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Posts tagged “Mark Foy

Blue Mountains: Majestic entertainment line-up at Hydro

 

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group         Main photos: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Australia’s first tourist destination – the Blue Mountains – has wooed and wowed with luxurious romantic hideaways, fine food and sophisticated nightlife for more than a century.

Hundreds of the Sydney well-heeled poured off the steam trains and motorcades into the upmarket guesthouses and grand hotels to “take the air’’ on exhilarating bushwalks through untamed wilderness, indulge in spa treatments and embark on automotive adventures to charming picnic spots and thrilling cave systems.

At night they retreated into the opulence of sumptuous restaurants and lounges filled with exotic furnishings and artwork from around the world to indulge in cigars, cocktails, gossip and mischief.

The smoke has now cleared but the essence of that halcyon era remains in the dining rooms, ballrooms and discretely lit nooks under ornately decorated vaulted ceilings and domes of heritage establishments around the upper Blue Mountains.

The grandest of the grand Blue Mountains hotels (the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath), which once hosted legendary costume parties and opera performances by the world-class likes of Dame Nellie Melba, is again gearing up for a vibrant spring entertainment line-up accompanied by a host of seasonal food offerings.

First to command the iconic venue under the Live@theHydro banner will be Havana Nights, an evening of authentic Cuban music and seductive Saturday, September 29. Musical globetrotters can journey to Havana as they sway to the soulful sounds of Cuba, dance the salsa, rumba, mambo and cha cha cha and sip on rum mojitos and daiquiris in the Majestic Ballroom.

Then, on Saturday, November 3, the original Blue Mountains party palace will be taken over by retro grooves when The Australian Bee Gees Show – A Tribute to the Bee Gees performs the greatest hits of the adored `70s sibling trio. Straight from Vegas, the covers band featuring lookalike Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb will rock the Blue Mountains escarpment when it recreates hits like Staying Alive, You Should Be Dancing, How Deep Is Your Love, and Jive Talkin’.

Guest services manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Meagan Iervasi said: “Combined with fortnightly live music gigs in our Boiler House Café space, fine dining and opulent architecture and décor, the Hydro Majestic is fast becoming THE place to be for anyone looking for sophisticated weekend nightlife at reasonable prices in a seriously upmarket venue.’’

Tickets for both shows: $40pp entertainment only includes complimentary welcome cocktail; $135pp three-course dinner and show package featuring the freshest seasonal produce sourced by an internationally-trained team of award-winning chefs.

Dinner, show and accommodation bookings: hydromajestic.com.au or phone (02) 4782 6885.


Festive arrival for Santa at Hydro Majestic Hotel, Blue Mountains

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

The naughty and the nice will soon be revealed as stockings are opened around the world, but it appears Santa Claus is paying special attention to Blue Mountains locals and visitors.

A TV weather camera last week captured what appeared to be Santa reverse parking over the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath. The above image was taken at 4.05am last Monday [December 11] by the unmanned camera and has generated much interest on social media.

The unknown element above the building on the left side of the photograph could be interpreted as a herd of reindeer reverse parking in formation, while the light in the middle of the picture above the spire atop the Belgravia accommodation wing is an unidentified flying object (Santa’s sleigh perhaps?).

Neither of those objects are usually in the night sky over the Hydro Majestic and appeared for just a minute.

Hydro Majestic guest services manager Meagan Iervasi said: “No one has actually seen Santa in the past few days but the Hydro Majestic has so many rooms, even a couple that have been boarded up, and a rumoured secret passage that he could very well be roaming around upstairs unbeknown to us.

“The reindeers have eight kilometres of bush from the back of the hotel right down to the Megalong Valley to hide in.

“Our chefs have noticed a slice of Christmas cake missing from the fridge and a used glass with traces of milk in the sink each morning though.’’

In any case, visitors to Mark Foy’s legendary “Palace in the wilderness’’ can experience the magic of Christmas from the moment they enter the Casino Lobby under the famous Hydro Majestic dome where they are greeted with snow domes, sparkling sentinels and an enormous tree twinkling with baubles, while the Wintergarden Restaurant has been adorned with wreaths and table decorations, watched over by two massive golden reindeers.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Hydro Majestic gangsters raise funds for Katoomba Hospital

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group            Photos: David Hill

The original Blue Mountains party palace will again resound with the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel when the Hydro Majestic Hotel holds a Gangster Casino Night on Saturday, May 27, in support of Katoomba Hospital.

