Old-fashioned hospitality is alive and well at the Athrenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park with the popular local holiday spot named as one of five national finalists in the Holiday Parks New Zealand 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Award.
The holiday park is nestled at the northern end of the Tauranga Harbour in a tranquil park setting with mature puriri trees and two natural mineral pools surrounded by mosaic artwork.
The pools are available to guests staying at the holiday park but are also open to the public for a fee.
Owners Mike and Sheryl Horne are delighted to be named as a finalist in the award and credit it to their staff, including managers Gary and Sue Tonge.
“From the moment we greet people we want them to have a great stay with us. We've created an atmosphere that really works,” says Mike.
Among the small touches that impressed the judges were guests being personally escorted to their site by a member of staff on arrival, and giving guests a bookmark as a reminder of their stay on departure.
“While you'd normally be given a map and sent on your way, once we greet people we physically take them to their site to make sure they are happy where they are and to ensure they are on the right spot. The bookmark is just a way of wishing them a good trip and saying ‘thank you' for coming to see us,” says Mike.
About 85 per cent of the holiday park's business is domestic tourism, however it has also enjoyed some great write-ups from overseas visitors.
Some of the many repeat guests at the holiday park include people who live nearby in Waihi, Katikati and Tauranga.
“We get a lot of people from Tauranga who travel less than an hour to get here, yet they're a world away at the other end of the harbour. It's a great little escape,” says Mike.
Athenree Hot Springs & Holiday Park was also named Best Tourism Business of the Katikati and Waihi Beach Community Business Awards 2016.
The Spirit of Hospitality Award is the holiday park sector's premier award, made to the holiday park which excels in providing an outstanding visitor experience.
Holiday parks last year provided more than 7.7 million guest nights, with guests contributing more than $1 billion in direct expenditure to local communities, many of which are in provincial or rural areas.
The other finalists this year are All Seasons Holiday Park in Rotorua, Himatangi Beach Holiday Park near Palmerston North, Millers Flat Holiday Park in Central Otago and the Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park in Northland which won the award in 2016.
The winner of the 2017 award will be announced at the Holiday Parks Conference in Dunedin in August.