Twenty-five years and the dream that was, still is – with owners, Andy & Debbie Fermor, as passionate as ever about every aspect of their lodge.
This is what the journey has been about: passion, sweat, some tears, a whole lot of laughter, enormous attention to detail, and most importantly belief – belief in every single one of their staff and the conviction that what we do, in our small way, does create a difference.
It was a dusty beginning with a younger, kikoi-clad Andy & his super enthusiastic team, clearing the Wattles, and converting the existing farm buildings to a habitable space and planting a garden, don’t forget the garden. It took a special imagination and a lot of grit to get the lodge up and running. Multi-tasking was the name of the game with everyone wearing a host of hats and very wide welcoming smiles.
We’ve made so many friends over the years who have supported us, and watched the lodge grow. Those who remember the huts down at the river and before there was a swimming pool. And those the jump from four rooms to sixteen suites and appreciating the difference. Those who arrived as singles and returned as families – the “Hog Hollow fertility package” was a recurring theme. Those who’ve visited and sent all their friends and family to experience it too, no pressure there! Letters and treasures they’ve sent us. Special mementos which are arrayed on the shelves above the fireplace, so we can always remember.
The famous, not-so-famous, the naughty & the hilarious have entertained around our table as the candles glowed and the food & wine flowed. And at the heart of the lodge – the staff. All 42 who beaver away in the kitchen preparing treats for all appetites, the housekeepers who feather dust and scrub and clean the rooms, the groundsmen to wash cars and mow and do all those amazing maintenance things and the hosts. The lovely hosts who make holiday plans seamless.
“It’s quite a thing,” muses Andy, a little more silvery haired, but no less energetic. “Twenty-five years, a milestone, and so many people to thank!”
And that is what this message is all about, a thank you to our incredible suppliers who believe in us and support us and welcome us to their offices. A thank you, to our wonderful guests who, of all the options they have to choose from when holidaying, chose us. Thank you to the dedicated staff, some of whom have been here for 25 years!
Thank you, Andy and Debbie, for having the dream and keeping it alive.