July 20, 2021 | By Graeme Kemlo

While Melbourne awaits news on its current COVID-19 lockdown, Oakwood is pushing ahead with the Melbourne debut of its Oakwood Premier apartment hotel close to Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), that is now scheduled to open in October this year instead of in 2022.

It will be the first Oakwood Premier for Australia and the 10th of this brand which can be found in other major world cities including Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore. Aimed at both leisure and business travellers the brand boasts the amenities and service levels of luxury hotels in apartment living for short to medium term stays.

It is scheduled to be open by October, well in advance of major business events expo AIME 2022, set to be staged at MCEC from March 21 to 23 2022. Construction is well underway in a 40-storey mixed-use tower in Normanby Street about a five-minute walk from MCEC.

Oakwood Premier will have 392 rooms, 132 of them designated as studios for short stays. The remaining rooms offered for extended stays are one or two bedroom apartments with full kitchens.  Given the location on the southern edge of the city, Oakwood will appeal to leisure guests as well as business types, especially with its uninterrupted views of the CBD and the Yarra, South Melbourne, Albert Park and Port Phillip Bay.

With light rail and tram stops nearby guests have ready access to the city, Marvel Stadium for sporting events, or a visit to South Melbourne Market, or St Kilda restaurants and beaches.

In-house there are typical luxury hotel facilities including an all-day restaurant, a meeting room and co-working spaces. Fitness facilities include a gym plus levels five and six will have two outdoor green zones and a games room with pool and video games.

Sure to be popular is Oakwood’s rooftop Sky Bar Melbourne to watch the sun set over Docklands and the CBD skyscrapers. However if guests prefer not to hit the rooftop or the lobby bar, Oakwood Premier has a Mobile Bar service that delivers a choice of cocktails and canapés served by a bartender in the privacy of your apartment.

Oakwood believes the new apartment hotel offers a luxury home-style experience with special keys allowing guest access without the need to visit reception.