Merivale reopens expansive hospitality portfolio, reigniting thousands of hospitality jobs across Sydney

Leading hospitality group Merivale is set to reopen its expansive hospitality portfolio with restaurants, bars and pubs welcoming up to 50 guests as part of the state’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

The move will reignite thousands of hospitality jobs across Sydney, as the group continues to throw its weight behind the reinvigoration of Australia’s hospitality industry. Reservations are now open via

Speaking of the government’s phase two plan, Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale, said: “This is the best news we’ve had in months, and marks the real beginning to hospitality’s road to recovery. I would like to commend the government who not only acted swiftly to protect our country, but who are now also doing everything they can to help us safely reopen doors and rebuild the industry. Whilst we are still a little while away from operating all our venues at full capacity, the increase to 50 customers is a huge leap forward and one that will result in an exponential increase in employment”.

“Thank you, as always, to our incredible staff and loyal guests for their patience, support and unwavering optimism that things would get better. They finally have”.

Since COVID-19 restrictions were first introduced, Merivale has remained committed to delivering exceptional food and drink experiences to its guests, while trying to maintain a livelihood for as many employees and suppliers as possible.

During the lock-down period, the hospitality leader launched takeaway from a number its most-loved venues including Mr. Wong, Coogee Pavilion, Totti’s Bondi, Bar Totti’s, Jimmy’s Falafel, Lotus 2.0, and The Paddington / The Chicken Shop, and created ‘Just In’, Merivale’s own in-house delivery service run entirely by employees.

The group also launched Merivale at Home, an at-home dining service that delivers renowned chef-prepared almost-ready meals from several of its flagship venues, beverage packs including ready-to-enjoy cocktail creations, plus restaurant-quality fresh produce boxes – all straight to customers’ doors. All three new businesses will continue to operate as venues reopen for guests.

Merivale’s ‘Welcome Back’ timeline includes:

Open Now- Bar Totti’s, Coogee Pavilion (ground floor), Jimmy’s Falafel, Mr. Wong, The Paddington, The Allawah, Angel Hotel, Establishment Main Bar, The Grand, Hotel CBD, The Newport (Arms Bar only), The Royal Bondi, The Royal George, Tennyson Hotel, Totti’s, Vic on the Park, Wynyard Hotel, El Loco Excelsior, Felix.

Wednesday 3 June – The Beresford Hotel, Charlie Parker’s, Fred’s, Hotel Centennial, Lotus 2.0, mimi’s, Ms.G’s, Queen Chow Enmore, Una Mas

Thursday 4 June- The Collaroy, Bert’s, Little Felix, hemmesphere, Queen Chow Manly, sushi e

Friday 5 June – The Newport

All Merivale venue operations will be consistent with government mandated health and safety regulations, with the safety and comfort of its guests and staff paramount at all times. Additional venues and event spaces will open once the government moves into the third phase of its recovery plan.

Source: Merivale

Thredbo Announces Winter Season Opening Date of 22 June

Skiers and snowboarders, start tuning your edges and melting wax, this is the news snow lovers have been waiting for. With the easing of regulations, Thredbo is thrilled to announce it is planning to open for the winter season from 22 June 2020, conditions permitting.

To enable the resort to open for skiing and snowboarding, Thredbo will be implementing a revised operating model that has been developed under the advice provided by the NSW Health Department and the State and Federal Governments. The revised model includes reduced daily capacity limits by up to 50% on usual capacity at this stage and the implementation of a range of social distancing and sanitisation measures.

On the mountain, daily capacity will be limited to enable the resort to open under the Government restrictions. As a result, all guests will need to pre-purchase day lift passes or multi-day passes prior to arrival. Season Pass holders will be offered the choice of a refund or credit for their pre-purchased passes and will be provided with access to discounted day passes*. Thredbo will be communicating with all Season Pass holders by Thursday 4 June in relation to their options. Throughout the season, guests will be encouraged to use contactless payment using MyThredbo cards across all Thredbo outlets.

