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01 August 2021

Melbourne Welcomes Australia’s First Oakwood Premier Property

Opening mid-December 2021, the $150M, 40-storey property is one of the tallest single-purposely built structures in Australia boasting 392 luxurious apartments and a sky bar with 360-degree views. Looking over the Yarra River in Southbank, Oakwood Premier Melbourne is pinned to capture consumer demand with outstanding features, skyline views and elite customer service.

Melbourne - Oakwood expands its large global hospitality portfolio, opening Australia’s first Oakwood Premier opening this December at 202 Normanby Road, Southbank, Melbourne. Pioneering the concept of Serviced Apartments for over 50 years now, Oakwood® operates more than 80 properties globally, Melbourne being the 10th location for Oakwood Premier and the first in Australia to open. This property is nothing like what the city currently offers, striking a nice balance between classic and contemporary design features. The impeccable facilities and thriving dining areas both have exquisite 360-degree views of Melbourne, overlooking Albert Park, Port Phillip Bay, the CBD and Williamstown with each room bundling together luxury and comfort.

Catering primarily to executives and business travellers, guests will have access to innovative tech and communication devices in their rooms along with a newly launched room service feature for added convenience. In addition to this, Oakwood Premier Melbourne will showcase art installations and a waterfall feature in and around the property, which pays homage to key Melbourne landmarks. Ultimately, Oakwood Premier Melbourne is set to transform what consumers traditionally know to be included in standard serviced apartment stays, catering to travellers of all ages and it is nothing short of impressive. “We are in the final stretch of this 4 year-long development and are getting very excited to welcome guests to Australia’s first Oakwood Premier here in Melbourne this December,” says Andrew Donadel, General Manager, Oakwood Premier Melbourne. “The location of Oakwood Premier Melbourne is so central, guests will have all of what Melbourne has to offer at their very doorstep. The features throughout the property are outstanding, catering to business travellers who will be in town for a while and need a home away from home as well as leisure guests who may be visiting for a staycation or stopping by Melbourne briefly. The property exudes luxury and has been designed to pamper guests from the moment they arrive. With everything that has happened over the past year, we've gone above and beyond to ensure that guests can enjoy a safe and stress-free stay with us. We are proud that we can now offer Oakwood Premier's exemplary service in Australia and look forward to opening our grand lobby doors.”

The Property

Developed by the team at Yarra Hotel Group, Oakwood Premier Melbourne is a brand new 40-storey building that has been in development since 2017. The building will be one of the tallest, single purposely built developments in the Southern Hemisphere, showcasing 392 hotel rooms and serviced apartments and a sky bar with 360-degree views of the city. Stayingtrue to Oakwood's offering, this hotel caters to guests of all needs. 132 of the rooms have been designed as hotel rooms for transient guests on short stays and the remaining 260 serviced apartments are made up of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites for mid to long-term guests that range from 35 to 85 square metres in size.

Oakwood Premier Melbourne will also have an all-day dining restaurant called Fifth, a premium bar in the lobby, state of the art indoor/outdoor fitness centre, three private meeting rooms, two large multipurpose function areas, a co-working space and a lounge and games centre fitted with modern entertainment for those looking to play some snooker or video games. Guests will also be able to relax and watch Melbourne thrive at either of the two outdoor lounge green oases on levels 5 and 6.

Oakwood Melbourne Premier is a 4-minute walk to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, a 13-minute walk to the South Melbourne Market and only a 20-minute walk to Marvel Stadium for those attending the footy or concerts.

Development, Design and Inspiration

Yarra Hotel Group pays credit to Hamilton Marino Builders for constructing Oakwood Premier Melbourne, CHT Architects for their design and SORA Interior Architecture + Design for contributing all interior features. Some impressive elements of the build include the double-height roofs within the Lobby area, the detailed fitness centre and the grand SkyBar located on the 40th floor with a mezzanine for private functions.

The building is 140 metres tall, using Raked structural columns and a cantilevered design that allows the building to visually float. A varied chromaticity of grey and bronze shows on the façade of the building which is further enhanced by a considered illumination strategy that includes bespoke in-built lighting to the glazing transform the appearance of the building at night. “Oakwood Premier Melbourne is an ‘experience’, showing a glistening beacon in Melbourne’s skyline that shifts from dark greys through to a shimmering bronze at the tower crown.” describes Mark Gifford, CHT, Team Leader. “We have designed a contemporary and modern aesthetic, combining a sense of grandeur that is inherently suited to Melbourne's culture. This new bronze glistening landmark will prove to deliver a memorable experience for all guests.”

The Lobby is exceptional, hosting three oversized brass mesh chandelier installations that were constructed layer by layer and an outstanding commissioned art piece by the famous Mika Utzon Popov, grandson of Jorn Utzon who designed the Sydney Opera House. Popov’s tactile 3D vertical lobby piece was inspired by Melbourne’s famed Yarra River and provides an awe-inspiring entrance. Popov’s installation ties to the driveway waterfall wall feature too which incorporates a pattern of the Yarra River from a bird's-eye view, captivating visitors as they enter the Oakwood Premier Melbourne premises. Furthermore, all artwork in the guest rooms and shared spaces pay homage to Australia, displaying bright, colourful native floral photography taken by a variety of Australian artists.

Future Thinking and Sustainability

Future thinking, sustainability and innovative technology have also played a large role in the development of Oakwood Premier Melbourne. Both staff and guests will have access to world-leading technologies in their rooms and around the property making communication easier than before. Not only will Oakwood Premier Melbourne live up to the standard of service its establishments are globally renowned for, but their housekeeping and management teams will be able to provide elite service at the click of a button. In a time influenced so heavily by health regulations, Oakwood® has innovated its services to include things like smartphone room key access and a lavish ‘Mobile Bar Experience’, where a mixologist creates seasonal cocktails in the privacy of the guest’s apartment. A selection of canapes will also be included in the ‘Mobile Bar Experience’, with a rotating menu of hot and cold savouries or sweet treats to choose from. It’s these types of offerings that set Oakwood Premier Melbourne apart, encouraging guests to relax in their rooms, lounge in their robes and wind down after a busy day.

A 23kW solar PV system has been installed on the roof, reducing the properties reliance on city grid electricity by 10-15%. Further to this, there will also be an electronic car charging station and all elevators have been installed with an advanced ‘Destination Control System’, reducing the hotel's overall energy consumption.


At the beginning of 2020, Yarra Hotel Group partnered with Oakwood® to operate the Southbank property recognising the globally-renowned brand's stellar reputation for exceptional customer service and managing serviced apartments across the globe.

“The current climate of the hotel and hospitality industry across the world leads us to believe that operating under the Oakwood Premier brand would be an ideal fit for this development,” says Norman Khan, Managing Director at Yarra Hotel Group. “We know that Oakwood provides effortless excellence and considering the detail and luxurious features this property offers, this is set to be a perfect match. We are proud to be the first company to launch this iconic brand in Australia in one of the world’s great cities and cannot wait for guests to enjoy what this property has to offer.”

By the time Oakwood Premier Melbourne opens, it will employ up to one hundred staff, not including contractors and the team at Sky Bar Melbourne.

Dining Experience at Fifth

Fifth is Oakwood Premier Melbourne’s signature all-day dining venue offering modern Australian cuisine with a Pacific Rim influence.The all-day dining menu celebrates Australia’s diverse and local produce, combined with creative and modern cooking techniques. Think Baked Murray Cod from NSW, served with seared scallops and Davidson plum, and tender chicken breast, sous-vide to absolute perfection and accompanied by butter poached asparagus, braised puy lentil and jus gras. Served alongside are a variety of entrees, pasta, and desserts to complete the dining experience.

Leading the charge at Fifth is Executive Chef Kaustav Pandey, whose foray into culinary arts is credited to his parents’ emphasis on quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods. His career spans working at the prestigious Taj Hotels in India and P&O Cruises, alongside Chefs Marco Pierre White and Gary Rhodes.

“Pandey brings a depth of culinary knowledge and diverse techniques to Oakwood Premier Melbourne, where he has designed a unique dining experience for our guests at the property’s diverse dining outlets”, says Andrew Donadel, General Manager at Oakwood Premier Melbourne.

Diners will be spoilt for choice with the comprehensive breakfast menu, consisting of Melbourne’s breakfast favourites, continental pasties and freshly-baked loaves while working professionals in Melbourne’s CBD can order from an abbreviated lunch menu on weekdays for an express meal.

Following Oakwood Premier Melbourne’s styling cues, Fifth features elegant textures, muted colours, and sophisticated furnishings. The contemporary aesthetic of the restaurant is complemented by stunning views of the Melbourne city skyline and an abundance of sunlight through expansive floor-to-ceiling windows.

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