A new lifestyle accommodation venture known as The Leisure Accommodation Collective (LA Co), has launched its first property in Melbourne, following its takeover of The Village hostel portfolio in 2022.
Located at 78 Howard St, North Melbourne, The Village North Melbourne underwent a six-month refurbishment in 2023 to elevate the hostel experience before reopening in early December.
The revamped property – designed by Melbourne’s Anthology Studio – features 300 beds across interior styled private suites, bunk rooms featuring privacy curtains for each bed, as well as female-only dorms.
Communal areas include a new rooftop overlooking Melbourne, wellness space, cinema room, games area and guest kitchen space.
LA Co currently owns and operates eight properties under The Village brand, located in Byron Bay, Surry Hills, Bondi Beach, Glebe, Canberra, Cairns, Melbourne CBD and North Melbourne.
Each property will undergo refurbishment by Anthology Studio to deliver a vibrant and contemporary look.
LA Co CEO, Luke Moran, a hospitality leader with 25 years’ experience across Lancemore, Mantra Group and The Langham, said the company is planning to expand The Village footprint due to increased demand for an elevated hostel offering.
“Globally, there’s been a reset of travel and accommodation expectations amongst leisure travellers with a significantly higher demand for design focused venues with greater communal amenities and experience lead offerings The Village North Melbourne is LA Co’s first step to meet this demand, and it’s already proven, we’re heading in the right direction,” Moran said.
“Since reopening in December, The Village North Melbourne has seen exceptionally strong demand, and is trading above 90% occupancy and has already achieved the number one status on Hostelworld in Melbourne as rated by our customers. This demonstrates there is huge appetite for enhanced hostel experience that’s more than just a bed to stay in.
“The roll out of our refurbishment project and new programming across all The Village locations will deliver this elevated experience and redefine hostel stays in Australia.”
In addition to The Village portfolio, LA Co is set to introduce a new hybrid hotel hostel brand known as Drifter to the Australian and New Zealand markets, with properties in Christchurch and Byron Bay slated to open in mid-2024.