A decade after giving up a career in law to run a century-old luxury lodge in Napier, McHardy Lodge owner Yvonne Johnstone is putting a five-star slice of local history up for sale.

Johnstone has owned and operated the lodge on Hospital Hill - formerly a residence for Scottish immigrant Leslie McHardy in the 1890s - since she fell in love with it while on holiday.

"I bought the lodge in 2008 when I was visiting my daughter from England ... I fell in love.

McHardy Lodge is on Bracken St, on Napier's Hospital Hill. Photo / Warren Buckland
McHardy Lodge is on Bracken St, on Napier's Hospital Hill. Photo / Warren Buckland

"I put managers in for the first three years while I was negotiating with Immigration for my permission to stay, and I gave up my legal career and came over here in 2011, and I've run it singled-handedly since then.

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"I've absolutely loved it. Running a five-star lodge like McHardy is a real privilege, it's got so much character and it has such a history, and sharing it with people from all over the world has been fantastic."

McHardy Lodge has won a string of Trip Advisor awards. Photo / Warren Buckland
McHardy Lodge has won a string of Trip Advisor awards. Photo / Warren Buckland

Johnstone hopes to go travelling once the property is sold but added that with her Kiwi citizenship finally confirmed just last week, she would definitely be staying in New Zealand.

"I'm just waiting for my citizenship ceremony, before I can call myself a true Kiwi."

Previously used as a maternity home and midwifery school, the McHardy Lodge residence and business at 11 Bracken St is now being marketed for sale through international tender by Bayleys Hawke's Bay.

The famous delivery room, used when the lodge was a maternity home. Photo / Warren Buckland
The famous delivery room, used when the lodge was a maternity home. Photo / Warren Buckland

Bayleys Hawke's Bay salesman Nik Gannaway said the 566sq m lodge sat on about 1766sq m of freehold residential-zoned land and features six luxuriously appointed guest suites, all with large ensuites.

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"There are a multitude of living areas to explore throughout McHardy Lodge - including the full-sized billiard room, library and large formal dining area. Guests often gravitate towards the spacious and sunny family room, which boasts a panoramic vista and is open plan to the large, chef–equipped kitchen.

"Renovations at the home have seen beautifully restored, high stud and metal ceilings, rich native wood flooring and period furnishings throughout combining to create a distinctively lavish and soothing ambiance."

McHardy Lodge has panoramic views from its site on Napier's Hospital Hill. Photo / Warren Buckland
McHardy Lodge has panoramic views from its site on Napier's Hospital Hill. Photo / Warren Buckland

Qualmark-rated as a five-star boutique lodge from 2009 through to 2018, McHardy Lodge has developed an impeccable reputation amongst international travel agents and glowing guest reviews have led to Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence awards every year from 2012 through to 2018.

Bayleys Hawke's Bay salesman Sam MacDonald said the property occupied a unique position in the market, being Napier's only five-star boutique lodge.

"McHardy Lodge is comfortably and profitably run by a sole operator but has ample scope for further business growth. Most guests are booked through well-established relationships with international travel agents forged by the current owner over the last 10 years but the domestic market remains relatively untapped," he said.

"Given the broadening range of activities and events the region has to offer the average length of guest stay also has plenty of potential to be increased.

"It is being marketed as a 'turn-key' operation with a solid number of future bookings already in the system through until the end of summer next year."

Audited financial accounts for McHardy Lodge show the its net profit grew by 18.5 per cent from the 2015/16 financial year to the just-completed 2017/18 financial year.

Tenders close at 2pm, on August 10.