May 18, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | Image: Left to right: Avneet Singh Bhutani and Sean Hunt, from Marriott International, Mohan Du from Capital Alliance, Harry Singh from Marriott International and Brendan McClements from Visit Victoria

AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank general manager Harry Singh was jubilant about the official opening of the hotel last week.

The weather Gods were kind too, so Singh proceeded with the celebrations showing off the hotel’s glorious Melbourne views and location to over 250 guests.

In keeping with the Spanish heritage of the AC brand, the hotel celebrated with a strong Spanish theme in the music and food and beverage service. It was tapas galore and Hispanic string strumming.

For Singh it was a day of enormous personal pride as he’s been with Marriott his whole career.

“It’s a really proud moment for me. This is my 21st year with Marriott – since my first job straight out of hospitality school, I’ve been with Marriott.

“It’s a really, really proud moment,” he told micenet.

His first encounter with AC hotels was in Spain in 2008. This is where the brand has its origins and cool design influence.

“I happened to stay in a few AC properties back then when these hotels weren’t part of Marriott – what’s amazing is 14 years later, I get to open the first AC hotel in Australia and it’s part of Marriott as well. So, it was it was an amazing feeling to open the new AC in Melbourne,” he said.

Sean Hunt, Marriott International’s area vice president for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific said he too was thrilled to celebrate the arrival of the AC Hotels brand in Australia.

“It marks the 14th brand entry within Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio in Australia,” Hunt said.

It’s also Marriott’s third new opening in Melbourne in the past 12 months.

With the opening of the 205-room hotel, the business events sector has another high-quality location for hosting events.

There is 576m2 of flexible meeting space with lots of natural light in addition to an outdoor covered terrace room and a pool bar. The outdoor terrace beside the infinity pool, which spans the width of the building, can be used as a pre-function space for up to 200 guests. The hotel also has a 24-hour fitness centre.

Singh has hand-picked his opening team – a team he encourages to have fun and infuse the hotel with personality and spirit.

“I’ve got some really good team members. A lot of them I’ve worked with previously in some of my other hotels.

“There are some really cool personalities. I really want the hotel to have a casual and relaxed atmosphere. And I want the team to have fun.  Each one is a character and I’d like that to show through in their work,” he said.

Occupancy for May is beginning to look very promising Singh says, with a number of sold-out days. Referrals are already coming through from Melbourne Convention Bureau and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. He also expects the large automotive and pharmaceutical companies located in the precinct will generate strong ongoing business for the new hotel.

The owners, Capital Alliance, were at the opening event.

“We are thrilled to launch the new AC Hotel By Marriott,” said Mohan Du, founder and managing director of Capital Alliance.

“We are looking forward to seeing guests and locals begin to experience the first AC Hotel by Marriott in Australia.”