Our Property: Some History

30 November 2021

Here is a short history of our property

The Country House at Hunchy didn’t look like this when we moved in at the end of November 2016

Our Property some history
The Homestead Front Entrance

In this article we will explain the history of the property as we know it to be and compare some old and new photos to illustrate the changes we made

Just a little disclaimer, we will be passing on what we have been told about the history of our property so we cannot guarantee everything is absolutely accurate

How did The Country House at Hunchy Come to Be?

Up until about 1999/2000 the valley where our property is situated was one large cattle property. Some entrepreneur real estate agents purchased the land and subdivided it into what it is today. There are various lot sizes along the valley with ours at nearly 12 acres being the median size. There are smaller lots further along the valley and larger ones scattered all around

Our proprty a short history lot aerial
Aerial view of the Lot at 813 Hunchy Road

A family from Sydney were the first purchasers of the land and they applied to build the Homestead as a registered Bed and Breakfast establishment with the then Maroochy Shire Council. Their application was approved but some strict conditions were applied. For example firewalls and fire doors were specified. And replanting of the Lot with as much original native vegetation as possible was also stipulated

The original name of the Homestead was Isla Park Retreat. But the business didn’t go well. The owners went bankrupt, a bank repossessed the property and the Homestead stood empty for quite a while

Our Property: Some History – The Next Evolutionary Period

The second owners purchased the property in about 2010-11. They changed the name to what it is today and resurrected the Bed and Breakfast business. They did some renovations as the property was not in a very good state of repair. But not much changed appearance-wise for the Homestead

After about 5 years the second owners decided they would have to move on due to health issues. The property was put up for sale

A New Beginning for The Country House at Hunchy

In 2016 we decided to ‘retire’ from the corporate suburban world we were enduring in Brisbane, despite it being a great city to call home. Karin had long hoped one day to be able to own a top quality Bed and Breakfast establishment. Her vision was to share her artistic skills by building a relaxing environment including top quality home cooking for Guests to enjoy, creating memorable experiences for them from their environmental and culinary experiences

Researching and inspecting Bed and Breakfast properties which were for sale at that time, we soon discovered that the cabin type of accommodation wasn’t what we were looking for. Handing out food hampers for Guests to cook their own food on a strange barbeque and clearing up after themselves wasn’t the dream

We recognised that to create the sort of experiences Karin had been dreaming of for so long there needed to be interpersonal contacts with Guests. Not only to be able to provide what they are looking for but to have the time to explain about their environment and their culinary experiences in detail

And so our Motto was born:

‘A Good Bed, Good Company and Simple Home Cooked Food Done Well’

We found The Country House at Hunchy in August 2016 after looking at lots of properties day in day out for over 3 months. The primary real estate agent we were using wasn’t going to suggest this property because we had specified we were looking for a property with 4 to 6 Guest rooms. Here of course there are only 2 – not Rooms though but Suites. We saw it for sale really accidentally and asked for an appointment to view

Our first reaction was exactly the same as our Guests who walk in through the front entrance of the Homestead nowadays. ‘Wow, what an entrance, what a view, what a beautiful house’

Our 5 Star Luxury Accommodation Montville Guest Dining Room
View from inside the front entrance

It didn’t look like it does now but we could immediately see the unused potential

We moved in during the last week of November 2016. Complete newcomers to the industry except as Guests ourselves. We had a booking for our first Guests that weekend

Goodness knows now how we prepared for that life-changing event but we managed it

We didn’t think we were going to though on the first night we were there. There was a savage storm and lightning struck a power pole on our land causing a fire with loss of power. We were in turmoil but repairs were completed and power restored within 2 hours. It was a thought-provoking time, wondering if we had made the right decision

Our Property: Some History – A Steep Learning Curve

As complete novices to the industry we looked around for every bit of expert advice and guidance we could lay our hands on. Locals with Visit Sunshine Coast and Hinterland Tourism were extremely helpful during that time and we slowly but surely started to build our brand

We were confident enough to enter the Queensland Tourism Awards in 2018 and won Bronze!

The following year we won Silver and were Finalisits in the Sunshine Coast Business Awards, using those processes to constantly improve our product and our knowledge and experience

In 2019 we became 5 Star Accredited and were flying high with ever improving business planning and marketing skills having a tremendous positive impact on our brand building

5 Star Luxury Accommodation Montville

And then….COVID hit in February/March 2020

Closed for 3 months with no apparent way forward for our business, it was heartbreaking. But character building at the same time. We relied on what we had learned in the 3 years until then. We reviewed our business from top to bottom. We greedily made use of all the free skills and knowledge building we could lay our hands on. We planned and undertook business process and physical improvements

We were ready for the re-opening in June 2020. Yes there were setbacks and uncertainties with lockdowns in Queensland and elsewhere. But we were prepared and confident in our product. And Queenslanders helped us. They flocked to make bookings when they could and we have literally not looked back

In 2020 and 2021 we made it onto the prestigious Star Ratings Australia’s National Gold List which only officially Star Rated properties can achieve

There are only 10 properties on the 2021 National Gold List for Hosted Accommodation with 4 in Queensland, the best of the best

This is a real independent customer service quality assessment process

Receiving these awards does not depend on how much revenue has been paid to or generated for an overseas multi-national conglomerate’s booking site or judges making an assessment of a written submission where expert script writers can be hired to write them for businesses

Achievement is based purely on which businesses are consistently delivering top quality customer service using Guest feedback

In 2021 we also scored a very rare 100/100 points in the industry’s independent Best of Queensland Experiences assessment process

And in November 2021 we again were awarded Bronze for Hosted Accommodation at the Queensland Tourism Awards – those Awards didn’t happen in 2020 for obvious reasons

5 Star Couples Escape Packages - 5 Star Luxury Sanctuary in Montville
5 Star Luxury Montville

Let’s take a moment now for a peek at where we came from by using photo comparisons as a reminder of our achievements

Our property some history - the front entrance as it was
The front entrance as it used to be
Our property some history - the front entrance now
The front entrance as it is now
Inside the front entrance as it was
Inside the front entrance as it is now
Original Kitchen
Kitchen refurbished as it is now
Guest Library as it used to be
Guest Library as it is now – The only original furniture retained as it is so comfortable!

The original Guest Dining Room
The Guest Dining Room as it is today
Ouyr property some history - The Rainforest Suite Bedroom as it was
The Rainforest Suite Bedroom as it was
Our property some history - The Rainforest Suite Bedroom as it is now
The Rainforest Suite Bedroom refurbished and refurnished
The Rainforest Suite Bathroom as it was
The Rainforest Suite Bathroom now
Our property some history -The Bottlebrush Suite Bedroom as it was
The Rainforest Suite Living Room as it used to be
Our property some history - The Bottlebrush Suite Bedroom as it is now
The Rainforest Suite Living Room refurbished and refurnished
The Bottlebrush Suite Bedroom as it used to be
The Bottlebrush Suite Bedroom as it is now
The back Veranda from outside The Rainforest Suite as it was
The back Veranda from outside Rainforest Suite as it is now
Our property some history - the pool area as it used to be
The Pool area as it was originally
Our property some history - the pool area as it is now
The Pool area as it is today

So there we have a short history of our property

We hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit about how we got to where we are now

We look forward to welcoming you or welcoming you back to The Country House at Hunchy soon

Remember though, always Book Direct for the lowest price and best deal!

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