crown media releases

Aussie Millions - Poker Championship - 29 January 2012
The new king of poker was crowned tonight, when Oliver Speidel, a 26-year-old banker from Melbourne, Victoria. 
Show Details



Melbourne, Australia. Sunday 29 January 2012. The new king of poker was crowned tonight, when Oliver Speidel, a 26-year-old banker from Melbourne, Victoria collected a whopping $1,600,000 in prize money after winning the Main Event of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship. Speidel was then presented with the widely-cherished and universally-revered diamond-encrusted gold ring, representing the game’s ultimate achievement, a glass trophy, a Rolex watch and all the glory for his efforts.

The triumph was both a mental and physical marathon, after Speidel overcame a field of 659 entrants from all over the globe, who participated in the tenth anniversary of the Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’.

The No-Limit Holdem tournament, with a buy-in of $10,600, began on Sunday 22 January, and took seven days to complete. Speidel’s route to victory was a determined one, albeit peppered with a few unwanted detours.

He arrived at the Final Table, which began today, Sunday 29 January at 12:30pm, and the atmosphere in the ‘Studio 3’ (the official film set for the Aussie Millions, at Crown Melbourne) was electric and it only got better when Speidel jumped on the table, laid on his back, picked up bundles of his newly won cash.

The final duel was played in front of a packed house of nearly 200 spectators and a worldwide audience following the action over the internet. Millions more will watch the final crescendo of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship ‘Main Event’ later in the year, when international television programming is confirmed.

The runner up was Kenneth Wong, from Hong Kong. Despite the disappointment of defeat, he could take great pride in a noble effort that resulted in overcoming all but one of the 659 players who began the pursuit of every poker player's greatest dream. Wong collected a supreme consolation prize of $1,000,000 in prize money.

Crown congratulates Oliver Speidel on his tremendous accomplishment after playing superb poker over a prolonged period against a record field that included virtually every single top poker professional and hundreds of talented amateurs from Australia and around the globe.

The final seven players of the tenth anniversary of the Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’ were:

1st Oliver Speidel AUD$1,600,000
2nd Kenneth Wong AUD$1,000,000
3rd Mile Krstanoski AUD$ 610,000
4th Mohamad Kowssarie AUD$405,000

5th Patrick Healy AUD$325,000 6th Bjorn Li AUD$225,000
7th Yann Dion AUD$175,000

A complete list of all those who cashed in the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship can be located via

View Media Release

For further media information, or to request an interview with the winner please contact:

Natasha Stipanov
Media Relations Manager - Gaming
Crown Entertainment Complex
Telephone: +61 434 187 828

Ann Peacock
General Manager - Public Relations Crown Entertainment Complex Telephone: +61 3 9292 8607

In 2011, Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship hosted the largest poker tournament on the planet 
Show Details

Melbourne, Australia. Friday 27 January 2012. In 2011, Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship hosted the largest poker tournament on the planet, which saw an astounding 20 players entering the $250,000 Challenge, creating a prize-pool of $5,000,000.

The poker world will again be transfixed, as Crown repeats history on Saturday 28 January 2012, when the $250,000 Challenge is staged in the official film studio of the Aussie Millions ‘Studio 3’.

Crown’s Aussie Millions has rapidly become a high-stakes tournament destination for the elite, with Crown providing top players in the world with a high-stakes playground, unrivalled anywhere else in the world.

The Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge will be filmed and developed into a television series for an international audience, exceeding 100 million. 2012 developments will see the television production expanded throughout the US and the European markets, that will further increase the audience and exposure of the event, Melbourne and Crown.


2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Event Number 20: $250,000 Challenge


Saturday 28 January 2012




For media accreditation please visit accreditation


Studio 3 (Level 3 West End, Crown Entertainment Complex)


For live, minute by minute results and updates visit /

View Media Release

For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Natasha Stipanov
Media Relations Manager - Gaming & Corporate Crown Melbourne Limited
Telephone: +61 3 9292 8671

Ann Peacock
General Manager - Public Relations Crown Melbourne Limited
Telephone: +61 3 9292 8607

Crown’s Chinese New Year Festival celebrates the Year of the Dragon. 
Show Details

Melbourne, Australia. January 2012. Crown’s Chinese New Year Festival and Riverside Hawker’s Bazaar has become an annual tradition in Melbourne’s Lunar New Year celebrations. Now in its tenth year, the festival has expanded its offering and still attracts over 100,000 visitors per day filling the Crown Riverside from Friday 27 January until Sunday 29 January from 11am until 11pm, daily. Admission is free.

