1 Hotel & Homes, located at Riverlee’s Seafarers at Northbank in Melbourne’s CBD, has had its guest room prototypes signed off by hotelier SH Hotels & Resorts.

The space has been designed by Fender Katsalidis, Oculus, CARR design and ODO and overseen by Riverlee. The hotel seeks to merge sustainability with luxury, accounting for travellers looking to enjoy an opulent stay that is mindful of the environment.

“We find we have created a collective. Whether it’s hotel guests or like-minded companies that have the same core values, they seek us out,” says SH Hotels & Resort’s Senior Vice President of Design, Tony Machado.

“Coming out of the pandemic, this real notion of wellness is front of mind and people are thinking about how we live, breathe and interact in all of our spaces and with the environment. The wellness component is something we’re really bringing forward, looking at everything from air quality in the rooms to operable windows and carving out spaces for wellness amenities.”

SH has invested in a number of sustainable initiatives, including energy management systems and in-room water refill stations.

The hotel will take its cues from the refurbishment of Goods Shed No.5, which is being restored as part of the $550 million Seafarers project. The original wharf timbers, roof trusses, purlins and columns from the historic site will be incorporated into the building’s interior.

Machado says acknowledging the city’s culture and natural environment were crucial to the aesthetics and functionality of common spaces.

“Breakfast is kind of a big deal in Melbourne, for example, so we start to organise the spaces based on these observations. Our coffee bar won't necessarily just be for guests because we're on the waterfront adjacent to this incredible park, and we want to draw people into the space to create a local hub.

“The Goods Shed is this amazing, cathedral-like heritage space that we have really drawn from because it has a very magical feeling inside. We then looked at the waterfront, and wanted to find out what was upstream and downstream of it too, to bring it all together,” Mr Machado said.

“Walking through the Dandenong Ranges, with those incredible forests with gigantic ferns, it felt very prehistoric. The takeaway was the layering – the natural materials, the colour palettes – which tended to be very rich, and the exaggerated sense of scale, which is how we have applied the DNA of the brand to this specific location.”

Riverlee Project Director Brett Howlett believes the arrival of SH Hotels & Resorts in Australia speaks to the rising demand for sustainable luxury accommodation.

“There has been a fundamental shift in our social conscience around sustainability. This is not just evident in younger generations, we are now seeing the rise of the eco-Boomer. Responsibility around the environment is increasingly influencing the way we all choose to live, work and travel,” he says.

“Coming out of the pandemic, people are also thinking about the wellness benefits of immersing in nature, which is another reason why 1 Hotels’ nature-inspired ethos has resonated with our purchasers at Seafarers.”

Seafarers will comprise a limited collection of 120 luxury residences and 277 guest rooms. Not yet seen in Melbourne, the branded residential concept is an integration of residences and a hotel that will residents with exclusive access to the hotel’s amenities and services.

Seafarers is marked for completion in 2024.

Image: Supplied