The Art Series Hotel Group has announced it will be opening its seventh Art Series Hotel, this time in Brisbane.
Will Deague, CEO Asian Pacific Group and the founder of the Art Series Hotel concept, purchased a 10-storey building from the state government for an estimated $22 million according to the Brisbane Times.
Deague is set to develop the hotel within the existing building, which will feature 350 rooms. In line with the current Art Series Hotels, it will be named after a famous Australian artist and that artist's work will be featured throughout the hotel.
“We saw this as a strategic purchase due to the high demand for accommodation in Brisbane,” Deague said. “It is the perfect time for the Art Series Hotel brand to expand nationally and we liked the position of Spring Hill with its proximity to the CBD and Brisbane River and its burgeoning art and café culture. The building boasts spectacular views and is easy walking distance to iconic Brisbane art destination GOMA.”
Operating for four years, the Art Series Hotel Group has three sites in Melbourne, with each property named after an Australian artist. The Cullen Hotel (Adam Cullen) was the first to open in 2009, followed by The Olsen (Dr John Olsen) and The Blackman (Charles Blackman).
The Group has confirmed that The Watson will open in Adelaide mid-year and will be dedicated to distinguished Aboriginal artist Tommy Watson.
The Art Series concept sees the artwork of each artist heavily featured through rooms and every single wall creating a gallery-type ambiance throughout the boutique luxury hotels.
While an architecture firm has yet to be revealed for the Brisbane property, architect Chris Hayton of Rothelowman, who designed The Olsen in South Yarra, described John Olsen's art as a ‘solid starting point’ for ‘conceptual thinking’ when designing the architecture of The Olsen.
“We did a lot of research into Olsen’s work to discover his inspiration and found a consistent fineness and elegance in his work that we carried over into the building design," said Hayton at the time. "Hotels are normally quite heavy designs but The Olsen is a celebration of fine lines, delicacy and a lightness of expression evident in Olsen’s artwork."
Art Series hotels are designed to align with the artists' work while retaining a focus on service and luxury amenities. The rooms feel personable and offer spacious accommodation with a serviced apartment feel - kitchenette included.
Deague said the sizeable 9,000 square metre Brisbane property (including two adjoining plots) “will allow us to offer our guests unsurpassable leisure options including a 70 metre long swimming pool, open air cinema, volley ball court and golf driving range.”
Deague predicts the next 18 months will see a spate of new hotels opening across Australia, with the Watson set to open in Brisbane in December 2015. Deague’s prediction falls in line with global forecasts that boutique hotels are on the rise.
A 2014 Colliers International Property Report by Stephen Burt confirmed this trend, stating that travellers were searching for more than location and traditional hotel amenities; they are looking for properties that reflect a certain lifestyle.
“An important investment feature of boutique hotel is that they tend to attract a clientele that is more focused on enjoying the experience of staying at a “different” hotel rather than customers that simply shop for the best room rate,” reads the report. “This considerably enhances the viability of good boutique hotels and is the basis for an exception that we will see a roll out of some more interesting hotel product throughout our major capital cities.”
Burt believes the boutique trend has already captured the attention of major hotel chains, many of which now offer boutique brands. Hyatt has launched Andaz while Accor Group has launched McGallery, InterContinental Hotels Group offers Hotel Indigo and Starwood Resorts' popular W Hotels have made a splash. A W Hotel is rumoured to be getting set to open in Melbourne in the next year or so.
With travel being more highly accessible, guests are leaning toward less rigid hotel properties and boutique design delivers this, offering more flexibility, design personality and intimate service.