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FRESH FACES: Ovolo Group Director of Operations Wayne Taranto


The first all-vegetarian hotel group, and dog friendly, you could say Ovolo Hotels are a breed apart. Here, we talk to their Group Director of Operations in Australia WAYNE TARANTO about Ovolo, their recent milestone and a Melbourne hotel opening that has him really excited.

 

Where was the last place you travelled - and where would you like to go next?

I travelled to Bali at the start of 2020 with my family, where we stayed in a stunning private villa with plunge pool near Seminyak. It was the first time we had all travelled to Bali and what a sensational holiday it was - full of activities, shopping and far too much eating!

I think it will be a while yet before we can travel overseas again, so when looking ahead to future destinations, we’re keen to explore more of Australia and experience our own backyard.

 

Why did you take up this particular role?

I have followed Ovolo with interest over the past few years and listened to both Girish Jhunjhnuwala (Founder and CEO of Ovolo Group) and Dave Baswal (Chief Financial Officer of Ovolo Group Australia) speak at various industry events.

Consistently impressed by Ovolo’s forward thinking, innovative approach to the hotel business and ability to recruit amazing people, there was no hesitation when the opportunity presented itself.

I feel incredibly privileged to join this amazing team and lead operations in Australia.

 

Tell us something people might not know about the Ovolo Group?

Ovolo recently celebrated turning 10 years old. We’ve always done things ‘the Ovolo way’, which has been demonstrated in many ways over the years from our effortless living philosophy to being dog friendly.

What people might not know is that as of World Vegetarian Day last year (1 October), Ovolo became the world’s first hotel group to go completely vegetarian across all its hotels and restaurants.

 

Tell us one thing that’s coming up at Ovolo that’s got you excited 

The unveiling of Ovolo South Yarra in early 2021. This hotel will make a real statement in Melbourne, “a place where retro chic and pop-art meet”.

Ovolo South Yarra will feature 123 rooms and suites decorated in the style of 1970’s rock music and pop culture complemented by a unique café and restaurant concept. I’m super excited to be a part of this hotel coming to life.

 

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

My most memorable travel experience was a hotel in Thailand called the Racha Resort, where you arrive via speedboat feeling like a Rockstar from the moment you get there.

It is truly one of the world’s most stunning island destinations with white sands, crystal clear waters and a sanctuary like no other - a place where you can relax in the privacy of your own villa and eat to your heart’s content.

 

What’s your top travel tip?

Three words - Pack light, shopping.

 

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Written by: Wayne Taranto as told to Traveltalk
Published: 8 February 2021

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