de Vos The Private Residence

If you are looking for a private break along Coral Coast for any reason then de Vos The Private Residence might be a place to go. It is located alongside
25 Nov 2017 11:16
de Vos The Private Residence
Inside one of the five luxury bures at de Vos, the private residence

If you are looking for a private break along Coral Coast for any reason then de Vos The Private Residence might be a place to go.

It is located alongside a marine reserve along the coral coast.

de Vos has five luxury bures all situated within a stone’s throw of the beach and clustered around a 25 metre pool.

The botique hotel is made of rich wood furnishings and has luxuri­ous bedding which makes for a re­freshing, yet relaxing feeling when you enter your room.

In a one-on-one interview de Vos The Private Residence managing director AnneMarie De Vos tells of how she wanted to cater for a small but different niche market on the coast.

Please tell us a bit about your­self and your business

I have been coming to Fiji for 48 years and experienced different holidays, stayed through most of the resorts around Fiji for years with my family and friends.

I knew I wanted to come back here when I retire and spend the remain­ing of my life here.

I wanted to build something with a bit of difference, I’m quite entre­preneurial. I didn’t want to have big hotel or a big resort. I wanted to cater for niche markets.

I knew from speaking to a lot of my friends and the people in my age bracket that the days of going to big resorts with kids were over for us, we were now more interest­ed in actually experiencing Fijian culture and living more locally and out of the resort.

That’s why I looked for some way to build that was amongst the vil­lages, on the water with the Pacific environment.

We take a maximum of 30 people in our property. Our niche market that we are aiming for was people like ourselves who wanted to come back, maybe with a big a group of friends or extended family, small weddings, little conference groups, people who do not want to be amongst more people.

We tried to consider all the things the big resorts have in terms of fa­cilities.

We’ve got paddle boats, kayaks, ca­noeing, beach bikes, full size pool, many sun chairs and we really wanted to accentuate the things that come naturally to Fiji.

So we’ve planted extensively, we eat from our garden; we grow eve­rything we can think of. So people get to see fresh fruits, vegetables and that’s one of the main things when people come and mention.

During that time we had challeng­es in building. It took us two years to build. Today the new proprieties that are coming up, they only take six months to build this property.

A lot of challenges that we have to overcome, there’s more product in the market, there’s more stuff in the hardware stores and there is more availability.

Fiji in the last 10 years to me has progressed every year. It’s a good time to be here. I still see that it’s behind New Zealand and Australia but that’s the thing we love about it. We have to be careful we don’t lose that, people who come here, come for the Fiji time to rest, to be relaxed.

On the coast, we face difficulties with labour. The labour force is leaving the area, they are not com­ing back so we are not getting that experience to encourage manage­ment.

How much was invested in this botique hotel?

At first, we probably over capital­ised and over invested but that due to the time, the time we built. It was costly because had to wait for some period of time in the middle because Fiji would run out of tim­ber, cement so we had to wait for months to finish the project.

Our investment is certainly giv­ing us good results now and this is a business that will stay with us.

Can you please tell us some fea­tures of your property?

Some of the things that probably is unique to the area and staying here is the fact that we have our ma­rine reserve and everybody looks after it very well.

It is quite diversifies in terms of these deep areas and light cold ar­eas, we have a nursery, baby sharks that are well protected. There is plenty to see, people can get into the water without damaging the reef.

We have a full size pool like a nor­mal resort. We have private front pools for our little bures. Some have also have additional outside bathrooms so they can watch the stars at night when they have their bath.

We have an outdoor fireplace which is an unusual feature and the guests love it. We also have the horse riding on the beach; we also have our massage feature that the guests can enjoy.

We have got five villas and we have got four internal rooms with sea views.

What made you want to invest in this area?

It was the sea and the beach. When we built here everything was cov­ered in the trees. We loved the sea, trees but unfortunately we had to get rid of quite a few.

Can you tell us a bit about your price range?

Our prices range, I can say that we have been able to increase our pric­es as we have been able to develop the property and revive more.

We have different pricing catego­ries because our niche markets are groups of people and we try and work to the budget. So we price ac­cordingly to the group and work out the budget for them.

In between we have the bures that are probably a bit expensive to the overseas market individually and then we have our local market which we have our local rates for.

Who are your target markets?

Probably the five years in busi­ness, most of the markets were New Zealand and Australia. Now that our marketing is a bit more extensive, we’ve become more in­volved in the community. We have been able to get involved in a lot of markets to push our products.

It’s really diversified now; people from different countries come here now. Every month is a different month for us now.

How many staff do you employ?

We have some that are casual, and we encourage the families in the village to come back to work, obvi­ously they don’t want to work six to seven days a week. So we have a lot of those people who are on casual work.

We can have about 22 of them em­ployed looking at the small place we’ve got. We do special days like, we have lovo night, kava ceremony, some days we have meke group. We do have permanent staff as well.

What are your future plans?

Our future plans are that we want to do more bit more development on the property. At the moment we have got massage done at different areas but we want to develop a little spa area.

We are trying to get eco-friendly. Along the way we intend to do the things that will be environmentally friendly. We want to go totally solar at the property.

We have a good recycling system here where all of our vegetable cut­tings, fruits and seeds are going to the gardens. We ban plastic bags like everybody else now.

The big focus for our immediate future is to become 100 per cent eco-friendly.

Do you have any other proper­ties in Fiji?

We have a hotel in Suva, Des Vos in the Park. I bought this hotel four years ago. We have another couple of businesses, my children are here in Fiji and they all are developing business in Fiji. We are revolving around four new businesses at the moment which is taking up out time right now. We are planning to fully develop Des Vos in the Park at the moment.

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