Property profile: AC Hotels brings Spanish soul to Southbank

Australia’s first-ever AC Hotels by Marriott was introduced to the market in May with the opening of the AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank.

The 14th brand to enter Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio in Australia, AC by Marriott is a design-driven lifestyle brand that originated in Spain in 2011 through a joint venture with renowned Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalan.

The 205-room Southbank Hotel is located near the South Wharf precincts – an area currently undergoing a major urban renewal project – and is owned by Melbourne-based mixed-use developer Capital Alliance.

AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank general manager Harry Singh said the hotel had the advantage of being the only player in the area.

“We have the best of both worlds,” Singh said. SM.

“We are close (a three-minute walk) to the convention center and 900 meters from South Melbourne Market. The next hotel from here is in South Yarra, so we really want to own that area.

Modern minimalism

Designed by DKO Architecture, the property features open, clutter-free layouts with sleek desks and open closets, reflecting South Melbourne’s industrial warehouse style.

Modern classic finishes are used throughout, including natural stone tiling, textured wood, metallic details, layers of drapery, and brass accents.

Working in conjunction with DKO, Singh said the team brought to life the core elements of the AC design philosophy – a hotel that has been thoughtfully crafted for the lifestyle traveler.

“Every detail of the experience is meticulously thought out to create a seamless stay,” Singh said.

“The design approach to each space is optimal comfort and utility through modern decor, with open layouts offering functional beauty without distraction.

“The lifestyle traveler is looking for these truly intuitive stylish spaces, as well as highly intuitive service. The brand’s saying is, “We provide everything they need and nothing you don’t.”

Intuitive serving

Among the concepts developed to anticipate all customer needs, “Lend me” allows customers to borrow an item they may have forgotten to bring, such as a charger or cufflinks.

“We’ve got all the basics you tend to forget, but we’ve also worked on a lot of other cool things you’d like to have when you go to a hotel,” Singh said. SM.

“You can borrow anything from ties and cufflinks to a handbag or a guitar. You can even borrow a platoon bike – we can fit it in the room.

The hotel also offers more than a dozen bikes that guests can borrow to ride the local trails.

Go off the beaten track

The establishment’s dining offering is managed by Peter Rowland Group (PRG) – which is also behind retailer David Jones’ iconic Food Halls. It includes a Spanish-influenced dining experience, Sorolla, an independent bar, Triana Bar, which offers views of the city skyline, and the pool bar, Bar de Buceo, which also offers drinks and snacks. light meals outdoors.

“The F&B offer is very different. These are not your typical club sandwiches. We want to pay homage to our Spanish roots, so there’s a lot of that Spanish influence,” Singh said.

AC by Marriott is a very gin-focused brand and works closely with local distillery Patient Wolf to craft its own gin, which is available throughout the hotel and served in a custom glass by sculptural glass artist Adam Walmon .

“We have these airplane-style carts — with shelves of gin, all combinations of tonics, toppings, and glassware — that circle the hotel every night at 6 p.m. offering a free drink,” Singh explained.

Wellness is another big part of the hotel’s offering, with leisure facilities including an outdoor infinity pool spanning the width of the building and a 24-hour fitness center with the latest fitness technology. There are also quiet spaces for guests to meditate and exercise.

“We have this wonderful balcony where you can grab a yoga mat to practice outside when the weather is nice,” Singh said.

The property features a variety of meeting and event spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows and collaborative spaces, including the brand’s signature AC Lounge – a modern coworking space by day that transforms into a social hub offering European style tapas at night.

This article originally appeared in the June issue of HM Magazine. Learn more here.

Nicholas E. Crittendon