How a couple turned a 160-year-old home into an award-winning tourist destination

A husband and wife with a passion for renovation and restoration are savouring a major tourism accolade.

Phil and Merryl Greenbury were presented with a gold award for their hosted accommodation venture, the historic Bli Bli House, at the Australian Tourism Awards.

“It was a great opportunity to be in Sydney, with major tourism operators from around Australia,” Phil said.

“To get gold was really special.”

Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat is promoted as ‘Victorian luxury and elegance in the heart of the Sunshine Coast’.

Phil and Merryl Greenbury were presented with a gold award.

It’s a five-star hotel that overlooks the river and is a favourite destination for romantic getaways.

“It is a unique experience that we present (to guests),” Phil said.

“We have old-world charm, with a house that’s 160 years old.

“It’s been done up with modern amenities and four-poster beds, fireplaces, spa baths, chandeliers and private verandas for each room.”

The exquisite dining room.

They bought the house in 2001 – when it was a historic tea house at Nostalgia Town, a theme park that operated from 1990 to 2003 at Pacific Paradise – and ran it as a B&B.

The Greenburys then moved the residence to its current location at Petrie Creek Road at Diddillibah.

They have spent years restoring and refurbishing the house.

“My wife and I have always loved older houses and renovating older houses,” Phil said.

The retreat is beside Petrie Creek.

“We looked for one when we first moved to the Sunshine Coast in the ’80s and we found this one.

“There has been a lot of work, renovating the whole thing and giving it that old-world charm, so it’s like a unique boutique hotel from the 1800s, but with modern amenities.”

The Greenburys live on site, at one end of the hotel.

There is a commercial kitchen and a dining room, which is popular for breakfasts and high teas.

Old fashioned finery and comfort.

The retreat has six furnished guest rooms and a small cottage.

“We continue to go from strength to strength,” Phil said.

“We had to close during COVID, like many places, but since then we’ve been so busy and we’re looking at continuing to create new experiences for our guests to really enjoy a getaway and make memories that last a lifetime.”

Bli Bli House was one of seven Queensland tourism operators to receive Australian Tourism Awards’ gold award.

Three operators scored silver awards and six secured bronze awards.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Queensland was Australia’s leading visitor destination.

“The Queensland tourism industry’s incredible awards success sets the benchmark for other states to follow on our runway to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he said.

Article source: Queensland Property Investor