Blue Mountains: Escarpment Group driving cutting edge technology
By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group
Continuing its tradition of being an industry and regional leader, the Escarpment Group collection of luxury hotels in the Blue Mountains is home to Sydney’s first Audi e-tron charger.
The initiative means that the most famous hotel in Australia, the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath, and the only 5-star hotel in the region, Lilianfels Resort & Spa, are now clean mobility providers, offering the revolutionary plug-in to the new battery-run Audi A3 Sportback prototype.
In fact, the e-tron charger is just the latest in a string of firsts for the historic Hydro Majestic since it was built in 1904 by cutting edge retail doyenne Mark Foy.
A huge car enthusiast, Foy owned several of the first cars brought into Australia and inspired the first car rally from Melbourne to Sydney and subsequently, Sydney to the Blue Mountains.
Totally enamoured with the motor car, Foy then began Australia’s first motoring touring business, travelling from Blackheath to Jenolan Caves. With the exception of a line of steam omnibuses in Western Australia, it was the first public service motoring venture in Australia.
At the time, the hotel included a steam-driven generator imported from Germany, which produced electricity for the resort and the neighbouring township of Medlow Bath in the upper Blue Mountains.
The Hydro Majestic had working electricity four days before Sydney. It also had its own water supply, steam laundry, freezing works, sewage treatment works and was one of the first in the Blue Mountains to have a telephone system connected to the Sydney exchange.
Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Mark Foy is well known for his legendary outrageous parties, but he was actually responsible for much progress in the Blue Mountains, in the tourism industry and for the nation,’’ Mr Bruegger said.
“Foy was a leader because he had the money to do it of course but also because he had the gumption and the foresight to take risks and make change. He refused to be bound by the conservative traditions of the day, nor would he accept hardship as a reason for not doing something.
“You could say that attitude is the unofficial philosophy of Escarpment Group – we don’t follow the pack, we lead it.’’
The e-tron plug-in is one of several green initiatives implemented by Escarpment Group across its four Blue Mountains properties which also includes Echoes Boutique Hotel and Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges to ensure the properties comply with 21st century environmental standards.
All seven dining venues at the hotels have a focus on local and regional produce to reduce food mileage, a composting plant will soon be installed at Parklands and there is an energy efficient plant room at Lilianfels which helps cut greenhouse gasses and energy by regulating heating and cooling of air and pool temperatures throughout the year.
One e-tron charger is available at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, while there are two others at Lilianfels.
“Simply plug in your car and recharge your own batteries inside the hotel,’’ Mr Bruegger said.
“Guests at Lilianfels will be pampered whatever they choose to do, while visitors to the Hydro can take a tour, a casual meal in the Boiler House Café or the Wintergarden Restaurant or light refreshments at the Hydro Majestic Pavilion or in the famous Salon du The and Cat’s Alley venue.’’
Go to escarpmentgroup.com.au for more information about accommodation and dining options.
* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media