Hospitality Design - May 2014 - (Page 161)

david seargeant perspectives interview By Kathleen Kervin Photography courtesy of QT Hotels FINDING SOME QT 1 A hotelier pushes a design-forward approach in Australia 1 Toward the end of 2011, Australia's Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL) set out to create a new hotel experience in the country with the launch of QT Gold Coast-a 1950s and '60s-inspired property that is "nostalgic surfer chic meets Miami swim catwalk." The opening marked the beginning of a design-centered hotel brand that AHL CEO and QT Hotels & Resort's managing director David Seargeant says fills a missing niche in Australia's hospitality landscape. The Gold Coast property was followed quickly by the launch of the Mad Men-esque QT Port Douglas, which opened in north Queensland; a ski resort in Victoria at QT Falls Creek; and flagship property QT Sydney-the brand's third collaboration with New South Wales-based Nic Graham and Associates. QT enlisted Graham again with the QT Canberra, located in the nation's capital in the former Lakeside hotel and launched last month. Here, Seargeant discusses creating a hotel brand that's "not for everyone," his hands-on approach, and what QT actually means. 1. QT Sydney is housed in two iconic buildings: the former State Theatre and Gowings department store. You've been in the hotel business for more than 30 years. Why did you start the QT brand? The hotel market in Australia had not had any new supply for quite a number of years. The last real growth curve for hotel construction was back in '86 through '88, and we still haven't really experienced, as many cities around the world have experienced, the design-led hotel style- the hip, boutique-style hotel. We saw through experience and what our customers were asking for, and also what we had seen in other major cities around the world, that there was a very clear gap in the market for this style of hotel. Given that in addition to being hotel operators, we are a hundred-year-old company and we've got extensive property interests, we had the ability to develop our own hotel properties, which put us in a relatively unique position. Most hotel operators are operators only, so therefore they've got to convince owners of the style of hotel they want to operate. We're able to look at converting several hotels that we owned to this new brand. The first one was on the Gold Coast, the second one was a resort in Queensland, but the brand was really born out of a desire to create this flagship hotel in Sydney in the State Theatre building, which we own, where we previously held our corporate office, and we were able to acquire the building immediately adjacent, which is the highest foottrafficked corner in Australia, right in the very center of Sydney. We saw that as a wonderful opportunity to create this new, exciting flagship hotel for our new brand. The adjacent building, that was the former Gowings department store? It was the department store on the ground level, two basement levels, and two levels above ground. We redeveloped that space and May 2014 161

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - May 2014

Hospitality Design - May 2014
online TOC
from the editor
business sense state of the industry
trends millennials
places berlin
places hawaii
interview the trump organization
interview tao group
interview david seargeant
interview valeriano antonioli
5 questions for robert mckinley
profile cecilia dupire
trends rich fabrics
cevisama roundup
hd expo preview
from the show director
roger thomas
conference highlights
an nam
night market elements
the line
renaissance barcelona fi ra
hard rock hotel palm springs
ace los angeles
omni nashville hotel
regent phuket cape panwa
only you hotel & lounge
hyatt atlanta midtown
the royal snail
row nyc
st. cecilia
sophie’s at saks fi fth avenue
herringbone los angeles
old crow smokehouse
ad index
ad index
back space
back space

Hospitality Design - May 2014