Many years ago, during his work experience, a young man was peeling kilo after kilo of prawns in a busy seafood restaurant in Gladstone, Queensland. “I enjoyed the cooking,” he said, “but not the peeling.”
Then, at 15 years of age, he worked after school and weekends as a cellarman/bottle shop attendant at the Rocky Glenn Hotel in Gladstone, Queensland. With his sights set on the hospitality industry, this young man — Wayne Reynolds, general manager since September 2011 of the unique Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns — started as an assistant manager at the Rocky Glenn Hotel as soon as he finished school.
“I forgot to tell the boss I wasn’t quite 18 at the time,” grinned Wayne, who has always enjoyed the vibe of a busy hotel. “I have been fortunate enough to have worked in almost every department in a hotel, which has given me an insight into the day-to-day operations and empathy for the challenges that my team faces. It gives an edge in being able to make informed decisions that will benefit the business,” continued Wayne.
Before Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, Wayne worked as the area manager for Cairns and Palm Cove Mantra Group based out of Peppers Beach Club and Spa, Palm Cove. Wayne was the area manager for Mantra at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. His seven years at Accor included, the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Grand Mercure The Vintage Hunter Valley, Novotel Woolongong and Novotel Brighton Le Sands in Sydney. He also did a stint at Kakadu in the Northern Territory.
Pullman Reef Hotel Casino is the most prestigious accommodation and entertainment complex in Cairns, located in the heart of the city and overlooking the majestic Trinity Inlet and esplanade boardwalk.
“There is a strong industry here that still enables me to grow in my career and challenge me, while the family enjoy the lifestyle. I have a young family and Cairns seemed a perfect place to allow my children the freedom to be kids and have the benefit of the environment,” said Wayne.
Recently, Pullman Reef Hotel Casino completed a million dollar renovation of several conference spaces, including its Michaelmas Cay Ballroom and Reef Room. The hotel also added a new Chill Out Zone for guests to use during meeting breaks in order to catch up on the latest news, check emails and network with other conference delegates.
Pullman is the upscale hotel brand of Accor. It was designed with the requirements of business women and men in mind. In November 2011 Pullman Reef Hotel Casino accepted two prestigious awards in the luxury accommodation and meetings & business tourism categories.
“We are extremely pleased with these awards not only for recognising the level of service and facilities we provide to our guests but also distinguishing us as the premium accommodation and entertainment venue here in Cairns. The complex caters to all, with our restaurants, meeting rooms, wildlife dome and magic show,” said Wayne.
Packed with great dining and entertainment options, the hotel is home to award winning restaurant Tamarind and the Cairns Wildlife Dome that offers a tropical zoo experience in the heart of the city.
“We use local products when possible and this is a feature of our award winning restaurant Tamarind. We have sourced key ingredients, such as Gallo cheese, Gagarra honey, Wondaree macadamias, Mungalli Creek yoghurt and Morganberry double smoked ham, to name a few.”
With 128 rooms in total over five floors, guests have of a choice of first class hotel accommodation, including the presidential suite, Pullman suite, junior suites, deluxe and superior rooms.
Pullman Reef Hotel Casino is in the middle of a $2.6 million refurbishment of the Sports Arena on level two of the casino that will be completed in time for the Olympics.
The Pullman Innovative Tropical Breaks program is a perfect option for creative clients who wish to sample a little adventure beyond the confines of the hotel on their next visit to Cairns and the Far North. The Breaks has been created to help planners incorporate a destination element and experience into each meeting or incentive itinerary.
“Pullman has worked with several different local operators to help design each option,” Wayne said. “They range from the more physical and fun options to environmental programs and tropical food excursions.”
The Breaks includes:
• A two-hour visit to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
• A three-hour Tropical Food Discovery showcasing Cairn’s famous Rusty’s Market.
• For a unique workout a one-hour Zumba on the Water class takes place at the picturesque Trinity Inlet.
• A one-hour Jungle Drumming break withTara Tucker, the only Australian certified as a Tam Tam Mandingue teacher.
“There is a great team of like minded people who come to work every day wanting to make sure that our guests feel like they are being looked after and welcomed into an environment that feels as comfortable as their own home,” Wayne said.
Outside of work Wayne’s priority is his family. “I love spending time with my children and being an active part their lives.”
Wayne and his wife, Bernadette, keep fit by training for triathlons, swimming, cycling and running and compete in events when they can.
Wayne summed up the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino with, “Guests enjoy the welcoming friendly service from the team, from the moment guests walk in the door and throughout their stay with us. They especially love the beds and the spa baths in every room.
“We are the premier entertainment venue in North Queensland with a beautiful boutique hotel, a proverbial one stop shop for our guests, be they family, couples, business people or inbound tourists—we have something for all.”
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