High hopes held for luxury Hilton hotel

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
George Allingame, Paul Lionetti, Robert Scullin, Dennis Wellington and Peter Watson at the waterfront site last week.
Camera IconGeorge Allingame, Paul Lionetti, Robert Scullin, Dennis Wellington and Peter Watson at the waterfront site last week.

A new hotel on the Albany waterfront will open its doors to customers within 18 months and be run to a five-star standard, according to the landowner.

Paul Lionetti said his 108-room, five-storey hotel on the Albany waterfront, set to open by October, 2020, would aim to capture the young tourist market.

“What I think it will do is attract a different clientele — young couples who just want to have a break for a weekend (and having) a strong Hilton name will, I think, be able to attract them,” he said. Room rates are set to be competitive with existing accommodation providers in town.

With Albany set to get its first hotel since the Esplanade Hotel was demolished in 2007, Mr Lionetti said the current plans were just the beginning of a larger idea for the site.

“I want within five years (for there) to be 250 rooms — this is only a baby start,” he said.

“Then we want to build a function room for weddings . . . I really want to put a function room for 300-400 people.”

The first soil was turned at the site at a ceremony last Thursday, when it was revealed the hotel was expected to cost $24 million.

The original estimate was $17 million.

Set to be the first of the Hilton Garden Inn range in Australia, construction will be handled by WA developer Pindan and create 120 jobs.

The hotel is predicted to create 25 permanent staff roles once it opens.

Mr Lionetti said he was hopeful having a hotel in town would encourage the State Government to focus more on attracting tourists to Albany.

At the sod-turning ceremony, Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the project was “terrific” for the region.

“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” he said.

“Just (to) get into the realms of being part of a worldwide chain, it’s terrific — and it’s terrific a local developer is doing it.”

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