A trio of waterfront hospitality buildings and businesses at three Upper North Island seaside holiday towns have been placed on the market for sale – with summer firmly on the horizon as a lure for new owners.
The three properties range from a fishing club’s soon to be former headquarters and a country pub which has been serving pints and hosting big game fishing boat crews bringing in their catches for more than a century, through to management of a substantial four-star lodge.
All three entities are being individually marketed for sale by Bayleys Real Estate – with the potential for new owners at any of the locations to be up and running in time to capitalise on the summer seasonal lift in visitor numbers seen at New Zealand’s seaside towns.
In the Far North, the historic Marlin Hotel overlooking Whangaroa Harbour encompasses the accommodation and food and beverage activities associated with a long-standing Kiwi country hotel, as well as a budget backpacker operation.
The land, buildings and Marlin Hotel business at 576 – 578 Whangaroa Road are being marketed for sale at auction on November 27 through Bayleys Kerikeri. Salespeople Irene Bremner and Anthony van Gessel said the Marlin Hotel’s fully licensed hospitality business operated from an 855 square metre two storey premises sitting on some 1,265 square metres of land.
“To modern customer demands, the Marlin’s food and beverage offerings have been segregated into a breakfast and lunch-focused café setting, and the more traditional ‘pub grub’ dining options served in the evening and for events or functions,” Ms Bremner said.
“Both activities are sustained by the same commercial-grade kitchen, although they are currently seasonally ‘dormant’ as the owners have chosen to concentrate on building up the accommodation side of the business.
“The café now has both an indoor and al-fresco seating arrangement – with a cabana overlooking the newly created deck area. Meanwhile, the licensed restaurant adjacent to the bar currently hosts up to 38 patrons.”
The main Marlin Hotel building features seven guest bedrooms on its upper floor – configured into a range of single and king-size bed sleeping arrangements, and a two-bedroom family suite. A separate bungalow-style building within the property houses three backpacker-style rooms supported by shared bathroom facilities.
Mr van Gessel said the Marlin Hotel had undergone a comprehensive renovation and decor modernisation programme over the past 12 months – creating a ‘family-friendly’ dining establishment to replace what was the former pub dining space.
“Kiwi country pubs have undergone a renaissance over the past decade – with the likes of the Duke of Marlborough in the Bay of Islands, the Theatre Royal in Kumara on the West Coast of the South Island, and the legendary Whangamomona Hotel in the Central North Island spearheading the trend and all becoming tourist destinations in their own rights. With the right marketing, Whangaroa could be among that echelon,” Mr van Gessel said.
“From the outside, The Marlin Hotel looks as gracious and imposing as it did at the turn of the last century when it was first built. The interior now however reflects an inviting and modern atmosphere ready for ‘turn-key’ operation in time for summer.”
Whangaroa is the harbourside departure and arrival point for big game charter fishing boats heading out to the Cavalli Islands and Great Exhibition Bay to the north just below Cape Reinga. It is also a base for free independent tourists visiting the beach attractions of the Karikari Peninsula to the north and Matauri Bay and Tauranga Bay to the south.
Meanwhile, on the Coromandel Peninsula, the management rights to one of the biggest commercial accommodation providers of its type in the area - Admirals Lodge at 71 Buffalo Beach Road - are being jointly marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Hamilton and Bayleys Whitianga, with the tender process closing on December 5.
Salespeople Josh Smith and Belinda Sammons said the Admiralty Lodge’s 18 rooms were configured in a combination of studio and one-bedroom units - each with their own self-contained cooking amenities and overlooking an inground swimming pool. The lodge’s predominantly rectangular structure directly faces toward Buffalo Beach across the road.
Mr Smith said nightly rack rates at Admiralty Lodge ranged upwards of $250 – reflecting the venue’s four-star Qualmark rating and amenity standards. The management rights business for sale includes a unit-titled two-bedroom owner/manager’s residences and adjacent staff kitchen and office space.
“The property trades without food and beverage operations on site – allowing the managers to concentrate purely on the marketing and provision of accommodation services,” Mr Smith said. “The restaurants and cafes of Whitianga are literally just two kilometre away.
“Through the introduction of numerous musical, arts and cultural concerts and festivals, Whitianga has expanded its visitor appeal from being purely a summer seaside town to being year-round weekend-break destination drawing clientele from the ‘Golden Triangle’ population bases of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga which are all within easy driving distance.
“Occupancy rates at Admiralty Lodge have benefited from this increased tourism traffic to Whitianga as a consequence – and being at the upper echelon of accommodation providers in town, have outperformed the general motel sector.”
Mr Smith said the Admiralty Lodge’s management rights business was being sold with a solid inventory of future bookings already in place well into 2020, and a detailed calendar of marketing activities planned for the lodge.
Rounding out the trio of waterfront hospitality venues for sale, the land and buildings which have housed the Tairua Pauanui Sports Fishing Club at 11 Tui Terrace in Tairua on the Coromandel are also being jointly marketed for sale at auction on November 28 through Bayleys Hamilton and Bayleys Whitianga.
Salespeople Josh Smith and Belinda Sammons said the combined floor area of 298 square metre fishing club building sitting on 780 square metres of land was directly located across the road from Tairua Wharf which acts as the ferry landing, and adjacent public boat-launching ramp.
“With a booming membership of more than 550 keen anglers, the Tairua Pauanui Sports Fishing Club has outgrown its current premises – so the land and buildings are being sold with vacant possession,” Mr Smith said.
“There is the potential, subject of course to council consent, to exercise ‘existing use’ rights for the location to take advantage of its apex waterfront location close to the centre of town, in addition to car parking for some 12 vehicles,“ Mr Smith said.
“The hospitality and food and beverage services infrastructure within the club are included in the sale – including the commercial grade kitchen, bar facilities and bathrooms – providing the ‘bones’ for any new operator to reformat the premises into a bar or restaurant entity.”
The venue’s car park flows seamlessly into the adjacent Thames-Coromandel District Council-owned car park utilised by passengers sailing on the Tairua ferry.
“There has been a synergy between both car parks and the fishing club’s committee is hopeful this could continue. Such an evolution would of course support the establishment of a bar and restaurant facility, which could of course draw on ferry passengers as potential clientele,” Mr Smith said.
“Upstairs, the premises consists of an open plan layout looking directly out onto the harbour, in a Lockwood home-style decor. At ground-level there is covered vehicle parking and storage space, which, with appropriate approvals, could conceivably be converted into additional seating capacity for a hospitality business. There is also the opportunity to convert the property to a waterfront bach as it is residentially-zoned with commercial use rights.”