Top performing Bay of Islands motel

12:18 PM Wednesday November 26, 2014 Colin Taylor

The Dolphin Motel is for sale at 69 Williams Rd in central Paihia.

A high performing motel in Northland’s busiest tourist-town has been placed on the market for sale with the opportunity for a new owner to be running the business over the lucrative-yielding summer season.

The Dolphin Motel in central Paihia, Bay of Islands, is a 10 unit accommodation business which has been operating successfully for 22 years under the same owners who are now selling up and retiring.

The land, buildings and the going concern business are being marketed for sale at auction next Wednesday, December 3, by Bayleys Real Estate and feature in Bayleys’ latest Total Property magazine.

Paul Dixon, specialist commercial and industrial salesperson, says the motel’s accommodation facilities comprise four studio units sleeping two or three guests, four one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units. Rack rates for the motel range from $155 to $450 with the property averaging an annual occupancy level of 67 per cent.

The motel sits on 1011 square metres of land and encompasses a one-bedroom manager’s unit and office. All accommodation units feature their own kitchenettes with cooking hobs and microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator-freezer, and access to a shared Commercial-grade laundry room. There is on-site and off-street car parking for 15 vehicles.

“A potential and negotiable one month settlement date after auction could allow any new owner to take over the business early in the new year and benefit from the summer holiday period,” Dixon says.

True Commercial - 69 Williams Rd, Paihia - Dophin Motel - unit interior.jpg

 Unit interior within the Dolphin Motel complex. 

“The motel already has strong advance booking numbers through until Easter in April thereby delivering an instant cash-flow to any new ownership. This is a far more attractive option than taking on a tourism-reliant business over the quieter winter months,” he says.

“A regular and comprehensive maintenance schedule has been the cornerstone of Dolphin Motel’s annual operations calendar, so all buildings, interiors, and furnishings are in pristine condition – meaning the motel can run at capacity right throughout summer without the need to take any room inventory out of the pool.”

The 69 Williams Rd property is located some 120 metres from Paihia CBD and a further 130 metres from the beach under a Commercial zoning.

“This handy central location is one of the attractions for many guests booking into Dolphin, who can walk to and from the town’s numerous food and beverage or retail outlets,” Dixon says.

Dolphin Motel uses a franchised website and bookings system which also supported other IT-related operations software.

“Essentially, this allows the business to be confidently purchased by someone from outside the accommodation services sector, as the software is as easy to learn as a running a basic spreadsheet,” he says.

True Commercial - Paul Dixon, Bayleys.jpg (3)

Paul Dixon of Bayleys.

“Or if someone with industry experience is interested, the current IT contract could be maintained through until the end of the financial year when a more standalone approach could be taken.”

Dixon says Paihia’s economic calendar is divided into the Summer and Summer-shoulder periods which record high numbers of domestic free-independent-travellers (FIT) and international guests off the cruise ships; and the more domestically-focused Autumn and Winter quarters where guest nights are predominantly filled by weekend bookings from Aucklanders.

“A number of competing accommodation properties in Paihia have chosen to take profits out of their businesses over the past decade when times were good. In contrast, Dolphin has re-invested a considerable portion of its profits back into its operations through maintenance and marketing,” Dixon says.

“That strategy has paid off with the property consistently now recording above-average occupancy rates compared to some other hotels and motels in the Bay of Islands which have, in effect, become run-down.

“Dolphin has also maintained its rates above average yields for the sector, again, justifying those rates through the quality of the premises and room interiors.”

What’s on offer? 

The property: Motel buildings, land and business.

Location: 69 Williams Rd, Paihia, Bay of Islands.

Agency: Bayleys

Sales method: Auction next Wednesday, December 3.


  •          A high performing business.
  •          Above-average occupancy rates.
  •          130 metres from Paihia beach.
  •          120 metres from Paihia CBD.
  •          Strong advance bookings.