Australian MGallery

Accor network has another Australian hotel in its upscale MGallery Collection.image

Brisbane’s Inchcolm Hotel & Suites is the 10th MGallery member across Australia and New Zealand.

Centrally located close distance to Brisbane CBD and Fortitude Valley, the new Inchcolm Hotel & Suites is secluded but still closely connected to Brisbane’s commercial and cultural pulse.

Accor says that, after an AU$8 million refurbishment, the official AAA 5-star rated hotel can now be described as ‘truly boutique’, revealing a new level of comfort and impeccable styling for discerning travellers.image

“The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites features 50 elegant room options, including one and two-bedroom suites. It also presents Brisbane’s first loft-style hotel suites, lending a contemporary yet elegant edge to the vintage luxe hotel.

“Two new-look ‘wine and dine’ options are available with the addition of Thomson’s Reserve Restaurant and the sophisticated Socialites Bar, both designed to recreate the ambiance and glamour reminiscent of the Charleston era and Brisbane’s original 1920s socialite scene.image

“The result is an eclectic blend of new and old elements, with Heritage-listed treasures to be found at every turn, including a fantastic old cage lift which sits at the heart of the hotel, an original feature of the building now restored for future generations to enjoy.

The hotel boasts a rich history, dating to the 1880s when immigrant, Dr John Thomson, chose the site to build his personal residence. The accomplished doctor, scientist, astronomer, psychologist and pioneering photographer (who in addition was also a founder of St. John’s Ambulance and QLD University), named his home Inchcolm after Scotland’s Inchcolm Island.

The hotel’s General Manager, Daniel Meek says the Inchcolm has proudly retaiijed historical architecture and a charming 20s and 30s socialite vibe.image

“This era was the heyday of interior design. The current refurbishment has carefully protected the building’s neo-Georgian style yet combined it with modern touches. The end result is welcoming, quirky and surprising.”

“By wearing the MGallery badge, the new Inchcolm Hotel & Suites is now part of an esteemed worldwide collection of unique hotels that proudly invites travellers to enjoy stays full of discovery, history, design and character,” said Mr Meek.

Hotel news

Accor’s move in Chinese market

Accor and Chinese hotel group, Huazhu, are joining forces in China, Mongolia and Taiwan.

The deal will allow Accor’s budget and midscale brands such as Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Ibis Styles, to become a part of Huazhu’s network.

Accor’s chairman and CEO, Sebastian Bazin the collaboration would leverage the strength of Accor’s global brands with a leading player in Chinese hospitality.

“China is the biggest outbound tourism market in the world.

“Creating one of the largest hotel groups in China will lead to growth globally as those travellers come to recognise Accor and Huazhu’s brands and expand their travel internationally”

Asian hotels

Accor’s five-star announcement for Sydney airport

Travellers are to be given an additional accommodation choice when using Sydney airport.Pullman-Sydney-Airport-render-Copy-233x300

Accor recently signed an agreement to manage the planned five-star Pullman Sydney Airport hotel, part of an AUD$100 million mixed-use development in the city suburb of Mascot.

When finished in May 2016, the new hotel will offer 229 rooms and suites, a restaurant and bar, gym, conference facilities and an executive lounge.

Announcing the agreement signing, Accor Pacific’s Simon McGrath, said the project would be a key development for Sydney.

“Airports are no longer considered transport hubs.

“They are transforming into complete entities where hotels, conference centres, retail and office spaces co-exist.

“Accor continues to lead as an airport hotel specialist and we are thrilled to partner with Goodman on this project, which is a win for the economic growth of Sydney and our fourth airport announcement this year.”

Once operational, Pullman Sydney Airport will join the biggest network of upscale hotels in Asia Pacific with more than 45 hotels across the region.

For information, visit



Novotel Phuket Karon Beach, Thailand

Phuket. Merely uttering the word brings conjures exotic images of sparkling waters, sunshine and stunning resorts.

And that’s exactly what’s on offer at Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa, located by the waters of the Andaman Sea.


Spacious and contemporary

Described as “spacious and contemporary in design with high-end technology”, the  resort features high-speed Internet and a 42 inch flat screen TV in every room, as well as 25 suites and rooms with plunge pool access.image014Guests can indulge by the Lagoon Pool, designed to complement the resort’s landscape, or relax in the Oasis Pool with its “chill-out feel and butler service”.

There are also two restaurants, a sports bar with big screens and a pool bar and grill.

As the name indicates, the resort also features a spa and fitness centre.


Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa is close to the area’s second biggest beach which, in turn, is a short drive from the bustle of Patong.

The resort can be found online and can be e-mailed on

Information provided by AccorHotels

Asian hotels

Fairmont Resort, Leura, Australia

Perched on an escarpment high in Australia’s Blue Mountains, Fairmont Resort, Leura, has plenty going for it.

We’ve always enjoyed the Fairmont and a road trip through the area gave us the perfect opportunity to return.

Ands we weren’t disappointed.

Fairmont Resort is so entwined with the natural wonderland of the Blue Mountains that we felt part of the festival, rather than  simply onlookers.

