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Voco Hotels

samh004

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I see IHG has launched a new property – Voco, with the first opening coming to the Gold Coast before the end of 2018! Rebranding the existing Watermark Hotel & Spa in Surfers Paradise. I note it isn't yet bookable, but then the press release is less than a week old.

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) has today launched voco™, its new upscale hotel brand, alongside announcing a first signing in Australia.

voco will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and will strengthen IHG’s offer in the $40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025. Working with high-quality individual and locally-branded hotels, this distinctive brand will offer owners the ability to drive higher returns through delivering a compelling guest experience and leveraging IHG’s powerful systems. This includes best-in-class revenue management and technology capabilities and IHG® Rewards Club, one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes.

voco, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand.

The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time. The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

IHG announced plans last month to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) to rebrand and operate 12 high quality open hotels and one pipeline hotel into its portfolio across the UK. This deal will establish an important presence for voco in the UK with a number of these properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.

Today, IHG has confirmed the first signing for the voco brand outside of Europe will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The 388-room hotel is located at the heart of Surfers Paradise, a few steps away from the beach, and offers guests two swimming pools and 800sqm of meeting space. The property is shortly to be acquired by IHG’s long-standing partner, SB&G, which currently owns five other IHG hotels in Australia. The hotel is due to open under the voco flag in late 2018.

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented: “We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and voco will help us deliver against this. We’ll work with owners of attractive properties, who appreciate the power and expertise that a global business can bring to the table. Guests will be able to enjoy the appeal of a more individual hotel, alongside the reassurance of a name above the door that they trust. The versatility of the brand, means a voco hotel can retain and celebrate all of the elements that make that existing hotel successful.

“With voco, the recent addition of Regent Hotels & Resorts in the luxury space, the launch of avid™ hotels in the Americas, and the work we’re doing to enhance our existing brand portfolio, we’re making great progress with our ambitious plans to accelerate growth.”

The voco brand promises guests an experience that is reliably different, brought to life through a bold, distinctive identity, informal service style and thoughtful touches along the guest journey. Three critical moments on the guest journey have been identified through deep customer insight where voco can create a compelling guest experience that will differentiate the brand and can be consistently applied across a broad range of individual properties. These moments are:

  • Come on in – a signature welcome experience, swift and simple check-in with an unexpected, locally-influenced treat to kick-off a guest’s stay.

  • Me time – encouraging guests to take a moment for themselves with extra cosy beds and bedding, quality bathroom amenities, rejuvenating aerated showers, a variety of viewing content on Smart TVs and excellent connectivity in every room.

  • voco life – vibrant and sociable bar and lounge spaces that work for different moments of the day, so that guests always have space to relax and enjoy themselves – from offering a great coffee to start the day or shareable and classic dishes in the evening that provide something to talk about afterwards.
To learn more about voco, visit: www.vocohotels.com
I've not stayed at the property in question, but with it being right on my doorstep feel I could certainly give it a try when it launches. It should add nicely to the CP that is situated between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach and the IC that is in the middle of nowhere.

I note they have 3 room types currently:
  • Superior, $150 - $200
  • Deluxe, $200 - $300
  • Suites, $400 - $500
I am interested to see how these prices change going forward.
 

eric2011

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Ive stayed at the Watermark a number of times and I think it will be an asset to the IHG stable. The CP is really starting to feel aged. I stay at the CP at least on a monthly basis but would certainly change to this new one
 

eric2011

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Watermark hotel is bookable on IHG. Will change name to Voco in Q4. Just changed all my future bookings from CP as I dont think there is value for money here anymore. Prices are sneaking up and no renovations have been done for years and is starting to look very tired,worn and old. Watermark is a little bit more expensive but I dont mind paying a little more for better quality plus is just a quick walking distance to down town (bars and restaurants etc) and the beach. Same parking costs plus tram stop outside same as CP
 

eric2011

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I guess it depends when you're looking to book, but I've often seen the IC and CP at very similar price points. Of course, if your business is in the "city" then the CP and the new hotel chain does make more sense, but from memory around ~$130 is possible.

If they had some bonus point offers I might be there every weekend (and I live just down the road).
First stay since the brand change at the new hotel into the IHG stable coming up tonight. Most probably won't return to the CP
 

samh004

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First stay since the brand change at the new hotel into the IHG stable coming up tonight. Most probably won't return to the CP
If you ever want to meet up for a drink while you're "in town", I'm just up the tram line so it's not a hard journey for me to get to Surfers or Broadbeach!
 

eric2011

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If you ever want to meet up for a drink while you're "in town", I'm just up the tram line so it's not a hard journey for me to get to Surfers or Broadbeach!
Thanks, i will keep that in mind next time. Watermark is nice, reasonably up to date, rooms just a tad smaller than CP, bathrooms are also smaller and got the dreaded shower over the bath but overall I like it better than CP. Will become my hotel of choice for my trips to the GC.
 

samh004

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got the dreaded shower over the bath
Seems fickle, but I've been known to switch hotels for a proper shower stall! That said, water pressure is also a consideration.

