Is passionate about property and partnerships. His skills are wide and varied across commercial, residential, retail and industrial but all the while expressing a savvy sales acumen. He’s managed and funded principle property transactions in excess of $500 Million and continues to seek ways to help property owners and developers to mutually benefit. Toby has extensive experience in the Sydney, Melbourne and London markets and is a licensed real estate agent and an associate of the Australian Property Industry.
‘Adventurous Opportunist’ is the term best used to describe Daniel Symonds. He is credited with creating The Collectionist Hotel brand’s ‘choose your own room’ concept and FreeSpace pop-up accommodation – both inspired from personal travel experiences. His entrepreneurial eye is piqued when he sees unutilised opportunities that fill a gap in the market. After cutting his teeth for many years in a corporate career at IBM, he brings to this space a Finance & Operations Management focus.
We are the creators, who imagine and innovate
Our story starts in 2012. Founders Daniel Symonds and Toby Raphael, entrepreneurial pioneers, created Freespace – - a pop-up accommodation solution revolutionising unutilised space by converting student accommodation into popular summer stays.
We then rescued and revamped the former Newtown RSL, transforming it into The Urban Newtown Hotel – staying true to the essence of the local neighbourhood in design and style. Next came modern apartment style accommodation in the ‘burbs at The Merchant Hotel Summer Hill; and a retro refit of The Astoria Hotel Potts Point – a former brothel in the now transformed inner-city strip.
We are the disruptors, who defy through difference
Diversity is in our DNA. Whilst we are motivated by modern traveller desires; things like convenient locations, sensational service, unexpected complimentary extras and the right design vibe, we challenge the traditional way of doing things and by inventing memorable experiences.
Enter The Collectionist Hotel - our newest inspiration launched in May 2018, invites you to ‘choose your own adventure’ by selecting from a stack of uniquely designed rooms, custom designed for weird and wonderful tastes. It took 7 designers from four different design teams and 13 artists to bring The Collectionist Hotel to life – now a living, thriving work of art in inner-city Camperdown.
Collectic Hotels - the people behind the brand, not the buildings - are continually exploring ways to expand their unique footprint into cities across Australia and the world.
We offer an intriguing opportunity for like-minded collaborators to contribute to our disruptive movement. You’re invited to join us or invest, but either way, you’re helping make a positive difference.Partner with us
FreeSpace first popped into the world in 2012. Born out of using thousands of unutilised city spaces and converting them into pop-up, short- term accommodation. Success grew beyond one location, with the new partnership model expanding to other university and residential colleges. It continues to expand as a highly sustainable solution for peak season short-fall, providing extra capacity without the impact of new construction. A reward of recognition, FreeSpace made the AFR top 100 fastest growing companies in 2017.
The Collectionist Hotel opened its many doors in May 2018. We say this because even though Camperdown is the first, our revolutionary check-in process invites guests to choose any room that appeals to them for their stay. Like a choose your own adventure, a different experience is behind each doorway. Individually designed bespoke spaces, there’s a theme for all tastes. Far removed from the standard hotel room décor, these unique elements are our signature expressions for all future developments under The Collectionist hotel brand.
The Urban Newtown literally has breathed new life into the former Newtown RSL building destined to be a boarding house. This boutique hotel is a rewarding community convert, sharing a three-story graffiti art mural on the outside and a post-apocalyptic garden atrium within. Combining industrial design and a unique building conversion, this sensitive salvation job is a welcomed and complementary addition to the surrounding vibe. King Street shopping, cafes, bars and nightlife, right on the doorstep, it’s a new urban home.
The Merchant Hotel is a trade up when it comes to modern living. A contemporary apartment style hotel, its position takes full advantage of the inner Sydney suburb, Summer Hill. Bringing modern city chic to the burbs, The Merchant Hotel is located within walking distance of Summer Hill village and the vibe of the surrounds.
The Astoria Hotel is our next exciting property concept. Currently in development, destined to be opened in October 2018 with an anticipated 51 rooms. One source of intriguing inspiration perhaps is the fact this building once operated as a brothel and then in 2009, was declared a disorderly house by the supreme court. We hope this vibrant past makes for a very interesting future.
"There is a new hotel in the sector, The Collectionist, which is set to disrupt the industry with a new concept. It is seen as the first authentic custom design hotel where guests can choose their own themed room, before checking in. The aim, according to the creators of the Collectic Hotel chief executive Daniel Symonds and his business partner, Toby Raphael, is to take the ''bland'' out of a hotel experience."
This new Sydney hotel is an antidote to cookie cutter design
"Comprised of 39 uniquely designed rooms, The Collectionist Hotel is something of a boon for interior lovers, thanks to its collaborations with four creative design studios and 13 artists[...] This new Sydney hotel is an antidote to cookie cutter design. With its focus on individualistic and design-led rooms, a stay at the newly opened The Collectionist Hotel is anything but ordinary.”
The Urban Newtown - #18 of 20 Best Hotels in Sydney
"Urban Newtown, which sits on Enmore Road right near the fork of the neighbourhood’s other main drag King Street, opened in late 2014, and it brings the Inner West-vibes inside with corkboard and bare concrete finishes and graffiti-inspired art on the walls."
The Urban Newtown - Sydney’s Trendy, New-gen Hotels
"In Newtown, The Urban is as edgy as its suburb. The central spaces overlook an atrium, which is decked out with bamboo, fig trees and graffiti-covered columns, while the rooms are industrial yet quirky. But it’s the extras that seal the deal: 24-hour check-in and check-out, parking, free landline calls, laundry and dry cleaning facilities, and regular wine and beer tastings."
Time Magazine - World's Greatest Places 2018
The Collectionist was amongst Time Magazine's sought after list of destinations to visit, with 100 entries spanning six continents and 48 countries.
"No two Airbnbs look alike, so why should hotel rooms? That is the thinking behind the Collectionist, a new boutique hotel that offers 39 distinct sleeping quarters, created by 20 designers and artists with themes that range from “Moroccan Circus” to “La Chambre Noir” to “Queenie Fah Fah."
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52-60 Enmore Road, Newtown NSW 2042
02 8960 7800