Other measures include 1.5m ‘ski tip to tail’ social distancing in lift queues and a limit of two per quad chair, two per gondola cabin and one per T-bar. Given the limited capacity, it is expected that skiers and snowboarders will incur wait times similar to a normal season. In addition, only private skiing and snowboarding lessons are able to be offered. Thredboland will be unable to open at the time of the season opening, but this will continue to be monitored as restrictions ease. Restaurants and bars will operate in alignment with Government restrictions as they continue to evolve.

The resort has invested in best practice hygiene and sanitisation measures including installing sanitisation stations throughout the resort and has incorporated new procedures to effectively sanitise high use areas including chairlifts, gondola cabins and rental equipment. The resort has also enhanced its stringent approach to cleaning all resort facilities and venues.

Thredbo Resort General Manager Stuart Diver says the resort is looking forward to welcoming guests back and has implemented an operating model to allow guests to ski and snowboard this winter.

“The wellbeing of our guests and our people is always our highest priority at Thredbo. We have worked hard with the relevant authorities to be able to open Thredbo this winter, which will look quite different to previous years. Our revised operating model is necessary for us to operate within the NSW Government’s social distancing restrictions and capacity restraints, to allow us to open.”

“We would really appreciate if guests could exercise patience as we navigate through the season and play their part in respecting social distancing requirements. We’ll be communicating all safety messages to our guests prior to arrival and remind guests they should not visit the resort if they are unwell.”

“After such a challenging start to 2020 with the bushfires and now COVID-19, we are so pleased to open and we’re confident we will continue to deliver Australia’s best skiing and snowboarding this winter. We will be opening our new Merritts Gondola, Australia’s only alpine gondola, as well as the enhanced ‘Dream Run’ experience with a new snowmaking system installed along with increased car parking.”

Thredbo’s revised product offering including day passes, private lessons, ski and snowboard rental and accommodation will be available for pre-purchase from 11.59pm on Wednesday 10 June by visiting

Source: Thredbo

Are You Ready To Experience Australia Like Never Before?

The VIP Sydney have collaborated with Southern Crossings, a leading luxury travel specialist with over 30-years experience in high-end travel throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, to create the first in a series of prestige, local experiences and escapes, in time for the ease of the Covid-19 lockdown. International travel may be on hold but local luxury experiences are certainly not.

Private Tour & Dinner with Aussie Legend Michael Clarke at The SCG – A private tour and dinner at Sydney Cricket Ground hosted by cricket Legend, Michael Clarke, plus signed cricket memorabilia for up to 14 guests.

The Ultimate Palm Beach Getaway – The ultimate Palm Beach escape including a 2 night stay in a luxe waterfront property, seaplane travel to and from the city, a stocked pantry of local gourmet produce, private chef, full use of a Range Rover Vogue, lunch at Jonah’s Whale Beach and much more.

Beauty Masterclass with Celebrity Make-Up Artist, Michael Brown – A 2-hour makeup masterclass at a private residence of your choice with celebrity artist Michael Brown, hors d’oeuvres, free-flowing Champagne, personalised makeup kit, followed by a dinner reservation at an exclusive Sydney venue.

A Days Escape to the Wine Country – A private helicopter charter for 6 guests to the Hunter Valley’s acclaimed Chardonnay producer, Winmark Estate. Including a gourmet lunch within the vines, private tour with head winemaker John Samway, tasting and selection of premium wines to take home.

Source: The VIP Sydney

Skyline Drive In Blacktown has reopened to the public

Skyline Drive In Blacktown has reopened and is inviting movie lovers back to enjoy the nostalgia of the drive in. As NSW’s only remaining drive in, Skyline is in a unique position to offer out of home entertainment in an environment that complies with current social distancing guidelines.

Following sessions that sold out in hours last weekend, the gates have officially reopened with Friday Fright Nights, Go Retro on Saturdays and a line-up of much loved family favourites.

The program of films will feature some of the best blockbusters, cult classics and family flicks from the back catalogue including Frozen II, Ford V Ferrari, The Goonies, Dolittle, The Invisible Man, Angry Birds, Birds of Prey, Bad Boys for Life, Grease, Spies in Disguise, IT Chapter Two, Knives Out, The Gentlemen and more.

With a Happy Days inspired retro diner serving up classic snacks like burgers, hot chips and Choc Tops and two opposing screens showing features nightly, Skyline Drive In offers an unbeatable cinema experience under the stars.

