“The Ambers” is a charming old-style European country house set in 12 park-like acres (5 ha) with formal rose gardens, fountains, mature trees and an olive grove with flat grazing land. It is one km from the motorway just off the main road north, 30 minutes from Auckland. It is distinctly Georgian and has an English style rose garden.
A long 100m drive with mature Liquid Amber trees draws you in towards the secret at the end of the drive: the house which is one of few, really solid Georgian country houses you’ll find in New Zealand – and certainly not in this prime position. The construction is masonry with tray-deck (i.e. concrete) first floor, the roof has slate-like concrete tiles recently checked and passed for any leaks.
There are three buildings in total; the main house, the spacious “office/media room”, a conservatory which connects the main house to the office and a 96m2 large “barn”, half of which has been transformed into a lovely, French/Italian-style “gite”. The other half of the barn (again masonry walls and concrete roof tiles) has remained as a garage and storage area but has the potential to be made into a granny flat or second studio unit.
With regard to the main house, on the ground floor there is an elegant 31m2 lounge with an open fire, French bay windows and doors into the garden, a formal dining room with an original iron and tile fireplace, a country kitchen with pantry under the stairs, and a “family room” where we withdraw from the many guests to talk, read, watch television or just be with our lovely Belgian shepherd dog. Also on the ground floor is a well stocked library (16m2).
On the first floor is the Regency Room (17m2), which is a very stylish room often chosen by newlyweds for their wedding night, and the pretty, French-inspired Blue Room (11m2) overlooking the rose-garden at the back of the house. Both of these rooms have their own ensuite; the Regency Room bathroom features a large shower whereas the Blue Room bathroom offers a shower and a freestanding slipper bath. Across the hallway is our own bedroom, a massive 30m2 plus 8m2 of the dressing room and the double bath and shower in the 8m2 bathroom.
In the attic there are two more double guest rooms, a charming large attic suite with sloping ceilings and exposed beams (the Toile de Jouy, which is 19m2) and a smaller attic room ideal for children (the Santorini Room, 11m2). The two rooms share a character bathroom with a modern, large shower and an old-fashioned clawfoot bath on a tiled floor. The two attic rooms make an ideal family suite. Children love staying in the attic.
Finally, a newly built “gite” (self-contained barn studio in the garden) gives guests privacy and is ideal for a longer term stay. It has a fully functional kitchenette with fridge, microwave, table and chairs, sofa and tv. The bed is a Super King size with a romantic muslin canopy suspended from the ceiling. French doors lead out to a private area in the garden and there is also a courtyard area for guests use with outdoor furniture, covered canopy and BBQ.
The motorway is less than a km away (yet we cannot hear the noise of the cars and trucks on it!). A “park and ride” facility has been built right next to it which enables an easy bus commute to the central city. The Northshore recreation airfield is less than 5 km from here. One km up the road is the recently upgraded historic Silverdale hotel called “The Wade” – and several other restaurants are within a 5 km drive.
There are many beautiful beaches and parks nearby. The “SnowPlanet” is less than 2 min by car where people can ski inside in real snow all year ’round and there are several Golf Courses – in particular the world-renowned Peninsula 18 hole Golf Club used for international competitions. If you like walking, the newly developed Estuary walk/cycle track at the southern point of Orewa (6 min by car) provides a 7 km walk. There are dozens of cafés and restaurants nearby and the Silverdale country market on Saturday mornings is always worth a visit. Tiri Tiri Matangi Island bird sanctuary is also close by and can be reached by local ferry. There are many other coastal walks in the vicinity.
At the Ambers, a luxury B&B, we offer elegant country accommodation inclusive of full European-style cooked breakfast. Breakfast is served in our formal dining room with fine linen and silver tableware or on the terrace for a more relaxed start to the day. In the summer we encourage our guests to sit in the garden with complimentary pre-dinner drinks and hors-d’oeuvres or play a game of petanque. In winter they can relax in front of a roaring open fire in our elegant lounge with a vintage sherry or port and play chess.
We also do a small number of marquee weddings in the garden each year, a few of these have already been organised for the 2013-2014 summer season. As TripAdvisor ranks our property “The Ambers B&B” as number 10 among Auckland’s 200 B&Bs we are already taking bookings for next summer from both overseas and local people.
This is a very unique property. We built the house 20 years ago and love it here. We really don’t want to leave but as we have reached retirement age and need to downsize we hope that whoever follows will love it as much as we do.
The Ambers has unlimited potential to the right buyer who can maximise revenue and profitability. With the right marketing strategy and the right people, this B&B could easily generate a substantial income over time in particular if application was made for a wedding license. Or, alternatively, the B&B would make an excellent second income as it is currently run for someone wanting a lifestyle property close to the city.
We have also received a great deal of interest from film location scouts, one of which led to the production of the best part of one episode of a local tv series (the “Almighty Johnsons”) – which was shown on New Zealand national television and which will soon be shown on British tv. Last year several music videos were also made at our B&B
When we sell we would like to leave a lot of the chattels behind, particularly those associated with the B&B business – with the exception of a few family heirlooms and other pieces – as we want to travel the world for a few years.
Please contact the owners via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us for more information on + 64 9 4260015