Lifestyle business by a babbling brook

By Colin Taylor

Brookby Motel guests nod off to the sound of water flowing gently over rocks in the neighbouring stream. Photo / Supplied
Brookby Motel guests nod off to the sound of water flowing gently over rocks in the neighbouring stream. Photo / Supplied

Guests nod off to the sound of water flowing gently over rocks in the neighbouring stream.

Brookby Motel, a small, freehold, going concern and property, in a quiet area of Thames near the town's hospital and a five to 10-minute walk to the main shopping centre, is for sale for $825,000 plus GST through Darcy Snowden, business broker with Christopher Brown & Associates in Auckland.

Snowden says the six-unit complex is being sold with its 1317sq m freehold site, making a total package of buildings, land and the business.

"The motel is in a beautiful bush setting next to a babbling brook and has an aura of peaceful tranquillity surrounding it," says Snowden. "Virtually the only sound is that of water running over rocks in the small stream and the calls of the native birds like tui, bellbird and wood pigeons living in the native bush on the opposite side of the brook."

Four of the six motel units are one-bedroom with their own kitchen, microwave, dining table and a sofa or lounge chairs. They have bathrooms with separate showers. Three of the units have super-king beds and one has twin single bed in the bedroom and two single beds in the lounge.

A fifth unit is a studio with a queen-size bed, tea- and coffee-making appliances and a bathroom.

The sixth is also a studio unit which was the third bedroom of the owners' house. It was converted into a motel unit with its own kitchen and bathroom and is always in high demand, particularly by overseas guests, because it is an 1890s house that has retained its original architecture and character.

The 19th-century house, which is included in the sale, serves mainly as the owners' accommodation and comprises a two-bedroom villa with high kauri ceilings, polished timber floors and ornate fireplaces.

Over the years the house has been refurbished, wherever possible in keeping with the original style, although the owners installed a modern kitchen about five years ago for their own use and to prepare a limited number of breakfasts for guests. A reception area adjoins the owners' accommodation.

Snowden says Brookby has a wide range of clients.

"Some work at the nearby hospital or are visiting patients. Others are company reps, people visiting friends and family in Thames, and domestic and overseas tourists," he says. "Due to its location and idyllic surroundings, and because the rooms are maintained to a high standard, a number of guests return on a regular basis.

"The motel complex has no swimming pool or spa pool, so tends to attract more mature guests rather than holiday-makers with children. The owners, by choice, have limited marketing to their own website and the usual New Zealand travel booking sites, plus a couple of overseas sites, including Lonely Planet. A new owner could easily increase the occupancy by listing in additional travel guides."

All the bedding and other laundry items owned by the motel is laundered on site in commercial washing machines, two dryers and an ironing press. A large garage forms part of the property that is used to store equipment and the supplies needed to operate the motel as well as providing garaging for a car.

Reservations are made using Callista software, a programme designed specifically for motels and smaller hotels, that allows bookings to be made online.

Snowden says the motel is generally run by its owners, but two people are available to work when they want time off.

"It's an arrangement that has worked very well and, I believe, it could continue if the new owner wishes."

Snowden says turnover and profits are "excellent" although the owners believe both could be increased further with additional marketing. "They have been happy with what the business has provided them and now wish to retire."

Snowden says Thames is an ideal location for a hospitality business as the town serves as the gateway to Coromandel Peninsula's natural forest beauty, pristine beaches, historic sites, tramping, fishing, and art-related activities.

- NZ Herald

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