Hotel Wrap: Rydges employee tests positive for COVID-19, Fullerton ups its cleaning measures + MORE

Hotel Wrap: Rydges employee tests positive for COVID-19, Fullerton ups its cleaning measures + MORE

We’re taking you around the world in five minutes with this week’s Hotel Wrap, or 10 minutes if you’re a slow reader.

Worker at Rydges quarantine hotel in Melbourne tests positive for COVID-19

An employee at the Rydges on Swanston hotel in Melbourne’s CBD, which is being used for mandatory isolation of Australians returning from overseas, is among eight new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Victoria, 7 News reported.

The hotel is not currently open to the public as it is hosting a small number of returned travellers under mandatory quarantine.

According to a statement from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, the staff member’s source of infection is “under investigation”.

Fullerton Hotels and Resorts introduces expanded cleaning measures

Enhanced deep cleaning practices, the introduction of new technologies and hygiene accreditation are among new measures being introduced by Fullerton Hotels and Resorts to ensure “well-being and safety”.

From the point of arrival to check-in, guests and visitors arriving at The Fullerton’s properties will experience an elevated level of protection which includes:

  • Temperature taking and completion of health declaration forms
  • Contact tracing through Safe Entry Mobile Application (applicable for hotels in Singapore only)
  • Minimisation of physical contact between guests and front office team members through touchless payment transaction devices
  • Gloves and surgical masks will be worn by all guest-facing team members; and
  • Provision of surgical masks upon request for hotel guests, among other measures.

Choice Hotels’ ‘Commitment to Clean’ initiative

Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific has announced the launch of ‘Commitment to Clean’ across the region.

The initiative represents the company’s holistic approach to supplying franchisees and their employees with the tools they need to help Choice-branded hotels achieve superior levels of cleanliness, and address health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commitment to Clean incorporates industry-leading advice on hygiene and infection prevention technologies and services, as well as guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Health Department and HY.GIENE Australia.

Iconic Sydney theatre to be revived as part of new boutique hotel

CE Boston Hotels has revealed its $100 million plans to revive West’s Olympia Theatre in Paddington, renowned for housing the Grand Pacific Blue Room in the 1990s.

The joint venture between Sydney-based property developer Central Element and strategic investment firm Boston Global recently lodged a development application (DA) to revitalise Oxford Street and the local precinct.

The original Oxford Street building was initially the site of Marshall’s Paddington Brewery (circa 1860 to 1906) before being replaced by West’s Olympia Pictures in 1911 and becoming a destination for Sydney’s movie lovers for nearly 50 years.

In its 90s heyday, the building’s Grand Pacific Blue Room was the party place to see and be seen. But, after a decade of underuse, it fell into disrepair, as reported by Travel Weekly sister-publication The Nibbler.

Now, the Sydney landmark will be transformed into a luxury, mixed-use, boutique hotel that truly embodies the spirit of one of Sydney’s best-known and busiest locations.

Stuba hotel services update

Looking ahead to assist its trade partners to rebuild their businesses, Stuba has loaded a range of contracts and continues to work with hotel partners to procure deals for the end of 2020 and 2021.

As the hospitality industry begins to re-open its doors, Stuba wishes to draw its trade partners’ attention to some changes that may be implemented going forward:

  • Breakfast inclusions may be altered to provide boxed options instead of the expected buffet or plated in-restaurant service
  • Hotel bars and restaurants may remain closed until it is safe to re-open or social distancing measures can be safely implemented
  • Facilities such as spas, swimming pools and gyms may be out of action until the safety of all guests can be ensured.

Since these changes may be applied with short notice and will be carried out with the guests’ safety in mind, Stuba said it “will not be possible for us to advise by email for each booking” that is affected by alterations.

Nesuto launches guests first cancellation policy

Nesuto is putting guests first with the launch of a new cancellation and booking promise allowing for total flexibility for reservations made direct and via Nesuto’s travel industry partners.

From now, all bookings with the hotel group can be cancelled free of charge up to 6pm on the day of arrival.

This initiative is coupled with a zero prepayment at the time of booking. Additionally, guests are welcome to make complimentary changes to their stays while in-house.

This will apply to all corporate, wholesale, leisure group and business group bookings.

Stayz announces cleanliness guidelines and tools to meet needs of travelling families

Stayz has developed new hygiene guidelines to ensure homeowners, property managers, and travellers receive aligned, clear cleanliness recommendations. The additional recommended cleaning measures include the disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, allocating time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitisers for guests.

These combine information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and Cristal International Standards (part of international certification and training company Intertek Group) and have been reviewed by an expert from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Stayz is also adding a feature that allows enhanced safety practices to be communicated by partners on their property description pages so travellers can choose and book homes that meet their expectations.

Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for at least 24 hours between guests.

These important facts will be visible from late May, as the information is provided by property owners.

Furthermore, families looking for properties with flexible cancellation policies will be able to use Stayz search filters to find holiday homes that provide a full refund when cancelling by a specific date.

Stayz will also highlight listings with the most flexible cancellation policies, making it easier for families to find holiday homes that offer free cancellation closer to their check-in date.

Hot deals at Metro Sydney hotels ahead of eased NSW travel restrictions

With zoos, animal parks, aquariums, museums and galleries in NSW set to reopen to the public from 1 June, Metro Hotels is offering the following great value rates:

  • Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney from $80 per night (premium room). The deal includes 10 per cent discount when you book online at with promo code METRO123.
  • Metro Apartments on Darling Harbour from $95 night (standard apartment) with a free upgrade. The deal includes 10 per cent discount when you book online at with promo code METRO123.

Accom Noosa fuels post-COVID tourism revival

Leading Queensland holiday operator Accom Noosa is fuelling the post-COVID-19 tourism rival by offering free petrol to travellers from within the Sunshine State.

With the state government enacting Stage 2 in its roadmap to easing Queensland restrictions, allowing Queenslanders to holiday up to 250 kilometres within their region for stays after 12 June, Noosa has put out the welcome mat.

“To celebrate the state’s re-opening, Accom Noosa is offering one $50 BP fuel gift voucher per booking to any new reservation made, travelling between 13 June and 31 August 2020.

Asian properties up their game

Whether we emerge from the most acute phase of the pandemic into a brave new world is largely dependent on whether we’re all observing heightened hygiene protocols.

Hotels know this, and are enacting all kinds of protocols to ensure the safest possible stay in a hotel. Here’s a sampling of how some hotels are changing their game:

Tanah Gajah by Hadiprana

Tanah Gajah (pictured above), a resort by Hadiprana, has just 20 suites and villas, each with its own AC system.

The entire property sprayed down with disinfectant twice a week and housekeeping disinfects guest rooms on a daily basis, and hand sanitiser is available at all outlets (from the lobby to the swimming pool) and distributed to each guest as well as a reusable fabric mask.

The butler is the guest’s only point of personal contact and visitors will be escorted directly to their villa by their personal butler instead of checking in at the lobby.

Once there they can have a shower before completing the check-in process and the butler will return an hour later to complete their registration and pick up their laundry. On arrival and throughout the stay there will be a daily temperature check for guests, as well as for staff.

Banyan Tree Samui

All food and beverage served at Banyan Tree Samui can be fully traced with full documentation from the stage of receiving to storage, preparation, processing, cooking and, finally, serving.

Even the temperature of the dish can be tracked and identified, according to the resort’s hygiene manager, Phakthima Naratthakit.

Alma Resort

The new 30-hectare Alma Resort encourages minimised interaction between staff and guests, and between guests themselves, in many ways.

Guests are welcome to buy their own food from Alma’s mini supermarket to cook in their accommodation’s private kitchen or ask room service to deliver food to their doorstep.

Guests’ body temperatures are checked when they enter any of the resort’s food and beverage outlets, where, rather than a waiter providing bread and butter, then pouring a wine and following all sorts of gradual steps within close proximity, everything is brought to the guests to handle themselves.

There are no longer items such as salt and pepper on tables; guests need to specifically ask for them, and they will be cleaned straight after use.

Meliá Koh Samui

From the moment guests are transferred from Thailand’s Samui Airport to Meliá Koh Samui until the time they leave the beachfront resort, their stay is a fully sanitised one.

Vehicles transporting guests to and from the airport are disinfected after every trip. Disinfectants against COVID-19 and other bacteria are continually used throughout the entire resort, including in the entrance and lobby, check-in areas, restaurants and kitchens, guest rooms, pool areas, gymnasium, spa and kid’s club, with particular emphasis on key touch points such as switches, handles, telephones, chairs, desks, food and beverage tables, and cutlery.

Other precautions include deep cleaning guest rooms, covering all soiled linen transported from guest rooms to the laundry, and sanitising luggage trolleys after use.

Nihi Sumba announces exclusive update on ‘one-to-one’ offer

Nihi Sumba has extended an exclusive one-to-one rate for Australian residents, matching bookings made in US and Australian dollars.

For example, the property’s US$895 entry-level rate will be adjusted to $895 for all Australian bookings, along with the extra benefit of US$200 in resort credit per room per night.

The package is inclusive of:

  • Three daily meals and all non-alcoholic drinks
  • Minibar (one full re-stock per day, including beer and spirits)
  • Tour of the Sumba Foundation Projects
  • Activities, including stand-up paddleboarding and snorkelling around Nihiwatu beach (when weather conditions permit)
  • Participation in group yoga and meditation classes at the Yoga Pavilion twice per day.

