May 10, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo

This week marks the debut of another new lifestyle accommodation brand in Melbourne and while the new property, lyf* Collingwood, has the business travel market firmly in its view, it offers no traditional meeting rooms.

Instead, it embraces the next generation concept of co-living, offering shared social spaces for both work and play, with free barista coffee (if you sign up to Ascott Star Rewards).  There’s even a communal kitchen and laundry since they provide only a weekly housekeeping service. In another nod to the digital native generation, room access is by smartphone.

Aimed squarely at the start-up and technopreneur market, lyf is a new brand in Australia, created by The Ascott Limited, the Singapore group behind Ascott Residences, Citadines, Somerset and Quest.

It is scheduled to open on Friday, May 14, with 105 rooms on Oxford Street Collingwood, formerly a rag trade precinct, close to the buzz of Smith Street’s hip bars and restaurants, with no need for interstate visitors to transit through the CBD to or from the airport.

What you get at lyf is a studio room – they call it a “One of a Kind” room or “One of a Kind Plus” if you need extra space. There’s also “Two of a Kind” rooms for up to four travellers.

The lyf philosophy is that instead of a dedicated meeting room, guests whether leisure or business-focused, would rather connect with like-minded people in a social setting, hence their social networking lounge with highspeed Wi-Fi.

And there’s no concierge at lyf – instead you can call the front desk 24 hours and ask to speak to one of their “lyf Guards” (sic).

Ascott, which began with a single hotel in Singapore in 1984, now has more than 800 properties in 200 cities in 30 countries across Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.

And Australians can expect to hear a lot more from Ascott as it plans to roll out up to 150 lyf properties worldwide by 2030, while also opening six more Quests in Australia next year, plus debut the Citadines brand with a 252-room Citadines Walker in North Sydney.

*lyf, pronounced “life” stands for ‘live your freedom” and is described by the company as, “a hospitality concept that provides co-living spaces for digital nomads, technopreneurs, creatives and self-starters to ‘live your freedom’ in a dynamic environment…apartments, social spaces and experiential programmes at lyf properties are designed for guests to forge connections and to nurture a strong sense of community”.