This year a spectacular fireworks display will take place on Saturday 28 January from 10.45pm along the Yarra River in front of Crown. Fireworks are customary to Chinese New Year folklore as they are believed to ward off evil spirits.

To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, Crown Riverside will feature a series of activities and entertainment including cooking demonstrations, 45 food and market style stalls, a host of cultural activities, exhibitions and live entertainment including roving and interactive performances.

The Year of the Dragon is often described as the year of luck as the Chinese dragon means good fortune in health, wealth and living a long, prosperous life. Indulge all the senses and sample the traditional delicacies for the entire family including the traditional Prosperity Salad, the popular Durian ice-cream and the array of authentic Asian culinary delights that leave guests spoilt for choice.

Entertainment for the entire family across the weekend includes karaoke, an interactive petting zoo and traditional song and dance. Not to be missed is the spectacular dragon and lion processions which take place throughout the event starting at the Atrium and traversing the festival from Queensbridge Road through to Spencer Street. According to Chinese legend, the dragon is the ruler of the sky and water, and holds the highest position amongst all the animals, whilst the lions serve as its protector. The ceremonial dances serve to ward off evil spirits through the thunderous sound of loud drums and firecrackers.

Crown’s Atrium will be transformed with an elaborate Chinese aerial structure, clustered with delicate spring flowers, lucky charms, firecrackers and stunning internally lit lanterns. To commemorate the Year of The Dragon, Crown has added to the Atrium decorative display, a 2 meter high, hand sculptured, brilliant gold Dragon suspended as a huge lucky charm amongst the gold branches and glorious spring flowers. The Chinese New Year Atrium Display featuring the Gold Dragon will run from 20 January - 5 February 2012.

For further information, including event and performance times, please visit

For further information or media access for filming and photography please contact:

What: Crown’s Chinese New Year Festival

Where: Crown Riverside – spanning from Queensbridge Road through to Spencer Street

When: Hawkers Bazaar - Friday 27 January until Sunday 29 January, from 11am until 11pm, daily Atrium display - Friday 20 January until Sunday 5 February 2012

Admission: Free


View Media Release

Jodi Crocker
Media Relations Manager Crown Entertainment Complex 03 9292 8672 / 0403 026 600

Ann Peacock
General Manager – Public Relations Crown Entertainment Complex
03 9292 8607 / 0412 334 614 

The most exclusive experience in Crown Towers can be found in the new palatial villas. 
Show Details

Melbourne, Australia, 2012. The most exclusive experience in Crown Towers can be found in the new palatial villas that are positioned on the top floors of the hotel and offer guests the epitome of world- class accommodation. Crown Towers’ villas have recently been extensively refurbished. The villas are ideal for the most discerning guest and are popular with those seeking the ultimate in privacy.

Located on the hotel’s uppermost floors, each villa has the character of a penthouse residence. The villas are attended by a service-oriented team of butlers, on call 24-hours, and are accessible by three private express lifts. There are 32 villas in total including one Chairman’s Villa, four Presidential Villas, 16 Crystal Villas and 11 Deluxe Villas.

The Villas at Crown Towers

The Villas at Crown Towers have been designed by Sydney-based interior designer, Blainey North & Associates.

Crown Towers has invested over $20 million AUD to create the ultimate villa accommodation experience for its guests. On average, $810 000.00 AUD was spent to elevate each villa to a level offering guests the best possible experience from a design, technology and service perspective.

This transformation was achieved without any major structural changes to the existing villas that were opened in May 1997 and that were recognised at the time for setting a new benchmark for luxury accommodation in Australia. Now, Crown Towers is further raising the bar for luxury accommodation in the Southern Hemisphere.

