Five-star hotels cut rates to attract customers
Free nights, free dinners and breakfasts, sparkling wine on arrival and late departures. The fanciest CBD hotels in Sydney and Melbourne go out of their way to entice domestic vacationers to rediscover their cities in the absence of nearly everyone.
While some hotels start to have a little more life on Friday and Saturday nights, room occupancy rates without business and foreign travelers who make up 80% of their market are still woefully low, especially on weekdays.
And with hopes of further help from the federal government’s tourism stimulus program now dashed, many hotels in the city have now introduced hugely discounted rates with many additional bonuses in an effort to keep the house fires going.
“We are reaching out to Australians and telling them it’s time to reintroduce cities and experience some of the attractions they have to offer,” said Michael Johnson, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia.
“So why not go to Sydney or Melbourne and stay a few days in a 5 star hotel for a 3 or 4 star rate, and get in touch with the concierge to find out what to do? This is a fabulous opportunity.”
The offers are varied. At the Park Hyatt Sydney, on the harbor, guests could stay the first two nights in a King Harbor View room starting at $ 1,120 a night, then receive a third night free. At the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, there’s a 20% savings on the bill for three nights, so the price has now dropped from $ 270 to $ 216 per night, plus sparkling wine, late check-out, and flexible cancellations.
The Hilton begins sale on March 16 when prices are reduced by up to 30 percent until the end of the year, so stays at the newly refurbished Hilton Sydney start at $ 224 a night, and at Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street, opening March 22, from $ 255.
The newly reopened Grande Dame InterContinental Sydney is offering a special three-night deal with an upgrade, breakfasts, $ 100 restaurant and bar credit, parking, and late check-out, for $ 1,145, d ‘worth $ 1,700. The Riverside Crowne Plaza Melbourne has a similar deal for $ 975, valued at $ 1,370.
“Everything is showing signs of recovery, but we are far from being at a sustainable level,” said Tamer Habib, general manager of Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, where midweek stays start at $ 250 a night instead of the usual $ 350.
“CBD hotels have been hit the hardest by COVID-19, and we’re at a loss even with JobKeeper and it’s a huge disappointment that the government isn’t giving us any support. But it’s a good opportunity for a vacation in good price .”
In Melbourne, at the Clarion Suites Gateway, the 2020 Choice Hotels Asia-Pac Hotel of the Year, room prices are 20% off Best Available Rates, at $ 215 instead of $ 269. Managing Director Tony Cakmar said: “It’s a great proposition to come to town and really enjoy all they have to offer.
“It’s wonderful to come and see the restaurants and cafes reopen, the AFL and NRL start over and the streets full of life. I think it’s important for your mental health to go out and live it all.”
Couples can save around $ 500 on a stay at the Fullerton Hotel Sydney, with a stay of $ 370 a night and free dinner, mini-bar credit, breakfast, and a tour. Offers at Pier One Sydney Harbor include meals, valet parking, cocktails and snacks with a savings of $ 155 a night and the W Melbourne has a savings of $ 70.
“There are so many great packages on offer right now,” said Dean Long, CEO of the Accommodation Association. “This is the perfect time to come and stay, enjoy your made-for-you bed, walk to work, have a cocktail on the way home then dine by the water, and be the center of everything. ‘action.”
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