Rydges debut promises more entertainment for the Hunter Valley

"New era" for the Hunter based on tourism, says EVT hotelier

The debut of Rydges Resort Hunter Valley this week brings a new era for tourism in the Hunter Valley region, with new managers EVT planning to establish the property as one of NSW’s premier destination resorts.

True to Rydges refreshingly local approach, EVT plans to boost the well-established resort with vibrant hospitality, entertainment and events to further enhance the Hunter Valley’s reputation as NSW’s most dynamic wine tourism region.

Hotel owner and Schwartz Family Company director, Dr Jerry Schwartz, welcomed the arrival of Rydges to the resort, saying that EVT would utilise its events and entertainment expertise to build further the resort’s attraction for leisure and conference guests.

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“The Hunter Valley should be one of Australia’s most preferred tourism destinations and we believe that EVT and Rydges can build on its current popularity and elevate it even further,” Dr Schwartz remarked.

“The resort is pivotal to the Hunter Valley’s recalibration away from its former mining background to a new era based on tourism.”

“There are so many attractions and activities available at the hotel and throughout the surrounding region, which makes it ideal for couples, families, groups, conferences and incentives.

“Our goal is to make Rydges Resort Hunter Valley NSW’s premier destination resort. It will embody everything that is special about the region and its attractions,” said Dr Schwartz.

Norman Arundel, EVT Director of Hotels and Resorts, said: “As the fifth SFC property under EVT’s management, the synergy between Dr Schwartz’s passion for the Hunter Valley region and our operational expertise, will deliver a truly unique guest experience. The property is a sprawling playground in the heart of wine country and a destination in its own right, with something for everyone,” Arundel said.

Perfectly positioned in the heart of the Hunter Valley a wide range of initiatives are planned over the next twelve months, including:

  • New fully electric passenger train: in line with the resort’s commitment to sustainability, a fully enclosed air-conditioned electric train will be introduced to transport guests around the expansive resort;
  • New tour celebrating local artists of the Hunter Valley: to enhance guests’ experience of the local area, a ‘Hunter Valley Art, Wine and Food Hop’ tour will be offered every Saturday, on the hour between 10am-5pm, visiting eight locations showcasing the best of art, scenery, food and wine. The totally flexible hop-on hop-off tour will be available for $35 per adult/$20 per child.
  • Substantial expansion of family facilities: the resort’s extensive existing children’s facilities such as the Water Dragon Kids Club, train rides, pony rides and year-round heated water park will be expanded further with the addition of a new Ferris wheel, new 8-metre high, 22-metre long, 3-lane water slide, new roller coaster, new pirate ship and jumping castles in 2023;
  • Three new self-guided walking trails have just been introduced with the Creek, Vineyard and Estate Walks giving guests the opportunity to appreciate the stunning countryside and peaceful vistas;
  • New equestrian facilities: have been created to cater for adults and children wanting to participate in the sport. A first event, Equestrian in the Vines, was held recently and proved highly popular, and permanent facilities including a grandstand will be developed over the next year to cater for future events.
  • Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival: the 11th event being staged at the resort on 24 June, showcasing the region’s finest wine, craft beer, and for the first time – distilleries.
  • Glamping: Plans are afoot for the addition of glamping facilities and cabin accommodation for school groups.
King Room Pool Access, Rydges Resort Hunter Valley
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