- Feb 10, 2010
Yes, I've been thinking about this too, particularly after Hilton abandoned MEL leaving it with only a DT. Seeing other DT's popping up around the country, including 1 almost complete in PER on the river foreshore and another apparently coming in Northbridge, whilst the old (old!) Hilton Parmelia is still with us over here, I suspect it won't last long once the new DT opens up later this year.It's kind of frustrating to see that most of the new hotels being developed in Australia are low-end rather than captivating 5 star properties.
... I have a theory. There just isn't enough margin in the proper "5 star" Hilton in Australia. To get the margins probably desired, the rooms need to be sold off ala SYD, $300-400 a night base ... DT's seem to be calling anywhere from $150-250/night, which is pretty much exactly where the Hiltons (in MEL particularly) used to be, price point wise. I'm guessing, and it is a complete guess, its cheaper to operate a DT than a Hilton (?)
My experience in China and SE Asia has been that DT's outperform Hiltons in Aus, from a customer experience perspective anyway. The Hiltons and Conrads in the same areas are significantly more expensive than the DT and come with appropriate gobs of extra polish - we just don't seem capable of providing this in Australia. Whether its cultural or budgetary, its hard to know. But ultimately, if the best you can do is provide a fairly middle of the road 'DT Experience', well, you might as well operate DT hotels then (smile).
** Incidentally, before I go, I should mention, The staff at Hilton PER are the best in the country, in my view. Its a real pity that the property itself is now so starkly showing its age.