May 20, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo

Melbourne will debut a promised new class of “sustainable luxury” when the 1 Hotels brand opens its Yarra River-front property in 2024.

The 280-room Melbourne hotel, directly across the river from Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), will be the first 1 Hotel in Australia and will sit within a 17-storey mixed-use tower alongside 119 residential apartments

The 1 Hotels brand was created by the founder of Starwood Capital Group, Barry Sternlicht, following the US$13 billion acquisition of Starwood’s Sheraton, Westin, W and St. Regis properties by Marriott International in 2015. Sternlicht, who is regarded as an industry innovator, subsequently established SH Hotels & Resorts Group which has 10 properties open as 1 Hotels in major cities including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with properties in London and Paris currently under construction.

SH describes the sustainability keystones as “environmental impact, health and wellbeing, resiliency and ongoing performance improvement and food and beverage responsibility”.

To Sternlicht, 1 Hotels is “more than a hotel, it’s a platform for substantiative change, and our channels take many forms…from global programs, partnerships, conversations, and mindsets – we aspire to transform an industry that relies on the prosperity of the planet and its people”.

With so many hotel brands under development, offering a distinctive key selling proposition is critical, however most Melburnians will welcome the redevelopment of one of the last stretches of Yarra frontage that looked untidy with its long-vacant Goods Shed No 5, dating  back to the 1800s when sailing ships plied the Yarra before low bridges were built.

1 Hotel Melbourne forms part of the $550 million Seafarers redevelopment on the northern bank of the Yarra which is also home to heritage-listed Mission to Seafarers.

The new hotel incorporates the historic goods shed, complete with vintage crane, which will become a 1000-seat event centre.  The site also includes an adjacent 3,500m2 green space set aside for public use and likely to become popular as a waterfront meeting/coffee spot just a short stroll across the footbridge to MCEC.

While full details of the hotel’s amenities have not been announced, it is understood to include the usual guest room types and suites, a number of dining options, the latest wellness facility, designer lobby bar and pool.  The developers, Riverlee, engaged leading Melbourne architects Fender Katsalidis to oversee, design and develop the innovative solution to retain and re-purpose the heritage goods shed.