Bedhaha’s solution to tourism boost in hinterland
A hotel connected to a popular Sunshine Coast brewery may be the way of the future as the owners of an Airbnb site hope their application for a temporary accommodation licence encourages more tourism in the hinterland.
Bedhaha applied with Sunshine Coast Council to change the use of their six units on Coral St in Maleny from residential to temporary accommodation.
Owned and operated in connection with the Brouhaha Brewery owners, Gillian and Julian Leigh, the units neighbour the brewery and currently operate through Airbnb.
Mr and Mrs Leigh also own Halfmoon Hideaway - a wedding and accommodation venue about 3km away on Mountain View Rd, next to Maleny Botanic Gardens and Birdworld.
Mrs Leigh hosts the six Bedhaha units, one of which is let to a long-term tenant.
Four of the units are currently advertised as Bedhaha House and Baby Bedhaha units on Airbnb from about $200 per night.
Mrs Leigh said they were booked out for nearly every night for the next month and a half, with Halfmoon Hideaway full until the end of October.
"As soon as we were allowed to safely open again bookings took off and we were booked out in a matter of days," she said.
Built in 2016 just after the brewery opened by Maleny man Ross Meneely and designed by another local Norman Richards, the units were originally rented out to five long-term tenants with only the biggest operated as an Airbnb.
"When I realised how well it could do, we decided to change it up and offer the town and its visitors more accommodation options," Mrs Leigh added.
"It's definitely worth going for temporary accommodation."
The existing units were originally developed for the purpose of permanent residential occupancy and approved in 2014.
The town planning report was produced on behalf of the applicants Adam and Sparkes Town Planning.
It said given the site's nexus with other commercial uses nearby, and local demand for accommodation options in the Maleny area, particularly its surging tourism population, it was proposed the premises would be changed to short-term as well as permanent.
The report further states the proposed change would support the predominant business functions within the Maleny Town Centre and "provide accommodation in a way that encourages visitors (to) businesses isolated within the Sunshine Coast hinterland".
"This area really needs the money at the moment (and) once we have permission for the change, then I can operate Bedhaha as a sort of hotel," Mrs Leigh said.
The proposal does not involve alterations or construction to the existing units that comprise an area of about 5100sq m.
Mrs Leigh said Halfmoon Hideaway cottage was also originally built in anticipation of annual visits from overseas relatives, but quickly became an accommodation option for the community.
This year, even through the pandemic, they experienced rave reviews.
Mrs Leigh said the skies had been "so clear" that Mount Barney on the NSW border could be seen from the cottage.