By Jill Innamorati-Varley
Rydges Bell City at Preston, the closest major hotel to the Victoria’s firestorm front, has extended a helping hand to victims, volunteers and personnel involved in Victoria’s devastating fires by providing a sanctuary of rest, recuperation and assessment.
Rydges Bell City is showing a whole lot of love to the
victims of Victoria’s bushfires
As Melbourne’s second largest conference hotel with a 924 bed capacity, the property has made available free and discounted accommodation as well as a home for intra and interstate fire fighters and a centre for Government agencies and fire researchers.
SpiceNews reporting from the hotel on Thursday witnessed busy crews from the NSW Rural Fire Service and personnel from Centrelink Community Recovery readying themselves for their daily tasks.
Rydges Bell City director – sales & marketing, Mark Challis, who lives in the fire ravaged area of Cottles Bridge spoke to SpiceNews about his family’s escape from the fires.
“Fortunately, we were able to get out early in the piece and our house was unaffected but many people in the area lost everything,” he said. “As the closest hotel to the fire front we needed to do whatever we could to help and offered 20 free apartments to the Department of Human Services for emergency accommodation.”
Challis added that Rydges Bell City was picking up a lot of conference business, especially from the Association market. “In the current economic climate, corporates are downsizing their conferences and don’t want to appear to be spending too much on their events. Here they have a wide range of options from 4.5 star to budget.”
Located 20 minutes from the CBD and 15 minutes from Melbourne International Airport, the Rydges Bell City has 383 new Manhattan style self-contained hotel and apartment accommodation and 21 stylish conference and event spaces in its West Tower. Its East Tower offers 444 3-star rooms ranging from just $220 per week.
In addition, the complex boasts a permanent marquee that extends over 700 square-metres, a retail precinct of more than 40 outlets and a signature restaurant and bar, CHILL.
Other facilities include a daily, Monday to Friday shuttle service to Melbourne’s CBD and return, fully equipped gymnasium and sauna, recreational room, basketball court, Melbourne’s largest outdoor hotel swimming pool, courtyard gardens and BBQ areas and more than 600 free on-site parking spaces.