To create an instant feeling of familiarity and belonging, each villa features its own repetitive motif. Each motif can be seen replicated, exaggerated or showcased in a myriad of executions from any of the villas’ custom-designed carpets, expertly crafted joinery, furniture, soft furnishings or hardware. The layering effect helps create a luxurious ambience.

A consistent application and layering of visual details throughout the villas results in a unified and sophisticated product that exceeds guests’ expectations.

“By varying each villa’s design, we are able to provide a series of different experiences and also appeal to each guests’ specific preferences,” commented Crown’s Group Executive General Manager Hotels & Retail, Peter Crinis. “Crown Towers has successfully created a residential guest experience within a hotel. Paired with the discreet and expert service for which Crown Towers is renowned and Crown’s new guest offering including Crown Towers new Crystal Club and Crown’s new Club 23, new additions including Bistro Guillaume and The Waiting Room and our stable of award-winning restaurants, it’s a winning combination,” added Crinis.

Every element of the villas from carpets and cushions to furniture and light fittings have been custom- designed in Australia and made and imported from overseas.

A notable design piece that features in many of the villas is the Charles and Ray Eames $7500.00 desk chair, which is commonly referred to as the “Time Life Executive Chair.” There are 21 of these chairs located on level 32 and above.

In addition, Crown Towers used a world-renowned carpenter based in Heidelberg, Victoria to make a custom-built concealed cabinet. This carpenter supplies architects and designers around the world and is a leader in his field.

All Presidential villas and the Chairman’s villa feature custom-made pillow top mattresses and bed bases that are larger than a traditional king size bed and made up with custom-made linen and pillows. All cushions and pillows are filled with 100% down.

All Axminster carped has been hand-carved with a razor blade. It takes 6 weeks to make 2000 square metres of carpet.

“Excellent craftsmanship, bespoke, hand-crafted elements and the use of unusual, unique materials or combinations of materials such as metal inlays on furniture are the hallmarks of the new villas at Crown Towers,” says interior designer, Blainey North. “While the villas are unmistakably modern in design, the use of labour intensive techniques and expert craftsmanship is a tribute and in some ways, a return to art nouveau and the arts and craft era of the last century,” explained North.


All of the premium villas feature a “fingertip convenience” remote control. This remote control is no ordinary universal remote control. Not only can guests open and close windows, shades, turn music and entertainment on and off, the remote control is also available in 6 languages and can control the television, I-POD, DVD, lights, curtains, blinds, laptop and even Karaoke.

The Crown Towers customised remote control is an icon based remote control that is intuitive and customer focussed.

New state-of-the-art speakers have been installed throughout the villas at Crown Towers. All villas feature 52 inch LCD televisions.

In total over $1 million AUD was invested to ensure that all of the villas at Crown Towers provided guests with the best audio-visual experience possible.

All villas on level 32 and above feature integrated convenience charge points in both the bedroom and study area. These charge points are ideal for charging laptops and mobile telephones.

In addition, the Crystal Villas, Presidential Villas and Chairman’s Villa feature remote control $7500.00 toilets imported from Japan. The remote control can be used to warm the toilet seat, flush, dry and put the toilet seat up or down.

New steam showers and soaking bathtubs have been installed in villas on level 32 and above. The bathtubs have been custom-built to Crown’s exacting standards and specifications and include a water- saving self-cleaning automated feature that reduces the amount of water required to wash the bathtub from 500 litres to just 50 litres.


Over $1 million AUD has been invested on artwork for the hotel’s 32 villas. Over 20 artists are showcased throughout the villas. Over 90% of the artwork is Australian and includes both photographic prints and a range of paintings and etchings.

Chairman’s Villa

The Chairman’s Villa is arguably the penultimate accommodation villa in the Southern Hemisphere. Spanning 1090 square metres, the villa is opulent, luxurious and decadent as its moniker suggests.

At the villa’s entrance, a dramatic gallery space made from French panelling with contrasting black leather insets had been created.

The entry acts as a visual axis and best showcases the sheer scale of the space.

The Chairman’s Villa’s motif is a modern geometric pattern that is easily identified and echoed in the villa’s furniture, joinery, lighting and soft furnishings.

