Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Event lands Oval Hotel marketing gig, renovated Ayers Rock Resort to reopen + MORE

We’re certain you’ll want to read this week’s Hotel Wrap from start to finish, not just because it’s slightly shorter, but because the news is absolutely poppin’.

Australia’s first stadium-hotel chooses distribution and marketing provider

Event Hospitality & Entertainment has been engaged by South Australia’s Oval Hotel (pictured above) to provide distribution, sales, marketing and loyalty services.

The boutique 138-room Oval Hotel is currently under development and will be the first stadium hotel in Australia.

Amid the challenges of COVID-19, the hotel is still scheduled to open in late September 2020.

According to Event, the Oval Hotel will feature its own unique branding while being part of the group’s hotel network, and will be supported as an affiliate partner.

The partnership will also grant it access to Event’s established distribution network, sales and marketing platforms and inclusion in the group’s loyalty program.

Ayers Rock Resort to reopen on 1 August

Australia’s largest integrated resort, Ayers Rock Resort (ARR), will reopen on Saturday 1 August 2020, following the news the Northern Territory will reopen its domestic borders on 17 July.

A new look resort will greet guests when they arrive.  During the recent closure, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has taken the opportunity to bring forward the completion of an extensive $50 million refurbishment of Ayers Rock Resort and improvements to the airport infrastructure.

This encompasses extensive upgrades at the five-star Sails in the Desert, including all guest rooms and suites, the lobby, and pool and restaurant.

It also includes the completion of upgrades to The Lost Camel, and the replacement of toilet blocks and bathrooms in the popular campground. Upgrades to the airport infrastructure include new screening areas making it easier for guests to clear security and start their holidays.

During their stay, visitors can enjoy the 50,000 stems of Bruce Munro’s spectacular Field of Light installation, dine under the stars at Sounds of Silence or indulge in a four-course table d’hôte menu at the award-winning Tali Wiru.

An extensive range of activities including helicopter rides, segway tours, camel rides and dot painting in and around Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will also be available.

Choice Hotels reveals top Australian and New Zealand destinations

Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has unveiled its 2020 list of the top 100 hidden regional travel destinations and experiences from across Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of supporting and showcasing regional communities as we reignite our love for domestic travel.

The inaugural ‘100 Untold Stories’ list shines light on the hidden gems, intriguing stories, fascinating people and must-visit experiences that are the beating heart of regional areas.

From Japanese monkeys found in Launceston, Tasmania, to the crystal clear waters of Lake Entrance in Victoria’s Gippsland region, among others, the list includes adventures across themes of food and wine, nature, sport, art, culture and many more fascinating and wonderful things to explore.

Longitude 131° announces reopening dates

Baillie Lodges has announced its Red Centre luxury base camp, Longitude 131°,  will reopen to guest stays from 21 August 2020.

With accommodation for a maximum of just 34 guests, Longitude 131° offers plenty of space for an exclusive getaway in Australia’s outback, and will offer guests all-inclusive luxury, world-class cuisine, exceptional service and a full itinerary of signature experiences of World Heritage-listed Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

The lodge’s reopening comes at an ideal time to visit the Red Centre, when the days are mild, the nights cool and skies clear, which are perfect conditions for sightseeing and later for stargazing.

Ramada by Wyndham reunites eight babies born at hotel in lockdown

The Ramada Suites by Wyndham Remarkables Park Queenstown welcomed eight healthy babies into the world during the nationwide lockdown, following the closure of the local hospital’s maternity ward due to a COVID-19 case.

Thanks to the quick-thinking midwives who contacted the hotel, one of the hotel’s spacious suites was turned into a temporary delivery room – which fast became the perfect solution for the expectant mothers.

“We needed to create a safe and comfortable space for mothers to give birth with peace of mind amidst all the upheaval taking place and the Ramada by Wyndham provided that for us,” head midwife Sharon White said.

The hotel arranged a mini-reunion after the country was declared COVID-19 free and lifted all local restrictions, to reunite the mums, bubs and midwives who made the deliveries possible at the hotel.

Suzanne Pentecost, hotel manager at Ramada Suites by Wyndham Remarkables Park Queenstown, said it was a pleasure to assist the new parents and babies:

“We were more than happy to help out the midwives when they approached us and our staff have enjoyed having these tiny guests in the hotel.”

At the reunion, each of the new-borns and midwives were presented 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points to enjoy a kick-start to their future travels once the world opens up to travel again. This will allow them to redeem up to two complimentary nights at thousands of hotels by Wyndham located all across the world.

In addition, Wyndham Rewards also recognised the midwives for their important role with a complimentary upgrade to its Gold membership tier under the loyalty program’s #EverydayHeroes initiative.

