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The Crowning Glory

By James Wilkinson

Following a $65 million refurbishment, Crown Towers Melbourne is once again at the top of the industry, offering arguably the finest room product in a city hotel in the country.

In what proved to be impeccable timing for the property, Crown Towers was named 5-star property of the year at the 2009 HM Awards, just a month after the extensive works were completed.

New suites: Crown Towers Melbourne

Crown Hotels Executive General Manager Peter Crinis said the award was received well amongst both staff and guests alike.

“For us it was rewarding to have the hotel recognised as Australia’s best 5-star hotel,” he told HM. “We strive to deliver the best, most up to date product along with a professional, personalised service so to be acknowledged by our industry peers for our success is a significant achievement as we know our peers are discerning and have exacting standards, just like we do.

“Personally, I am pleased for the team, because everyone is very committed to achieving excellence,” he said.

The hotel’s extensive refurbishment was produced in conjunction with the property’s original designers, Bates Smart, and the execution of the project has produced dramatic results.

The new-look rooms and suites feature superior craftsmanship from top to bottom. The contemporary colours and textures contrast well with the grass-weave natural fibre wallpaper, LED lighting and expertly-designed blackout curtains in bold, dramatic stripes.

Technology is also at the forefront, with suites featuring 50-inch Panasonic screens and rooms 42-inch Panasonic screens, while an LCD screen is also set into the bathroom’s mirror above the deep soak bath.

Panasonic LCD high-definition plasma televisions are also installed in the bedrooms, while all three screens feature iBahn video on demand and 56 free to air channels.

“The feedback from guests has been extraordinary,” Crinis said. “Whether travelling for business or pleasure, our guests love the modern styling and attention to detail.

“This also includes our technology upgrade which incorporates VoIP telephony, wireless internet and IP Television to each room.

“As always, our guests also appreciate the personalised service offered to them,” he said.

The new rooms and suites are helping Crown Towers perform well at present, despite the occupancy slump across the industry at present.

“Crown Towers is performing well considering the present economy,” Crinis said. “We have a number of initiatives in the market which are proving attractive to our guests.

“We have worked diligently to ensure that we have a range of offers to appeal to a number of markets including leisure, corporate, wholesaler and groups market. For instance, some weekends you must book well in advance to secure a booking,” he said.

Crinis remains confident the hotel will continue to perform well through the back end of 2009 and into 2010.

“We are feeling positive about the remainder of 2009… one of Melbourne’s strengths is its strong calendar of major special events,” he said. “Equally, there are a number of conferences secured between now and the end of the year.”

Crinis said the events and conferences segment is also “performing well considering the present climate”.