The layering of detail upon detail creates a feeling of complete luxury and decadence. Strong accents of red and fuschia contrast with the villa’s neutral palette.

Soft and relaxing tones were deliberately used in the villa’s bedrooms in an effort to emulate sleeping on a cloud.

The clean lines of the master bedhead were inspired by lines found on a luxury super-yacht.

In the guest bedroom, antique bronze laser cut screens with mirror backing create a decorative window and act as a backdrop to each of the beds.

The Chairman’s Villa features a dining room table that seats 14 guests.

Custom-designed ultra-high backed chairs are regal and add a contemporary edge. An oversized television is discreetly hidden behind artworks.

A decadent bar area, complete with inset bevelled mirror panels bring an element of glitz and glamour to the space. Bar accessories are from Italian luxury goods manufacturer, Arca while the bar’s stools have been inspired by the interiors of high-end luxury sports cars.

The villa’s living room is nothing short of monumental in scale and includes a study. In addition, the villa features a massage room engulfed in soft satin curtained walls as well as a mirrored gym with high-gloss timber veneer and leather furniture that combine to create the most stylish of private gymnasiums.

Artwork in the Chairman’s Villa includes an oil on canvas by Marie Hagarty and a pigment print entitled “Naturalism, #2” by Chris Fortescue.

The Chairman’s Villa is available on application (POA).

Presidential Villas

With the exception of the Chairman’s Villa, the four Presidential Villas are the pinnacle of accommodation in Australia.

The villas feature a classical scheme of dark, glossy timber veneers, gold accents and white leather upholstered bevelled wall panels that unite to create a welcoming space in which to relax.

The villas’ repetitive motif is a square within a square and can be spotted on wall panels, within metal detail trims on all of the villas’ furniture, within the carpet, furniture handles and soft furnishings.

Strong red accents add a touch of vibrancy to an otherwise neutral palette.

An opulent living area is made complete with an oversized coffee table made from individual bevelled panels inlaid with a metal tray.

Each living area is also equipped with a private bar with a series of metal trimmed panels and mirrored shelves. A dining room sits 8 guests and boasts stunning views of the city’s skyline.

A custom-designed round mirror is located on either side of the bedroom’s white leather upholstered bedhead. The mirrors add softness while at the same time are reminiscent of one of last century’s most decadent ocean-liners. In contrast to the bedroom’s softer elements, oversized dark, glossy timber bedside tables anchor the space. When elevated, an integrated television can face either the master bed or private sitting area. Put simply, the “pop up” television is discreetly housed in a metal-trimmed custom-made cabinet when not in use.

Artwork includes a limited edition of the meditative “Study of a Horse: Equs Caballus” from Beverley Veasey’s 2006 Natural History collection.

Presidential Villas are available on application (POA).

Crystal Villas

Crown Towers’ new Crystal villas have been inspired by four of the world’s most famous and design- driven cities, New York, Miami, Milan and London.

Guests stepping over the marble threshold into the Crystal villas are instantly transported into a luxurious Manhattan penthouse.

Luxury is conveyed through layers of texture and minute attention to detail including piping and fine metal trims that combined define the edges of furniture, bedhead, wall panels, velvet soft furnishings and buttery cream carpet alike.

In the bedroom, contrasting piping on the walls is inverted on the bedhead. This juxtaposition of distressed cream leather and black velvet create a welcoming and inviting environment.

The refined neutral colours filter into the make up area’s stools and the ottoman placed at the end of the bed which are upholstered in a decadent crocodile print leather from Brunschwig and Fils.

Dramatic black and white photographs by Simon Portbury and graphic photographic prints from David Stephenson’s Dome series feature throughout.

The villas alternate between a private dining room on levels 34 and 35 and a private gym on levels 32 and 33.

The hotel’s four villas inspired by Milan are both moody and masculine and feature a scheme rich in deep jewel tones of amethyst and ruby paired with anthracite and chocolate.

Silk velvets, suedes and snakeskin sit side by side while horsehair lampshades, sheer black curtains and crocodile skin shagreen printed leather add further textures to the dramatic ambience.

A contrasting velvet detail to the backs of the oversized curved back lounges in the living room is replicated on the dining room’s throne-like chairs.

