Cape Schanck resort turns one

Travelling Well | Lucy Cleeve | Posted on 06 August 2019

RACV Cape Schanck Resort is celebrating a year of living luxuriously.

It is always important to mark a first birthday, and to reflect on those milestones achieved in the first year of life. New parents celebrate the little wins like learning to walk and sleeping through the night, but what does a new business drink to? We asked proud parent Dean Newell, manager of RACV Cape Schanck Resort, to share some highs from the first year.

Like any new arrival, there was a lot of excitement from the start. “Usually when you launch a property, you open the doors and the business starts to build from there. But we were flat out from the first day,” says Dean. Hosting almost 100,000 guests so far, the team have had a steep learning curve, and have risen to the challenge. “We couldn’t be happier with what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months. We’ve had great feedback so far, and it just keeps getting better.”  

But what have guests been impressed by? 

Head-turning design 

Those who’ve visited so far will know that the place speaks for itself. Enveloped by stunning coastline scenery and overlooking the drama of Bass Strait, the building reflects the wild waves that surround it. Designed by Melbourne architects of the moment, Wood Marsh, the resort’s sculptural curves recently landed the project a nod in the 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards

Peninsula produce in expert hands 

Many resort guests are lured by on-site modern Australian restaurant Cape, and with good reason. “We’re so lucky to have head chef Josh Pelham at the helm. He came to us with a fantastic pedigree and brings experience from Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK. Josh has a solid team behind him, and their food is a huge drawcard for visitors.” Just last week, in fact, the Cape team were named as finalists in the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence

With world-class food and wine makers on their doorstep, the team are spoilt for choice. “Our menus are definitely inspired by what’s regionally and seasonally available. We use Cape Schanck Olive Estate, handmade cheeses from BoatShed Cheese in Dromana, local lamb.” And then there’s the drinks menu. “There’s 150 local wines featured on the list at Cape alone, as well as five local breweries and incredible spirits from Bass & Flinders Distillery.” 

Good local vibes 

As well as working with local suppliers and artisans where possible, the resort is also contributing to the local economy, creating jobs and increasing tourism to the area. “We now have more than 250 staff, and around 90 per cent live within half an hour’s drive from the resort. We employ students and many parents from the local area, and it’s created a great community spirit and a real pride among the whole team. Many Melbourne-based senior resort crew have also moved into the area.” And why wouldn’t you? 

Friends with benefits 

Being a part of the local landscape has spurred the team to partner up with other businesses in the region. “Right now, we have some amazing art on loan from Pt. Leo Estate, and they’re doing mates’ rates for any of our guests visiting their sculpture park, too.  

“The recent growth throughout the peninsula has made the vibe here electric. We have so many different ages and families visiting because of the diversity of things to do in the region. Young couples might head to Peninsula Hot Springs or St Andrews Beach Brewery five minutes away, there are those who come for the coastline walks, beaches or golf, and guests who are primarily here for the food at Cape. There are new places and experiences popping up constantly – high energy, low energy and whatever the weather. We are just thrilled to be a part of it all.”