New Boutique Hotel…oh so close!
Behind an overgrown hedge, site offices and skip bins, one of Oranges latest luxury accommodation options is taking shape.
The Byng Street Boutique Hotel, due to open by mid-2019, will offer 22 rooms, conference facilities and guest dining right in the heart of Orange.
The development is just another sign of the growing demand for accommodation in Orange. Over the past few years there has been a dramatic rise in short term rental offerings in the city and later this year Quest Orange is due to open for business with 77 serviced apartment style hotel rooms.
The more accommodation options the better, according to Orange360 General Manager Caddie Marshall, who said at times the capacity of the region can be very stretched.
And it’s not just during major events like F.O.O.D Week and the Orange Wine Festival, Ms Marshall said, but the ever-growing number of business and sporting events, on top of Orange’s importance as a medical services hub that can make finding accommodation a challenge.
“We have two new providers coming online, which will be 100 rooms and adds to a good diverse mix of accommodation options,” said Ms Marshall.
“We want people to have the greatest opportunity to be able to come and explore out region. Being able to have more accommodation options open up is just terrific.”
For Byng Street Boutique Hotel proprietors Thomas and Kristen Nock, Orange has given them opportunity to fulfil a life’s dream.
The couple have spent their whole lives working in hospitality.
“We actually met working in a hotel together,” said Kristen, who has spent the last 16 years as the senior catering manager at ANZ Stadium. Previously, she has worked at a number of Sydney’s premier hotels as well as abroad.
Thomas too, has spent time overseas and worked in small hotels in Switzerland as well as in one of London’s best 5 Star hotels, The Lanesborough. He also spent twelve years at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
Kristen said they have both long dreamed of putting their experience to use in their own unique hotel venture.
“After I finished studying, I worked for a couple of years in a boutique hotel in Scotland. It was a beautiful 23 room, family-run hotel and they are still our great friends and we are still in touch with them very much. I guess it is similar to the style of hotel we want to create in Orange. We want it to be very much a warm welcoming place, so you are almost part of our family like a big BnB situation rather than a sterile hotel. So that is the feel we want,” said Kristen.
“How amazing to get the opportunity to do it,” said Thomas. “This was never going to happen in Sydney, but we saw the opportunity that Orange could have a next step up in terms of accommodation and service.”
Although the couple only moved to Orange this year, they have long been regular visitors to the region.
Thomas’ father David bought a property near Cadia 20 years ago and it is actually he who is the developer of the hotel site.
“He would have gone ahead and built this hotel anyway. Even if we didn’t want to operate it, he was building it anyway,” said Thomas.
“We’ve been coming up here for a number of years and we love what people have been able to do up here. We've really seen it grow in those 20 years… The wines here are great, we have sophistication with the food offering as well, sophisticated coffee, cafes and that sort of thing.”
“We think Orange offers the whole package,” said Kristen, “but there is that niche in accommodation that I think perhaps we can fill… you talk to Orange 360 and they'll say there's not enough accommodation, particularly at that higher end, but even in general there are not enough beds when big sporting groups come or F.O.O.D Week, Wine Week or any of those big events are on. Even on a normal weekend during Autumn, Winter and Spring, it’s tough to get accommodation in Orange.”
Thomas and Kristen are also excited by the hotel property itself. The lovingly restored 1896 heritage building fronting Byng Street will contain three bedrooms with ensuites upstairs and a kitchen and dining area downstairs. The majority of the rooms will be contained in a large modern extension designed to be sympathetic to the features of the old home.
“It was one of these amazing houses of Orange and it was a mess you know. It is beautiful and it is looking sensational, so if nothing else we've saved and preserved and restored a building that is of historical significance to Orange,” said Thomas.
“And what we've then done is work with an architect to design the modern extension and make it look appropriate… it has definitely had its challenges, but I am confident it is going to be interesting interior-wise and not just a bog-standard hotel.”
Construction of the Byng Street Boutique Hotel is due to be completed by the end of April and it will be open for business by the middle of 2019
“We are not far away from opening up for reservations,” said Thomas. “We are excited. It has been a long time coming and a hell of a journey to get to this point. Now we just have to push through to the end and I think it will be wonderful to have it open and welcoming our first guests.”