South Coast, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands properties have been recognised as being among the best holiday rentals in the country.
‘Jerrymara’ (Willow Vale), ‘Sand Castle’ (Culburra Beach) and ‘The Treehouse Kangaroo Valley’ were named as silver, bronze and bronze winners in the 2018 HomeAway Holiday Rental Awards. They placed in the ‘Indulgence’, ‘Family Friendly’ and ‘Unique’ categories respectively.
Online platform HomeAway (formerly Stayz) announced the national winners on Wednesday.
Each year, the HomeAway Holiday Rental Awards seek to find Australia’s greatest holiday homes, and celebrate the thousands of unique holiday rentals that Aussie travellers visit.
Each property was chosen based on a criteria that included the quality of guest reviews, property image quality, holiday home description and hospitality.
The winning homes were judged by a panel of experts.
They included Wendy Moore, editor-in-chief of Home Beautiful and judge on House Rules; and Charlie Albone, prominent landscape designer and Selling Houses Australia personality.
Lincoln and Jeana O’Toole own and manage short-term holiday rental business Bliss Properties. Their rental properties include ‘The Treehouse Kangaroo Valley’, as well as one in Gerringong.
Mrs O’Toole said ‘The Treehouse’ has operated as a holiday rental for the past 15 years. “Initially we were going on a family road trip to Byron Bay and decided it would be a great idea to holiday let ‘The Treehouse’ while we were away on holidays,” she said.
“We were astounded with the response from listing ‘The Treehouse’, and even when we returned from holidays had numerous emails for future bookings.
“This sparked my interest in permanently holiday letting ‘The Treehouse’ and purchasing another investment property, thinking this could really work. And so our holiday rental business was born.”
She believed the Kangaroo Valley property’s “unique architecture” was one of its biggest selling points.
“It’s an absolute dream to sleep among the treetops, and with ‘The Treehouse’ being suspended on the banks of Kangaroo River it is both tranquil and beautiful.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a guest loving the space that you have created.”
Mrs O’Toole said one of the biggest challenges of running such a business is that you are on call 24/7.
“We have to respond to any guest requests immediately as to ensure they enjoy their stay… That’s just the nature of the business if you want to succeed.”