tradewinds hotel and a new freestanding 12-storey tower.

Sequoia Mount Lofty House, Adelaide

Adelaide Hills will soon have a new boutique hotel with the final redevelopment stage at award-winning Mount Lofty House underway and scheduled to open late-2019.

Named ‘Sequoia’, the development, which will sit separate from Mount Lofty House, will include 15 villas positioned on the front escarpment of Mount Lofty Estate with views of the Piccadilly Valley.

Each villa will feature private balconies overlooking the valley, fireplaces and views from every angle.

Sofitel Adelaide, Adelaide

Construction is under way on the $140 million 32-storey Sofitel Hotel on Currie Street, the first 5 star hotel in Adelaide for 30 years.

The hotel project will be the state’s tallest mixed-use development — the top eight levels will feature 80 apartments, while the remaining floors will contain the hotel’s 250 rooms.


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