The stunning Eagles Nest in New Zealand, set atop of its own private peninsula, has been tapping into social media. Callum Farnell, general manager of the property talks to BTN about some of their latest innovations.
Breaking Travel News: What differentiates Eagles Nest from other properties?
Callum Farnell: Eagles Nest is different from the point of view it is set atop its own private peninsula overlooking the beautiful Bay of Islands. It is a majestic 75 acre estate that affords amazing views you won’t find anywhere else. The villas are just as spectacular with private heated horizon edged pools, jacuzzis, designer kitchens and amazing private cinema systems. It is one of only eight properties in New Zealand to be rated “Exclusive” by New Zealand’s official grading agency, Qualmark.
This take Eagles Nest beyond the traditional 5 star rating.The facilities are matched by a multi-award winning team of hospitality professionals. Guests can have their meals catered for by any one of the five resident Personal Chef;, indulge with spa therapies provided by the estates beauty therapists and even work out with the Estates resident Personal Trainer. A very unique all villa property providing a fantastic gateway to all that the spectacular Bay of Islands has to offer. Eagles Nest is truly somewhere between seven stars and heaven.
BTN: Which travellers do you mainly target?
CF: We target couple, families & multi-generational high end clientele from our traditional markets out of North American, United Kingdom & Europe and Australia. You may think targeting both couples and families would be incompatable but it is easily done at Eagles Nest. As each of the villas is its own private entity, there is no sharing of facilities so couples can enjoy a nice romantic escape and families can enjoy some quality time sharing stories around the villas private pools and grounds.
BTN: What new emerging destinations are you looking to tap into?
CF: We are also looking to our new emerging markets out of China and the United Arab Emirates and have started to travel to these destinations for targeted marketing through Luxury Travel Trade Shows.
BTN: How are occupancy levels and forward bookings for the property?
CF: Eagles Nest is open year round thanks to the very mild climate offered by the Bay of Islands. Occupancy levels do vary between the seasons and we typically see the property running close to 100% occupancy through the months of December, January & February. We typically see bookings taken at least six months in advance for these specific months. The off peak period from May to October is a lot quieter due to the fact that guests from our key markets do not like the idea of traveling form their summer to our winter although our winter offers some of the most spectacular days due to the mild sub-tropical climate.
BTN: Do you have any new developments planned for 2012
CF: We are constantly upgrading the property and services offered to guests. This year will see many of the villa outdoor entertaining areas enhanced offering guests the most luxurious of outdoor entertaining/leisure facilities. There is nothing like, overlooking your private infinity edged lap pool to the spectacular Bay of Islands with a superb glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc whilst your Personal Chef prepares are in-formal pool side gourmet barbecue!
BTN: Can you describe some of your social media initiatives??
CF: We like to think that we are pro-active in driving our social media web pages with accounts with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Our Facebook page is a great forum to communicate short lead time special offers, local events and competitions. We see a great deal of support from previous and prospective guests and the dialogue on the page is fantastic.
BTN: In what ways have these benefited the property?
CF: Social media has been fantastic for Eagles Nest. Being a small property with only five villas, our marketing and PR spend needs to deliver a ROI. It has provided to be a very cost effective form of media to interact with our web savvy guests.
BTN: To what extent is online marketing and the internet a priority for the property?
CF: Most of our marketing and PR spend is now directed to online optimisation and marketing. We definitely see it as our for most priority due to our size, we find it is the most cost effective medium to reach our specific clientele and delivers the greatest ROI.
BTN: What are the main challenges you are currently facing and how are you dealing with these?
CF: Our main challenges are convincing our core markets that travelling to New Zealand during their summer is a great option It is an ongoing message that we are delivering through our key agents, international marketing roadshows and trade events.