Guests can play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa, high tea packages and more.

Money raised at the event will go towards refurbishing the waiting room in the Katoomba Hospital emergency department.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will begin with a three-course dinner in the Wintergarden Restaurant from 6pm-8pm during which there will be entertainment, followed by the casino in the Majestic Marquee from 8pm-11pm.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said Escarpment Group was pleased to help Katoomba Hospital, which had a 92-year-long history of caring for the health and wellbeing of locals and visitors.

“While we do enjoy reliving the decadence and party lifestyle made famous by the first owner of the Hydro Majestic, Mark Foy, Escarpment Group is very much involved in the Blue Mountains community.

“The staff at Katoomba Hospital work tirelessly for the good of others including, occasionally, our guests, so if we can help make their job easier and have fun along the way, then everyone wins.’’

There will be no cigars or opium like there was in the gangster era of course “but there’s no prohibition in 2017 so our bars will be open and serving a range of exotic cocktails’’.

To look the part, gents could wear a three-piece suit (pinstriped if possible) accentuated by a contrasting tie (never a bow tie) and suspenders, with a dark overcoat, a fedora hat, black dress shoes with white spats, a pocket square, watch chain with a watch and a thin, straight moustache.

“Gangsters were most definitely criminals but the mob bosses weren’t ruffians. They always looked snazzy – Al Capone was just as sophisticated as Rudolph Valentino,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

Flappers sported short sleek hair, shorter shapeless shift dress, a flat chest, dramatic makeup (often applied in public) and exposed limbs accessorised with a long string of beads; a beaded skullcap, fascinator headpiece or scarf; long satin gloves; stockings rolled down just below the knee; and Mary Jane-style shoes. Hair was worn in a bob, a chignon; or waves or kiss-curls around the hairline.

Tickets: $55 per person general admission to Casino includes welcome cocktail; $150pp includes three-course dinner in Wintergarden Restaurant plus entry to Casino event. Bookings: hydromajestic.com.au.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Blue Mountains: Moon Festival rises again at Hydro Majestic Hotel

Moon Festival 13

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group       Photos: David Hill

Asian street food, music, lanterns, lights and lions – lucky visitors to the original Blue Mountains party palace will experience all the sights and sounds of the Orient on Sunday, September 25.

Moon Festival 15The Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath will host its second spring Moon Festival to celebrate the season of re-awakening, traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance.

This year the harvest-themed event will be held at the Hydro Majestic Pavilion, where locals can mingle with international visitors to watch the exciting lion dance troupe performance under colourful lanterns.

Asian-inspired music will create extra atmosphere among the street stalls peddling dumplings, barbecued meat and seafood skewers, Banh Mi, fresh spring rolls, rice paper rolls, fried noodles, roasted corn cobs, Asian desserts and more.

General manager of Escarpment Group, which owns the Hydro Majestic, Ralf Bruegger said the Moon Festival was a chance to explore one of the most famous grand hotels in the world, celebrate the season of renewal and learn about the rich Chinese culture of the hotel.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, Chinese workers disillusioned with the lack of fortune in the Bathurst goldfields, found themselves stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

Moon Festival 01“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

The Moon Festival would also give travellers another reason to visit the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Mr Bruegger encouraged visitors to stay at least one night to explore the region, with its 400 bushwalking tracks and numerous lookouts, boutique shopping and unique attractions.

“We have the most fantastic sunset views in the area for those who linger. There’s few more magical moments than watching the valley glow and the sky changing while sipping on a cocktail or a glass of regional wine.’’

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be held at the hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 12pm to 4pm Sunday, September 25.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining options at one of the four Escarpment Group properties in the upper Blue Mountains (the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant).Moon Festival 16


Blue Mountains: Burlesque to seduce Hydro Majestic Hotel

Burlesque performer Jacqueline Furey. Photo: Joel Devereux

Burlesque performer Jacqueline Furey. Photo: Joel Devereux

 

 By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Sheer enchantment, chimera and intrigue will herald a modern era of breathtaking drama for the original Blue Mountains party palace when the Australian Burlesque Festival performs at the Hydro Majestic Hotel in May.

