Hyatt Centric Melbourne - 2nd Birthday Celebrations

Hyatt Centric Melbourne - 2nd Birthday Celebrations


Posted 2023-12-04 by Jenfollow

Fri 01 Dec 2023 - Mon 25 Dec 2023

Hyatt Centric Melbourne facing Downie Street - Images Writers Own

Hyatt Centric Melbourne at 25 Downie Street, Melbourne was celebrating its 2nd birthday on Friday 1 December 2023, and I was lucky enough to be invited. Designed by Architectus and Hecker Guthrie Interiors, Hyatt Centric Melbourne opened its doors on 1 December 2021, and offers boutique accommodation, event spaces, an upscale restaurant and bar, a fitness centre, and an indoor pool. With its discreet entrance on Downie Street, the hotel is bringing life to the southern end of Flinders Lane. The 'summer party' took place at the Bellarine event space which flows out to the terrace. There were bean bags and seats on the terrace, along with games like 'ring toss', 'jenga' and more to have a bit of fun with. I figured two out of two for the ring toss wasn't too bad for me as I quietly enjoyed tossing the ring, my heart filled with child-like joy.

Mr Paul Little

The elongated event space was filled with other invited guests, a live performance by singer/guitarist Emily Lawson, street artist Lucas Krasper on the terrace, painting live on the night, the canvas already halfway completed. Wait staff were offering canapes and beverages, while along the walls were tasting stations of local wines, beers and gins. Represented were Tar & Roses (wines), Bellarine Distillery (gin and whiskey), and Stomping Ground Brewing Co (beer - alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

Ballarine Event Space

Owner Mr Paul Little attended the event, along with other hotel personnel, Mark Foxwell the General Manager, Maya Gray the Director of Sales, Ruby Raymundo and Shalini Bhardwaj from Sales and Marketing and Flynn Richardson from Guest Services. There were others, but these are those with whom I spoke, along with the Chef, Richard Abella and his Sous Chef Owen Jones.

General Manager Mark Foxwell

Speeches were made by the General Manager, followed by Mr Little. The GM thanked all involved in bringing the event to fruition, including the entertainer, the artist and the organisations that were providing us with a variety of Australian-made drinks which were served throughout the night. Thanks were given to the investors that made the Hyatt Centric possible - Paul Little and The Little Group who put their faith and trust in the Centric brand that's developing by leaps and bounds and proving to be a success in the Melbourne market. The GM then introduced the man with many hats, a business luminary in Melbourne, philanthropist, and Order of Australia, Mr Paul Little who then took over the mic from the GM as the next speaker.

The Terrace adjoining the Ballarine

This is what Mr Little had to say. " Thank you, and well done to Mark. Look, it's great to be here and Cindy (Cindy Barker, PA to Mr Little) and I have been around the room and met most of you and it's very exciting to be here. Two years in, I remember the night that we actually opened the hotel, and in the front foyer area, I couldn't help but think at the time I didn't really know what I was doing, which is always a bit scary (everyone giggles), and since then, its fair to say the first year was a rocky year for us in terms of occupancy levels and room income rates. But in the last 6 to 9 months, Mark is being quite modest to say things are going well - they are going extremely well."

L-R: Shalini Bhardwaj and Ruby Raymundo from Sales and Marketing and Flynn Richardson from Guest Services in the middle

"It was always a challenge building a hotel this end of town -a challenge for a couple of reasons, because another 2 or 3 hotels were being built at the same time, and this end of town was never overly popular for hotels. We knew we had a distinct point of difference with the Centric, and the model that we wanted to build, but we just weren't sure whether it was going to be a good investment for us. Everything comes back to investment I'm sorry, but it's been amazing, and truly I want to thank Mark who has been here a short time. He's made a huge impression on us, and the hotel, and our guests here at the hotel in a short space of time and he's been great. I mean that quite sincerely. He looks like a typical Hyatt person, but he's not. There's much more to him than that, and so I think make an effort to have a chat with Mark, and I'm sure you'll be very pleasantly surprised. "

Stomping Ground Brewing Co Representative

"So we're two years in and its been as I was saying, the last 6-9 months have been great for us. For those of you who didn't know, we started building this pre-covid, this building, and it was interrupted like all buildings were around the world but this one in particular. We got the timing really sort of badly, in relation to the moment but while we were getting ready to get all the plans approved, there was an archeological dig here to make sure that we weren't going to upset any of the archeology, things that might have been buried in the soil because of our proximity to where the first fleet came in and there's an amazing history you all should have a look at and there were. There were some incredible things in the soil."

