Kendenup hotel facelift draws visitors

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Kendenup Cottages and Lodge.
Camera IconKendenup Cottages and Lodge. Credit: Supplied

In the small Great Southern community of Kendenup there is an award-winning revamped hotel drawing people to a town in the middle of nowhere.

Jane Robinson had no hospitality experience when she took over the Kendenup Cottages and Lodge 18 months ago.

The Kendenup local had lived down the street for almost 10 years when the previous owners offered it to her. She took a gamble and took over the business.

After closing the doors for four months and giving the venue a major facelift, last month she received an 8.6 rating in the Booking.com Guest Review Award for 2018.

It is now sitting on a 9.0 rating.

With a background in finance and administration, Ms Robinson said she and her husband were over the moon.

“We were happy beyond belief,” she said. We have worked so hard for a year and have had no days off and put in every penny back into the business.

“We spent the first year trying to get on top of that accommodation side of things, getting the grounds up to standard with the mowing and weeding so it looked aesthetically pleasing. It took me the best part of four months just getting it back online with Booking.com and Expedia.”

Then they put their minds to creating somewhere in town for people to eat out.

“We spent a fortune to get the commercial kitchen up to standard,” she said. “Saturday, being the long weekend, was our biggest night ever and we put out 50-odd meals.”

She said many were surprised to learn their accommodation slept 51 guests, as well as having a lodge bar, function centre, pizza oven and free mountain bike hire.

“Everybody heads south for some reason and I think a lot of people coming to the Stirling Range go for a close accommodation and we are only 20 minutes away,” she said.

“We are on 43 acres so it is just a lovely place. People just need to know that we are here.

“Ultimately we want to do become a beautiful place like Boston Brewery and get a band in and have movie nights.”

They have also secured their own attraction — buying Rambo, the leading ram in the major film Rams shot in the region last year.

The Kendenup Cottages and Lodge will host the WA Wine Show in October.

The Kendenup Cottages and Lodge can be found on Facebook and online booking sites.

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