'Five star': step inside Nellie Melba's new village centre

Absolutely fantastic. First class. Five-star. Amazing. Unbelievable.

The superlatives were flying in all directions as the curtain was raised on Nellie Melba’s village centre and residents had their first peek inside.

After excitedly watching on for months as the heart of the new retirement village was constructed, residents were treated to a grand reveal and tour on January 29.

And they certainly liked what they saw.    

Resident Geoff, who, along with his wife Heather was the first person to move into Nellie Melba in August last year, described the village centre as “fantastic”.

“I couldn’t be happier. The whole complex, it’s just first class. It’s all I can say: first class.”

Bob, who was also among the first people to move into the village, said he was blown away by what he saw.

“My first impression when I walked through the doors was it’s absolutely amazing, then when I went through other parts of it I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“We’re looking forward to spending a lot of time here.”

Gerry was likewise gobsmacked.

“It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s better than I had expected, it must be at least a five-star hotel. It’s absolutely beyond belief.”

The village centre, which is accessed via the main entrance, includes the reception area and lobby, sprawling communal lounges, a cafe, bar, pool room, cinema, library, hair and beauty salon, indoor swimming pool, and gym.   

“It’s just lovely,” his wife Maree said.

“It was exciting to come in those main gates – I felt there should have been a trumpet blast or something like that to welcome us.

“It’s very exciting, a luxury beyond what I was expecting. People had said it’s like going on a cruise but you don’t pull up the anchor. It’s all here.”

Construction project manager Travis Cocks, who attended the village centre opening with some of his staff members, said it was “extremely satisfying” to see the residents’ reaction to the new facility.

“After so many months of hard work, to see the looks on everyone’s faces as they look around and take it all in is just great for us.”

Ryman Healthcare Regional manager Eileen Kielty said “the big reveal” was a huge success.  

“The feedback from everyone was just ‘wow!’. It’s a lot more beautiful than they even thought it was going to be and they really appreciated the opportunity to see it before everyone else.”

Eileen said it was clear that residents immediately felt a sense of ownership and pride in the village centre.

“They’ve got a beautiful community and it’s just lovely that now have got beautiful surroundings to spend time with each other in. It’s just wonderful.”

She praised all the staff who have worked so hard to deliver such a spectacular facility.

“In the week leading up to the opening it’s just been lovely to see the team of people come together from all parts of the business – from construction, IT, senior management, everybody. It’s just been a lot of fun to be part of it.”

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