UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT… an incredible 6 months
Colonial Manor Motel changed hands in November 2019, purchased by an Otago kiwi born farmers daughter recently returned from the Gold Mines of Western Australia, familiar with running 1,000+ roomed mining villages in remote locations, Cromwell is a fantastic change and one that has thrown a few curve balls over the past few months.
Recently returned after 23 years living in Western Australia I was over the moon to be able to purchase the business in late 2019.
Born in Mosgiel and bought up on a sheep farm in Hindon – Otago, with schooling at the infamous snowy Lee Stream and then boarding school in Dunedin, a brief fix of university then tourism & hospitality work in Queenstown, it was a great way to grow up with family holidays in Albert Town and a love for the Central Otago region.
Time for the overseas excursion with a plan to head to Europe, but that took a back seat when I secured my first mining job in the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and that was the beginning of a 23 year career in Mining. Residing in some of WA’s most remote towns or flying from Perth to work on a Dash-8 turbo prop aircraft for 5 hours into the Northern Territory Tanami Dessert was part of the enjoyment of working and living in Western Australia, along with the wonderful easy going Western Australian attitude and the making of many wonderful friends who I’m sure will visit in the future.
But a huge part of my heart always remained in New Zealand, and more specifically Central Otago remembering all those family holidays, and I always knew I would come home to be nearer to family and friends. The opportunity arose and I thought why not just do it, so I did, moving life between countries was interesting leaving NZ with a suitcase and returning with a 40foot sea container 23 years later.
The opportunity to purchase Colonial Manor Motel from Sharon & Steve just seemed too good and I can not speak highly enough of Cromwell, the people and the place. It is an incredible town that still has a fantastic community feel and down to earth locals, who could ask for more. The motel was just perfect for me, the well established extensive gardens remind me of mum’s large farm gardens I grew up in, the rooms are spacious and the overall character of the motel was what predominately attracted me to purchase it and the hot dry summers of Cromwell remind me of Perth, the best of both worlds.
With my amazing supportive family dotted around Otago/Southland, Balclutha, Milton, Waihola, Invercargill and Wanaka, and then a little more further afield to Christchurch, Kapiti Coast, Auckland and Sydney, I’m blessed to always have a gardening crew handy for the big gardening days, or the business, trade and IT advice via phone or just a listening ear to rely on, being back nearer to family is something that I am incredibly grateful for. Also the support with acquiring and operating the business from beautiful family friends has also been humbling and deserves a mention.
I’ve been blessed to be able to surround myself with wonderful staff that are more like family than employees and although we are only a wee team we work together to provide our guests with the best experience we possibly can.
Our guests have been the cherry on top for me, suitable saying Cromwell is what I call the “Cherry capital”, I’ve meet so many wonderful guests all with interesting stories and I love to hear their progress when and as they return to us.
We hope you are keen to become part of the Colonial Manor family, where ever you live let us provide you with a home away from home here in beautiful Cromwell, Central Otago.
Until we meet again…