2 February 2021

Five-star A by Adina opens its doors at Constitution Place, but Meriton hotel in doubt

| Ian Bushnell
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Jelena Bojanic and Stephen Byron at A by Adina ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A by Adina general manager Jelena Bojanic with Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Constitution Place hotel. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra’s newest five-star hotel in the city centre, A by Adina, is now taking guests, but plans for the national capital’s first Meriton serviced apartment establishment are in doubt due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism.

The 130-room A by Adina is the centrepiece of the Snow family’s $300 million Constitution Place development, and TFE Hotels’ first venture with the new brand anywhere in the world.

Capital Property Group’s transformational development includes a 12-storey building, a five-storey ACT Government office block next door, a basement public car park, and a distinctive retail laneway between the two buildings, connecting Constitution Avenue with the Canberra Theatre.

The larger building also houses a range of commercial tenants including KPMG, King & Wood Mallesons, MinterEllison and Dixon Advisory, while laneway tenants include The Meat & Wine Co and Hero Sushi.

The Bates Smart-designed hotel will play a key role in the strategy to enliven Canberra’s central business district, and offers a fresh concept that balances a hotel and apartment-style experience.

It will operate across four levels and the commercial ground floor precinct of Constitution Place, and features 130 apartments – studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms – a gymnasium and a 24/7 concierge service.

TFE Hotels CEO Antony Ritch said A by Adina Canberra sets a new precedent when it comes to exceptional room design and use of space.

“We are of the belief that different stays shouldn’t need a different hotel each time,” he said. “So our A by Adinas bring to life the idea of ‘hotel living’ by embracing the duality of a premium hotel stay with the familiarity that comes from an elevated away-from-home experience.

“Guests can expect thoughtful contemporary Australian design, the quiet confidence of intuitive service that makes every day a bit more special, details in the detail and, above all, the freedom to stay their own way.

“All of the apartments are beautifully designed – in my opinion, some of the best Adina hotel rooms we have released to date.”

Meanwhile, comments by property mogul Harry Triguboff have cast doubt on whether the five-star Meriton serviced apartment tower planned for 40 Allara Street will proceed.

Mr Triguboff has told The Australian that he had decided to convert up to five proposed serviced apartment towers planned for the eastern seaboard into residential complexes.

He attributed the decision to the lack of tourists and falling accommodation prices, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Triguboff also said he is now unsure if he will proceed with the Canberra project.

“Canberra might go ahead; maybe it will work, we will see,” he said.

In 2019, Meriton Group announced plans for 16-storey, more than 200-suite project on the Allara Street site it acquired from Australian Unity for $23 million, saying at the time that going to the national capital was a logical progression for the Meriton Suites brand.

Development applications for demolition of the existing building and construction of the basement car park have already been lodged.

Meriton saw Canberra, with three million visitors per year, as the next logical step for the company and saw the project activating its three street fronts with ground floor retail and commercial opportunities as well as improving pedestrian connectivity.

Meriton Suites general manager Matthew Thomas had said the planned hotel was in a precinct undergoing significant regeneration, and viewed the new ACT Government headquarters in Constitution Place as a massive driver for the location.

But those plans now appear to be up in the air.

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