Ovolo Wooloomooloo Has Opened Along With A New Event Space
One of Sydney’s greatest hotels, tucked away but oft frequented is the Ovolo Wooloomooloo. Located in the prestigious Finger Warf district, alongside some of Sydney’s nicest restaurants, the hotel and its brand spanking new event space have opened to much aplomb.
The Ovolo Hotel brand is synonymous with quirk, style and nothing but the greatest experience you could ask for,but their newly-opened event space – which can be hired for anything, and tailored to every whim and fancy – is where it’s at.
We had a chat with Adam Taloni, Ovolo’s General Manager about all things related to the hotel and its new space and he is one passionate fellow with all the insight. Check it out…
Why an event space at the Ovolo?
In short; because it was the one thing the hotel never had; and the one thing it most desperately needed to be complete.
The hotel here at the wharf is now 16 years old. It opened when the whole building was totally re-built in 2000. In 14 years it had two international five-star operators. It had built a reputation as an amazing boutique hotel in the Eastern Suburbs with a very cool and successful cocktail bar.
When Ovolo took over, it was very quickly identified that the space where reception was, was not being used to its full potential. In fact it was almost wrong. Re-locating Reception to our main guest area on level two, meant our guests were now able to interact with our team much easier, providing so much more by way of personalised service. The way a boutique hotel should. By doing this, it opened up the old meeting room space and reception area to the perfect spot to host meetings and events.
How does the styling of the space complement the greater hotel?
It simply adds another dimension to the guest experience, particularly when they are staying with us for a conference, party, event or wedding. Having yet another area with a slightly different look and feel, not to mention a different way of catering to these events, really rounds off the whole ‘show’ that our guests become a star of when they walk through the front doors. The Piper Room for instance is the only area in the whole wharf in its original condition which is now 100 years old. I guess you could say this is the Encore where the ‘old girl enters a brand new era’; a ‘makeover reveal’ perhaps?
How has the space been received by the public?
Overwhelmingly positive. Clients have cancelled other venues and lost deposits just to move events here. A media client that attended our launch party has booked her wedding here for January next year. We have about a 90% conversion rate for all enquiries from clients that have attended the space for a site inspection. Everyone loves it. The most heard comment is “we have been looking everywhere for something different. Thank you”.
What makes-up most of the space’s business?
It really is a mix. Most weekdays the smaller rooms are used for corporate meetings – by clients that want to host them in a space that is a bit more….alive than a boring old meeting room.
The Piper Room is proving very popular with product launches and showcasing of fashion and art suppliers. Last week we had Oz Sale use the space for an exclusive event with a few celebrity guests.
During the week in the evenings we are hosting many corporate social functions. From award nights, to surprise staff reward evenings to parties for 300 guests.
Weekends we are starting to get a lot of parties. All sorts of parties! Birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, divorces. You name it we are starting to see it!
We also have two weddings booked in the Piper Room for later this year with many many more enquiries.
How is being manager of such a brand and venue in Sydney?
In terms of managing a ‘brand new venue’ – of course that is always enjoyable having the shiniest and sexiest venue along with the latest high-tech equipment. To have it in a market where there is no real diversity in terms of venue personality; and injecting this into the market who have been crying out for a space like this – just awesome! Everyone loves to be loved ?
Why are you so happy to be a part of the Ovolo brand?
Naturally being a very creative and perhaps ‘out-there’ personality when it comes to ideas and my management style – in other, larger companies I guess I always felt a sense of not totally fitting in. With Ovolo, these ideas and ‘quirks’ are welcomed and I guess even encouraged and rewarded. I feel at home. I identify with the brand. I get to run the most amazing hotel the way I want – and that fits in to the overall business’ strategy perfectly. I couldn’t ask for a more fun, enjoyable or appropriate hotel to manage, or brand to represent. To also work for a CEO (also our founder) like Girish – an entrepreneur that loves to take risks and continually challenge the status quo – it is an exceptionally intriguing place to work and grow as we continue to push the boundaries and learn that going against the norm can be a great and rewarding thing.
What are your favourite bits about the Ovolo brand?
The fun. We always try and inject a bit of fun in to all that we do. Our marketing. Our promotions. Our theming. Our products. Guest interactions. Our recruitment drives (they include wine). Even our internal meetings.
The ability to create. We are building on a very successful brand from Hong Kong, and tailoring it for the Australian market. We are not dictated to by Head Office. We are encouraged. Being able to create and develop elements of a brand is something I absolutely love.
The people. This group of people that I work with, at all levels, have to be the best team I have ever worked with. Now, I have worked with some amazing people before, but not this many together. There is a strong sense of pride, camaraderie and again, fun. But don’t get me wrong – we work exceptionally hard too!
Images: Ovolo Wooloomooloo
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