A milestone reached for Melbourne’s future eco-hotel

1 Hotel & Homes, located at Riverlee’s Seafarers in Northbank in Melbourne’s CBD, has had its prototype guest rooms signed by hotelier SH Hotels & Resorts.

The space was designed by Fender Katsalidis, Oculus, CARR design and ODO and overseen by Riverlee. The hotel seeks to merge sustainability and luxury, with consideration for travelers who want to enjoy an opulent, eco-friendly stay.

“We see that we have created a collective. Whether it’s hotel guests or businesses with the same core values, they seek us out,” said Tony Machado, senior vice president of design at SH Hotels & Resorts.

“Coming out of the pandemic, this real notion of well-being is on the mind and people are thinking about how we live, breathe and interact in all our spaces and with the environment. The wellness component is something we really emphasize, looking at everything from the air quality in the rooms to the opening windows and creating spaces for wellness amenities.

SH has invested in a number of sustainable initiatives, including energy management systems and in-room water refill stations.

The hotel will take inspiration from the renovation of Goods Shed No.5, which is being restored as part of the $550 million Seafarers project. The original wharf framework, roof trusses, purlins and columns from the historic site will be incorporated into the interior of the building.

Machado says acknowledging the city’s culture and natural environment was crucial to the aesthetics and functionality of the common spaces.

“Breakfast is a big issue in Melbourne, for example, so we’re starting to organize the spaces around those observations. Our cafe bar will not necessarily be for customers only as we are on the seafront adjacent to this amazing park, and we want to attract people to the space to create a local hub.

“The Goods Shed is this amazing cathedral-like heritage space that we were really inspired by because it has a very magical atmosphere inside. We then looked at the waterfront and wanted to know what was in upstream and downstream as well, to bring it all together,” Machado said.

“Walking in the Dandenong Ranges, with these incredible gigantic fern forests, was very prehistoric. The takeaway was the layering – the natural materials, the color palettes – which tended to be very rich, and the exaggerated sense of scale, which is how we applied the brand’s DNA to this specific place.

Riverlee Project Director Brett Howlett believes the arrival of SH Hotels & Resorts in Australia is a testament to the growing demand for sustainable luxury accommodation.

“There has been a fundamental shift in our social consciousness around sustainability. This is not only evident among younger generations, we are now witnessing the rise of Eco-Boomers. Environmental responsibility increasingly influences the way we all choose to live, work and travel,” he says.

“Coming out of the pandemic, people are also thinking about the wellness benefits of immersing themselves in nature, which is another reason why 1 Hotels’ nature-inspired philosophy has resonated with our buyers at Seafarers.”

Sailors will include a limited collection of 120 luxury residences and 277 guest rooms. Not yet seen in Melbourne, the branded residential concept is an integration of residences and a hotel that will provide residents with exclusive access to hotel amenities and services.

Seafarers are to be completed in 2024.

Picture: provided

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