Jeremy Dyer, Owner, Ōtoromiro Hotel

Jeremy Dyer

Jeremy Dyer is the owner of Ōtoromiro Hotel, a quaint hotel overlooking the Lyttelton harbour steeped in history and colonial beauty. 

Dyer was first introduced to the buzzing hospitality scene as a teenager. 

Upon completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Canterbury, he made his way to the United Kingdom, where he continued his journey in hospitality, working in various bars and clubs across London.

Later Dyer met his wife, Clare, in Melbourne, where he spent 15 years in hospitality management.

Before buying their first hotel Athelstane House in Queenscliff, Victoria, Dyer oversaw the Metropolitan Hotel. At the same time, his wife served as the manager of one of Melbourne's largest and most successful bayside restaurants, The Stokehouse.

In 2003, the couple came into ownership of Ōtoromiro Hotel, a historic and iconic property founded in 1870, boasting panoramic views of the Te Whakaraupō/Lyttelton harbour. With seven guestrooms, a large garden and deck areas, the establishment's main appeal is its classic pub fare, fine craft ales and local wines. 

"Four years ago, we noticed several trends, particularly customer demand for local craft ales opting away from the more traditional mainstream offerings," said Dyer. "To this end, we installed a new eight tap, and glycol cooled beer system."

To offer visitors a wider variety of beverages, Ōtoromiro Hotel deals directly with its breweries in its pouring agreements.

With the popularity of wine, the hotel now also offers two choices of Rosé. "Chapoutier from the south of France and a superb local grown and bottled in our Harbour, Whistling Buoy Rose."

Over the past couple of years, the pandemic has significantly impacted the hospitality landscape. During this period, Ōtoromiro Hotel has been very fortunate.

"Our large outdoor offering with widely spaced tables has provided our guests with a very safe environment to dine in," explained Dyer. "Moreover, we are most definitely, a destination hotel and, as such, not affected by the work-from-home phenomenon which has had a marked impact on central city restaurants and hotels."

Only a 20-minute drive from Christchurch, the 150-year-old hotel has always been a popular destination for day-trippers seeking a sense of history and beautiful harbour views.

With the closing of borders during the onset of COVID-19, the domestic market became vital to the hotel's business

"Where we once saw our rooms at close to 100 percent occupancy throughout summer with predominantly European guests, the previous two summers saw occupancy levels closer to 25 percent." 

Fortunately, this drop in occupancy was compensated by the rise in the hotel's food and beverage operations, with New Zealanders seeking out unique and local attractions during their staycations.

In 2021, Dyer and his wife discovered a water tank on the property, which they converted into an endless heated saltwater pool. Recently, the couple have invested in a more extensive heat inverter to offer an enhanced hot pool experience.

There are also plans to build three to four self-contained units in the property's orchard area within the next year or two.

"Surviving the pandemic has presented challenges and opportunities. Our freehold status allowed us greater bank support to invest in our future, and we wholeheartedly welcome the return of international visitors now that our borders are opening," concluded Dyer. "We acknowledge the government's support during these difficult times, which we can honestly say our survival was dependent on."