Mark and Melissa Peters are pioneers of the hotel industry in Australia, and now the world. Having opened the doors to their first Tribe hotel in Perth in 2017, the duo has brought their distinctive vision to France, with more locations in Europe and Asia on the way. We caught up with Mark and Melissa on their last trip to Paris.
We wanted to take away everything
unnecessary – providing value
through things that matter
a hotel experience that integrates seamlessly with the modern traveller’s lifestyle, with a contemporary sense of design.
Mark Peters, Founder Tribe Hotel Group
Let’s go back to the beginning of Tribe. What was your vision?
Melissa — Tribe was born from a desire to create a design-driven option for the modern traveller. We wanted to take away everything unnecessary and instead provide value through things that matter, like space to work, hassle-free technology and, of course, a great bar.
Mark — Basically a hotel experience that integrates seamlessly with the modern traveller’s lifestyle, with a contemporary sense of design.
The design is certainly front and centre. Can you talk about how it developed?
Melissa — The hotel landscape in Australia was pretty vanilla, and yet Australia is also home to a sophisticated design community. We saw an opportunity to create a new style of hotel with more energy.
Mark — Often, when you check into a hotel, you know exactly what to expect from the beginning and the format is very typical in its design footprint. They feel very prescribed and impersonal.
Melissa — Whereas for us, while we feel travelling should be easy, it should also be exciting. You want to know what to expect when you get there, but you also want something new to discover. A layer of luxury, that you aren’t paying through the roof for.
How do you define luxury?
Melissa — Luxury means different things to different people. For us, it’s not about being opulent or the biggest. It’s more about falling in love with the personality of a place. It’s about layering elements of great design, great products, great amenities. So we take the time to select those elements for their quality and their value to guests.
For me, it’s been about working with our own tribe — our core team of designers, collaborators and creatives who help bring our vision to life.
Melissa Peters, Founder Tribe Hotel Group
You’ve also spoken about the “modern traveller”. How do you define that person?
Mark — Someone who values considered design, good quality beds, valuable services. Essentially, someone who knows how to travel. They move at speed, so they need things to work easily and efficiently.
Melissa — That’s the difference. They have a keen eye for detail, and they don’t need all the fuss. However, they still want to be inspired by the place they stay in. All of that is what we work towards when we create each Tribe hotel.
Every element of a hotel is important, but is there one element you particularly focus on?
Mark — I think getting the bar right is critical. That’s the heartbeat of the hotel.
Melissa — We want Tribe’s common areas to flow seamlessly from day to night. It shouldn’t be just another space to pass through. It should feel like both your lounge room at home, and a luxe cocktail bar with friends.
What about in the rooms themselves? How do you cater for the modern traveller there?
Melissa — It’s the same philosophy of designing with purpose, whether that’s drawing your eye to the view, creating the right-sized space for your suitcase, having a real Nespresso machine in the room, or a desk where you can work privately. It’s also about partnering with providers such as Kevin Murphy. His haircare brand is well known in Australian salons, and we’re excited to include it in Tribe rooms around the world.
What’s been your favourite part of the Tribe journey so far?
Mark — Originally for me, it was opening that first hotel in Perth, but since then there’s been the satisfaction of rolling the brand out around the world. For that, we’ve been fortunate to be part of Accor. They have an excellent reputation for developing established lifestyle brands through the strength of their business but still letting the founders stay true to their vision.
Melissa — For me, it’s been about working with our own “tribe” – our core team of designers, collaborators and creatives who help bring our vision to life. It’s a little like directing a film – every part matters.