By JAMES WILKINSON
Hilton Worldwide’s DoubleTree brand is set to make its long-awaited debut in Australia in 2014, following yesterday’s (June 26) signing of a 164-key hotel in Karratha, the mining hub of Australia’s largest resources region, the Pilbara.
Announced yesterday, an artist impression of the new DoubleTree hotel for the Pilbara region.
Speaking to SPICENEWS from Perth, Hilton Worldwide’s Vice President of Development for Australasia, Rob Scullin, said the company was very excited about the project on a number of fronts.
“It’s exciting because the DoubleTree brand is being launched into Australia and it’s also exciting to see growth in high-resource areas in Australia,” he said.
The eight-storey DoubleTree by Hilton Karratha will open in mid-2014 and feature 144 rooms, 20 apartments, an all-day dining restaurant and bar, a fitness centre with an outdoor pool as well and importantly, three function rooms.
“The hotel is strategically located to support the ever growing demand from the resources sector and we are confident the DoubleTree by Hilton Karratha, with the support of the developers Ramtron Australia Pty Ltd, will be the leading full-service hotel in the market,” he said.
The signing takes Hilton’s number of properties in the Australasian region to 16 and joins the Parmelia Hilton Perth as the second property in Western Australia.
“Hilton Worldwide has had a strong presence in Australia for over 40 years with the Hilton Hotels and Resorts brand, and we have been committed to expanding our brand portfolio in the region for some time,” Scullin said.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Karratha will be located in the commercial centre of the city, which is 15 kilometres from Karratha airport and 20 kilometres from the port of Dampier.
Owners Ramtron Australia is a consortium led by Western Australian developer Rothchester Hotel and Resorts and also involves Karratha identity Kim Loxton, Singapore-based Tang Weng Fei of Ramtron Oil International and the Perth-based AYR International.
Rothchester Hotel and Resorts’ Managing Director Ron Tundut said he was excited to bring the DoubleTree brand to the Pilbara region, one that’s highlighted from a resources perspective by Woodside Petrolium’s AUD$27 billion North West Shelf and AUD$14 billion Pluto natural gas projects.
“I have had a long-standing relationship with Hilton Worldwide and I am very excited about bringing the world-renowned DoubleTree by Hilton brand to the Pilbara,” Tundut said.
“The introduction of a brand such as this represents a significant hotel development in one of Australia’s most important resources regions and is a testament to the tremendous growth which is taking place in this area.”
Hilton’s DoubleTree brand recently hit the 300 hotel milestone globally, with the properties now found in 24 countries.
Scullin said the company was excited about the debut of the upscale brand, one that has the potential for growth right across the Australasian region.
“We are very excited to bring the DoubleTree brand to Australia,” he said. “We believe it could do very well in this market.”
Scullin said the brand was ideal for CBD, outer-urban and regional locations.
“We believe it is a brand that lends itself to both new-builds and conversions, and we’d like to explore these opportunities going forward,” he said.
“The DoubleTree by Hilton Karratha is a project we have been working on for a little while and we expect a very good response from this [announcement].”