Thursday, February 28, 2013

Former Dutch prison transformed into luxury hotel

Adam sent me this story about a Dutch prison that has been converted in to a luxury hotel. Click on the link below to read the full story and see the fantastic transformation. From an Australian point of view, the inside of the hotel reminds of a cross between the Intercontinental Rialto in Melbourne and the Blue (formerly the W) in Sydney.

The jail where you'd want to be locked up: Notorious prison is transformed into luxury hotel (and guests still sleep in the cells)

By Anthony Bond

It was previously a place from which people desperately wanted to leave.
As one of the Netherlands' most feared prisons for almost 150 years, Het Arresthuis was not a place you would want to stay.
But following its closure and something of a makeover, people are now paying good money to spend a night at the former jail.

The 105 prisoner’s quarters have been converted into 40 spacious rooms, including 24 standard rooms, 12 deluxe rooms, and four suites, all of which feature modern furnishings and chic interior design.

Read more:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Best of the Gold Coast

I stumbled across this article written by a friend of mine with a review of the best hotel options on the Gold Coast. With our focus on capital cities and corporate bookings, we don't do much on the coast anymore ... so if you want to find out the best places to stay and why, check out Tori's tips. 

Best of the Gold Coast

The Oscars are creating serious awards buzz but why should Hollywood have all the fun? Our resident Gold Coast hotels expert Tori gives out top honours for our very own Glitter Strip and helps you find the best digs for your next GC getaway in the process.

Best location

Peppers Broadbeach
Peppers Broadbeach is true luxury in an unbeatable location! If you are after a cosmopolitan or beach escape, it’s all here at your doorstep. Peppers Broadbeach boasts one and two bedroom suites and three bedroom sky homes, making it the ideal location for your next couples break, family holiday or just a getaway with friends. Within walking distance you’ll find luxury day spas, fashion boutiques and uber-sophisticated dining (minus the rat race vibe) all set against a stunning beach backdrop.

Best Pool

Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort & Spa
Hands down, Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort & Spa blitzes the ‘best pool’ category. It’s highly unique saltwater lagoon and beach features hundreds of tropical fish that guests are able to swim and snorkel with (or just feed from the deck). Or you may just want to re-live your teens in a Blue Lagoon moment by the waterfall. They’ve even got a pool bar, a five-star holiday just isn’t complete without a one if you ask me!

To read the rest of the article, click here.

The lagoon at Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sebel Melbourne gone

I was trying to find an e-mail address for the Sebel Melbourne hotel this morning and had trouble finding their current website. They were previously a Mirvac hotel but changed hands when Accor purchased the Mirvac porftolio of hotels. The Mirvac website link no longer worked and when the Accor link failed as well I started to think something was going on.

I then found this article about the hotel closing:

CBD hotel closes doors, converts to apartments

February 20, 2013
Kate Nancarrow
ACCOR'S Sebel Hotel at 398 Collins Street closed its doors on Saturday and in three weeks its 150 apartments will return to the control of 119 individual owners in a reversion-conversion the owners corporation manager has described as ''fast and a first''.

The hotel chain had held a 12-year lease on the apartments and suites within the heritage-listed 1876 former bank building but owners corporation manager Alf Musumeci, of L.R.Reed, said as the lease drew to a close the 119 owners, who had been part of an income-pooling agreement via the hotel's lease, felt they ''weren't getting the returns they'd hoped for'' and decided to regain control of their individual apartments.

Read more:

I've been disappointed by our lack of production in Melbourne post-GFC but when hotels are converting back to residential apartments due to disappointing returns you know the hotel market in that city is soft.