The Australian Burlesque Festival featuring Shake-O-Rama will offer three hours of cheeky variety entertainment with more than a dozen buxom burlesque artists.

Shake-O-Rama promises a glamorous night of classic tease and modern neo-burlesque that will dazzle, delight and stimulate the senses featuring some of the best and most entertaining international and local performers.

Dolores Daiquiri. Photo: 3 Fates Media

Dolores Daiquiri. Photo: 3 Fates Media

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The original owner of the Hydro Majestic, Mark Foy, held legendary parties here, so this kind of saucy entertainment is not new for the hotel – all performed with the famous Hydro elegance of course.’’

The sizzling adults-only show will celebrate traditional burlesque arts, vintage-flavoured tease, sensual cabaret and variety entertainment.

Guests will be delighted, tantalised and pleasantly entertained as they experience jaw-droppingly glamourous exotic and neo-burlesque seduction and titillating strip-tease shows from leading stars of the genre.

Directed, pro­duced, owned and operated by burlesque star and producer Dolores Dai­quiri, the Australian Burlesque Festival is the largest touring burlesque festival in the world.

Established in 2009 to cel­eb­rate the bur­lesque com­munity, the avant-garde troupe of performers deb­ut­ed in 2010 to sell-out audi­ences.

The Australian Burlesque Festival will seduce at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 8pm to 11pm Saturday, May 28. Tickets: $75 + booking fee show only, $160 + booking fee dinner and show. Age restriction: 18+. Bookings and details: hydromajestic.com.au or (02) 4782 6885.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill MediaAust Burlesque Festival 2016_Logo_SocialMedia

Personal best for Hydro Charleston Challenge

Charlestone Challenge 02

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group          Photos: David Hill

The Hydro Charleston Challenge retro dance event in the Blue Mountains achieved a personal best record with 466 dancers clad in 1920s costumed at the Majestic Hotel on Saturday.

Participants flocked to the famous historic hotel at Medlow Bath to try to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston but sidestepped the global record.

The Charleston Challenge in the Blue Mountains broke the official world record three years in a row but was thumped by the town of Bexhill in the UK in August with 503 people followed by the attempt with 975 dancers in London validated by Guinness in October.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron said: “It would have been fantastic to have brought the Ashes of the retro dance world back to Australia but we smashed our personal best record of 360 last year and still achieved our primary goal, which was to have fun at an activity the whole community could join in.

“It was fabulous to see so many smiling faces despite the rain. There was a real party atmosphere.

“So congratulations to our English dance partners – we’ll be back next year.’’

The Hydro Charleston Challenge and other Roaring 20s events at the Hydro Majestic paid homage to the decade when the Blue Mountains cut loose in an endless round of hedonism and showed that Mark Foy’s “Palace in the wilderness’’ led the modern local party scene.

The 2016 Hydro Charleston Challenge was preceded by a Gangster Casino Night and followed by the Majestic Long Lunch featuring picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, and the sophisticated Shanghai Nights to herald the Chinese lunar New Year.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

Click HERE to see some of the action from the day.

  • Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline PublicityCharlestone Challenge 03

Hydro Charleston Challenge: 1000 dancers needed

Dance your way into history at the Hydro Charleston Challenge

Dance your way into history at the Hydro Charleston Challenge

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group              Photos: David Hill

The Blue Mountains needs 1000 dancers in 1920s-style costume to snatch a Guinness World Record back from England on Saturday, February 6.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge broke the official world record three years in a row but was thumped by the town of Bexhill in the UK in August with 503 people followed by an attempt with 975 dancers in London validated by Guinness in October.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron said: “We want that title back and we’re going to take it back in elegant art deco style.

“Technically we need 976 dancers to reclaim the record but this is the Hydro Majestic, so let’s raise the stakes and aim for a thousand dancers to really smash the record.’’

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

The annual Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on the lawn in front of the Belgravia accommodation wing.

