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Accor’s expansion of new-era airport hotels taps into rapidly ascending travel sector

Images by Accor

Australia’s largest hotel operator, Accor, is taking off with a new breed of hotels that are helping transform airport precincts into dynamic mini-cities.

Accor’s newest airport hotels are set to open at Melbourne Airport on 1 July. The Novotel and ibis Styles Melbourne Airport hotels will be its third and fourth in the precinct and the first new internationally branded hotels at the airport for almost 20 years.

The $230 million hotel development, designed by FK Architect and with interiors by Woods Bagot, boasts 464 stylishly designed guestrooms split between Novotel (248 rooms) and ibis Styles (216 rooms).

The dual-branded hotels will open at a time when Melbourne Airport is attracting record international passenger numbers. In March, the debut of Turkish Airlines helped Melbourne Airport attract 923,065 international travellers, surpassing the previous monthly record in 2018.

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It is forecast that 76 million passengers will pass through Melbourne Airport by 2042, almost doubling 2019 passenger figures.

Reflecting the growth of the airport precinct into an aerotropolis, the two dual-branded hotels offer a comprehensive range of facilities to cater for business, conference and leisure guests, as well as workers and visitors to the airport district.

Facilities include three food and beverage outlets, function facilities for up to 330 guests, and The Aerofoil hotel-serviced co-working space, which is spread across two floors and available to guests and non-guests for short-term or long-term business. 

Guests at both properties and transiting travellers will also have access to Higher State, Melbourne’s first airport health and wellbeing club. The one-of-a-kind club features an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, massage, and fitness centre, providing the ultimate revitalisation sanctuary for travellers.

In addition to the new-build Novotel and ibis Styles hotels, Accor’s Mantra hotel at Tullamarine is about to undergo a multi-million-dollar refurbishment. The comprehensive project involves upgrading executive, premier, and deluxe studios and suites, including new furniture, bedding, and interior design. The hotel’s restaurant and bar will also be refreshed in the process.

Expanding Accor’s airport hotel network

Between 2014 and 2024, Accor has increased its number of airport hotels across the Pacific region by 144% (with 22 airport hotels in 2024 vs nine in 2014).

The opening of the Novotel & ibis Styles Melbourne Airport follows other significant Accor airport hotel developments across the Pacific region in the past year.

Australia’s first airport ‘resort’ launched last December following the $30 million investment by Airport Development Group (ADG) in the upgrading and integration of the award-winning Novotel & Mercure Darwin Airport hotels. The reimagined resort property added a 61-metre swimming pool, new pool villas, additional food and beverage outlets, an integrated arrivals and welcome area, extensive Indigenous artwork and murals and an Indigenous training academy.

In New Zealand, Accor recently added a Pullman hotel to its existing Novotel and ibis hotels at Auckland Airport. Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel is the first five-star hotel to open in the Auckland Airport precinct and is just 100m from the front entrance of the international terminal.

With the addition of Novotel and ibis Styles Melbourne Airport, Accor now operates 22 airport hotels across the Pacific – the largest airport hotel operator in the region.

Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer PM&E, Adrian Williams, said the expansion of the Group’s airport hotel network highlighted the evolution of airport precincts into major commercial and service centres.

“Airport hotels are no longer necessarily just about transiting travellers; they are the engines of whole new integrated multi-use developments that have evolved to offer a complete mix of business, retail, industry and tourism activities,” said Mr Williams.

“Airport precincts are transforming into mini-cities in their own right with their own demand drivers.

“Novotel and ibis Styles Melbourne Airport will be a prime example of hotels fuelling this demand and providing considerably more than just a place to sleep for a night. In particular, we expect the hotels to become highly popular venues for conferences, events, incentives, and functions, fuelled by the range of leisure facilities within the area.

“The precinct around Melbourne Airport is thriving, and with tourist attractions such as UrbanSurf and iFLY within 15 minutes of the airport, the hotels are well located and designed for satisfying leisure guests and conference groups.

“The reasons to stay at an airport hotel are growing exponentially, and particularly in Melbourne, where the lack of integrated transport options to the terminals makes staying overnight at one of our hotels and relaxing and preparing for a major overseas trip one of the best investments a traveller can make. Starting a long international trip stress free is a massive plus for wellbeing.”

Accor is the largest hotel operator in Victoria, with 70 hotels, resorts and apartments across the State.

In the Melbourne CBD, Shadow Play Melbourne by Peppers recently unveiled its Level 45 Penthouse Series, adding five lavish three-bedroom penthouse apartments with awe-inspiring panoramic views of Melbourne.

Tags: Accor, airport hotels, travel sector


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