During recent winter seasons, Marouka Lodge has increasingly accepted bookings to accommodate large public groups, which generally come through an external agency and include 20 or more guests. These bookings are invariably mid-week when occupancy is lower, and only occasionally include one of the bracketing weekends. These bookings effectively take over the whole lodge.
From the perspective of schools, recreational clubs and corporate social convenors, Marouka Lodge is ideally suited for group accommodation due to its ease of access, informality and reasonable price.
However, large public groups can overwhelm the lodge experience for members and their families who book at the same time. Therefore, the Committee has taken steps to ensure that members are not inconvenienced:
- Members have always been given a priority booking period in March and April to secure their bookings before public and group bookings are accepted. This will continue, and members will be encouraged with extra vigour to make their holiday selections.
- Two weeks during August will be designated as group-free. Generally this will be the second and third weeks of the month, but check with the Booking Officer to make sure.
- One week during July will be designated as a public group week, and may be booked before the priority booking period. This will allow the Booking Officer to guarantee a year-on-year booking to at least one group. The exact date will be determined before each season, but will generally be the week immediately following Victorian school holidays.
- Members know that their stay may be shared with groups. All members have the option of shifting their bookings after giving sufficient warning. However, if a public group booking is taken, any member who has booked during that period will be notified by the Booking Officer with the option of shifting their dates.
- Large groups should have a coordinator who executes the online booking, organises payment and ensures that the conventions and etiquette of the lodge are maintained, including completing housekeeping tasks and sharing the kitchen responsibly. The Lodge Manager is available for guidance and direction only.
- Changes and cancellations inevitably occur with large group bookings secured well in advance. Coordinators are advised to make separate bookings for each room taken up by the group. Avoid deleting and re-entering paid-up bookings, as not all funds are refunded within one month of arrival. Contact the Booking Officer to help facilitate changes.
We hope all groups who stay at Marouka Lodge find the accommodation comfortable and friendly, and respectful that the facilities are generously made available by dedicated lodge members.