M Gallery


These days, the Fairmont is part of Accor’s ‘M Gallery’ of upscale memorable hotels and offers fine quality and service in an unbelievably beautiful location.

Although only one-and-a-half-hours drive west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a world away from city hustle and bustle – and Leura is one of the most charming centres in the area.

Fairmont Resort is located on the edge of the dramatic Jamison Valley in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park.

Before arrival, did the hotel communicate well?

The stay was organised online months in advance and The Fairmont kept in touch by email to check that everything was running to plan.

What was the first impression?

Fairmont, Leura sits right on the edge of a sandstone escarpment and its mere location ensures plenty of wow factor.

How efficient was the check-in?

Relatively fast and hassle-free. The staff were friendly and efficient. The process took only a few minutes; we were addressed by name; and offered help to carry our bags.

Were we told about wifi and was there a charge?

Yes and Yes. This was disappointing, but the charges were clearly explained.

The rooms

What was the first impression?


Located on the second floor, our room was spacious and enjoyed a wonderful view of the gardens and lake, bathed in bright pink cherry tree blossoms.

The decor was simple and well designed.

And, as senior travellers, we’ve always found that, despite its mountain location, the resort is readily accessible.




Our room included free tea and coffee bags and containers of milk, which were particularly appreciated after a four-hour drive.

The bed

This was fantastic, with lovely soft linen, soft pillows and a comfortable mattress.

Power points

There were adequate power points for charging phones, iPad, iPod etc. These were well placed close to the bed.

Wardrobes and storage

These couldn’t be faulted and were both spacious and close at hand. We didn’t need the ironing board.


The good-sized bathroom boasted heaps of towels and quality toiletries.




Restaurants and bars

We spent time relaxing in the bar and, like the rest of Fairmont Resort, the service and staff couldn’t be faulted.


We celebrated a friend’s birthday with an excellent meal in the main restaurant, again featuring outstanding food and service.


The Fairmont breakfast is well known – and justly so.  It is a buffet breakfast with a wide range of choices.

A range of complimentary newspapers is always a nice touch.

Leisure amenities

Fairmont Resort boasts a mini-maze, and numerous outdoor leisure facilities, including several excellent swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor.

On this occasion, unfortunately,we didn’t have time to use them.


We did, however make use of the resort’s well equipped billiards room and several of our friends  enjoyed themselves on the adjoining golf course.

Would we stay again?

Without hesitation.

In this instance, we couldn’t recommend the Fairmont Resort Leura more highly.


Australasia’s biggest Ibis

image002Brisbane has been confirmed as the site of the biggest Ibis economy hotel in Australasia.

Hotel operator, Accor, has announced that construction of the 368-room Ibis Elizabeth Street is expected to start later this year in central Brisbane.

Accor, which is Australia’s biggest hotel operator, says it has signed a management agreement with Middle East developer, Action Hotels.

The two companies have been working together in economy hotels in Australia and the Middle East since 2006 and, currently, have five Ibis hotels operating, with an additional three set to open by the end of 2016.

In Brisbane’s CBD

The Elizabeth Street development – said to cost $A90million and create more than 400 construction jobs – will adjoin the Myer Centre and Queen Street Mall in Brisbane’s heart.

image004It will also be within close walking distance of government departments and Brisbane’s casino.

When it opens in early 2016, the hotel will complement at least three existing Ibis facilities across the city, which is the capital of the Australian State of Queensland.

New Adelaide hotel

The Brisbane announcement is hot on the heels of last month’s  launch of the new $A70million ibis Adelaide hotel, with 311 rooms and facilities.

Accor Pacific’s Simon McGrath, says the company remains the leader in the economy hotel segment with 60 hotels in the Australian ibis ‘megabrand’ brand portfolio.

“Once operational, Ibis Brisbane Elizabeth Street will add another dimension to the brand growth as the largest ibis hotel in Australasia.

* Artist’s impressions provided by Accor


Five-star hotel for Brisbane Airport

Plans have been unveiled for a five-star hotel at Australia’s Brisbane Airport.

image007Work on a Pullman Hotel is scheduled to start in February, as part of a A$150 million upgrade of accommodation at the airport’s domestic terminal precinct.

The project – announced by Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss – will also include a three-and-a-half star ibis hotel at the adjoining airport conference and meeting centre.

Accor expansion

Australia’s biggest hotel operator, Accor – which is behind both the Pullman and ibis brands – says passenger numbers through the international and domestic terminals in Brisbane is expected to grow to 38 million a year in the next two decades.image014

Accor described the project as “a strategic step in the economic growth of Brisbane”, which is the capital city of the State of Queensland.

The Pullman Brisbane Airport will boast 130 rooms including two Presidential Suites; 10 Junior Suites; and 45 Executive Rooms.


Facilities will include a freeform leisure pool with a 20 metre image006lap area; poolside daybeds and pergolas; a lobby lounge bar; restaurant with seating for up to 152; a top floor executive club; and a poolside dining and entertainment area.

There are currently more than 45 Pullman upscale hotels in Asia Pacific, including 12 in Australia.

The ibis hotel at Brisbane airport will have 243 rooms

An expected opening date of November 2016 has been announced.

* Photographs provided