Each villa boasts a full bar, a butler’s kitchen and a dining room for 8 guests. Each of the villas features a different dining room colour scheme expressed through the feature wall panels, mouldings, upholstery and artworks.

Mushroom-toned suede wallpaper features in the bedroom as well as a grey and black velvet bedhead. Hints of bright purple and crimson in the artwork and soft furnishings provide a vibrant contrast to the room’s deep mood.

The floor coverings are high-density hand-tufted carpets with hand- carved patterns.

Arresting face mounted lambda prints by Australian James McGrath, evocative photographs by David Stephenson and mixed media by Chinese artist, Hu Qin Wu complete and complement the villas’ aesthetic.

The villas inspired by Milan were designed to appeal to Crown Towers’ growing demand from countries including the United States and United Kingdom.

Inspired by some of Miami’s best-known Art Deco hotels, the Miami villas showcase bold geometric patterns, a witty mix of textures from distressed leathers to quilted velvets and custom-polished metals.

Silk Andrew Martin velvet cushions nestle on a backdrop of Jean de Merry upholstered lounges.

The villas’ entertaining area features the height of luxury with the bar adorned with buffalo horn and black lacquer Champagne buckets.

These villas’ repetitive emblem is a buckle detail which is executed throughout in every adaptation imaginable from the fronts of doors, to the back of bar stools to an exaggerated buckle strap spanning the full height of the velvet bedhead wall in distressed leather.

Fromental velvet wallpaper in the bedroom helps create what is arguably one of the world’s most decadent hotel bedrooms.

Emotive artwork, including an etching by Angela Hayson adds to the villas’ expertly executed presentation.

The London-inspired villas adopt a traditional English-style in both detailing and finishes.

Studwork and buttoning work its way into every last design detail from buttoning on the lounges to studwork on dining chairs and bar stools, around the inset leather wall panels in the bar and the free- standing screen in the bedroom.

The diagonal pattern that each of the button and stud details create is also replicated in the pattern of the carpet and in aged bronze metal handles throughout.

Each handle is then adorned with custom-made tassels in either red or blue which match the embroidered Fromental framed wall-hangings.

The oversized embroidered and hand-painted Fromental panels on silk background use either deep blues or red tones depending on each villa.

In both the master and guest bedrooms, the bedhead wall is covered in floor to ceiling Moore and Giles leather buttoned panels. The bedside table lamps are cast entirely from aged bronze and match the bronze studs that feature along the perimeter of the bedhead. The aged metal adds an industrial edge to the otherwise ultra-luxurious design.

Crystal Villas are available on application (POA).

Deluxe Villas

In addition to the Chairman’s Villa, Presidential Villa and Crystal Villas, Crown Towers has now unveiled new Deluxe Villas. Spread over level 30 and 31, the 11 new Deluxe Villas offer guests a premium guest experience in accommodation that is both intimate and spacious. There are five different floor plans for the Deluxe Villas, including both one bedroom and two bedroom options and two colour schemes, red and blue, from which to choose.

All furniture in the Deluxe Villas has been custom-made by Kingswood. The company is best known for making luxury furniture under license for Italy’s renowned Giorgio Armani.

The Deluxe Villas all showcase 52 inch LCD LED back-lit televisions.

The Deluxe Villas feature upholstered and studded cream leather walls and thick cream pile Axminster built carpet made from a custom-blend of 80% virgin wool carpet as well as pendant lights, new light fittings and an added feature mirror in the bathroom and new double showerheads in all bathrooms.

All 11 Deluxe Villas’ veneer has been re-stained by a world-class French polisher and feature lamps made in China by world-renowned lighting specialist, Ricardo.

The Deluxe Villas feature silver and grey tones with either sapphire or ruby like accents.

Deluxe villas are available on application.

