New Whakatane tourism accommodation complex

10:06 AM Friday October 20, 2017 Colin Taylor

Kohi Point Villas at 25 Muriwai Drive, Whakatane, is constructed over multiple levels – enabling views of Whakatane Harbour. Photo / Supplied

Land and buildings housing a newly-completed tourist accommodation complex are for sale at the entrance to Whakatane Harbour in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. 

“The hard work in developing the business assets of this property has been completed,” says Carolyn Hanson, Bayleys Auckland tourism and hospitality specialist who, with Sandra Power of Bayleys Mount Maunganui, is jointly marketing the property for sale by negotiation. 

Hanson says the venue – registered but not yet trading as Kohi Point Villas – is beneath Kohi Point Scenic Reserve, which is the imposing headland separating Whakatane township from neighbouring Ohope.

She says the commercially-established Kohi Point Villas accommodation business at 25 Muriwai Drive comprises 683sq m of variously configured units, encompassing:

  •                     two one-bedroom suites,
  •                     a one-bedroom villa,
  •                     a two-bedroom apartment,
  •                     a three-bedroom apartment, and
  •                     a four-bedroom villa with four bathrooms and two kitchens.

Set into a gently-rising slope back from Muriwai Drive, Kohi Point Villas is constructed over multiple levels – enabling each of the various suites and apartments to have views of Whakatane Harbour over the road. The 736sq m freehold site is zoned Residential 9A under Whakatane District Council’s district plan.

Hanson says Kohi Point Villas also comes with a communal ‘sky lounge’ – a top floor area above the highest point of the complex, featuring towering views. The sky lounge is separated into three areas – a covered outdoor deck area, a dining room venue, and a lounge zone with large couch seating.

Prior to a substantial reconfiguration and modernisation, the premises was formerly a family home with separate areas for visiting friends and relatives.

Hanson says the business was being sold with the property as a ‘turnkey’ operation - with a new owner potentially able to begin trading in time for the busy 2017/18 summer season.

“The suites and apartments are all fully consented, fitted out, and furnished to a five-star standard. What remains now is for a new owner to take on the marketing and operations arms of the business,” Hanson says.

“The property and business’s owners took on Kohi Point Villas as a long-term fully costed out and budget-managed project. However, a change in personal circumstances now means they have taken their vision as far as they can, and are ready to hand over the next phase and opportunity to new owners.

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Living room space and some master bedrooms have seaward-facing vistas. Photo / Supplied

“Peak tourist season for Whakatane, as with most New Zealand coastal towns, runs from around December 20 through to the end of February. With internet search engines and websites now driving the majority of reservations and bookings for accommodation providers, a savvy accommodation operator could be up and running to capitalise on the upcoming summer period.

“There are very few other comparable accommodation venues of this type in Whakatane – with most being mid-range motel style.”

Hanson says the room capacity and style of accommodation on offer in the Kohi Point Villas complex has been designed to target the ‘free independent’ tourist sector – both domestic and international - who make their own travel and accommodation bookings. 

Segmenting that category down further, international tourists tend to hire rental vehicles, while domestic holidaymakers usually drive their own cars. They don’t usually travel in large groups, and are not in the bus-in/bus out category.

“However, they do tend to stay longer in their chosen destinations and take advantage of supporting tourism infrastructure such as wineries, eco’ attractions, mountain biking, and adventure-based activities,” Hanson says. 

Power says chattels being sold with the business include all new furnishings and fittings – ranging from kitchen appliances, lounge/dining room and outdoor table and seating furniture, through to all bedding and linen, crockery and cutlery. SKY TV is wired to all units.

The stucco-clad property has garage parking for four guest vehicles, with additional non-covered parking for three more guest vehicles. Virtually all of the property’s external driveways and entrance areas are sealed – with just a small garden at the front of the premises adjacent to the car parking amenity.

“As Kohi Point Villas has yet to officially open, rack rates have yet to be set,” Power says. “However, the high standard of guest room amenities, combined with the potential to offer a boutique lodge level of service, could dictate a rate considerably higher than the market average level. 

“A premium rate should be relatively easy to establish as, where possible, the living room spaces at and in some cases the master bedrooms, all have seaward-facing vistas. This sets the lodge apart from virtually every other commercial accommodation provider in the township, which are mainly single or dual-storied locations built in the flat parts of Whakatane,” Power says. 

She cites the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Tourism Accommodation Infrastructure report which identified there were 859 commercial accommodation providers registered in the Bay of Plenty/Rotorua catchment area – sustaining a total 2654 rooms, with an average of 3.1 rooms per property and generating an average price per night of $207 per room.

The report highlighted that motels make up the lion’s share of commercial accommodation establishments in New Zealand - accounting for 56 per cent of all businesses in that sector.