From its beginnings as a collection of boutique retreats with the opening of Peppers Guest House in the Hunter Valley 30 years ago, the proudly Australian owned and operated Peppers brand has expanded to include a network of sprawling coastal resorts and chic metropolitan hotels – and most recently, a move into Asia.
Throughout the brand’s evolution a healthy commitment to the elements of successful conference and business events has remained, says Kent Davidson, now Executive Director Sales, Marketing & Distribution for Mantra Group, who now manage the Peppers brand.
“With growth we have added diversity, enabling us to deliver different unique experiences to a wider market but the traditional Peppers values continue,” says Davidson.
“What will always remain at Peppers is the personalised experience; the properties may be larger scale but the attention to detail remains.”
“We have also continued to embrace team building experiences unique to the region by forging great relationships with local operators.”
“And food is a long standing tradition at a Peppers event – the gathering of people around a table is a great equalizer and a valuable part of the conferencing experience.”
Milestones for the Peppers group since opening Peppers Guest House in 1984 have been plentiful. The guest house quickly grew from a popular leisure getaway to include conference facilities and so the concept of Peppers as an event venue was created. Today the Peppers name can be seen on an array of Retreat properties including the iconic Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and Peppers Manor House in the Southern Highlands.
In 2005 the evolution of the Peppers network commenced with the first resort style property joining the group – Peppers Salt Resort & Spa Kingscliff which quickly became the jewel in the Peppers conferencing crown catering for over 500 delegates. Other resort style conferencing venues followed in Airlie Beach, Hervey Bay and on Magnetic Island, the Mornington Peninsula and Launceston.
In 2004 Peppers ventured across the Tasman to open its first New Zealand retreat – Peppers on the Point Rotorua, a property that today continues to win numerous culinary awards and provide a unique venue for Incentives.
The New Zealand network now includes eight properties including the premium golf and conference venue Peppers Clearwater Resort Christchurch and unique retreats such as Peppers Parehua in the Marlborough wine region an hour from Wellington.
In 2010 Peppers Broadbeach opened on the Gold Coast – the brand’s first foray into a metropolitan region – located 200 metres from the Convention Centre.
With Peppers Broadbeach proving a great success, similar mixed-use developments are set to open in 2015 and 2016 – Peppers Dunmore Brisbane and Peppers Docklands Melbourne, both of which are situated near major conference venues.
A new journey for the brand saw it venture to Bali this month where the Sentosa Seminyak luxury villa resort now bears the Peppers name and promises to be the first of many properties throughout Indonesia and Asia.
“Peppers is a much loved hotel brand that hasn’t been afraid to evolve with changing demands. For this reason it is set for another 30 years of operation and an expanding network of diverse properties in exciting locations, but its foundations and traditional values will never be forgotten.”