Only a few months after relaunching as Rydges Resort Hunter Valley, the resort in the heart of the Hunter Valley wine region has been honoured at the state’s most prestigious hospitality and tourism awards.
At the 2023 NSW Awards for Excellence, Rydges Resort Hunter Valley represented in a number of categories and took out the inaugural Disability Inclusion and Access Award.
Director Schwartz Family Company, owner of Rydges Resort Hunter Valley Jerry Schwartz credited the team for the resort’s ethos of accessibility and inclusivity.
“Our team at Rydges Resort Hunter Valley is really thrilled to be recognised for its work to accommodate guests with disabilities with the award in the Disability Inclusion and Access category of this year’s NSW Accommodation Awards,” he said.
“General Manager Gareth Long has a wonderful team and they are very skilled in accommodating a vast range of guests every day, from families with very young children through to couples, elderly travellers and those who need special assistance with facilities and access.”
As an inclusive resort, Rydges Resort Hunter Valley has ensured that this commitment is also reflected within its own workforce.
By partnering with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and their EmployAbility program, the resort has been able to provide employment opportunities to people who may have been impacted by a spinal cord injury.
For guests, the resort has 12 accessible rooms and has ensured that amenities such as the pool, gym and day spa are also accessible.
“We are a totally inclusive resort and that has been instilled through extensive training and development of staff when the hotel was a Crowne Plaza and more recently as Rydges Resort,” Dr Schwartz said.
Dr Schwartz added that he was very pleased that this training was recognised with a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Outstanding Achievement in Training category, adding that “great training delivers thoughtful and dedicated service”.
Looking to the future, Dr Schwartz said there were plans to expand the resort to further contribute to the local economy.
“It’s significant that the resort received a Highly Commended award for its ‘Outstanding Community Contribution’,” he said.
“Gareth and his team play a vital role in the Hunter Valley’s tourism economy through holding events and creating extensive employment opportunities for the local community.
“We’ve got many plans to expand the resort’s attractions which will deliver even greater benefits to the region in the future.”
Sarah is a freelance journalist with experience across print, digital and audio. After working for Multimedia Publishing as a contributing writer, she has recently joined the team in a part-time capacity for School News AU and AccomNews.