Canberra's latest luxury hotel which forms part of the $300 million Constitution Place development, has welcomed its first guest.
The five-star hotel, A by Adina Canberra, sits across four levels of the 12-storey building which also houses commercial offices, with tenants including KPMG, as part of the Capital Property Group precinct.
A five-storey building next door has been leased to the ACT government and will house about 1700 public servants.
A laneway between the two buildings will connect Constitution Avenue with the Canberra Theatre Centre. All the retail units have been leased with businesses including Meat and Co, Hero Sushi and cafe Ark, to open in the next three months.
The hotel, which began accepting guests on Thursday, contains 130 rooms including 62 one-bedroom apartments, 62 studio rooms and six two-bedroom apartments.
Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron attended the opening representing the developer. He is confident, despite the impact COVID-19 will have on the hotel in its initial months.
"The first year for any hotel is slower than the second year," he said.
"This will be an even more gradual ramp up."
Mr Byron said the hotel would cater to both tourists and business travellers. He was hopeful corporate travellers would return to the capital slowly this year, assuming COVID-19 remained under control.
"It's volatile," he said.
One tenant pulled out during construction due to the pandemic, and the completion of the rest of the laneway retail fit-outs was pushed back some months, as a result of the pandemic, Mr Byron said.
"They'll open over the next one to three months. We would have normally opened them all today or thereabouts," he said.
Mr Byron said the laneway to the theatre would be a key contributor to boost the new precinct, although admitted it would take some time to see a bustling laneway thanks to COVID-19 slowing travel and performances.
"We hope it's a new stamp of quality for the city. We think the precinct will have a great vitality about it and energy," he said.
"It will be something that Canberrans, not just the office workers, really come to love and appreciate. I think the Canberra Theatre Centre will be part of the reason Canberrans will meet this precinct.
"It needs all of it to be open to work, and we're not too far away from that."
The airport head remains hopeful business travel will make its way back to the capital in the coming months. Business at Canberra Airport boosted to almost 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in January.
"You're seeing the airlines really add aircraft and services so that will drive the growth, and what they're seeing and what I'm seeing is business travel will come back, people want to say hello face-to-face," Mr Byron said.
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