Hilton invests AUS$250 million in Australia
Hilton International is investing more than AUS$250 million over a three year period to upgrade its portfolio of hotels in Australia’s key leisure and meetings destinations. The group will also work with developers to open a Hilton Worldwide Resort and Spa in the vineyard region of Western Australia by 2007.
The majority of the funding will underwrite a AUS$200 million top-to-toe refurbishment of the Hilton Sydney which is set to open this (Australian) summer. The remainder will be poured into Hilton Adelaide, Hilton Cairns, Hilton Brisbane and Hilton Perth with a particular focus on building state-of-the-art meetings and conference facilities.
Said Oded Lifschitz, Vice President Australasia, “Hilton was the first hotel group to establish a network of five star hotels in Australia and this large-scale investment will help us retain a leadership position in the market.”
“The continuing strength of the Australian economy and strong growth in the conference, convention and leisure sectors all point toward growth for our business in Australia,” Lifschitz commented.
Leading the way in the Asia Pacific region is the rebuild of Hilton Sydney.
Hilton Sydney will reopen in summer 2004/2005. Transforming the former 1970s building with 1980s interior into a contemporary, modern space, has been two years in the making.
Designed by Johnson, Pilton Walker, the architects behind the Sydney Opera House makeover, the 577-room Hilton Sydney renovation will be the largest single site investment by Hilton International to date.
The new Hilton Sydney will feature Australia’s largest hotel convention and meeting space outside an exhibition centre or casino. Purpose built for the conference, convention and exhibition community, it offers four dedicated levels of conference and convention space totaling 4000 m2 and featuring 23 meeting rooms. The site has a capacity for 3000 delegates.
The hotel will feature 32 award-winning Hilton Relaxation rooms and suites which change the dynamics of a conventional room layout and provide three distinct zones for the guest, including the bathroom zone which features natural light, a hydra-spa bath, TV, body-jet shower; a work zone with a large functional desk, ergonomically designed chairs and internet Broadband access; and a relaxation zone with luxurious beds, mood lighting, lounge chairs and a home entertainment center.
Celebrated New York designer, Tony Chi, has created the hotel’s signature restaurant, which is a modernistic approach of classic French Brassiere with an Aussie twist. Overlooking the bustling Sydney streetscape, the centerpiece of the restaurant will be a 13 meter wine tower holding most of the 10,000-bottle collection. Hilton Sydney will also feature a fully equipped Living Well Premier Health Club, with 25m indoor pool and two group fitness studios among others features.
Meanwhile, Hilton Brisbane, a 321 room hotel in the heart of the Brisbane shopping and business district, has invested in a AUS$10 million refurbishment to secure a larger slice of Australia’s AUS$2.2 billion business tourism market.
Hilton Brisbane’s Business Development Director John Lucas said “The refurbishment will enable us to lure large-scale national and international business events to Brisbane by providing stunning new meeting rooms, a modern exhibition and convention space and five-star food, beverage and accommodation facilities, all in the centre of Brisbane city.”
The refurbishment encompasses:
1. The introduction of three new Meeting Rooms ideal for two to 50 delegates. The rooms come with natural lighting and 24-hour ergonomic chairs.
2. A total modernization of Grand Ballroom and function rooms
3. Refit and upgrade to 120 Guest Rooms
4. Revamp of Atrium/Lounge area
5. Introduction of a Health Club
Hilton Adelaide’s AUS$20 million three-stage redevelopment program is almost complete. In late 2003, the hotel was awarded ‘Best Deluxe Accommodation’ following a AUS$6 million investment in the upgrade of its 379 guestrooms and suites, and improvements to security, food and beverage, and the hotel lobby.
In May 2004, Hilton Adelaide also launched South Australia’s largest and most advanced hotel conference and event venue. With the backing of a $4 million complete refurbishment, the venues combine the latest advances in audio-visual and communications technology with cutting edge design to provide the perfect setting for both large and small-scale events. CARR Design, the architects behind the refurbishment project were awarded Best Hospitality Project for 2003/04 at the National Interior Design Awards in Sydney on April 24 this year.
The 263-room Hilton Cairns, which overlooks the spectacular Trinity Inlet and Coral Sea, will also embark on a total bedroom refurbishment in 2004. New guestrooms will feature lavish spa baths, four point bathrooms and large shower drenchers, which will take in Pacific Ocean views. Natural materials such as Italian stone tiles, woven water reeds and Silky Oak timber will all be incorporated in to the design. A new waterfront boardwalk has been developed, leading straight from the Hilton to the adjacent new Reef Fleet Terminal.
The 273-room Parmelia Hilton situated in the heart of Perth’s shopping, nightlife, and cultural districts recently introduced 11 new guest rooms, an outdoor seating area for the award winning Globe restaurant, and a unique piazza for sunset cocktails. The hotel secured the Australian Hotels Association award for Best Concierge and Guest Services in 2003.
Hilton International has announced plans to manage a AUS$52 million resort in the heart of the world famous Margaret River wine region, three hours south of Perth.
Scheduled to open in 2007, the resort will feature 115 one and two bedroom suites, 15 executive suites, and 26 luxury bushland villas. The resort will be sympathetic to the natural surroundings and according to Oded Lifschitz, “will be hidden in a secluded valley and fringed by working vineyards and feature extensive use of natural materials.”
Constructed above an existing 6.6-hectare lake, and only accessible by boardwalk or boat, a luxury day spa and health center will become the centerpiece of the property. Other facilities include a lakeside restaurant and conference facilities.
author: Christine Khan
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