With the collapse of tourism and hospitality due to the pandemic, we need to think quickly.

As a five-star luxury lodge Peppers on the Point was welcoming 90% international guests from as close as Australia to longer haul visitors from UK, Europe, USA.

My two-year anniversary rolled over in June 2020 and we felt so excited that we had turned a corner with great growth over these past two years with an increase on sales revenue every month from the date I commenced. Considerable upgrades and investment had been made into the property and future bookings were strong.

With the collapse of the tourism and hospitality industry due to the pandemic we had to think quickly about how to survive in this new environment and whether we were going to appeal to the local and domestic market. The decision was to hibernate and sit tight and look to re-open in September. Unfortunately, some of the team had to take redundancies after the first wave of subsidy.

However, we began to receive phone calls, enough to rethink hunkering down and so the decision was made to open with some inventory. We retained 7 staff and have since begun increasing hours and even bringing some staff back on.

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The decision to change the F & B offering in the Lodge was something we had all been thinking about since before lockdown. Currently we offer a set menu, or table d'hôte offering which is popular for one night of our guests stay but not every night. Whilst guests raved about the fresh flavours and the quality of the dishes, especially the NZ lamb, venison and fresh fish, feedback was that they did not require a large meal every night of their stay.

We have always been open to the public, but this was not widely known as we rarely advertised it, so with all of this in mind we had a change in focus which saw us develop an a la carte menu and to market the Restaurant as a separate entity. During lock down our Mayor Steve Chadwick would often pop her head over the fence on her daily neighbourhood walk and talked about getting a coffee. This cemented the idea of adding brunch to the mix.

As Jamie Main is the owner, the name "The Mains" sprung to mind as a clever twist on words and a website was designed www.themainsatpeppers.co.nz offering a fresh new a la carte menu utilising produce from our own garden, eggs from our chickens, and freshly sourced meats and fish delivered daily.

The restaurant launched officially on Monday 15th June, with a radio campaign, print, digital and social media.

Dinner will be offered Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 7.00pm till late and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 9.00am till 1.00pm.

Of course, dinner is available to all in house guests every evening and the new menu is proving very popular.

In the last global financial crisis, the owners built the beautiful stone Chapel to turn their attention to weddings and this will once again become a focus. We can offer exclusive, intimate weddings for up to 70 guests with themed receptions hosted in the conservatory.

A renewed focus is back on events too, we can now increase our gathering of numbers and we are looking at hosting our popular wine and whisky matched dinners again.

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Before the lockdown we had plans to make some upgrades to the Log Cabin and the Villa Apartment and we are thankful that our owner, Jamie has decided to continue to make this investment.

The Log Cabin, one of the two lake cottage suites is now sporting a brand-new composite decking which has doubled the area of before and in place of the hot tub bath there is now a large spa pool under a new aluminium and glass canopy.

Stage 2 – between bookings, will be to repaint the outside of the cottage.

Our two-bedroom Villa Apartment is a truly wonderful space but was let down by only having one bathroom. So, plans were submitted to Council prior to lockdown and work will start this week on transforming this apartment into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment making it more suitable to two couples and/or a larger family. We are estimating this work to be completed in the next month.

I've used the term "re-invent" ourselves a million times over the past weeks and the team are working alongside me to keep welcoming and hosting guests to Peppers on the Point, which is what we love to do.

We look forward to warmly welcoming you to Peppers on the Point.

For more information contact:
Ann Gregor-Greene
Lodge Manager
Peppers on the Point
214 Kawaha Point Road
Rotorua 3010
Email: ann.gregor-greene@peppers.co.nz