Pre-register online (www.hydromajestic.com.au) or manually on the day from 9.30am and practice the dance routine at home to the online tutorial (see the website). Practice sessions will be held from 10am on the day, with the actual world record attempt to kick off at 11am.

“There’s plenty of room. If the lawn fills up or you prefer to dance on a hard surface, step into the historic tennis courts overlooking the exquisite Megalong Valley,’’ Ms Corkeron said.

“We’ll even spill into the carpark if we have to.’’

Anyone can take part in the Hydro Charleston Challenge. All participants need do is wear a costume and be able to follow the dance for five minutes.

Click HERE to watch a Charleston dance tutorial to practice in private before the big day.

“Assembling a costume could be as simple as wearing a boa, a drop-waist dress and some Mary-Jane shoes (the ones with the straps, buttons or ribbons across the top) for the ladies and a loose suit and a Fedora for the fellas.’’

Gold coin donations will be collected for the Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains district on entry.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Hydro Charleston Challenge is a chance to let your hair down and show off against the backdrop of this fabulous flamboyant hotel.

“This is where Mark Foy held legendary outrageous parties, where the famous and the infamous came; this is where Australia’s first Prime Minister died; this was the centre of the Blue Mountains’ heyday.

The Blue Mountains held the record for three years in a row

The Blue Mountains held the record for three years in a row

“The Hydro Majestic is definitely back on the party scene with all the flare and style of its first heyday.’’

The 2016 Hydro Charleston Challenge will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 6, followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm when guests in 1920s finery will graze informally from picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, promenade on the lawns and dance the afternoon away to the strains of a `20s-style band.

The Roaring 20s-themed weekend will begin on Friday, February 5, with the Gangster Casino Night to celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity – and this time there’s no prohibition. Net proceeds from the adults-only event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity.

The weekend will close with the uber sophisticated Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge and other Roaring 20s events at the Hydro Majestic Hotel pay homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings, to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge and watch the tutorial of the Charleston dance HERE.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

The dance-off will be held on the historic tennis courts, the lawn in front of the Belgravia wing and the carpark

The dance-off will be held on the historic tennis courts, the lawn in front of the Belgravia wing and the carpark

 


Blue Mountains: Original pit stop rallies for majestic celebration

It is believed that Mark Foy imported the first motor car into NSW

It is believed that Mark Foy imported the first motor car into NSW

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

The original Blue Mountains party palace of the first car owner of NSW will host a majestic gathering of the most elegant veteran vehicles and meanest modern wheels on the November 28 & 29 weekend.

The Hydro Majestic Super Car Rally at Medlow Bath will showcase sophisticated motoring history with a range of pre-World War I veteran cars on display on the Saturday.

Many will offer joyrides to raise money for the NSW Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains district. NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM will be special guest.

RFS Blue Mountains district Superintendent David Jones said the volunteer organisation was proud is to be involved in the official opening of the event on the Saturday.

“During the event we will have members on hand to provide the public with practical advice on how to prepare for bushfire. There will also be a number of RFS vehicles for the public to inspect.’’

The original Blue Mountains party palace will rev up for the Hydro Majestic Super Car Rally

The original Blue Mountains party palace will rev up for the Hydro Majestic Super Car Rally

The Hydro Majestic will continue the hotel’s journey as a sumptuously racy pit stop between Eastern Creek and Bathurst race tracks on the Sunday when approximately 20 modern supercars including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, a NSW Police Porsche, Audi badges and more rev the occasion up to top torque.

The super car rally will herald a return to the glorious heyday of Australia’s most famous hotel, which was originally owned by retailing doyenne Mark Foy and relaunched last October by Escarpment Group collection of luxury hotels after an extensive refurbishment.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “I’m sure Foy would have loved this event – the colour, the noise, the smell and flamboyance of motor cars.

“He was a colourful and adventurous (some would even say outrageous) personality who was competitive and progressive and loved the thrill of speed. He wanted to be in the thick of excitement and wasn’t afraid to take risks and try new things.’’

According to information gleaned from Foy’s niece Mary Shaw by motoring historian Bill Boldiston, at the turn of the 19th century Mark Foy tasked his friend Bill Elliott, who lived in France, to purchase a motor car for him.

