I turn off State Highway 1 at Ocean Ridge into the beautiful Fairways Apartments the sun is shining on the mountains in the backdrop, its one of the most breath-taking views in town situated right next to the Kaikoura Golf Course and opposite the beach, who could ask for more!
Greeted by the big smiles of Robyn and Graham Lamond we settle in for a cuppa while I find out about how they have created their dream relocating to our amazing seaside town.
Graham grew up in the Kapiti and has a background in Property Consultancy and more recently Local Government in District Council for over 15 years in both Horowhenua and Dannevirke where he was also the Deputy Principal of the Rural Fire Office and heavily involved in Emergency Management. It was while at the council he and Robyn met where he held the position of Roading Manager and Robyn, Front of Office & Promotions and Events. Robyn was born in Auckland and brought up in the country, mother of 5 children and 3 grandchildren and Graham father of 2 children and 3 grandchildren “we became a blended family” Robyn says when she and Graham married on 10th November 2012 here in Kaikoura shortly after becoming the Host and Owners of The Fairways in October 2012.
“We wanted a change and a fresh start together says Robyn, Graham always had a dream to manage time shares, he has a love for property. We wanted to do something like that but still continue working together. When this opportunity to move to Kaikoura came up we looked at each other and said well do you want to do this?!”
“We love it here, and especially like being out of town as I grew up in the country, its peaceful and quiet, I love to be able to look out my window and see the horses grazing just like when I grew up.”
As we talk Robyn snuggles here newest family addition her 9 day old Grandson Kaayden and they share about the value of family and the fun they share when their families who come to visit regularly during the school holidays. “They love the freedom the Fairways has to offer to explore, ride bikes and swim in the lake out the front which features an air-rated fountain that filters the water”.
“Ocean Ridge is really starting to come into its own with new homes being built and such a lovely place to live, 5 minutes to town and the beach across the road for surf casting, diving and searching for sea glass and paua shells. There are also some amazing walks and cycle tracks surrounding the area”.
“With Winter on our doorstep and Mount Lyford Ski Area only 50 minutes away or next door for a round of golf, you can spend a day on the slopes or the golf course then ease away your aches and pains in the Fairways spa bath and relax in front of an open fireplace and just soak up the peace and quiet under the snow-capped mountains, where else would you want to be.” says Robyn
Both Robyn and Graham have been very involved in the community previously, Robyn also a toastmasters member, since being in Kaikoura they have become involved in the KKHFC (Kaikoura Health Facility Fundraising Committee) “helping our community has always been a passion of ours” says Robyn.
The Fairways features 24 rooms in 12 Apartments, all 12 Apartments have their own log fire and spa bath, and all recently had new makeovers. They also have a commitment to excellence and practice an enviro image with things like biodegradable rubbish bags and cleaning practices.
It also has some great accolades to its recognition and one that Graham and Robyn are proud of is their recently reattained Qualmark 5 Star Rating & Envrio Gold Award and the just earned Trip Advisor 2013 Winner, CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE which only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
Their goals this year are to maintain the property to that 5 star level and provide great customer satisfaction.
When asking them about the challenges they face Graham says “We have invested our life savings and our life into this business and we are here for the long haul. We have left behind our family in the North Island and our support system to go for our dream.” “In this industry your life is open to everyone that comes into the place 24 hours, 7 days so you have to love what you do”.
One of the things that really strikes me about this dynamic couple is their enthusiasm for life and each other, which is also supported by their team. “They are just awesome and fantastic we have such a great team who work hard and have extremely high standards that are equal to ours.” they say.
“You take one day at a time, and get excited when bookings come in” says Robyn, “We love the vibe of the place, its really hard work, you have to have that commitment to make it work. We have a commitment to the Fairways because it’s in our nature!”
“To succeed you need to find something to hold onto, something to motivate you, something to inspire you” Robyn Lamond
This article was from our July 2013 Magazine