Hotel sector basking in the spotlight of high demand
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Hotel sector basking in the spotlight of high demand

AccorHotels has increased its operating footprint in conjunction with owners Dalmeera Group, with the launch next month of the apartment-style hotel Sebel Melbourne Malvern, in the city's south-east.

It will add 98 serviced apartment-style rooms to Malvern’s limited accommodation supply. Spanning 17 floors, the property boasts 46 one-bedroom suites, 36 two-bedroom suites and four three-bedroom suites.

It comes as the hotel sector is in an expansion phase with new developments across the country to cater for the strong tourism sector.

AccorHotels, together with owners Dalmeera Group, are opening the Sebel Melbourne Malvern.

AccorHotels, together with owners Dalmeera Group, are opening the Sebel Melbourne Malvern.

These include the new $120 million "voco" brand from the InterContinental Hotel in Victoria's Yarra Valley wine region. The hotel, conference, distillery and restaurant complex is being developed by Barnes Capital.

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AccorHotels is opening its MGallery by Sofitel at Vicinity Centres' Chadstone shopping centre in Melbourne's south-east, while Barnes Capital recently launched a 200-room Hyatt Place in nearby Springvale and has started construction on another 108-room hotel in Dandenong.

In Sydney, the recent Invictus Games and royal visit along with the Cher, Taylor Swift and Bon Jovi concerts have seen a rush on hotel rooms.

There are three major hotels under construction and planning in the CBD, Crown Group has opened its Skye Suites and the Hilton chain has confirmed it will open a new 245-room luxury hotel on the site of the former AMP building at 20 Macquarie Street in Parramatta in western Sydney.

The chief operating officer, Pacific, for AccorHotels, Simon McGrath, said the new Sebel is a strategic and significant new apartment hotel development for Malvern which is currently experiencing a resurgence of ultra-modern new developments, due to its close proximity to Melbourne’s CBD.

"We jumped at the opportunity to introduce an upscale apartment hotel to Malvern with Dalmeera, a burgeoning area in need of stylish accommodation options. The Sebel Melbourne Malvern will showcase both the sophistication and independent flexibility that our guests expect from the Sebel brand," Mr McGrath said.

Dalmeera Group directors Jim Gurpinar and Rahul Rastogi said, "We welcome this iconic brand the Sebel hotel to Malvern."

The Sebel Melbourne Malvern joins a network of 28 internationally branded Sebel hotels across Australia and New Zealand.

According to Ross Beardsell, of JLL hotels and hospitality, there has been a slowdown in hotel transaction activity in 2018, reflecting the scarcity of hotels coming to the market for sale rather than diminished investor appetite.

But one site that is on the market is boutique hotel the Woolbrokers Arms in Pyrmont, Sydney, for an expected price of above $11 million. Located at 22 Allen Street, the 27-storey hotel has development opportunities.

Miron Solomons, national director for investment services at Colliers International, who is selling the Woolbrokers Arms in conjunction with Ray Larkin from Manenti Quinlan, said the building can be offered without the current lease in place, giving owner-operator groups the benefit of vacant possession.

According to the Colliers International Hotel Market Snapshot for the second half of 2018, Sydney hotels had the highest occupancy rates for all capital cities at nearly 90 per cent, and the highest average daily rate at around $250 per room.

The report says the Sydney centre also achieved the number one revenue per average room ranking in both 2017 and 2018.

Carolyn Cummins is Commercial Property Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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