Elliott dutifully did so, buying an 1899 3hp De Dion Voiturette Vis a Vis motor car in London for 175 pounds and 10 shillings and a further 9.13.10 worth of accessories on January 26, 1900. It arrived in Sydney on April 27 and cleared Sydney customs on May 15 that year.

The vehicle seems to have been the first motor car imported into NSW.

After opening his “Palace in the wilderness’’ in 1904, Foy and another nearby hotel owner and keen motorist, Tom Rodriquez, began a daily service to Jenolan Caves featuring Foy’s latest import, a 10hp Panhard et Levassor.

Foy then imported two Milnes-Daimlers in chassis form, which became Charabancs, and offered hotel guests motor tours.

He later bought three Bedelia French cyclecars, which he kept at his Megalong Valley property, Valley Farm. The vehicles were made available to guests who wished to indulge in motor racing on the nearby Medlow Showground circuit.

Foy’s next purchase, a 1910 Fiat Tipo Zero, so impressed him that he became an agent for the brand.

Mark Foy, pictured here with his family, was a keen motor car enthusiast

Mark Foy, pictured here with his family, was a keen motor car enthusiast

He posed for two publicity images with the car under the Grand Arch at Jenolan Caves and in the middle of Victoria Pass at Mt Victoria in 1913 with Bill Elliott and his new Medlow friend Jack Rice to show that the car could easily do a hill start on the steepest public road in NSW.

Foy added a sporty Le Zebre French car to his collection and later a German Stoewer. His last choice was the radical Franklin from America with its air cooled engine.

When Foy died he had three Franklins, which he instructed in his will to be restored and presented to three of his friends. Their fate remains a mystery.

Apart from being the new toy of the rich and powerful, Foy was attracted to the motor car for its speed and was an enthusiastic competitor in the Dunlop Rubber Company-sponsored Sydney to Melbourne car race in February 1905 to show how dependable cars had become.

His was one of 37 self-propelled vehicles to set off from Sydney on the adventure of their lives along rough roads without repair facilities along the route.

There were multiple “winners’’ so the trial was extended to Ballarat and the eventual winner was Harley Tarrant, who went on to design and manufacture his own successful locally made motor cars.

However, with 15 of the competitors including Mark Foy hailing from Sydney, another Dunlop Reliability Trial was organised that November to bring them home.

When the Melbourne to Sydney trial also ended in confusion, Foy suggested that an extension to the Hydro Majestic might produce an outright winner. It didn’t.

The Hydro Majestic Super Car Rally will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 11am to 3.30pm on November 28 and November 29.

Visitors can lunch on a gourmet sausage and locally-crafted beers and wines or buy a gourmet picnic hamper from the Hydro Majestic Pavilion for an extra classic experience and tuck into regional produce with the magnificent Megalong Valley as a backdrop.

Car enthusiasts are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the motoring experience and stay at least one night at an Escarpment Group property, each with private parking.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for information about the car rally and escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining.

* Escarpment Group and the Hydro Majestic Hotel is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Mark Foy established tours between Medlow Bath and Jenolan Caves

Mark Foy established tours between Medlow Bath and Jenolan Caves

Mark Foy established tours between Medlow Bath and Jenolan Caves


Hydro Majestic to host Roaring 20s events

Charleston Challenge at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

Charleston Challenge at the Hydro Majestic Hotel.

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group         Photos: David Hill

The original Blue Mountains party palace will be a majestic venue at which to kick off the annual Roaring 20s Festival in February.

Beginning on Friday, February 5, the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath will host several stylish Roaring 20s Festival events during the weekend.

The original Blue Mountains party palace

The original Blue Mountains party palace

The festival pays homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Other venues around the Blue Mountains will also hold festival events throughout February.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original Hydro owner Mark Foy held legendary parties at the hotel. You can still feel that energy in the place.

“With just the right mix of decadence and mischief, all elegantly conducted of course, the Hydro is the perfect venue to celebrate the era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party – we’re still partying.’’

The most famous hotel in Australia sat out a few dances in recent years but has undergone an extensive sumptuous revamp and has a full social calendar once more.