As a Spire at a relatively new property, how were you treated? Upgraded etc?

Also, on a side note, with the "hotel stays with a bonus 5000 elite qualifying points" I am only ~7 stays away from Spire (so essentially, a very long way). Do you reckon Spire gives much more value than Platinum, in your experience of course. In my mind an extra 50% points on my stays and a guaranteed early check-in would be useful, but... not to jinx myself... I already have a good strike rate of early check-ins as a Platinum. I have been considering a mattress run.
 

eric2011

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Seems fickle, but I've been known to switch hotels for a proper shower stall! That said, water pressure is also a consideration.

As a Spire at a relatively new property, how were you treated? Upgraded etc?

Also, on a side note, with the "hotel stays with a bonus 5000 elite qualifying points" I am only ~7 stays away from Spire (so essentially, a very long way). Do you reckon Spire gives much more value than Platinum, in your experience of course. In my mind an extra 50% points on my stays and a guaranteed early check-in would be useful, but... not to jinx myself... I already have a good strike rate of early check-ins as a Platinum. I have been considering a mattress run.
Water pressure is a consideration but so is the supply of hot water.

Check in was efficient but clinical. My status was mentioned as a reason for an upgrade from superior room to deluxe and not mentioned as in "thank you for being a loyal IHG member" type of mention. No complimentary drink voucher or any type of in-room amenity and at checkin was not asked about the extra 500 points amenity which is the norm now however they did show up within an hour of checkin. Was able to get my room at 10.30am but don't know if that was because they had empty rooms from the night before or because of my Spire Elite benefit of 10.00am check in. Very quick and efficient check out and noticed the parking fee was not charged. That would have been a mistake not a benefit.

Lastly, regarding Spire Elite over Platinum. Don't bust your boiler...you get jack-sh*t extra
 

Tallfont

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Just received an email from here saying they are changing to a VOCO hotel (a new brand of IHG) in November.

Apparently the first VOCO in the world.

I have stayed here before for conferences and it's not a bad hotel. Will be nice to go back and get points and status with IHG.

Tallfont
 

marks

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Just had a one night stay. Would stay again. Good for both business & leisure stays.
The common areas and lobby have all been upgraded but most of the rooms are the same. Today.
I've been told by the desk that levels 17-23 refurbished rooms are available from mid-December.
Half of my floor was closed off to maintenance and I can hear some work being carried out during the day.
I liked the location. Close enough to enjoy the beach and amenties but far enough away from the chaos of Cavill Mall.
Tram stop out the front. Bottle-shop, mini mart, IGA all within a block.

Only one pool was open and the west pool was getting the patio area revamped. I can see a bar/food area coming soon.
I walked through the buffet mid-week. Not busy but a reasonable selection of staples and a great desert case!

Get to Cliffords. The steak grill resturant. I had a awesome meal which, in a tourist area, wasn't too bad on the bill.
The Bombe Alaska for 2 can feed 6! Google it.

Cheers.
 

sumthinfornuthin

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My wife and I are going there for a few nights later in the month.
Platinum Ambassador Member, booked Deluxe and been upgraded to a suite on Level 17.
Had a phone call to tell me. Good service !
we usually stay at the Crown Plaza so will be interesting to see how it compares.
 

sumthinfornuthin

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My wife and I are going there for a few nights later in the month.
Platinum Ambassador Member, booked Deluxe and been upgraded to a suite on Level 17.
Had a phone call to tell me. Good service !
we usually stay at the Crown Plaza so will be interesting to see how it compares.
We had our stay. Upgraded to 20th Floor. Lounge/Kitchen, large bedroom, modern bathroom, HUGE Spa room - cost $ 190 per night ! Amazing value. Great staff at reception,very welcoming even left the desk to take our bags up. Only negative was not enough drawer space as we stayed 3 night.
we would certainly go back, rooms VERY fresh
Helped me stay at 4 IHG brands as part of my Accelerate this quarter for extra 33,600 points.
 

Rick93

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I stayed there in late May.

Did a Rewards Points booking ( 30k ).

No issues at the Check In counter. Get up to 'upgraded' room, to find the workmen had plaster bits all over the bathroom floor, and left a few spare tiles, along with a few power tools !!

On the phone, and a new room allocated … a further 'upgrade', so I was told.

Get to that room, and it was wrong type. Needed twin beds - not King bed.

Allegedly 'upgraded' again ( didn't notice how though ).

Once settled, there was no issue with the room. I think we got two bottles of water. No mini-bar & no In-House movies available either.

Didn't stay for breakfast, as had to leave quite early.
 

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