17/06/2010 - 00:00

Hotel upgrades move with market shifts

17/06/2010 - 00:00

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SEVERAL Perth hotels are upgrading bars, cellars, lounges and business centres while launching extensive refurbishment programs to attract the growing leisure and corporate markets.

Hotel upgrades move with market shifts

SEVERAL Perth hotels are upgrading bars, cellars, lounges and business centres while launching extensive refurbishment programs to attract the growing leisure and corporate markets.

Duxton Hotel Perth general manager Bruce Doig says the hotel’s Singaporean owners last week approved the biggest refurbishment program in its 14-year history.

From August, millions of dollars will be spent replacing all of the hotel’s carpets as well as curtains, bedding and in-room furniture in all 306 rooms, to be completed by Christmas.

And Mr Doig says the hotel’s lobby bar has recently been upgraded and made more spacious with unique, modern furniture more than doubling the venue’s seating capacity to around 74.

“It’s about time we re-presented and reinvested, and upgraded our rooms,” Mr Doig told Business Class.

“At the end of the day, a lot of people are saying the rooms are outdated, and we agree, so now is an opportunity to fix it.”

Following minor works across the property during the past 18 months, such as wood panelling and brass fixtures, Mr Doig says a local interior designer has assisted with the recent and planned upgrades to cater for burgeoning numbers of corporate and leisure travellers.

“Corporate business in Perth is extremely strong and we expect that to continue for quite a few years,” he says.

“The corporate market is very strong during the week, and we’ve noticed an increase in leisure business during midweek, but weekend business you find that the leisure market comes in from regional areas so we generally capitalise and market towards those as well.”

Another five-star operation, The Richardson Hotel & Spa, has spent more than $550,000 improving or adding to its facilities since it opened a little more than three years ago.

Owner Joe Oxley says it’s a matter of constantly trying to improve the product for guests, as well as spending on ongoing maintenance.

“While we only opened three-and-a-half years ago we’ve already had three additional projects, which have helped to enhance the property,” he says.

Two boardrooms were added 18 months after opening, improving facilities for corporate travellers utilising the hotel’s business centre, while a new resident’s lounge will open this week offering guests a relaxed environment near the lobby.

And the hotel’s Opus Restaurant expanded its wine list to 560 last month, with the acquisition of two private wine collections, more than doubling the old wine list, requiring additional cellar storage for the 2,000 bottles brought in.

Mr Oxley says the extended cellar is open for guests to peruse, allowing them to see the back-of-house facility.

Meanwhile, the Hyatt Regency Perth’s $9 million room refurbishment continues and InterContinental Perth Burswood has plans to upgrade its river suites in the near future.

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