A couple in Tūrangi is celebrating taking home a national award from the Bed and Breakfast Association New Zealand.
The Olive Rabbit, run by Tim and Mary Wood, took home the 2023 Essence of Bed and Breakfast of the Year.
The award recognises operators who provide an exceptional hosting experience for their guests – those who capture the essence of what hosting a bed and breakfast is all about.
The Essence Award was a category within the Vision Insurance Bed and Breakfast Awards Programme, celebrating excellence in hospitality in the bed and breakfast and hosted accommodation sector.
Originally living in Wellington, Tim and Mary did not have previous accommodation management experience, working in the agriculture and education sectors before their move.
The pair moved to Tūrangi in 2019 for a change of pace, they said.
They opened their bed and breakfast, named for a fishing fly renowned for its trout-catching abilities, that December.
“When we rebranded in ourselves in 2019, we wanted our place to represent something local,” the couple said in a written statement.
“Being close to the Tongariro River swayed us towards the fishing theme, hence The Olive Rabbit, a fishing fly used locally.”
However, they quickly found their doors closed due to the arrival of Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020.
Three years later, the business not only endured, but went from strength to strength.
The couple have now been recognised as exceptional hosts, said the awards’ judges.
“Tim and Mary are exemplary hosts who have created a fabulous experience at The Olive Rabbit Bed and Breakfast,” the judges said.
“Their genuine passion for providing exceptional hospitality shines through in every aspect of their business.”
The couple were also praised for their dedication to going the extra mile; they were also actively involved in promoting the value of both hosted accommodation and the Bed and Breakfast Association in the region.
“They have shown a genuine commitment to growth and improvement, constantly exploring new ideas to enhance their guests’ experience and ensure their business thrives.”
The couple said the award affirmed the work they have put into their business.
“We are thrilled to have won this award against strong competition.
“We love running our B&B and constantly strive to offer the best experience possible to our guests.
“We are also proud to support local causes and work with businesses in the region, and to everyone’s benefit.”