One of Hawke's Bay's most historic properties, Ormlie Lodge, in Napier, a majestic two-storey homestead built in 1899 by farmer William Nelson as a wedding present to his daughter Gertrude, is for sale.

Gertrude Smith and her husband Hector lived at Ormlie Lodge their entire married lives until Gertrude passed away in 1955.

Hector remained at the homestead for another seven years until he sold it in 1962, just before his death at age 93.

Subsequently the homestead was turned into a private hotel and its stables were converted into one of Hawke's Bay's finest restaurants, 'The Stables', unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1985.


The homestead reflects the wealth of its owner and the era in which it was built.
It consists of six large bedrooms, a formal sitting room, parlor, farmhouse kitchen, and an impressive entrance foyer.

For its current role, as a function venue with accommodation, the original ballroom was extended to serve as a 150-seat dining room, while the former sitting room was converted to a restaurant for up to 50 diners.

The original den and library have been utilised as a bar area serving up to 40 patrons.

Positioned on about 1.9ha of rural freehold land surrounded by manicured lawns and bordered by mature trees – varieties includ e English oak, purple beech, Morton Bay fig, Bunya Bunya, pepper trees and palms — many of which are include in the New Zealand Tree Register.

Ormlie's buildings also include a cottage separated into two units (one without a kitchen) and suitable for conversion into either an owner/manager's residence or additional accommodation.

The lodge's current operators are based offshore and have been operating the business remotely, employing local management, housekeeping, gardening and foodservice staff.

Bayleys Auckland business salesperson Wayne Scurrrah said the property is being sold with the business closed for winter while the owner is overseas.

The new owner could restart the business immediately, or alternatively look to return the property to a family residence.


The venue's impressive commercial kitchen features among other equipment stainless-steel benching, ventilation system, combi' and convection ovens, four-hob grill, hot plate, dishwasher unit, and walk-in refrigeration and freezer rooms.

Scurrah said the considerable chattels packaged in the sale include furniture, manchester, artworks, lamps and accessories, commercial kitchen equipment, crockery, glassware, kitchenware, outdoor furniture and maintenance equipment.

"Events and functions hosted at Ormlie Lodge consist of weddings, anniversary dinners. corporate training, conferences, business presentations and funerals," he said.

"Enquiry is still being received for bookings. Wedding venue hireage of Ormlie Lodge has ranged between $5500 and $6500 — inclusive of all accommodation suites and the ballroom — or $1000 for the lawn area. Food and beverage supply is additional."

Ormlie Lodge is being offered for sale by tender, marketed jointly by Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys Hawke's Bay. Tenders close at 4pm on September 5 (unless sold earlier).