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DESIGN & BUILD

BOATHOUSE SETS SAIL FOR SUMMER PATONGA’S BEACH HOTEL GETS MORE THAN A NAME-CHANGE, BUT AN ENTIRELY NEW ETHOS. CRAIG HAWTIN-BUTCHER TALKS TO THE BOATHOUSE GROUP TEAM ABOUT THEIR NAUTICALLY-THEMED, RELAXED-VIBE-INDUCING NEW FORAY AT THE RENAMED BOATHOUSE HOTEL PATONGA.

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ormerly The Patonga Beach Hotel and idyllically set on the north bank of the Hawkesbury River within NSW’s Central Coast, this newly renovated venue is rapidly staking its claim as the region’s most relaxing beachside hotel. Now part of The Boathouse Group, The Boathouse Hotel Patonga takes its berth alongside the group’s seven other Sydney-focused hospitality businesses established by husband-and-wife duo Pip and Andrew Goldsmith in 2008. The group creates waterside-living vibes in venues that also look to cater for events and gatherings.

KEEPING IT IN-HOUSE Aside from seeking fantastic waterside locations, the group are also fortunate to have both operational and creative capabilities in-house, with the Boathouse design team working on the design of the hotel alongside architect Nick Taylor and builders Peloton Constructions. “It was very much a team effort,” says Andrew Goldsmith, Managing Director of The Boathouse Group. “Peloton are fantastic and helped us build our venue at Shelly Beach in Sydney. Justin Sweeney, one of the directors, managed the whole process from start to finish.” Andrew is equally delighted with the venue and location as with the team around him. “We were lucky enough to be able to take over the hotel this time last year,” says Andrew. “We have for many years loved Patonga, so we feel very fortunate to be able to be a part of this special community. Patonga is an idyllic coastal fishing village and we think it is the perfect location for a Boathouse. Patonga feels like it is a world away, however it is only a half an hour ferry trip from Palm Beach or an hour from the North Shore of Sydney. The hotel also gave us an opportunity for a small accommodation offering, which will be opening in the New Year.” These guestrooms will include 1, 2 and 3 bedroom options, each with a balcony with waterfront views. Complementing the overnight accommodation is a flexible dining proposition, with the hotel offering

a menu that spans breakfast, lunch and dinner five days a week, with lunch and dinner still available the remaining two days. This menu dwells on quality pub classics with a natural focus on seafood. The takeaway kiosk caters to passing daytime traffic and looks to capitalise on the area’s swelling weekend and public holiday numbers. The venue is very open and aims to flow well between indoors and outdoors. Focused around the large outdoor deck with feature water fountain, there is also indoor seating and a large bar. Undercover walkways with landscaped gardens seek to connect the hotel’s various spaces while the group has worked hard to connect the bustling takeaway kiosk with the hotel itself.

AIMS EXPLAINED Operationally the aims of the renovations were clear. “We didn’t want to lose the relaxed feel of the hotel,” says Andrew. “Our aim has been to improve the functionality of the venue and to offer a better experience and product for our guests. We changed around the layout, increased the size of the kitchens and bar, and improved the outdoor deck and guest rooms. The hotel did not work well during the peak times, so improved speed and efficiency has been a big focus” says Andrew. “There has been a big emphasis on getting the back-of-house to work,” agrees Pip Goldsmith, The Boathouse Group’s Creative Director, confirming the venue offered little space BOH prior to the renovations. Group Operations Manager Heath Bambridge was tasked with making sure the hotel could in future be run as efficiently as possible. “He spent a lot of time working through this with our architect to make sure it all flows smoothly,” says Pip. On a design level, Pip was tasked with emphasising the superb location and improving flow. “We really tried to enhance the surrounding natural beauty of the venue,” says Pip. “We also wanted to make the venue more light-filled and flow better between the different areas. We added our Boathouse look and feel, and hoped to create a venue where our guests feel welcome, relaxed and like they are on holidays.”

AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER DECEMBER 2018 | 27

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Australian Hotelier December 2018  

Australian Hotelier is the monthly magazine for the nation’s pubs and supplier partners. For more than 30 years, it has delivered industry i...

Australian Hotelier December 2018  

Australian Hotelier is the monthly magazine for the nation’s pubs and supplier partners. For more than 30 years, it has delivered industry i...