Hilton plans $200m hotel in Canberra

Hilton plans $200m hotel in Canberra

23 August 2019

Hilton has plans to open a $200 million luxury five-star hotel, in what would be its first in Australia’s capital, under an unsolicited proposal presented to the ACT government.

The proposed Hilton Canberra hotel also includes plans for a ‘World Trade Technology Centre’, according to a summary of the proposal.

The Hilton Canberra, if given the green light, would add to Canberra’s lengthening pipeline of hotel projects, which includes Geocon’s Garema Place development

According to The Canberra Times, the development is being pushed by a consortium – Hilton Canberra WTTC – which includes Hilton’s Australian arm, as well as two Sydney-based entities, Ledrae Hotels Pty Ltd and M20 Pty Ltd.

Hilton last year announced it was partnering with Ledrae Hotels on a new 245-room hotel in Parramatta. 

Ledrae Hotels and M20 are headed by Michael Kyriacou and Lionel Chen respectively, according to company records. 

The project will include the five-star Hilton Canberra, consisting of 253 guest rooms, including 18 spacious suites, a signature restaurant and bar, luxury retail outlets, a fitness centre, pool, spa facilities and meeting and event space. Attached to the hotel will be an international hotel school and childcare and learning centre, ­designed to host diplomatic services, technology and trade-related providers.

In 2017, The Canberra Times reported Chief Minister Andrew Barr was “actively seeking” a meeting with Hilton Hotels, as he sought to encourage high-end international hotel groups to establish a presence in Canberra.

Hilton Australasia vice president Rob Scullin described Canberra as an extremely important market to the group.

“Hilton would be honoured to have the opportunity to be able to offer our world-renown Hilton hospitality,” Scullin said.

“The proponent has presented its proposal to the unsolicited proposals steering committee, but government has not made a decision either to progress or not progress with this proposal at this stage,” an ACT Government spokesperson told The Urban Developer.

Ledrae Hotels director Michael Kyriacou said the hotel would “help the ACT compete with other global cities for major international conferences and events,” reports The Australian.

Hilton Australasia director development Tushar Raniga said Hilton was focused on putting the right brands in the right locations at the right time by working with like-minded partners, and this proposal reflected that ongoing commitment. Hilton Australasia vice-president Rob Scullin said Canberra was “an extremely important market”.

Hilton’s bid comes in the midst of a hotel boom in the ACT, which one firm has predicted could soon reach a tipping point.

More than 700 hotel rooms are under construction or in the planning stage, according to a new report from real estate firm CBRE.

The firm’s report said the Canberra market was expected “struggle to absorb the new product”, which would hurt operators in the “medium-term”.