Under this initiative, all essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19 receive instant upgrade to its Gold membership tier which offers a host of meaningful benefits including members-only discounts, preferred rooms, accelerated points earning and late checkout.

Avani Hotels & Resorts’ AvaniSHIELD program extends to Australian and New Zealand

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced the extension of the AvaniSHIELD program to its Australian and New Zealand properties, which will see a new standard in the group’s cleaning and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global program will see all 32 properties in 18 countries gradually adopt a range of heightened hygiene and sanitising standards, with the program being implemented in Australia and New Zealand from 1 July 2020.

AvaniSHIELD will see an amalgamation of new and current wellbeing measures and will utilise the highest grade of infection control policies and procedures developed in line with World Health Organisation guidelines and all Australian and New Zealand Government COVID recommendations.

Paradise island JA Manafaru in the Maldives to reopen in October 2020

Multi award-winning resort JA Manafaru Maldives has announced it plans to reopen in October 2020.

Positioned at the most Northern tip of Maldives in the beautiful Haa Alifu Atoll, JA Manafaru offers privacy, space and distance from other islands as it sits perfectly where the Arabian Sea meets the vast Indian Ocean.

The remote location is beyond the rest of the islands’ cluster, offering unspoilt natural landscapes to explore. The award-winning resort describes this as ‘the true Maldivian experience’, where guests have the sense of ‘discovering’ a pristine natural landscape uninterrupted by an excess of tourists.

On the island itself, this peace of mind is further enhanced by individual accommodation options ranging from 135 square metres to 1600 square metres, providing complete privacy along with dedicated private pools and outdoor dining.

Crown Resorts shares revised Crown Perth operating conditions

From Saturday 27 June 2020, Crown Perth will recommence operations of its casino and gaming floor food and beverage outlets under temporary restrictions agreed with the Western Australian Government.

New conditions will see:

  • Capacity limits at each venue based on a prescribed maximum density of one person per two square metres (including staff)
  • Physical distancing between patrons at electronic gaming machines and electronic table games
  • Restrictions on the number of players at table games; and
  • Enhanced hygiene protocols.

This follows the Western Australian government’s announcement regarding the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the state.

Pacific Resort Hotel Group offers flexible travel policy

For travellers affected by international travel restrictions, Pacific Resort Hotel Group is making additional adjustments to its individual booking policies to give guests extra peace of mind.

As part of the group’s COVID-19 flexible travel policy, guests can observe the following terms:

  • Free change of date or full cancellation for all existing FIT and any new FIT bookings made to 31 March 2021, for travel until further notice*
  • For arrivals from 1 April 2021 we will offer free date changes for travel dates to 31 October 2021 with existing standard cancellation policies remain in place
  • Waive any cancellation or amendment fees for any bookings that need to be changed or cancelled due to government border restrictions or ill health (medical certificate essential), resulting from COVID-19
  • PRHG recommends guests purchase travel insurance for all other unforeseen circumstances that may result in cancellation or any other claim.

*All other date change and cancellations must be made at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

The luxury hotels that celebrate ‘Plastic Free July’ every month

Plastic Free July is a global yearly challenge where millions of people give up single-use plastic during the month of July.

It aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic items in our lives and challenges people to do something about it.

But one company has been making strides to go plastic-free since the late ‘90s – Soneva – in the Maldives and Indonesia.

Ahead of its time, Soneva Fushi banned plastic straws in 1998 and in 2008, they banned imported water, saving approximately 1.5 million plastic bottles since this time.

The Maldives is a nation with very few municipal waste facilities, so creating a new approach to waste is a necessity.

This suits the Soneva philosophy perfectly and through the Soneva Maker Programme, Soneva Fushi recycles 90 per cent of plastic waste onsite through a robust waste management strategy combined with a focus on innovation.

Soneva is the first company in the Maldives to recycle plastic into new products, using open source machines made from locally available, low-cost materials.

The Soneva Maker Programme is part of Soneva’s plan to encourage guests and hosts to participate in recycling initiatives, to educate younger guests about how things are made and to emphasise the ‘Waste-to-Wealth’ concept.

In due course, the program will be extended so that Soneva resorts recycle plastic collected from neighbouring islands as well.

Furthermore, plastic waste is a huge problem in Indonesia, being the second-largest plastic waste contributor in the world.

One solution adopted by Bawah Reserve is the implementation of a circular economy; utilising resources for as long as possible, extracting their maximum values while they are usable and recover and regenerate when they reach their end life.

The Bawah Anambas Foundation (BAF) introduced this philosophy in 2019, with those residing in Kabul village taught how to make recycled and upcycled products as part of the organisation’s ‘Integrated Waste Management’ program.

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