One of Waiheke Island’s most acclaimed guest lodges has been placed on the market for sale by its original owners.

Boutique Te Whau Lodge was established 17 years ago by Gene O’Neill and Liz Eglinton, who saw the need for an easy escape from the bustle of Auckland.

Purpose-built, Te Whau was one of the first commercial standard lodges on the island, with all rooms capturing panoramic sea views. Eglinton and O’Neill had no prior experience in hospitality and have built an enviable business with a high number of return guests, both local and overseas.

The 779-square-metre building sits on 5.9 hectares of land with uninterrupted views over the Waitemata Harbour. Facilities consist of four double guest rooms each with ensuite and private balcony, a newly made-over kitchen, generous dining room, guest lounge, extensive decking, ample laundry areas plus a two-bedroom owner’s/manager’s area.

Bayley’s Waiheke salesperson, Clive Lonergan, is marketing the property and said Eglinton and O’Neill were among a group of entrepreneurial visionaries who, in the 1990s, saw the future potential for Waiheke’s wider tourism sector, with Auckland CBD just a 35 minute ferry ride away.

“Over the past two decades, Waiheke’s appeal as a leisure, tourism and incentive/corporate travel destination has escalated phenomenally,” Lonergan said.

“Te Whau Lodge’s operators specifically chose to avoid competition with the bigger food and beverage-focused hospitality venues, and utilised this as their point of difference.

“There is still a discerning market which prefers to chose a specialist accommodation provider wanting to be pampered and catered for.”

Last year, Lonely Planet named Waiheke as the fifth best region in the world to visit.

The frequency of ferries to and from Auckland has almost doubled in the last two years, with over 60 sailings daily.

Te Whau Peninsula has developed as a destination in its own right with vineyards, sculpture garden, and olive producers.

Lonergan said Te Whau is trading successfully under its current format and there was potential to expand the facilities subject to council approval.

“The topography of the hilltop land and bush surrounding the existing lodge building would allow for a small number of individual up-market chalets to be developed around the property without interfering with the existing environmental aesthetics.”

The land and buildings were independently valued by a registered valuer in December 2015. Based on this, the sale price is set at $3.65 million.