The popular festival will swing into action when more than 550 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Majestic Charleston Challenge on Saturday, February 6. The Blue Mountains relinquished the mantle in August after a successful challenge by the Town of Bexhill in the UK with 503 people.

The Charleston Challenge will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch featuring local and regional food and wine, as well as further activities at the Hydro Majestic and other venues around the Blue Mountains during February.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media and Headline Publicity

 


Blue Mountains: Escarpment Group driving cutting edge technology

Recharge your own batteries inside an Escarpment Group luxury hotel at the same time

Recharge your own batteries inside an Escarpment Group luxury hotel at the same time

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 Audi A3 Sportback

The Audi A3 Sportback

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

The Hydro Majestic Hotel and Lilianfels Resort & Spa have the first Audi e-tron chargers in Sydney

The Hydro Majestic Hotel and Lilianfels Resort & Spa have the first Audi e-tron chargers in Sydney


Blue Mountains: Hydro revs up for majestic car rally

Porsche will be represented at the Hydro Majestic Car Rally

Porsche will be represented at the Hydro Majestic Car Rally

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group             Modern car photos: David Hill

The original Blue Mountains party palace will rev up when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts a vintage and modern super car show on the November 28 and 29 weekend.

Veteran cars such as this 1912 Buick will be a feature

Veteran cars such as this 1912 Buick will be a feature

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original owner of the hotel, retailer Mark Foy was a huge car enthusiast and actually owned a number of the first cars brought into Australia and inspired the first car rally from Melbourne to Sydney and subsequently, Sydney to the Blue Mountains’’

Opened originally as The Hydropathic Establishment on July 4, 1904, during a snowstorm, a group of special guests arrived by train at Penrith where Mr Foy had a fleet of motor cars waiting to drive them to the clifftop hotel in the upper 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.

An arduous journey even today, the trip was taken in two 9-h.p De Dion cars, propelled by petrol and each seating six people.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph of September 29, 1903, reads: “…and so far they have given every satisfaction, doing the journey in about three hours and a half.

“The visitors were entertained by Mr. Mark Foy, who is an enthusiastic patron of the sport of motoring, at his residence at Medlow, and great interest was taken by them in the preparations being made there for the erection of an elaborate hotel and hydropathic establishment.’’

Modern super cars from stables such as Audi will rev into the Hydro Majestic Hotel carpark

Modern super cars from stables such as Audi will rev into the Hydro Majestic Hotel carpark

Since relaunching last October after a sumptuous refurbishment, the Hydro Majestic is once again a luxurious pit stop.

“The Hydro Majestic is right on the Great Western Highway, enroute to the Eastern Creek and Bathurst race tracks and the highway is a well-travelled scenic drive route for tourists, so seeing Lamborghinis and Ferraris in our carpark is not unusual for us,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

“The Hydro Majestic has a reputation for being a little racy, a bit naughty and outrageous so we didn’t want to settle for one or two – we will have dozens of the fastest, meanest and sexiest cars that have ever been on the road.’’

The Hydro Majestic car show will feature modern super cars and veteran cars on display and offering joy rides for visiting guests.

Car enthusiasts are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the motoring experience and stay at least one night at an Escarpment Group property, each with private parking.

Go to www.hydromajestic.com.au for information about the car rally and www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining.

The car rally will highlight the famous hotel's racier side

The car rally will highlight the famous hotel’s racier side

 


Blue Mountains: Full moon rising over Hydro Majestic festival

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival added spring colour to Australia's most famous hotel

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival added spring colour to Australia’s most famous hotel

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group                                    Photos: David Hill

A full lunar sphere rising above the original Blue Mountains party palace set the tone for the inaugural Hydro Majestic Hotel Moon Festival last weekend.

Chinese lanterns provided a cheerful glow

Chinese lanterns provided a cheerful glow

 

Several hundred people attended the event on Saturday despite inclement weather and those who visited on Sunday were rewarded with a clear sky and full moon.

The Moon Festival celebrated the season of re-awakening, traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance.

Guests wandered the harvest-themed stalls showcasing local and regional produce and feasted on Asian street food including noodles, dumplings and moon cake all under the cheerful glow of Chinese lanterns strung between the trees and the world-famous hotel buildings.

