Well this was great news to wake up to!
St. Regis, part of the Marriott Hotel Group, is widely considered to be one of the most luxurious hotel brands in the world. Ben is a big St. Regis fan, and has reviewed many of their 40 properties around the world, including the:
- St. Regis New York
- St. Regis Dubai
- St. Regis Singapore
- St. Regis Mexico City
- St. Regis Bali
- St. Regis San Francisco
- St. Regis Chengdu
- St. Regis Rome
- St. Regis Maldives
- St. Regis Moscow
While Australia has many luxury hotels, including many brands within the Marriott family, there are currently no St. Regis properties in Australia.
St. Regis Melbourne
St. Regis has announced they will be building their first Australian St. Regis property in Melbourne, which will open in 2022, with construction commencing next year.
The hotel will be located at 7-23 Spencer Street, in the southwest corner of the Melbourne Central Business District, as part of a three-tower, 33 story, $800 million development known as ‘Flinders Bank.’ This is the site of the former Melbourne Convention Centre, which is now demolished.
The hotel will be in tower two, occupying floors two to eleven. The remaining floors above that in tower two will be built, sold and operated as permanent apartments. There will be 650 apartments in the development (in addition to the hotel rooms).
While it may seem surprising that such a high end hotel would only occupy the lower floors of a 33 story building, and therefore not be able to capture the best views, the price premium developers will be able to charge apartment buyers for space above the St. Regis rooms, as well as the bragging rights to say ‘I live at St. Regis’ will be so high, I could see it making financial sense.
The property will be built close to the Yarra River, so some rooms on one side will feature river views across to Southbank and Crown Casino.
I expect both the hotel rooms, and the private apartments above it, to be some of the most expensive in Melbourne, if not Australia.
In announcing the development, Richard Crawford, Marriott’s senior director of hotel development in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific has said:
“This signing is an indication of the investment community’s confidence in the Australian market, where we are seeing a growing demand for premium lodgings.
The St. Regis Melbourne will be an outstanding addition to our strong and growing footprint in the region, where we are on track to boast the largest portfolio of upper upscale and luxury hotels and resorts, with two thirds of the new supply pipeline”
I lived in Melbourne for seven years and worked within a few blocks of the St. Regis site in various buildings the entire time. The location of this development is certainly convenient for both tourists and business travellers, as it’s very central to the CBD, but it is not an especially premium location in the CBD, for such a premium development.
The eastern side of Collins Street in the CBD, especially the area near the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, is known by locals as the ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street, and features most of the high end luxury brands and premium hotels. The new W Hotel Melbourne is being built at the Paris end.
The other (western) end of Collins Street (very near where the St. Regis will be built), does not have quite the same premium feel as the Paris end.
This location is just one block from King Street, which on Friday and Saturday nights (especially between Flinders and Bourke Streets), is, in my opinion, one of the most unpleasant areas of the Melbourne CBD.
St. Regis Bloody Mary
St. Regis designs a different signature Bloody Mary cocktail at each of their properties around the world, as St. Regis claims the drink was invented in their New York property in 1934. Each St. Regis cocktail contains ingredients that personify the city or location in which the hotel is located.
I can’t wait to see what they come up with to capture the essence of the Melbourne CBD. Perhaps some Sriracha sauce to symbolise the amazing dumplings in Chinatown, garnished with a couple of coffee beans to pay tribute to Melbourne’s obsession with excellent coffee?
This is great news for Melbourne, and I have no doubt this will be a spectacular hotel once finished. It will be interesting to see how the complex works as a luxury hotel, given there are more permanent apartments than hotel rooms.
It’s not the most high end location in Melbourne, but developers could have been waiting decades for space to become available at more desirable locations like the Paris end of Collins Street. It’s great to see premium brands coming to Melbourne like this — along with a W Hotel, a Mandarin Oriental will also be built in Melbourne.
Are you looking forward to staying at the St. Regis Melbourne?