Friday, 27 April 2012

Rydges in Melbourne

I was invited to visit Melbourne and not being one to pass up a chance for a couple days away from the office and the chance to meet some people that I had only ever engaged with remotely, I was right into it and started packing the bags. Of course, having only recently boasted that my flights never get delayed, my flight was delayed by a couple of hours and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at the airport when my plan had been to dine in one of Melbourne's many fine eateries.

I wandered the streets of Melbourne, met a few people and looked at a few conference hotels, as you do. But, special mention here to the two Rydges properties that I visited, pleasantly surprised was the feeling.

Jacqui from their sales team showed me around and although we have swapped many e-mails over the years I now know why the feedback I get from clients I send to her is always good, shes a great lady with a big smile, positive and energetic, who knows her stuff.

The conference rooms at Rydges Melbourne were light and spacious with high ceilings, good size with the largest room seating up to around 300 people in a Theatre Style or 120 Classroom. I wont bore you with the facts and figures but visit Rydges Melbourne on the web site for more info. I also like this part of the City of Melbourne, easy walk to Lygon Street, close to Chinatown, The Parliament buildings and the Theatres. The accommodation was a good solid corporate standard,classic style, earthy tones, clean and comfortable with the amenities you'd expect.

Rydges on Swanston - Conference Room
Rydges on Swanston was next and again pleasantly surprised this time shown around by Mat and again an impressive operator and a decent human. This property is just on the northern fringe of Melbourne CBD, easy to walk into the city centre or jump on one of Melbourne famous trams that run past the front door. This place has a nice park next door which seemed like a great place to take conference delegates for a picnic lunch, a spot of group Yoga in the morning or maybe some team building activity later in the day. 

For the facts and figures visit Rydges On Swanston 

Rydges on Swanston - Roof Top Deck
Another surprise here was the rooftop pool deck area a great space for some welcome drinks, a cocktail function or a small dinner. This rooftop deck had some good views and enough space for a little live music. The conference rooms were well presented with lots of natural light and complimentary WiFi (more venues should be offering this, it doesn't seem right to charge a conference group A$20 per person per day for WiFi that you can get for free in a coffee shop or fast food outlet)

Rydges on Swanston - Restaurant
Rydges on Swanston has around 100 accommodation rooms, so for a conference group of 70 or 80 delegates you will probably have the place to yourself and benefit from being the only conference group in-house for the staff to focus on. The Restaurant and Bar areas have just been refurbished and have a bit of comfortable modern elegance about them. Mat and I enjoyed a nice cup of tea chatting and watching the world go by along Swanston Street to finish of the site inspection.

With the business over for the day I took a short stroll up to the lively Lygon Street and enjoyed some great Italian food.

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