Bookings for all of Crown Towers’ luxurious villas can be made by emailing

View Media Release

For further media information or high resolution images, please contact:

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T. +61 3 9292 8673
M. +61 422 003 549

Ann Peacock
General Manager - Public Relations Crown Entertainment Complex
T. +61 3 9292 8607
M. +61 412 334 614

Crown’s First Les Clef d’Or Presented to Crown Towers Chief Concierge, Ronald Maskell - 01 December 2011
On Thursday 15 December 2011, Crown Towers’ Chief Concierge, Ronald Maskell was presented with the coveted Les Clef d’Or (The Golden Keys). 
Show Details

Melbourne, Australia, December 2011. On Thursday 15 December 2011, Crown Towers’ Chief Concierge, Ronald Maskell was presented with the coveted Les Clef d’Or (The Golden Keys), in recognition of his high professional standards and established commitment to delivering the best possible service to guests of Crown Towers. This is a pinnacle moment in Ronald’s Concierge career.

Becoming a member of the Les Clef d’Or is not an easy feat. To qualify, Ronald had to work for seven consecutive years as a Concierge, obtain sponsorship from two current Les Clef d’Or members and complete an interview followed by an exam.

This award opens doors for Crown’s other Concierge employees to follow in Ronald’s footsteps and further their career development with Crown Hotels and Les Clef d’Or.

Armed with passion and a willingness to work hard, Ronald began his career at Crown Towers when he was 18 years old as a Porter with no experience or qualifications. Through coaching and grooming from his senior managers and targeted training at Crown College, Ronald gained the skills and knowledge to equip him to step into his dream role that he is in today.

Ronald’s advice to young concierges starting at the beginning of their career is to “Listen and always be helpful no matter how difficult a request may be, and to be passionate about your duties as a Concierge. It is the most life-enriching job I have ever known.”

Group Executive General Manager for Crown Hotels & Retail, Peter Crinis said, “We are honoured to be recognised for the first time by the Les Clef d’Or. We take immense pride in Crown Towers’ commitment to customer satisfaction and are sincerely grateful and humbled to be bestowed with this award. Ronald’s passion for the Concierge profession was noticed from his commencement in 1999. We are honoured that Ronald is the first Les Clef d’Or member at Crown.”

Ronald was also a finalist at the 2011 Hotel Management Awards ‘People Awards’ and named Highly Commended in the Concierge category. 

Ronald has had many heart-warming moments in his time at Crown. “The most memorable for me was in 2008 when I was given a hand-written letter from a 12- year-old girl named Tina to pass onto guest-in-residence, Andrea Bocelli. Tina would play Andrea’s music on her piano to calm her older sister who is disabled. When Andrea Bocelli read the letter he asked me to track down Tina (she had not left any contact details in the letter) as he was astounded at her love of his music at such a young age. I found Tina and sent a limousine to bring her back to Andrea Bocelli’s Penthouse Villa at Crown Towers where she sat with him and played the piano as they sang together for a few hours.”

“Andrea invited Tina and her family to attend his concert in front row seats. The day after the concert, the entire family came to Crown to find me in the hotel lobby and personally thank me. Tina wept with joy as she described her experience and her passion to become an Opera singer and that I made her wildest dreams come true. To this day, Tina continues to write to me about her progress and music. This is my most memorable and my most embarrassing experience at the same time as I too shed a tear in the lobby that day in front of my staff,” said Ronald.

View Media Release

For further information or to obtain high resolution images, please contact:

Tara Bishop
Media Relations Manager
Crown Entertainment Complex
T. +61 3 9292 8673
M. +61 422 003 549

Ann Peacock
General Manager - Public Relations Crown Entertainment Complex
T. +61 3 9292 8607
M. +61 412 334 614

Background information on the Les Clef d’Or

The association was formed in France in October 1929. It now boasts over 3000 members in over 40 countries. Members can be distinguished by the gold keys they display on their lapels.

Within the Concierge profession the crossed golden keys which adorn the lapels of members of Les Clefs d'Or are recognised across hotel groups, countries and continents, as a luxury brand indicative of professional excellence, and also of a Concierge able to utilize a national and international network of his or her peers to deliver the best possible service and outcomes for their guests.

Established in 1981, the national chapter of the Society currently has 38 members represented in every state of Australia. They are an affiliate of the Union International des Concierge d'Hotels (UICH) based in Paris. 

Displaying results 216-220 (of 220)
 |<  <  35 - 36 - 37 - 38 - 39 - 40 - 41 - 42 - 43 - 44 >  >|