Kāpiti bach named one of the top 10 holiday homes in country

By Rosalie Willis

A beach getaway in Raumati South has been named one of the top 10 holiday homes in the country by New Zealand's original holiday home website, Bookabach.

Bookabach released its annual list of New Zealand's top 10 holiday homes with this year's winning baches further cementing Kiwis' love affair with stylish, new-age baches.

Narrowly missing out on a medal and top three placing, the aptly named 'Big Bach' in Raumati South is a newly renovated bach right on the beach, sleeping 25 guests.

"It was pretty exciting being named in the top 10, especially after owning it for such a short time," owner Kelly McAvinue said.

Local design company Dress My Nest have helped to style the Big Bach in Raumati South.

Buying the property in February 2019, the place was in a slightly derelict state after being a cheap rental for many years previously.

"It was quite run down when we got it and have been doing it up ever since."

Regularly booked out over the weekends, the renovations have been done over the last two years around bookings.

"We've done a massive upstairs bathroom renovation and used Dress My Nest, a local interior design company to give us styling advice.

"We've got new furniture, linen, headboards, bedroom furniture, couches, an outdoor lounge suite, spa pool, outdoor kitchen with a hot and cold sink, fridge and barbecue.

Views of the ocean from the Big Bach in Raumati South.

"We've turned a boat outside into a kids' playroom and got the bach looking fairly nice compared to what it was.

"It's still a work in progress - when you've got a house that big there's always more to do."

Never intending to do so many renovations, fuelled by feedback, the owners were only looking to continue doing the best they could for their guests.

"People love staying here and we love good feedback, so we're just going the extra mile to make sure everything is looking great.

"We were intending to have some weekends there ourselves, but haven't managed to make it yet.

"We've only owned it for a couple of years, so it's very exciting to be up there with the top in New Zealand after such a short time - it's very promising."

The bach is a popular spot for corporate clients during the week and big celebrations on the weekends.

Sleeping 25 people, the bach is often hired for multi-generational birthday parties and celebrations.

The same family has been renting the bach over the Christmas period for many years, enjoying the outdoor games, barbecue, kids' boat playhouse, spa and beach right on the door step.

"There's a lot you can do without having to leave the house, it's a great place for everyone to come together."

Bookabach travel expert Simone Scoppa said this year's winners demonstrate a desire of Kiwis to stay in modern, elegant homes – moving away from the humble bach with the wins set to be a boost for New Zealand's domestic tourism industry as it prepares to bounce back from current lockdowns.

"This year's winners' list proves the humble quintessential bach has been forever transformed into some of the country's most sophisticated and stylish holiday homes," she said.

"The winning baches reflect today's travel trends where we're increasingly seeing Kiwis take frequent and sometimes last-minute road trips to private holiday houses.

"The homes are also reflective of how Kiwis love the great outdoors with popular locations including Ohakune for its surrounding all-season mountain experiences to the beaches of Northland, the Coromandel and the Kāpiti Coast."

In the awards' 11th year, the gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to properties in Northland, Coromandel and Ohakune.

The awards were based on judging criteria of bookings over past year, traveller reviews and star ratings and relevance of amenities and the home catering to Kiwi families.

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