We are super excited to announce that as per the Victorian Government update on the 24th of May, 2020, we are once again able to welcome guests who have non-essential travel in the Yarra Valley from the 1st of June, 2020.
It has been an intense and challenging yet paradoxically quiet few months for everyone. While this autumn has been punctuated by the stunning colour changes in grapevines, glorious sunsets and sunrises , glorious sunny days and cosy weather in the Yarra Valley, we have not been able to share these with our guests.
Given our imminent reopening, so to say, we thought that we would let you know of the changes that we have made to the business and the cabins.
Default cabin location and set-up
We have always been in the unique position of being isolated, but not far away, with guests rarely being in speaking distance of other guests and staff. This is because our cabins are individually set up with approximately 50 meters between each building. The cabins only accommodate 2 adults and at any given time, we have a low number of people on a 55 acre site. While we have never had a reception area, direct contact between guests and staff is further avoided because of our independent and strict check-in and check out times. Our communication process is via text and emails. We are always a phone call away and we are always ready to assist guests if required.
New hygiene protocols for our cabins
We have always had hygienic practices according to industry standards and public health obligations. We have always used a commercial linen cleaning supplier and bedding protectors on all mattresses and pillows etc. We pay special attention to high touch-point areas, such as door handles, switches, counters, remote controls, lockboxes and keys using a hospital grade antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial cleaning product. You can read more about the product here.
We have implemented enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols informed by the Safe Work Australia recommendations in all our cabins to further protect our staff and guests. In the downtime of COVID-19 we rehearsed and implemented a strict process of cleaning and disinfection in all our cabin change overs. Our staff are temperature checked at the beginning of each shift, have been provided with personal protective equipment for while they are working. As staff enter the cabins for a change over between guests, they follow a high contact surface sanitising protocol. We have increased the time allotted per cabin per change over ensuring that our cleaning products effectively sanitize surfaces. Between each guest, cabin managers rotate the supplied cabin inventory, this includes the crockery, books, games and DVDs. The biggest change to our processes is the amount of time we allocate to prepare each cabin for each your arrival.
Upon entry to one of cabins, as a guest you will find hand santiser on the bench for you to use while you stay. As always, hand wash is available in the cabins for while you stay. While small sanitizers are hard to come by, we have gifted you a small Watts River Brewing hand sanitiser as part of your breakfast provisions. Surface spray sanitiser is now included as part of the cleaning products available for your use while you stay. Finally as part of the final preparation of your cabin, our cabin managers seal the cabin to indicate they are the last person to have entered the cabin.
We have reinstated a two night minimum stay at Kangaroo Ridge Retreat to ensure that you are able to take a break, experience our location and have a deep Yarra Valley experience.
The COVID-19 pause
We heavily invested in the guest experience in the cabins while the tourist sector was essentially shut down in the Yarra Valley. For three full weeks, we had a excavator on our driveway to redirect storm water run off and resurface the drive away with 200 tonnes of stone. Inside each cabin we restored the cabin wood floors and installed block out curtains. The cabinetry and flyscreens have also had some upgrades.
As we settled into the rhythm of social isolation, we initiated a partnership with Watts River Brewery in a female-led virtual tasting Wednesday Winos. Each Wednesday evening we chatted with local brewers and wine makers from the local area and regional Victorian towns. Some of our local interviews included brewer Scott from Meletos Brewhouse, Damien the winemaker from Pimpernel Vineyards and Emma from the super friendly and beautiful boutique winery Madden’s Rise.
Support local independent businesses
We are a proud small business located in a regional Victoria with a small dedicated team of employed staff. Like the many businesses in regional Victoria we have experienced exceptional circumstances that were compounded by the bushfires in regional Victoria earlier this year. We aim to support and maintain our connection to other impacted businesses by our small purchasing footprint and continuing to order our Larder supplies through local businesses.
By taking advantage of the Larder products and dinners we offer as part of your stay, not only you will support local industries like craft breweries and boutique wineries unable to open yet due to the restrictions, you will be having a deep Yarra Valley experience without leaving your cabin. Further, by using the Larder, you will avoid being a part of the crowds and queues in the town center and help maintain your social distance responsibilities within a beautiful regional Victorian town.
Upon booking we supply you with the exclusive Kangaroo Ridge Retreat regional guide. We have included the details of local restaurants that now offer pick up services and are able to take reservations for a sit down experiences.
Be kind to yourself if you are not feeling the great
It is a difficult time for all of us. So please be kind to yourself if you are not feeling it. Remember to check on your own mental health and health of your loved ones. During these times it’s important to celebrate the many good things around us – a good day can break the cycle of anxiety.
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or check Lifeline Australia for 24/7 support for anyone suffering emotional distress or trauma.
Thank you for your support – it has been much appreciated during this time.
We truly wish to welcome you here and share the unique isolated nature of Kangaroo Ridge Retreat. From all of us here at Kangaroo Ridge Retreat, wishing you and your loved ones safe travel and all the best of health in the coming weeks.
Stay safe and look after each other.