Coatesville Lavender Hill is a luxury Bed & Breakfast owned and managed by Tricia Henderson with the help of John (Tricia's partner) and David (her brother) who help take care of the property.
After 25 years in the corporate world, Tricia was looking for a lifestyle change and a new challenge that was more in line with her own values and dreams. She started her first business, a successful weddings and corporate events company in 1985, and then launched another venture – a training company specialising in computing, administration and life skills. The business flourished with six schools set up throughout the North Island, including specialist hospitality management training.
In 1997, Tricia and her husband, Peter, visited Europe and their extended stay there left a lasting impression on them both. “This is where we fell in love with the idea of growing something with a Mediterranean theme,” says Tricia. By 1999, they were the proud owners of a roughly fenced sheep farmlet – with big dreams of what the land could produce. It was the start of a wonderful project: Coatesville Lavender Hill. A rosemary and lavender guru, the late Peter Carter from Ploughman’s Garden in Waiuku, was a key influence in the species and varieties now grown at Lavender Hill.
However, when Peter Henderson suffered a severe stroke in 2001, Tricia sold her businesses to stay home and care for him. Lavender Hill had already begun its transformation with the first lavender and olive trees planted and growing well. While caring for Peter, Tricia accelerated the development, adding rosemary and hundreds of additional olive trees, and establishing the northern lavender beds.
Peter’s dream was to run a Bed & Breakfast and Tricia began the resource consent process in 2003. Sadly, Peter finally gave up his battle in late 2005, just weeks after finally winning resource consent and approval to build.
In his memory, Tricia forged ahead and saw their dream realised with the official opening of Lavender Hill luxury B&B in November 2006. Both of the downstairs bedrooms are fully equipped for those with limited mobility, and Tricia calls one of these ‘Pete’s room’.
The very first guests were an Australian couple who heard about Lavender Hill while in Rotorua. Since then hundreds of guests have enjoyed Lavender Hill. “They all comment on how restful it is,” says Tricia. “It’s in an ideal spot – look out one way and you can see lavender, another direction offers a view of the citrus orchard, and then turn around and there’s one of the olive groves.”