A luxury hotel brand with properties in New York, Paris and London has announced its latest venture will be in Brisbane.
W Hotels, touted as an innovative luxury lifestyle brand with its own unique style, is aimed at wealthy, younger travellers and will occupy one of three towers set to be constructed on the high profile former law courts site in George Street, in the CBD, overlooking the Brisbane River.
Upon completion, W Brisbane will offer 305 guestrooms, including 25 suites, more than 960 square metres of meeting and event space, a business centre, spa, workout facility, indoor heated swimming pool and retail space.
In addition, the hotel will house three restaurants and bars, including an all-day dining restaurant and a pool bar and the W Lounge.
Demolition of the old law courts buildings has recommenced after being halted in June when the demolitionist went broke and asbestos contamination fears were raised.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the owner of W Hotels, announced on Wednesday that an agreement had been reached with the site developer, the Taiwan-based Shayher Group, for W Hotels to make its Australian market re-entry in the River City.
The brand made its first Australian foray in Sydney in 2005, however the hotel was later rebranded.
Shayher Group director John Lin said the W Hotel would bring, "a new level of luxury and service to Brisbane's hospitality scene".
"Our vision was to create a hotel which will set a fresh lifestyle standard in this rapidly growing city," he said.
"W Brisbane will be a stylish addition to the up and coming riverside area and we are confident that the W brand, with its outstanding reputation, will appeal to the new generation of domestic and international visitors to the city."
The brand was established in 1998 and now has 44 hotels and retreats in cities and destinations across Europe, the United States, Asia and the Middle East.
Starwood Pacific Hotels & Resorts Regional Vice President Sean Hunt said the W Brisbane marked "a significant milestone" for the brand in the Pacific region.
"W Hotels is currently experiencing a wave of growth worldwide and having its presence here in Australia will provide a strong foundation for its continued expansion both locally and across the region," he said.
Starwood's stable of luxury hotels include the Westin, Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton brands in Australia.
It has 14 properties in the country, including Brisbane's recently opened Four Points by Sheraton in Mary Street, but the W brand aims to capture a younger, more contemporary market.
The remaining two towers at the 300 George Street development site will be used for premium office and commercial space and high-end residences.
The development will also feature podium level retail outlets.
The announcement comes just a day after Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk unveiled plans for a $90 million, 27-storey economy hotel for Brisbane's CBD.
Cr Quirk said the announcement represented a major investment which would further drive economic development and international exposure of Brisbane.
"Starwood Hotels' decision to invest in a 305 room luxury lifestyle hotel is also a big vote of confidence in the strength of our hotel market and further proof that investors see Brisbane as a destination of choice for visitors," he said.
"This strategy was developed after research commissioned by economic board Brisbane Marketing showed a lack of hotel rooms meant Brisbane was missing out on about 87,000 visitors and $130 million in visitor expenditure every year."