Melbourne to get Australia’s first dual ibis and Novotel hotel

Andrew Munro 31 July 2017 NEWS

ibis novotel melbourne lobby

One brand is good, but two brands is better.

Melbourne is getting Australia's first Novotel and ibis dual-brand hotel, aptly named the Novotel and ibis Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street, set to open in late 2018.

It's the first location in Australia to combine these two brands, and the first time anywhere in the world that AccorHotels has brought them together in "a vertical integration", in the words of AccorHotels Pacific chief operating officer Simon McGrath.

The ibis will be getting 270 premium economy rooms in the lower part of the hotel, while Novotel guests will get 213 suites above those. Guests of both will be able to enjoy a range of shared spaces, including two restaurants and bars, a fully-equipped gym and ten different meeting and event spaces.

Like other dual brand ventures, ibis and Novotel are complementing each other's strengths to attract a wider range of guests and better fill all rooms. The shared spaces give ibis a bit more premium for its "premium economy," while Novotel can get the benefits of a perfect location, great views and more breathing room to provide personalised guest services, thanks to the shared back-end facilities like housekeeping, kitchens and engineering.

The perfect spot for a dual brand hotel

There are already hundreds of dual brand hotels around the world, but this location is probably better suited to such developments than most, situated at at 399 Little Lonsdale Street, in a prime Melbourne CBD spot.

ibis novotel melbourne exterior

There's a lot of space on the upper floors, and neither Novotel or ibis might be able to consistently fill it alone. It also comes with sky high real estate and construction expenses, and difficulties with parking spots, which naturally needed considerable investment to overcome, and which might have been beyond ibis or Novotel stakeholders by themselves.

“With development real estate in CBD locations becoming increasingly sparse and with construction costs soaring, it makes perfect sense to literally scale up," says McGrath, in order to "maximise the investment across a number of brands and price points."

The ibis hotel on the bottom floors will probably earn a spot among Melbourne's best value hotels, while the top floor Novotel suites will almost certainly have some great balcony views of the city.

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