Marriott debuts AC Hotels brand in Australia with Melbourne opening; boosts Good Travel programme

17 May, 2022

AC Hotels by Marriott, the design-led lifestyle brand from Marriott International already has approaching 200 properties across more than 27 countries and territories, now including Australia after making its brand debut in the country with the opening of AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank.  

Located in one of Melbourne's premier events, arts and entertainment precincts, the new hotel features 205 guest rooms and suites, signature dining, and an infinity pool and cocktail bar with sweeping views of the city skyline.

Jeff Tomczek, vice president and global brand leader of AC Hotels, says that with Melbourne being the “cultural and design capital of Australia,” it represents “a seamless fit” with AC Hotels brand promise and “purposeful design and obsession with detail”.

New property is nestled in prestigious inner-city enclave

Nestled in the prestigious inner-city enclave of Melbourne’s Southbank, with the Central Business District and South Wharf precinct – Australia's largest urban renewal project – on its doorstep, the property is located in close proximity to public transport, South Melbourne Market, Melbourne Convention Centre, South Wharf shops and eateries, the Arts precinct, and other local amenities.

AC Melbourne Southbank features a range of collaborative spaces including the brand’s signature AC Lounge, a modern co-working space for creative gatherings by day and a buzzing social hub offering European-style tapas by night

The 205 guestrooms and suites offer sweeping views of the city skyline and the Yarra River with a mood designed to reflect the industrial warehouse scenes of South Melbourne while echoing the Spanish roots of the AC brand.

Hotel is Marriott’s ninth in Melbourne and third to open in last 12 months

Owned by Capital Alliance, a Melbourne-based diversified mixed-use real estate developer and investment company, the hotel marks Marriott International’s ninth hotel in Melbourne and the third new hotel to open in the Victorian capital over the last 12 months.

Good Travel programme expands to close to 100 hotels and resorts across Asia Pacific

Elsewhere, Marriott International has expanded its Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy programme that supports meaningful travel across Asia Pacific. The sustainability programme now spans close to 100 hotels across its portfolio in Asia Pacific and offers guests the opportunity to forge first-hand connections with local communities and the environment during their stay.

Marriott says the expansion of the  programme will “deliver richer and wider choices of meaningful experiences that promote both cultural understanding and positive, sustainable change”. It builds on last year’s pilot with 15 hotels across the Marriott portfolio in the region.

According to the 2022 American Express Travel Global Survey, people are more intentional about where they spend their money, and impact travel is resonating across all demographics. Travellers are placing increasing importance on making a positive impact on the destinations they visit.

Good Travel aims to offer curated experiences that focus on three key pillars

Good Travel will offer curated experiences that focus on three key pillars: Environmental Protection to support the resiliency of the natural environment due to environmental degradation, pollution, and climate change; Community Engagement to support local communities through cultural education or volunteerism; and Marine Conservation to restore and preserve marine ecosystems and species.

“The pandemic has brought about an enhanced sense of purpose and travellers are increasingly looking for different and more meaningful ways to travel,” says Bart Buiring, chief sales and marketing officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific.

Experience connects guests with local experts and NGOs to promote and deepen cultural understanding

With the expansion of Good Travel, Mr Buiring believes Marriott is “well-positioned to allow guests to reimagine travel from a pure leisure experience to one that can positively impact the places they visit”.

Each experience connects guests with local experts and NGOs at the destinations they visit, aiming for “promoting and deepening cultural understanding,” according to Marriott. These experiences range from planting mangrove seeds in the forests of Langkawi to restore the wetland, to joining a temple preservation in India to mitigate the destructive effects of sandstorms on its façade, and caring for fish species in Qiandao Lake in China to help improve water quality.

PARDICOLOR partnership delivers ‘purposeful twist’ on traditional travel posters

As part of the expansion, Marriott is collaborating with PARDICOLOR, an environmental creative arts initiative by conservation organization Wildlife Asia to reinterpret traditional travel posters with a purposeful twist. PARDICOLOR, artist Joséphine Billeter has created travel art that depict the concept of holidaying while doing good.

The creative designs follow the programme’s three experience pillars and will be seen across selected participating hotels in the form of digital displays, welcome and thank you emails, alongside digital postcards for downloads.