QT Sydney restaurant Parlour Cucina re-opens

QT Sydney’s Parlour Cucina restaurant has re-opened and is welcoming Sydneysiders with a brand new menu.

Led by QT Sydney executive chef Nic Wood, in partnership with QT Hotels & Resorts creative food director Rob Marchetti, Cucina’s new offering serves up homemade, simple flavours with classic generosity and a grab-and-go panini menu for the returning CBD crowd.

These include pork and veal meatballs with provolone cheese and green olives on a pressed sub, and rigatoncini with pork, fennel ragu, dried chili and tomato from QT Sydney’s rooftop garden, paired with a glass of rosso curated by QT Hotel & Resorts group wine director Chris Morrison, among others.

Six Senses shares secret recipes

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay’s signature tapioca pudding (supplied)

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas are opening the vault on some of their properties best kept secret recipes so we can try them at home.

From Six Senses Ninh Van Bay (Vietnam) executive chef Ozgur Bozgurt’s banana and mango tapioca pudding, Six Senses Laamu (Maldives) executive chef Stefan Goehck’s all-island salad, and Six Senses Douro Valley (Portugal) chief bartender David’s ‘Made in Douro’ cocktail, there are so many top recipes to try at home.

Across Six Senses’ resorts around the world, their chefs follow the ‘Eat With Six Senses’ philosophy, while offering a signature twist according to what’s in season locally in their retrospective locations.

You can check out the recipes in full, here.

Featured image: supplied by Fullerton Hotels and Resorts

Latest News

  • Aviation

Senior management at Air India expected to keep jobs after Vistara merger

The Tata group is likely to retain the senior management of full-service airline Air India after its merger with Vistara, according to an Economic Times report. The report said Campbell Wilson will continue as CEO of Air India, while Nipun Aggarwal be chief commercial and transformation officer of the merged entity, while Sanjay Sharma will […]

  • Food & Beverage

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport launches Asian-Australian fusion menu

The newly refurbished PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport unveils a new Asian-Australian fusion menu for the onsite all-day dining Airo Restaurant. The menu debuts alongside the restaurant’s refurbishment and offers travellers a delicious selection while enjoying comfortable and stylish surroundings. It was created by PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport’s executive chef Jee Whan Lee with the goal of bringing […]

  • Cruise

HX names Alex McNeil as inaugural chief expedition officer

HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) has announced that Alex McNeil will take on the newly created position of Chief Expedition Officer (CXO). This new C-suite role underscores HX’s commitment to immersive adventure travel, enhancing its legacy of almost 130 years in expeditions. As CXO, McNeil will oversee all aspects of HX’s global itinerary and expedition experience. His […]

  • Aviation
  • Technology

SITA wins Heathrow Airport’s confidence with contract extension for network infrastructure solutions

Global leader in air transport technology, SITA, signed a five-year extension with Heathrow Airport to support its vast and growing network infrastructure. The agreement sees SITA providing a wide range of network, telecommunications, and connectivity services, while introducing innovative new solutions to business operating within Heathrow. SITA has built a strong relationship with Heathrow since […]

  • Destinations
  • Events
  • Exhibitions

South Eveleigh announces winter series for August

Australia’s premier technology precinct, South Eveleigh, celebrates winter with a month-long series of community-focused and immersive experiences from 5 to 31 August 2024. The winter series programs aim to fuse entertainment, technology, education, food and beverage, and social responsibility. Portfolio manager for Mirvac, Jamie Toko, said the engaging four-week series will showcase South Eveleigh as […]

  • Events

Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street partners with Royal Botanic Gardens’ Lightscape show

The Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street has announced a partnership with the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and its dazzling light show, Lightscape. The partnership looks to take guests to experience the light, nature, and wonder of the stunning display with a special hotel package. Lightscape promises to transform the Botanic Gardens after dark with […]

  • Hotels

The Rox Hobart offers premier venue for chic and intimate wedding celebrations

Known for providing boutique accommodations that offer a uniquely Tasmanian immersion, The Rox invites couples to experience its intimate charm for small wedding celebrations. The Rox Penthouse boasts 211sqm of self-contained opulence that features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and can accommodate up to six guests. It also has indoor and outdoor spaces, including a rooftop […]

  • Travel Agents

New class of emerging leaders starts ATEC’s 2024 ELITE program

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has launched its 8th Emerging Leaders of Inbound Tourism Excellence (ELITE) program, the latest round to begin a journey to join more than 170 graduates. This year’s cohort of 30 comes from across all states and territories and represents the largest group since the program’s inception in 2015. “ATEC […]