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A MULTI-MILLION-dollar refurbishment has given visitors to Uluru further accommodation options.

Previously known as the Outback Pioneer Hotel, the new-look Outback Hotel and Lodge has enhanced guest rooms, new ensuite bathrooms and a major upgrade to the swimming pool and surrounding public areas.

The upgrades – the first in more than 20 years – also include new furniture and all the soft furnishings – bed and bathroom linen, new carpets and curtains – which reflect the earthy tones of the Uluru landscape with warm reds, ochres and pinks.

“This hotel has always had a warm, welcoming atmosphere and is the place to come after a day’s touring at Uluru to share stories over a cold drink and a BBQ,” said Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

“We’re really excited with the repositioning and can’t wait to welcome back families, backpackers and groups of travellers.”

The full refurbishment to all 125 guest rooms also includes free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, walk-in rain showers and new bedding configurations.

Rooms also feature large prints from Indigenous artist Delma Forbes, based on her original artwork Ngura-Country, which is inspired by the desert landscape and its ancient landforms, bush and vibrant colours.

In the 46-room Outback Lodge, the former budget rooms have been reconfigured into family lodge rooms with one queen bed and one bunk bed. The Lodge is also home to a variety of dormitory rooms and configurations, perfect for travellers on a budget.

A standard guest room at the Outback Hotel starts from $300 per room per night, with a two-night minimum stay. A family lodge room with ensuite starts at $260 per night, with a one-night minimum night stay.

Down Under Debut for Lux Euro Brand

A NEW name on the Aussie hotel scene is inviting creative-minded travellers to savour the good life at one of our most historic entertainment sites.

Le Méridien Melbourne marks the European brand’s highly anticipated reintroduction to Australia.

The property is situated on a prime location overlooking Parliament House, Spring Street and the east of Melbourne, ideal for guests to connect with the city’s famed art, culture and culinary scene.

Originally built as a hotel in the 1850s, the site has been a cornerstone of Melbourne’s arts and culture scene through its many iterations as a theatre, cinema, nightclub and live performance venue.

Returning to its original interpretation as a hotel, Le Méridien Melbourne pays homage to its rich history through curated design, immersive art installations and exciting culinary collaborations.

The property offers 235 guest rooms including 14 suites, where contemporary style meets mid-century elegance with custom joinery, eye-catching lighting and chic marble bathrooms.

All guest rooms feature Malin + Goetz bath amenities, signature Le Méridien beds, Marshall Speakers, 55-inch LCD TVs, signature bottled cocktails by The Everleigh Bottling Co., a personal coffee machine with artisan coffee pods and a dedicated working desk designed for the creative-minded traveller.

Le Splash – the showpiece rooftop pool and terrace – hosts an additional large-scale mural by Stephen Baker and features an open-air bar serving cocktails, poolside snacks and inventive local gelato flavours from Le Scoop by Le Méridien – the brand’s signature handcrafted gelato and sorbet cream program.

“We are excited to draw back the curtain on Melbourne’s most glamourous new hotel and invite guests to savour the good life through immersive art, elevated European dining and our showpiece rooftop pool,” said Peter Minatsis, General Manager, Le Méridien Melbourne.

Aussie Opening Sets Landmark for Hotel Chain

THEY ENTERED the region nearly 50 years ago and have steadily increased their footprint in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne is the company’s 1,000th property in the region and marks the brand’s entry into the Australian city.

The company anticipates adding 100 hotels – roughly two hotels per week – in Asia Pacific in 2023, expanding its footprint in key markets including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, China and India.

The Melbourne property features 257 guest rooms and suites, including The Ritz-Carlton Suite. It has panoramic views across the city and surrounds, stylish, residential-inspired décor and furnishings, including custom leather and velvet furniture, hand-made glass panels and bespoke light fixtures.

Rooms have marble bathrooms with double vanities, rain showers and oversized bathtubs.

There’s a signature restaurant and intimate library bar offering local food and beverage experiences, a heated indoor infinity pool and pool deck overlooking the city and a spa featuring bespoke treatments, a sauna, vitality pools and tranquil yoga space.

“The opening of Marriott International’s 1,000th hotel in Asia Pacific is a true milestone, underscoring our confidence in the overall travel outlook,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International.

“We’re particularly thrilled to be expanding our footprint in new and emerging markets.”

Guests will also be able to join in the celebration by enjoying a specially created limited edition celebratory beverage – The Melb-presso 1000 – inspired by the coffee culture of Melbourne.

It will be available until April 23 in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions across all 1,000 Marriott International hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific.