Update: The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf hotel is to be rebranded as a Pan Pacific following the sale of the hotel. The hotel will change names on the night of July 27. Anyone staying the night of the 27th will go to sleep in a Hilton, and wake up on the 28th in a Pan Pacific.
Singapore based UOL Group has announced that it is paying $230 million for the property. Subject to the necessary approvals, it expects the sale to close around May 31, 2017. Following its purchase of the hotel, it proposes to rebrand the hotel as a Pan Pacific
The new owners also operate the Park Royal hotel at Melbourne Airport. The purchase is part of their strategy to grow their Pan Pacific and Park Royal brands across the Oceania region.
After the rebrand, Hilon will be represented by a single hotel in Melbourne – The DoubleTree by Hilton Flinders St. This is quite a change from a few years ago when there were multiple Hilton hotels in Melbourne.
The change is bad news for Hilton Honors members, but potentially good news for members of the GHA Discovery program.
The change is bad news for Hilton Honors members. After the rebrand, it will leave the Hilton group represented by the Double Tree by Hilton on Flinders St.
One thing for members to watch is the actual date of the rebrand. While bookings are typically honoured after a rebrand, there is no guarantee that any of the benefits of the program will be honoured.
On the other hand, it will potentially be good news for members of the GHA Discovery program. The Discovery program is a mutli-brand loyalty program, and includes a tie in with the Rydges program.
The top level benefits of the GHA Discovery program are different to the benefits available to Hilton Honors members. For example, there is no standard benefit that allows access to the lounge. It will be interesting to see how benefits are applied following the rebrand.
It is sad to see another Hilton property being lost from Melbourne. The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf has always treated me wll on my stays there. Hopefully it will not be long until we see the Hilton brand return to Melbourne.
In the meantime, I may need to dust off my GHA Discovery card, and look at getting a higher status than I currently hold.