Rydges is Gladstone’s largest hotel complex, and the only property in Gladstone that has rooms that cater for ‘special occasions’. Two luxurious executive spa suites were added to the hotel’s range of facilities following a refurbishment in May this year.
The executive spa suites have harbour views and feature a corner spa for two, luxurious bathrobes, king-size beds, a television and an i-pod docking station.
Two rooms were extensively refurbished, with the bathrooms extended to make room for the spas.
Waterproof Ecovibe LCD televisions added to the opulence in the bathrooms and neutral colour schemes were chosen.
Stephen Ratcliffe, the newly appointed general manager, is very excited about the new spa rooms.
“The new suites will attract honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic weekend away,” he said. “The refurbishments took about four weeks and the rooms were stripped of all fixtures and furnishings. Rooms were painted, new carpet laid and there was remodelling of internal walls to accommodate the new bathroom design.
“A new LCD television was installed in the main room along with a new Rydges’ Dream Bed, bedside lighting, new tub chairs, and there was a full refurbishment of all soft furnishings.”
The Rydges Group is owned by Amalgamated Holdings that purchased the Rydges Gladstone and Rydges Townsville from the Abacus Property Group for $34.2 million. Rydges Gladstone was formerly known as the Country Plaza Quality Hotel Gladstone. It was rebadged as Rydges Gladstone in November 2009.
Stephen moved from Noosa to take over the role of general manager in June this year. He has an extensive professional career – spanning over 20 years – both in leisure resorts and corporate hotel management.
Stephen said he is fortunate to have an excellent management team assisting him with the day-to-day operations of the hotel. “Their career span within this hotel alone totals over 55 years’ hands-on service,” he said. “Each of them not only has a passion for our hotel but for the Gladstone community as well.”
The administration manager, Janette Spencer, has worked at the hotel for nearly 20 years.
Janette has seen, and been involved in, many changes during her career at the hotel. “Every day is a different day in hospitality and I enjoy being involved with customer service on our front desk,” she said.
The hotel restaurant specialises in grilled beef and fresh seafood. “James Quinn, our executive chef hails from the prestigious 4½ star Fairfield House in Scotland that was awarded the RAC Blue Ribbon and the AA Rosette award while under his guidance as executive chef,” Stephen said.
Richard Gilmour is the restaurant manager. He relocated from the Margaret River region two years ago where he had worked in a variety of establishments ranging from boutique hotels, exclusive resort properties, and restaurants. “I enjoy Rydges for its internal progression and the fact that everyday is a new day with guests and events,” Richard said.
Behind the scenes is a dedicated team of maintenance and housekeeping staff. Gail Murray and Doreen VanNimwegen have been working at the hotel for a combined 23 years. They oversee and supervise the housekeeping department.
Gail started work at the hotel 14 years ago and still has the same passion for her job as she did on her first day. Doreen has been working at the hotel for nine years and has enjoyed the many changes since Rydges took over the property.
David McDonnell the maintenance manager has been looking after and maintaining the hotel for over seven years. He enjoys the interaction with the guests and the variety of work around the property but most of all he loves the fishing around the Gladstone region!
Fishing, snorkelling and diving are some of the top attractions. The hotel’s close proximity to the harbour gives guests easy access to Heron Island and the Great Barrier Reef. Day trips to Lady Musgrave Island and Fitzroy Lagoon are available, making the hotel an ideal base for exploring the region. The long white sandy beaches of Tannum Sands are just 20 minutes’ drive from Gladstone. The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from the entertainment centre and the city’s CBD.
Rydges Gladstone has the largest conference and wedding venue in the city and can host up to 300 guests for cocktails and drinks receptions, and 200 people for banquets. The smaller Port Curtis room on the ground floor is used to host intimate gatherings and small conference meetings. The hotel offers discounted accommodation for wedding guests.
Rydges Gladstone has 72 hotel rooms, 22 studio apartments and 1 two bedroom apartment.
All rooms have flat screen televisions and free high speed Internet access along with mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, iron and ironing boards. The hotel offers 24 hour reception, room service, a swimming pool and complimentary guest car parking.
Are you interested in lifting your industry profile?
Email [email protected] or call (07) 5440 5322