When thinking of boutique accommodation, few would consider Amby a top tourist destination, but one couple decided to put the sleepy southwestern town on the map.
Ellen Weare and Chris Hammond recently opened the doors to their new home, the Principal’s House; a detached three-bedroom house that can accommodate up to six people.
As the name suggests, the couple renovated the 87-year-old building next to Amby Public School, where the principal and his family lived before the school closed in 1997.
Located between Roma and Mitchell, Amby is a great location for travelers heading west or those wanting to see local Maranoa area attractions, such as the iconic Muckadilla Pub or the Great Artesian Spa in Mitchell.
Ms Weare said she was drawn to the original beauty of the building and was delighted to share it with future guests, as well as the peaceful, country atmosphere of the town.
“It’s a beautiful house and we just wanted to share it with everyone rather than leave it here empty,” she said.
“We just thought it would be nice to share a bit of Amby with everyone because we love living here ourselves.
“I know Amby seems like a bit of a dark place to try to encourage people to visit, but it’s so peaceful and quiet, and you can actually just switch off and forget the rest of the world for a little while. .”
One of the most unique aspects of the Manager’s House is the individual touches Mrs. Weare brings to each guest during their stay, such as food baskets with locally made produce, handmade soaps and art supplies. if clients are looking for a relaxing activity.
Breakfast baskets are provided for travelers who need to stop for a rest, as well as cake baking baskets for those looking for afternoon tea in the comfort of their own accommodation.
“I bought a lot of handmade items from a lot of people I know because I wanted to present handmade and local items in the house. So the paintings on the walls, the tablecloth, the lamps , they’re all handmade,” Ms. Weare said.
“I have jams that are made in Hughenden and honey from some growers in Mitchell.
“There are so many talented people in these small towns and I just tried to support them all, which in turn makes it a unique little place for people, and I think that’s just a nice little touch. .
“I want people to look in every closet and find the little treasures that are hidden everywhere, so I just tried to come up with some quirky and simple ideas for people to enjoy while they’re here.”
After the opening on the 18and of March, the Principal’s House has already hosted five groups of guests and visitor response has been nothing but positive, with travelers already booking stays through October.
“There has also been tremendous support from locals,” Ms Weare said.
“They’re very proud that we tried to do something here. A lot of people kinda let Amby down because there’s nothing here, but that’s what makes it so peaceful.
“You can sit and watch the sunset over the horizon and listen to the cockatoos every afternoon.”
After a 20-year career in banking, Ms Weare said she had never done anything like this before, but despite the challenges she was thrilled and proud of their finished product.
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