 

 

A dragon dance was part of the entertainment

A lion dance was part of the entertainment

 

There was also a Buddhist prayer session and a colourful lion dance performance.

Floating lanterns were an attraction for children

Floating lanterns were an attraction for children

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “The Moon Festival was a great success. People came because the most famous hotel in Australia has come back to life and because we put on an event for the whole family.

 

 

“Official figures recently confirmed that the Blue Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in Australia and the Echo Point Visitors Information Centre rated the highest performing in the state but people need a reason to visit and Mark Foy’s `Palace in the wilderness’ is doing just that for locals and visitors.’’

 

A drum performance was part of the entertainment

A drum performance was part of the entertainment

 

 

 

The Moon Festival was just one of the events planned at the Hydro Majestic, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, including Oktoberfest from 12pm to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday, when visitors can nibble on fried chicken and sip German beer from commemorative steins.

Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be an annual event

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be an annual event

 


Revel in spring at Hydro Majestic Moon Festival, Blue Mountains

Celebrate the season of re-awakening at one of the most famous hotels in the world

Celebrate the season of re-awakening at one of the most famous hotels in the world. Photo: Brigitte Grant Photography

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

Revel in the season of re-awakening when the original Blue Mountains party palace, the Hydro Majestic Hotel, hosts a spring Moon Festival to celebrate traditional Asian culture, family and friends, new growth, harmony and the blessings of prosperity and abundance on September 26 and 27.

Wander the harvest-themed stalls showcasing local and regional produce at the undercover market by the cheerful glow of Chinese lanterns.

Sup on noodles, dumplings, barbecue skewers, wok-fried finger food and Asian-inspired desserts; taste traditional moon cake; see the exciting dragon dance and drum performance; and learn about the long association of Chinese culture at one of the most famous grand hotels in the world, recently refurbished back to its original glory.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said it was believed to be the first time a formal celebration with dragon dance had been held in the Blue Mountains.

“The Hydro Majestic actually has a very rich Asian history.

“Around the turn of the 20th century, Chinese workers disillusioned with the lack of fortune in the Bathurst goldfields, found themselves stranded in the Blue Mountains with no money to return to Sydney.

“Mark Foy, the great Sydney retailer who built the Hydro Majestic Hotel, was fascinated with all things Asian and happily employed many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, who worked as a cook at Foy’s Sydney home and managing the mayhem at the Hydro Majestic for thirty-five years.’’

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

Many Chinese workers such as Louie Goh Mong, nicknamed `Charlie’, worked at the Hydro Majestic Hotel during the Mark Foy era.

The inaugural Hydro Majestic Moon Festival and Oktoberfest the following weekend will also celebrate the genuinely iconic hotel’s return to its rightful place as an alluring playground to locals of and visitors to the Greater Blue Mountains, Mr Bruegger said.

“The Hydro was Mark Foy’s `Palace in the wilderness’. It was over the top, a bit naughty and Foy himself was outrageous at times.

“Escarpment Group injected the building with that decadence during the refurbishment. Now we are filling the social calendar with fresh festivals and events to once again fill the hotel with life and laughter.

“The Hydro Majestic is once again the place to be to have fun.’’

The Moon Festival and Oktoberfest also gave travellers another reason to visit the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and Mr Bruegger encouraged visitors to stay at least one night to explore the region.

“We have plenty of beds, many different dining options and a kilometre-long world-famous hotel to explore,’’ he said.

“But we’re not greedy – roam the spectacular Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mt Tomah; wander the boutiques in the quaint mountain villages; stretch your legs on one of 400 bush tracks; ride the Scenic skyway, cablecar and train; and cuddle a koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park to or from Sydney.’’

The Hydro Majestic Moon Festival will be held at the hotel, Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath, from 2pm to 9pm Saturday, September 26, and Sunday, September 27. The dragon dance will be staged at 4pm both days.

Go to www.escarpmentgroup.com.au to book accommodation and dining options at one of the four Escarpment Group properties in the upper Blue Mountains (the Hydro Majestic Hotel, Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Lilianfels Resort & Spa and Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant).