Hadleys Breaks New Ground
26-Feb-2009 | Hobart’s iconic Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel is breaking new ground – literally – with work commencing on its $30 million ‘Inner Collins’ project.
In what will be Tasmania’s biggest tourism development in 2009, the expansion will add a further 128 luxury suites and extensive food and beverage outlets including an a la carte restaurant, a casual dining restaurant catering for families and a stylish café.
For business travellers, the addition of a Grand Ballroom will see the hotel’s capacity increase to 600 delegates. A new four-level car park will cater to the increased number of delegates utilising the new conference facilities.
“To see the plans for the Hadleys expansion come to fruition is extremely satisfying and pleasing for the Doherty Hotel Group,” Managing Director Michael Doherty said.
“The new extension will ensure Hadleys remains the key meeting point for both visitors and our loyal customers in Hobart.
“Our partnership with Accor ensures that the Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel and Inner Collins project will be promoted throughout the national and international marketplace.”
Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel General Manager, Brian Walsh, said the $30 million Inner Collins project will take place on an adjacent site to the existing hotel.
“This means that there will be no disruption to current guests with all hotel facilities and services operating as normal.
“The new developments will remain faithful to the historic style of the hotel while providing modern facilities and service expected by travellers of today.”
The Inner Collins project, being constructed by Tasmanian builders, Hinman Wright and Manser, is expected to be completed by 2011.
Hadleys is owned by the Doherty family and managed by Accor Hotel Group, the largest hotel group in Australia, under its Grand Mercure brand. Accor have worked closely with Doherty’s on the future plans for the hotel.
Accor Area Manager, Erkin Aytekin said that the extensions to Grand Mercure Hadleys would provide even greater benefits to the hotel, which has already enjoyed a successful Christmas period and excellent forecasts on occupancy for the coming year.
“Hadleys is one of Tasmania’s and Australia’s best known heritage hotels and with the new extension we believe that we can greatly increase the hotel’s position and reputation in the market place,” he said.
“Accor is also a leading operator in the meeting and conference market, which will be of significant benefit as Hadleys extends its function and conference facilities and we will be actively promoting the hotel throughout the Accor network in Australia and overseas, which will put the spotlight on Hobart and promote additional tourism to the State.”
The expansion will complement an earlier renovation of the existing building, which saw the exterior fully restored and refurbishment of all rooms and public areas, undertaken by Doherty’s Hotel Group following their purchase of the hotel in 1999.
Grand Mercure is a 4½ star brand present throughout the Asia Pacific region in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown, Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing. The brand includes other historic hotels, including Grand Mercure Mt Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills.
Hadleys Hotel - The History
The Murray Street hotel dates back to 1834, when it was established as the Golden Anchor Inn, and has Australia’s longest continuing hotel licence. It has played an integral part in Tasmanian and Australian history, noted in the Constitution minutes as the venue for meetings in Tasmania on the formation of the colony. It has also played host to a Royal wedding when local girl, Pauline Curran, married exiled Russian noble, Prince Maximillian Melikoff and many famous Australian and International guests including Tasmania’s favourite son, Errol Flynn; entrepreneur Henry Jones; and explorers Douglas Mawson and Roald Amundsen, who all make a note of Hadleys in their memoirs.
The current building was built by convict labour and began trading as the Marquis of Waterford in 1849, later to be known as Webb’s Hotel, after being purchased by a pardoned convict John Webb.
Webb was sent to Van Dieman’s Land for housebreaking and following his release he became the official caterer to Government House – hence, the hotel’s rich tradition in hospitality was born. Webb’s reputation as a caterer spread quickly and the hotel drew many of the town’s fashionable citizens during the late 1850’s, looking for entertainment away from the now famous Salamanca region. This area was a common place for the entertainment of seamen in the whaling fleet.
Ever the entrepreneur, Webb developed the Hotel and even had an icehouse on Mt. Wellington from which he carted ice to the hotel twice a day. Webb also added innovations like a ballroom and ice-skating rink at the rear of the hotel.
The hotel’s social prominence was highlighted in 1861 when the Tasmanian Club made its headquarters in the hotel.
After Webb’s death in 1881, J.C. Hadley bought the hotel and renamed it Hadley’s Orient Hotel.
The Hadley family operated the property for another 55 years, bringing a range of innovations including electric lights installed into every room and telephones on every floor. They also installed one of Australia’s first electric elevators.
After falling into disrepair in the 1980s the hotel was purchased by the Doherty’s in 1999 and has undergone major refurbishment to restore it to its original grandeur.
It is now managed by Accor as a Grand Mercure hotel. Accor, the European leader and a major global group in hotels, the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 170,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise.
Accor Hotels include the Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, M Gallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, All Seasons, and Formule 1, representing more than 4,000 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries.
A.Mark Thomas, CPR
TEL: 0422 006 732
A.Mark Thomas, CPR
TEL: 0422 006 732