Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra

Every day is brand new for Barry Stack, sales and marketing manager of Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra.

Appointed to the position on July 1 this year, Barry has a lifetime of hospitality experience both nationally and internationally. Rydges wanted someone who had local knowledge and associations to bring a new level of enthusiasm into the resort.

Barry’s parents owned hotels in Victoria and Barry was literally born in a Melbourne hotel and he has lived and worked within the industry ever since.

Having spent many years travelling and working overseas and throughout Australia, Barry wanted to move out of the capital cities into a relaxed atmosphere. He moved to the Sunshine Coast three years ago and worked for local company, Affordable Holidays.

“Working there gave me a great insight into local knowledge,” Barry said. “I chose to live here rather than just coming here to work. I have a home here and I want to live here for the rest of my life.”

Barry’s early working days in the bottle shop, kitchen and bar, combined with his experience at Hilton hotels internationally, owning and managing his successful Avoca Beachside Restaurant, NSW and completing a diploma in hotel and catering management at William Angliss Institute of TAFE in Melbourne contribute to his diversity.

Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra, at the southern end of the Sunshine Coast, has been an integral part of the area for many years.” Seeing this resort grow to its full potential is exciting,” Barry said. “You have to move with the times and that is what we are doing here.

The dynamics have changed and younger people are moving into the area because of the lifestyle attraction.”

All resort department heads attend a weekly management meeting. The Rydges brand has its own structured quality management and quality improvement guidelines. “We are always implementing quality controls throughout the hotel and resort,” said Barry.

AN20-1-PRO-Rydges_Oasis-logoSet amongst 4½ha of beautifully landscaped palm gardens, the 179 accommodation rooms offer family, tourist and business people a range of choice from; 104 hotel spa rooms, 22 studio rooms, 18 one-bedroom suites, six two-bedroom suites, eight two-bedroom apartments, seven two-bedroom villas, six three bedroom villas, six disabled access rooms and two disabled access studio rooms.

Quality conference rooms set within a tropical paradise are inviting to any organisation to utilise. For something quite different, Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra invites guests enjoy a themed dinner under the stars, or in their specially decorated marquee, seating up to 500 guests.

There are various accessible activities and attractions to keep any guest entertained within the resort, such as the swimming pool and heated spa, tennis court and tour desk. While outside of the resort, numerous local attractions include Australia Zoo, Underwater World, Golden Beach and Caloundra City Sunday markets.

“My specific role here is to bring back and enhance the personal experience of guests.

Although technology is an integral part of business today, too often it becomes automated and guest’s personal experiences, be they negative or positive, can be overlooked,” said Barry.

“I am a firm believer in impressions… first impression… if you don’t get that first one right then you probably haven’t got a chance to make that last one right. We are dealing with people who are outside their comfort zone, which makes it our foremost concern to listen to our customers, be they guests or contactors. We are all a customer at some time. Unless we communicate effectively with our customers we won’t know if anything is wrong.”

Ironically Rydges has a standard guest card feedback titled Impressions are important to us.


Barry said that Rydges nationally has a passion for delivering great guest experiences, with an emphasis on cultivating loyalty from customers, owners and its teams. Staff are encouraged to enhance their career prospects within the Rydges chain.

“One of our key components of our business here is coach tours, especially for the seniors. When they are in house for four to five nights we encourage guests to experience other local businesses as well, such as the RSL.”

Rydges Oasis Resort Caloundra is actively involved in the community by supporting, sponsoring and hosting various group, for example, Caloundra community hospice, Japanese junior rugby team-Toin Gakuen Australia camp July 2010, Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles, Landcare, River to Reef Fishing and Australian Pensioners & Superannuants Inc.

Barry is an active member of the Rotary Club of Caloundra and is the current secretary of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.

Staff attend local activities such as Underwater World so they can easily converse with guests about what is offered locally.

With his trademark response ‘brand new thanks’ when asked how he is, firm handshake and patient listening skills, Barry shares his enthusiasm with guests and staff. “We balance our professionalism with the relaxed lifestyle and encourage our guests to kick back and enjoy,” said Barry.

“You can look at work two ways… you go to work and do the job and that’s it, or you can look at it as being a part of your life,” Barry commented. “To me personally, it has always been a part of my life. When you live, breathe and enjoy your work that is a different thing altogether. I put in many hours but hours are just what make up part of the day — that’s how I look at it. It doesn’t matter how many hours I do, my work here is an important part of my life.”

Today, Rydges operates some 7,211 rooms and apartments in four countries with 40 properties in key locations.

Written by Marie-Clare De Vere

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