Luke Mackey, Director of Entertainment, Event Cinemas said, “We know that movies can offer a wonderful escape and are thrilled to be in a position to reopen our doors to offer people access to the simple joy of watching a movie on the big screen.”

“More than 60 years after the drive in movie concept first came to Australia, the fun of the drive in is experiencing a revival right across the world and we anticipate we will see this result in strong demand as we open our doors again. However, with limited capacity these new sessions are expected to sell out quickly, so we advise pre-purchasing tickets online in advance.”

“While we are thrilled to be able to reopen, the health and safety of our customers and our team remains our highest priority and as we welcome movie lovers back we do so after introducing a range of extra safety measures to offer additional peace of mind for those keen to enjoy an entertaining night out”.

Skyline Drive In has introduced social distancing, both between cars and in common areas, online bookings, contactless payment in the Diner Candy Bar as well as increased frequency of cleaning and hand sanitisation facilities.

Skyline Drive In will be open Thursday through to Sunday each week as well as Monday 8 June over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. There will be four films to choose from every night.

For those wanting to re-create the cinema experience at home, Skyline is also offering a Drive In Candy Bar featuring classic movie snacks, delicious hot meals, a brand-new cook at home range and a selection of great value movie boxes to help you create the ultimate movie night. Simply purchase your order online anytime, or through the Event Cinemas App and pickup during Drive In Candy Bar operating hours.

Visit for more info on the Drive in Candy Bar, movie sessions and for bookings. Sessions start from $25 per car, nightly capacity is limited and online bookings are strongly recommended.

Source: Event Cinemas

Socially Distant, yet wildly connected - Forward Plan a Nihi Sumba stay with Australian residents offer

Socially distant, yet wildly connected – this is Nihi Sumba; Now is the time to forward plan an escape to the edge of wildness, as Nihi Sumba announces a special “One to One” rate, exclusive to Australian residents, matching Australian dollars to US dollars and valid from July 1, 2020 until December 2021.

For example, Nihi’s entry level accommodation rate, normally USD $895.00 per villa per night, will be adjusted for Australian guests to AUS $895.00. In addition, all Australian bookings will be given a USD $200.00 resort credit per room per night to be applied to a range of unique Nihi experiences, from spa safaris to fishing expeditions and more.

Nihi is beyond an escape from everyday life, it is a return to a life well lived. Voted #1 Hotel in the World two years running by Travel + Leisure (USA) magazine, Nihi Sumba is a place to truly connect with something larger than oneself. Nihi guests enjoy “freedom to thrive”. It is travel with purpose.

Located on the remote Indonesian island of Sumba and with just 28 villas set over 576 acres, Nihi is just a short 50 minute flight from Bali. Nihi provides a haven for the endlessly passionate and curious, the adventurer and the wanderer. Ancient tribal culture and unspoiled natural beauty form the perfect backdrop for boundless experiences.

From swimming with horses at sunset, surfing the world’s most coveted wave, enjoying long walks on an unspoiled and often deserted beach to being pampered at the Spa Safari, Nihi is the place to build a highly personal, dream itinerary.

Staying in villas that transport to a new way of relaxed living, and enjoying sunset cocktails at the iconic Boathouse and dining in open air, sand under feet restaurants, Nihi offers experiences that are truly memorable and like no other.

Those who arrive with an open heart leave changed forever. This very special Australian residents offer includes:

• 3 Daily meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and all non-alcoholic drinks
• Mini Bar (1 full re-stock per day, including beer and spirits)
• Tour of the Sumba Foundation Projects
• Sea Activities: stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling around Nihiwatu beach (when weather conditions permit).
• Participation in our group yoga & meditation classes at the Yoga Pavilion twice a day

• Valid until Dec 2021
• This offer is not available for group bookings
• Cannot be combined with any other promotions
• Rate is exclusive of 11% government tax and 10% service charge
• Applicable to Australian residents only (proof of address must be presented upon booking and at check in time. Should the guests fail to provide a valid proof of identification / residency in Australia, the rack rate at time of stay will be charged

Source:  Nihi Sumba