Accor staged the party of 2012 to celebrate Pullman becoming Australia’s largest five-star hotel network
The stars shined brightly as an A-list crowd descended on Sydney’s Circular Quay to celebrate Pullman’s incredible rise to the top of Australia’s five-star hotel sector.
Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour hosted this star-studded function that featured performances by famed artists Human Nature and Jessica Mauboy, and cuisine inspired by renowned chef, Justin North.
Celebrities from the television and film world, the arts and cultural scene, travel and tourism partied the night away on Taittinger champagne, oysters, salmon and the finest of foods, with the seamless Pullman service showcasing why the brand has climbed to the very top in such a short space of time.
Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, Michael Issenberg, said it was fitting that such a glamorous event should be staged to herald in such a significant change to Australia’s hotel industry.
“I think Pullman’s rise has taken everyone by surprise, but the growth in Australia reflects the global growth of the brand,” he said.
“With all the Pullman hotels designed to handle the most intricate and sophisticated events and conferences, the expansion of the Pullman brand is really great news for the industry. The standard of product and the service commitment we are offering will bring a whole new dimension to the business events sector.”
Pullman’s Australian network growth has been swift even by Accor’s lofty standards. The first Pullman in Australia was launched in 2008, when Pullman Sydney Olympic Park opened. It was the first new-build five-star hotel in Sydney since the Olympics in 2000, and the first ever in Sydney’s burgeoning western suburbs.
The hotel certainly made an immediate impact. Renowned designer Joseph Pang created a highly contemporary and stylish interior design with spacious public areas, rich tones in guest rooms, maximum use of natural light and attractive design features such as a ‘chill out’ area in the lobby.
The launch also saw the unveiling of the brand’s innovative ‘Co-Meeting’ concept, which guarantees flawless preparation and execution for every event. Throughout the whole process of meeting planning and execution, the hotel’s professional and committed front-line teams, led by a dedicated Event Manager and IT Solutions Manager, are ready to help clients with seamless implementation of meetings and events of any type and scale.
The success of Pullman’s debut saw the re-branding of the Reef Casino hotel in Cairns to Pullman, and was accompanied by a multi-million upgrade of the complex’s function areas. The complex is one of the largest in Queensland, able to cater for functions of up to 800 in 11 meeting rooms. It was joined recently by the former Sebel Cairns, which has been re-branded to Pullman Cairns International, giving Accor two of the largest and most sophisticated conference hotels in the city.
The Sebel Cairns was part of the Mirvac Group hotel portfolio, which Accor purchased in 2012. A number of other Mirvac hotels have been re-branded Pullman, including the Sydney Marriott, which was re-branded to Pullman on the day the deal was settled. Guests went to sleep in a Marriott and woke up in a Pullman. It was an operation that had to be conducted with military precision, with all signs of Marriott gone by the time the sun’s rays began to illuminate Hyde Park, opposite the hotel.
Changing the name was just the first chapter. The take-over then prompted the start of a $7 million refurbishment program to elevate the Marriott to Pullman’s five-star standards. All rooms have now been upgraded, and the hotel will shortly unveil its spectacular new lobby and restaurant area. The conference facilities are amongst the most attractive in Sydney with eight function rooms and a beautiful outdoor terrace.
Pullman Brisbane King George Square and Pullman Melbourne Albert Park are also undergoing massive upgrades of their public areas, meeting areas and accommodation. When work has been completed, they will all be effectively ‘new’ hotels, offering conference organisers high quality facilities and services, backed up with Pullman Co-meeting guarantee.
Pullman Brisbane King George Square’s renaissance is particularly important as it is fondly remembered as the city’s first ever international hotel – the Crest. Many of the world’s most important leaders stayed there, while General Jackson’s nightclub played host to budding music geniuses such as Keith Urban. The glory days are about to return for this landmark Brisbane hotel.
Pullman Melbourne Albert Park backs onto the Formula One Grand Prix street circuit, though for the rest of the year the driving force for the hotel is high-powered conferences and events. The hotel offers no less than 28 meeting and convention areas with a capacity for up to 1400 delegates.
While these Pullmans are unashamedly urban in their design and style, Pullman has shown its flexibility by moving into resorts as well, taking over the former Quay West Bunker Bay in Western Australia’s famed Margaret River wine region. With some of Australia’s best wineries – and beautiful beaches – on its doorstep, the hotel is a favourite for small meetings, though delegates often find it hard to concentrate with such stunning ocean views available from the conference rooms.
Two Sea Temples – in Palm Cove and Port Douglas – have also been added to the resort portfolio. Both benefit from prime beachfront locations, and with their indulgent spas, enticing resort facilities and a perfect tropical climate, they give conferences and incentives a touch of style and class.
Pullman has travelled from the Reef to Rock, with the completely renovated and upgraded Sails in the Desert Hotel at Ayers Rock Resort now a member of the network. Sails has an outstanding range of meeting rooms, complemented by the new Uluru Meeting Place.
Across the Tasman, Pullman has made its mark with the Pullman Auckland establishing itself quickly as the city’s leading hotel conference venue. The hotel has a new-look lobby and restaurant area to complement last year’s launch of Auckland’s most exclusive Presidential Suite, which – despite its $10,000 a night price-tag – is constantly filled by celebrities, industry leaders and high-calibre international politicians.
Globally, the Pullman brand has also grown rapidly, with a strong presence across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Pullman debuted in London last year and five Pullman hotels in Paris are receiving a massive makeover to establish Pullman as one of Paris’ leading upscale brands.