Design Travel explores the interplay between design and travel. It might be a new hotel for business travellers, an airline collaborating with a world-renowned architect or a product designed specifically to enhance the travel experience. Our brief is to make you want to be there and inspire you to seek out incredible design examples when you travel, or in your own city. 

Stephanie Williams, is an interior designer,  writer and travel communicator. Stephanie was the first editor of Qantas epiQure and her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, television and online.  She also has a love of fashion design, borne while working for Comme des Garcons

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DOUBLE ACT: Two Hotels in One, AccorHotels Announces Dual Occupancy

DOUBLE ACT: Two Hotels in One, AccorHotels Announces Dual Occupancy

In an Australian first, AccorHotels has announced its first vertical dual hotel integration to be launched in Melbourne CBD in late 2018. Spanning 36 levels and 483 rooms, the dual hotel project – Novotel and ibis Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street – is the first development where two brands will share public spaces including reception lobby, food and beverage, and leisure facilities across one tower.

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The ibis Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street will come to life in the lower tier of the tower, creating 270 premium economy guest rooms. Novotel Melbourne Little Lonsdale Street will open above the shared public spaces in the middle of the development with 213 4-star guest rooms and suites. The project is being conducted in partnership with the Singapore-based Well Smart Group. 

Chief Operating Officer AccorHotels Pacific, Simon McGrath said, “This is a significant, first of its kind development for Melbourne and AccorHotels. While dual-branded hotels are not new and we have many examples of those, it's certainly a global first for us to open two hotels that are scaled in a vertical integration. With development real estate in CBD locations becoming increasingly sparse and with construction costs soaring, it makes perfect sense to literally scale up and maximise the investment across a number of brands and price points.

“The hotels will be able to share back of house facilities from kitchen to engineering, common areas and even staff in housekeeping and finance resulting in greater efficiencies, but importantly, each property will maintain its brand integrity, standards and product experience that our Novotel and ibis guests have come to expect.

The hotels, currently under construction, are located in a prime CBD position at 399 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne. Novotel and ibis will share two restaurants and bars and a fully-equipped gymnasium, as well as 10 meeting and event spaces. Car parking will also be available. 

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TOP THREE: Porto’s Ruins Turned Riches, Design Hotels Rising From the Rubble

TOP THREE: Porto’s Ruins Turned Riches, Design Hotels Rising From the Rubble

NEW OPENING: Hobart's MACq 01 Australia's First Storytelling Hotel

NEW OPENING: Hobart's MACq 01 Australia's First Storytelling Hotel