Perth’s hotel market correction has not deterred the operator of the luxury Ritz-Carlton Perth, Marriott International, which has declared the $500 million hotel could open early.

Ritz-Carlton Perth, at Elizabeth Quay, was the subject of a special 2014 deal with the Barnett government designed to secure a luxury hotel for the precinct.

The development of The Westin, at 480 Hay Street, which has since become a Marriott International property, had been announced the year before in the context of an extreme shortage of hotel rooms, particularly in the CBD.

In the three or four years since, Marriott International Australia senior director of development Richard Crawford declared, the “thematics” had shifted.

The market had softened, there was more supply and opening forecasts would be challenged, he said, but he insisted there was no major risk “to our hotel or the industry”.

“We are revising our opening forecasts in the context of the demand-supply outlook but the overarching themes for us are that it is a long-term investment and we are really excited to be reintroducing the Ritz-Carlton brand into Australia,” he said.

The 48-room COMO The Treasury opened almost two years ago and InterContinental Perth City Centre, at 815 Hay Street, opens this month. The Westin is scheduled to open in April and Ritz-Carlton in mid-2019.

“From our point of view as the operator, this is all about reintroducing the Ritz-Carlton to Australia,” Mr Crawford said. “There’s a huge cohort of Ritz-Carlton guests who follow the brand and they haven’t had an option in Australia for some years.

“Finishing a flash new product with good pedigree goes a long way to future-proofing the business.”

Mr Crawford said Marriott, which operates Four Points by Sheraton opposite the Perth Arena and opened Aloft Perth in Rivervale recently had a relatively small footprint in Perth.

“Our mandate in the Asia Pacific is to go from 29 hotels to 50 in the next five years,” he said. “Of all the hotels under development around the world right now, 23 per cent will carry a Marriott brand — that’s one in four.”

Mr Crawford was upbeat about Marriott International’s Perth presence, saying an influx of luxury hotel rooms would raise the bar.

The construction of the 205-room Ritz-Carlton Perth, being built by Probuild, was one-quarter of the way through and ahead of schedule, he said, so the hotel could open earlier.

“When the hotel opens it will set a new benchmark for luxury accommodation in Perth (which is) fast becoming an important business hub and gateway leisure destination for many destinations in Asia,” he said. “We see Perth becoming a prime location for luxury hotels over the next 10 years.”

Far East Consortium, owner of the Ritz-Carlton, secured 6800sqm, 3428sqm for the hotel and 3389sqm for two residential towers, for $25 million plus an undisclosed proportion of apartment sales.


Article originally published in The West Australian on the 4th October, 2017.