COMO on the hunt for Sydney address

LATTE chats with COMO Hotels & Resorts' VP Commercial, Doris Goh

COMO Hotels & Resorts expects to add an address in Sydney’s CBD to its global collection within the next two years, LATTE can reveal. The hospitality and wellness specialist has 16 properties around the world in Bali, Thailand, Bhutan, Maldives, Tuscany, London, Turks & Caicos, Australia (COMO The Treasury in Perth) and the group’s most recent addition, Fiji’s Laucala Island, which joined the luxury stable 14 months ago.

Representatives from COMO Hotels & Resorts have been travelling the country this week and last, meeting with trade partners at events in Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.

Joining the delegation in Sydney from COMO’s HQ in Singapore was COMO’s Doris Goh, Vice President – Commercial. Goh offered insight on the brand to media, including LATTE, saying the Australian market was very important given its location to the bulk of COMO’s collection in Southeast Asia (three properties in Bali and two in both Thailand and Bhutan), the Maldives (two) and Fiji. She confirmed that Australian travellers were generating a significant share of business for COMO Laucala Island in Fiji.

COMO Laucaula Island, Fiji

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Domestically, COMO The Treasury has been part of the portfolio since its opening eight years ago in 2015. But when quizzed by LATTE about further expansion in Australia and the potential of an asset on the east coast, Goh confirmed, “We’re looking at Sydney.”

She said the NSW capital has been on the luxury hospitality company’s radar for some time.

“It’s always been the vision of COMO’s Founder, Christina Ong, to be in key gateway locations,” Goh said during her whirlwind visit. Pressed for a potential timeline for a Sydney debut of either 12 or 24 months, she flagged the latter duration.

“There hasn’t been any urgency [for a Sydney hotel],” she said, adding “but right now, we think it’s time.”

Goh was tight-lipped on specific sites in Sydney, or if COMO had its eye on a take-over, restoration project or potential new build, or even a site inspection while she was in the country.

She did however state that Ong, is “very hands-on when it comes to food, wellness and aesthetics” at the brand’s hotels, and any new choice of property would be “personally curated by herself along with her choice of designers.” Paola Navone of OTTO studio is one interior designer Ong has used on existing COMO projects, including COMO Castello del Nero in Tuscany, Italy; COMO Point Yamu in Phuket, Thailand; and her latest work at COMO Le Montrachet in Burgundy, France.

COMO Le Montrachet, Burgundy, France

Goh said the billionaire founder still remains hardworking for the brand, travelling the globe “aspiring to bring guests the best cuisine from the best chefs”. To her, “luxury is understated”.

The name COMO itself is an acronym of the Founder’s initials and that of her daughter, Melissa Ong.

Growth and expansion

Announced in late 2021, COMO Le Montrachet will officially debut in June 2023 after a soft opening next month. The property, which dates back to 1842, is centered around a famous restaurant and an inn and will feature 30 rooms and suites. Set within a 19th-century village, the COMO Le Montrachet is spread across four heritage buildings that have been converted into chic sanctuaries. A COMO Shambhala Retreat is planned for the property in the future.

Also in June, Podere San Filippo will debut near the 740-acre COMO Castello Del Nero’s estate. The historic farmhouse has been converted into a modern family residence with 12 large and contemporary apartments – a mix of one- to three-bedrooms, some of which offer outdoor patios.

Podere San Filippo render

From 1 September 2023, COMO Hotels & Resorts will also “come home” to Singapore when COMO Metropolitan Singapore opens. Thirty years since the brand was last in the Lion City, the 150-room and suite property will feature Michelin Star restaurants, retail and fashion brands and a COMO Shambhala wellness facility.

“At COMO Metropolitan Singapore, we are able to implement the entire ‘COMO Lifestyle’ – food and beverage, wellness, retail. It’ll be the first time we can bring it all together in one location,” she commented.

Additionally, COMO is set to welcome a second property in Italy in the northern alps – complementing its Tuscan retreat – and building on the brand’s existing presence in the Dolomites where it operates the COMO Shambhala Spa. Set within the five-star Alpina Dolomites Lodge for the past year, the ski resort will reposition as COMO Alpina Dolomites from December 2023, LATTE can reveal.

Not just a winter playground, Goh said the 30-room and suite Italian mountain resort is just as popular during summer months when the property commands higher rates than winter. It also has a very strong repeat business of 50%.

Alpina Dolomites | Source: Facebook/Alpina Dolomites

Alpina Dolomites is currently a member of Leading Hotels of the World. It will close for enhancements to bring it in line with COMO standards. Goh did emphaise that the upgrade will “ensure that we do not take away the nuances that guests are familiar with and love.”

Further, Goh said the loyalty program of COMO Hotels & Resorts, COMOCLUB, is nearing the 1 million member mark. Now in it’s 29th year, COMOCLUB has over 800,000 members and has a “very engaged audience”, she said.

Gabi Vincent, Director of Sales and Marketing for COMO The Treasury said the Perth address is focused on immersive experiences guests can engulf themselves in while on-site within the heritage building. Home to six restaurants, four bars and ten retailers, COMO The Treasury offers a number of activations and curated experiences annually, such as Artists in Residence and ‘COMO Conversations’, alongside spring and festive campaigns to name a few.

COMO The Treasury, Perth

And to encourage more east-coasters to travel to the west for short breaks, COMO The Treasury partners with Ampersand Estates in Pemberton to coordinate five-night curated itineraries (two nights in Perth, three nights in the Margaret River region), to showcase the city and rural destinations.

Vincent also told LATTE that Singapore is driving the return of international visitors to the property, and that events at COMO have now kicked into another gear after the COVID drought.

More on COMO Hotels & Resorts at

Lead image: Pictured at Thai restaurant viand, Woolloomooloo in Sydney from left are COMO Hotels & Resorts; Eugene Feklistov (COMO Shambhala Estate, COMO Uma Canggu, COMO Uma Ubud); Nuaas Mohamed (COMO Maalifushi, COMO Cocoa Island); Jocelyn Whiteside (COMO Laucala Island, Fiji, COMO Metropolitan Bangkok, COMO Point Yamu, COMO Uma Punakha, COMO Uma Paro); Katherine Gordon (COMO Metropolitan London, COMO The Halkin, COMO Castello del Nero); Doris Goh, VP Commercial at COMO Hotels and Resorts; Jonica Paramor, Global Director of Sales – Australia, New Zealand; and Gabi Vincent (COMO The Treasury).

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