Winning revamp puts Tuakau on the map
The owners of a historic renovated hotel in North Waikato are the winners of the Best New or Redeveloped Accommodation Hotel in this year's Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence.
The Tuakau Hotel was nominated for the category after a redevelopment by owners Neil Young and Dee Bond.
The couple bought the hotel in 2007, their first venture into the hospitality industry, and spent $4.5 million on the renovations and refurbishment.
They have spent the last four years restoring the property, originally built in 1875, to its former glory.
Newly revamped with 21st-century fittings, the hotel has 10 bedrooms, from suites to premiere spa accommodation.
It also has a restaurant, bar, gaming room, lounge area and wholesale liquor outlet.
The renovation work was completed in December and the hotel opened for business just after Christmas.
With further renovation, an additional seven self-contained housing units have been built on the property.
Young said the award was testimony to the extreme amount of hard work and effort that had gone into refurbishing.
"It's a credit to our hard-working staff and our loyal patrons who watched this tavern turn back into a magnificent grand hotel.
"We will be sharing the award with all the community and the award will take pride of place at the bar in the hotel for all to see."
"It's amazing to get after the last four years of turning a sad tavern into a top-notch international community hotel," Bond said.
The couple hope the award will help make Tuakau a community tourist destination. "It's doing our bit for the Waikato," Bond said.
"We're certainly keen to develop tourism. We're the gateway to the Waikato."
- © Fairfax NZ News