Bates Smart unveil new Canberra Vibe Hotel, as new build hotel industry gains momentum

Bates Smart unveil new Canberra Vibe Hotel, as new build hotel industry gains momentum
Bates Smart unveil new Canberra Vibe Hotel, as new build hotel industry gains momentum

The ACT-government’s goal of promoting Canberra as an international destination has received a boost with the completion of the Canberra Airport’s first luxury hotel.

The Bates Smart-designed Canberra Vibe Hotel, operated by Toga Far East Hotels, has a  circular form inspired by the geometry of Walter Burley Griffin’s Canberra.

The hotel has 191 rooms, including 12 suites over six levels and nine apartments. Other features include conferencing facilities, a restaurant and bar and lounges. 

The $50 million, 4.5 star hotel is close to the airport terminal and Parliament House and is part of a resurgence of new hotel developments in Australia.

Canberra Airport Group CEO Stephen Byron said the hotel’s completion was a key piece of the puzzle in attracting international flights. 

He said as the only 24-hour airport between Brisbane and Melbourne, Canberra Airport was strategically positioned to expand internationally and expected to draw its first international carrier in 2016.

“This hotel is on a key strategic site of great importance to the future growth of the airport and is why we held a major design competition to arrive at the perfect outcome,” he said.

“In terms of expanding internationally, it is a question of when not if. Our strategy is to connect to a key Asian hub and every day we get closer to that. We expect it to become a reality in 2016.”

Appointed to the project after winning the 2013 design competition, Bates Smart based the design around a dramatic full height circular atrium that draws references from Griffin’s plan for Canberra with its circular and radial geometries.

“We have created a unique destination for travellers to be, one that will attract visitors with its timeless design that combines circular and axial geometries to create a distinctive form, drawn from its context,” Bates Smart director Philip Vivian said.

“A signature space for the hotel is its striking black and white atrium rising above a large-scale ground floor entertaining space catering for intimate gatherings as well as large-scale events.”

Vivian said Bates Smart had a number of hotel projects on the cards, including a new hotel at Barangaroo in collaboration with the UK’s Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

“It’s no secret that new hotel developments have been scarce in recent years due to the expense associated with purchasing sites in Australia,” Vivian said.

“New hotel developments are on the increase and we’ve been looking at a number in the Sydney CBD. The economy here is performing well, stimulating business travel, and the lower dollar is attracting the tourist market. Consequently, hotel occupancy rates are up, stimulating the need for new supply.”

Canberra Hotel Industry

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