Intrepid Travel plans to open a series of “hybrid hotels” in Australia and New Zealand as part of a joint venture with Drifter Hospitality Group.
The project is Intrepid’s first move into the accommodation space and will be overseen by its new hotel division, led by former APAC CEO Sarah Clark.
Brett Mitchell, Sales Director of Intrepid, stepped in to oversee the APAC region as part of its global role, as part of the move.
Drifter Hospitality Group, which was created by Ryan Sanders as CEO with Hugh Stephenson and Joshua Hunt as co-founders, raises $ 75 million fund initially to acquire and reposition hotels in Australia and New Zealand , with the goal of growing the portfolio to $ 500 million over time.
Intrepid is a 50/50 joint venture partner with Drifter and the lead investor in the fund, which goes public this week.
The portfolio of owner-managed, sustainable premium hybrid hotels will be located in prime urban locations, with eight hotels in Australia and New Zealand over the next three years, and grow to 15 properties by 2025 .
The group’s first new hotels will open in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in 2022.
Ultimately, the group plans to expand the concept globally, with the assets targeted being a combination of repositioned hotels, hostels, redeveloped retail locations and new builds.
Hybrid hotels offer flexible room options (including private suites and shared rooms), located in popular areas of the city with stylish common areas and unique cultural and gastronomic offerings.
2019 research by commercial real estate company CBRE found that Millennials are likely to spend more on hotels than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, but seek transformational and shareable experiences, such as those offered by the concept of a hybrid hotel.
“We have long recognized the potential to bring our knowledge of sustainable travel experiences and the international tourism market – particularly solo travelers and millennial travelers – to the hospitality industry,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid.
“With Drifter, we will create truly unique hotels that travelers will love and the opportunity to grow throughout the region runs deep.”
New Intrepid Hotels General Manager Sarah Clark said the hybrid hotel concept will offer local and international guests a new kind of experiential hotel stay.
“I couldn’t be more excited to expand into the hosting business with Drifter being our first launch partnership,” she said.
“We will provide unique, high-quality accommodation and sustainable experiences in the heart of vibrant urban neighborhoods and neighborhoods. With travel reopening, people looking to reconnect and the opportunity offered by urban real estate, now is the perfect time to embark on this phase of expansion. “
Much like Intrepid, the properties will be carbon neutral and sustainable practices will be implemented in design, services, equipment, utilities and broader operational practices.