One of the many grazing platters, each with slightly different content

"We found a bobby's baton from one of the old English....(he trails off) and we found a dog's skeleton because during the time the first fleet came in here, there were problems with wild dogs attacking residents and so they put out a bounty on dogs tails and block your ears because you won't like this part - but the skeleton we found had no tail on it because it had honestly had its tail removed, and someone had collected the bounty and they buried it. But there are a lot of other interesting things. The point I'm making is, that this end of town has a lot to offer and I'm sure now, that Mark and his team are helping us to enjoy the benefits of this location so I'm just here to say Happy Birthday to everyone, 2 yrs in, and its been great and of course Christmas around the corner - (then turns around and says to Mark) and what are the bookings like for Christmas Mark?" "Very healthy" Mark replies, then Mr Little returns to his audience and says "and I just want to thank you all for being here and for being a part of tonight's celebrations."

Chef Richard Abella doing what he does best

Maya Gray, Director of Sales comes on and announces what to expect throughout the evening. She announces there's going to be a bit of fun tonight with gift vouchers to win. The first was a $150 voucher for the Langlands Bar and Restaurant at the Hyatt Centric. The question asked was - if anyone knew the distinctive tagline of the Hyatt Centric Melbourne. After one furtive incorrect answer, the correct one came through strongly - "You are here. Now go anywhere". Some lucky someone got the voucher. The second one came later in the night, announced by Mark Foxwell the GM, and it was for a night's stay at the Hyatt Centric and yet another lucky man won that voucher. "What is the name of the venue that resides on the 25th floor of our hotel?" was the question. "Langlands" was, of course, the answer.

One of many salads

All that was left to do was to mingle, eat, drink and be merry. The room was a huge L shape, and starting from the back end of the room, which you can see in the pic above, the table is laid all the way down the L shape not visible to the eye in the pic with enough food to feed at least two hundred people. There were olives, dips, a variety of cold meats, cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables. There were at least four different types of salads with some great dressings and crudites for those who wanted to keep it simple. And let's talk about the dessert table. Chocolate cake slices dressed with strawberries, pavlovas, sweet fresh cherries, pink and chocolate lamingtons, and also a cheese board - not to mention the humongous two-layer birthday cake with lit sparklers that came out on the trolley manoeuvred by sous chef Owen Jones. Saving the deliciousness for last, the best and most tender steak and lamb cut and served by the chef, with a choice of sauces, including one that had 20-25 ingredients in it. Obviously the chef's recommended favourite. Next to him in front of the sous chef was a huge salt dough baked salmon, fresh out of the oven and a huge pan of Boerewors sausage which is known to contain a higher percentage of meat.

Some of many dessert options on the table

At the end of the night, we all got a gift bag to take home, which included a 50ml Mr Smith Masque for the hair, a 200ml Nick Spencer Chardonnay in a plastic pouch, a 70g 65% dark chocolate from Amphora, a printed thank you card from the GM, and a Langlands Restaurant and Bar promo card with a QR code that produced a sample menu when scanned. It was a three-course lunch for $40 per person with three choices of starters, and 3 choices of mains to choose from, and two choices of desserts. If the staff I met and spoke with are anything to go by, the Hyatt Centric Melbourne has a lot of heart, and has a team of passionate people happy to be there, making a difference every day towards its success.

Here comes the birthday cake

A Gift

Stay in touch via Hyatt Centric Melbourne's Facebook and website for more details and updates. With 277 chic rooms and an upscale restaurant on the 25th floor, you can play, stay, and get to places just a heartbeat away. They have a gift for you (go to bottom of page via the link) this festive season. Enjoy a food and beverage* credit of up to $100 as a gift to you when you book a minimum two-night stay between December 1, 2023, and January 31, 2024 for eligible stays through January 31, 2024. Use Offer Code VALUE at the time of booking to celebrate the summer and holidays. Cancellation is subject to each participating hotel's cancellation policy. Terms and conditions apply. There's always an offer to be found, and for other Special Offers - see here .

On Christmas Day, avoid the dishes and all-day lunch prep by joining Melbourne's first 'Hyatt Centric' for a festive lunch where all you need to do is enjoy. There'll be unlimited starters, sharing mains and festive puds - with flowing bubbles. See here to book and here for the menu .

271771 - 2023-12-02 06:27:36


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