Rydges Resort Hunter Valley

EVT is set to expand Rydges’ presence in the ANZ resort market after reaching a deal with Schwartz Family Company (SFC) to operate its iconic Hunter Valley Resort.

Currently operated by IHG as Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, the 414-room property will be relaunched as Rydges Resort Hunter Valley in May 2023.

Rydges currently runs 45 properties across Australia and New Zealand, primarily in city and suburban areas. In addition to Rydges Newcastle, the latest signing gives the brand access to an important tourism opportunity in this renowned wine region of NSW.

With extensive conferencing facilities and access to a wide range of leisure and family-focused activities on site, the property aligns with Rydges’ key values and customer proposition, EVT Director of Hotel and Resorts, Norman Arundel, explained.

“Rydges is going to new places – a real revamp of the whole Rydges brand is underway and moving into that resort market is part of that strategy,” Arundel told HM exclusively.

“Rydges has a big commitment to conferencing – and this is a major conference resort, so its ticks that box. The Rydges brand ethos is driven by food and beverage and this property has extensive F&B facilities; it’s a major family resort and the brand is very family oriented.

“Rydges also has a very big local focus, so, being in the Hunter Valley, we can emphasise that as part of our branding as well.”

The property includes 15 conference rooms and the purpose-built Hunter Valley Conference and Events Centre which can accommodate up to 1,600 guests.

Family facilities include a waterpark, mini-train, carousel, a converted tug boat, the Water Dragons kids club, pony rides and the new Hunter Valley Kids Cottage.

Adult guests can enjoy the Ubika Spa, an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, resort pools, and equestrian areas, as well as an onsite distillery and brewery, a range of restaurants.

“It’s already a great property and Jerry Schwartz has committed to continue improving the resort,” Arundel told HM.

“There will be multiple improvements in the future.”

This will be the fifth property that EVT manages for the Schwartz Family Company, and forms part of a multi-year multi-property partnership that includes a management extension for Rydges World Square Sydney and Rydges Sydney Central.

Schwartz Family Company Director, Jerry Schwartz, said he is pleased to partner with EVT once again.

“[We] and are confident [EVT] will deliver outstanding results for Rydges Resort Hunter Valley,” he said.

“Being the fifth property under their management, we believe EVT’s experience, local agility and track record of market leading results will bring significant value to the future success of our property.”