THE Brisbane hotel market is poised to reach a new high with plans by Starwood Hotels & Resorts to bring back the W Hotels brand to the Australian market.

Starwood has teamed up with Taiwan-based Shayher Leisure Holdings for the move which will see Shayher redevelop the former Supreme Court precinct on George Street into Brisbane’s largest integrated CBD project worth $1 billion.

The three-tower project will include office, retail and residential space as well as the W Brisbane which is described as an “upper-upscale” property that will bring a new hotel experience to the state’s capital.

W Brisbane will have 305 rooms, including 25 suites and an “Extreme Wow Suite”, otherwise known as the Presidential Suite.

The residential tower also will be Brisbane’s tallest building at 82 storeys.

Work on the project, a joint venture between Shayher Group and Bao Jia Development, has already begun with completion scheduled for 2018.

Starwood’s move back into Brisbane kicked off earlier this year when it opened the Four Points by Sheraton in Mary Street.

It was the first Starwood hotel in Brisbane since the Sheraton on Turbot Street was rebranded Sofitel about a decade ago.

“W Brisbane marks a significant milestone for Starwood, bringing the dynamic and innovative W brand back to the Pacific region,” says Sean Hunt, the regional vice-president of Starwood Pacific Hotels & Resorts.

“W Hotels is currently experiencing a wave of growth worldwide and having its presence here in Australia will provide a strong foundation for its continued expansion both locally and across the region.”

W Hotels formerly operated in Sydney until leaving the Australian market in 2005.

W Brisbane is part of a plan to roll out 15 W Hotels in the Asia-Pacific region before 2019.

The hotel group is also targeting Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai and Jakarta to add to the 44 W hotels currently in the Starwood stable.

Starwood says the W brand, established in 1998, caters to a new generation of travellers with a “passion for cutting-edge design, fashion and music”.

John Lin, the group director of Shayher Group, says W Hotels “will bring a new level of luxury and service to Brisbane’s hospitality scene”.

“Our vision was to create a hotel which will set a fresh lifestyle standard in this rapidly growing city,” he says.

“W Brisbane will be a stylish addition to the up and coming riverside area, and we are confident that the W brand, with its outstanding reputation, will appeal to the new generation of domestic and international visitors to the city.”

The Shayer development will feature a podium level with retail outlets, along with an amphitheatre, playground, a central water feature, public artwork and sculptures, and a community and hotel kitchen garden.

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