Have you heard about our new client Hotel Etico?
Hotel Etico is one of our newest Salary packaging clients and we are so proud to be associated with them and the great work they do. If you haven’t heard about them, read how they came about and what their mission is. It's a really great story.

The Blue Mountains has just become the home of Australia’s first social enterprise hotel. Hotel Etico at Mount Victoria Manor opened in November and its purpose is to deliver fantastic holiday experiences to guests that power a program providing work, training and live-in opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities, enabling them to transition to open employment and become more independent. 

Guests of the hotel will not only stay in elegant rooms, dine in at Niccolò’s Restaurant and Bar, find spaces for socialising, a quiet read or favourite flick, their holiday experience will also contribute toward a proven employment training and social inclusion program that transforms lives. 

The vision for Hotel Etico came to life over a decade ago in Italy from the dream of a young man with Down Syndrome called Niccolò Vallese, who started working as an intern at his local restaurant. It was the Head Chef’s first experience dealing with a person who had an intellectual disability and he was unsure about what to expect. But Niccolò was soon flourishing and the Chef quickly realised the remarkable potential his new star intern had as a hospitality professional. The Chef asked Niccolò one day what he hoped for in the future and his reply was, “My dream is to work in a Hotel”.

Niccolò didn’t know it at the time but his dream became the inspiration that transformed his wish to a reality. The first Hotel Etico (Albergo Etico), opened in his home town of Asti in the north of Italy in 2015 and by the end of 2020 there will be 6 hotels open worldwide with more opening in 2021. Across the operating hotels, 80 hospitality interns are in training and 184 have graduated with 68% of them moving on to open employment. Hotel Etico Australia follows the success of its European counterparts by adapting the Albergo Etico business model to the Australian context.

Hotel Etico’s trainee program is based on a wholistic model of learning over 12 months through on-the-job training and coaching in life skills that facilitates a pathway to open employment. At the core of the training program is the Academy of Independence, a trainee residence that will provide a peer-based, supportive setting to experience independent living.

Recruitment for the inaugural group of trainees takes place this month with commencement aimed for February 2021. Hotel Etico’s in-house restaurant, Niccoló’s Restaurant and Bar is schedule to open in March 2021.