CLIENT CASE STUDY
Holiday homes in Rotorua
Every year, more and more Kiwis are choosing to escape the rat race of city living and move to the regions. When EasyBuild Bay of Plenty customers, Joe and Cynthia Kouwenhoven, discovered 2.5 acres of beauty on the northern shores of Lake Rotorua, the decision was easy.
Joe and Cynthia, their three young children and Cynthia’s parents said “Goodbye” to Auckland” and “Kia ora” to Kawaha Point in 2017, and haven’t looked back.
Their new life in Rotorua gives the family the best of both worlds. Joe and Cynthia are able to spend more time keeping up with their kids, while managing their family business, Gemini Lodge, and Joe’s other work commitments in Auckland.
“It’s given us ‘life-work’ balance, not the other way around”, says Joe.
The couple opened Gemini Lodge in October 2017 and were amazed at their success.
“It just took off! As soon as we listed the existing lodge and cottage on Airbnb in October 2017, we were pretty much fully-booked right through till January”, says Joe.
Within a year, it was time to expand. The couple decided to unlock more value from their land by adding two chalets to their collection of self-contained holiday homes.
Joe and Cynthia came across EasyBuild at the Tauranga Home Show in 2018 and felt EasyBuild was the right fit for what they were trying to achieve.
“We liked their designs. They’re eco-friendly and look good. We initially had single storey properties in mind; but to maximise living space without eating into our grounds too much, the EasyBuild team suggested we consider a double-storey design. We landed on building two double-storey Kingsfords, side-by-side. This meant we could offer our guests four comfortable bedrooms, two bathrooms and spacious living in both chalets.”
“Guests love it. They comment on the open plan living space and the homeliness.”
The Kingsford design chalets were purpose-built for guest accommodation, so quality, functionality and affordability were important to the couple. They wanted to provide a unique high-end experience for guests, in a cost effective way.
“We’re so pleased with the result. The pricing was fair, and because of the way EasyBuild’s homes are designed, we were able to make selections and adjustments to get exactly what we wanted. For example, we needed to fit a large 6-seater dining table in both chalets, so we switched doors for windows to make it happen. We also chose our own paint colours, kitchen and bathroom fittings and appliances.”
“Our two chalets sit proudly like two pearls on our land in clean, sharp white cladding.”
The build time was another plus for Joe and Cynthia. They started the process in February 2019, just as COVID-19 was becoming a ‘thing’ in NZ, and in spite of the delays caused by NZ’s response to the virus, both builds were completed in October 2019 – that’s twice as fast as most other new-home builds that were happening around the same time! EasyBuild’s standard build-time is 12 weeks from woah to go.
“The team at EasyBuild Bay of Plenty made the whole process easy. It was a collaborative effort, and working together so closely with them meant the build process wasn’t as stressful as we’d imagined.”
With COVID-19 restrictions easing and tourism picking up in NZ, the family look forward to welcoming even more visitors to their slice of Kiwi paradise.
For more information about what EasyBuild can do for you, please get in touch.