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Captivating Cape Howe Cottages - Multi-Award Winners 2010

Gaynor and David Clark from Cape Howe Cottages in The Wardroom their luxury retreat for couples or friends which has spectacular views of West Cape Howe National Park.

David and Gaynor Clark of Cape Howe Cottages are no strangers to awards and spending time with the couple it is easy to see why – they love what they do.

The business took out the Wignalls Wines Award for Micro Businesses, the Skywest Tourism Award, the AusIndustry Industry Development Award, and were joint winners of the HHG Legal Group Business of the Year Award in the 2010 Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual Business Awards.

The multi-award winning Cape Howe Cottages have also been the recipient of WA Tourism Awards, WA Regional Small Business Awards and past ACCI Awards.

Cape Howe Cottages, situated midway between Denmark and Albany, offers distinctly different self-contained quality cottages, set on a 21 hectare property near Lowlands Beach.

Guests can choose an experience to suit their needs with two luxury cottages rated four and a half stars, and three deluxe cottages rated four stars. Guests can also be supplied with extras like breakfast baskets, evening meals, picnic lunches and pampering packages upon request.

Passionate tends to be an over-used word, but it is exactly the right word to describe the Clark’s approach to their business.

The couple were humbled to win their latest ACCI awards.

"Entering the awards is a fantastic opportunity to analyse your business and take a refreshing look at your operations," David said. "Even if you don't win, going through the process gives an insight into how your business is tracking," Gaynor said.

Extensive statistics are kept on Cape Howe Cottages which enables the Clark’s to know where their guests come from, and to know, for example, 50 per cent of their business is repeat business.

"We know that people from Europe, Singapore and Canada look at our website," Gaynor said.

The Clark’s also know that despite the so-called 'world financial crisis', their occupancy rate continues to rise annually.

"Since opening 12 years ago our goals have changed. For example we never expected we would be doing food but we are," Gaynor said. "Value-adding is the way to go, it's about service – the warm and fuzzy stuff," David said.

The Clarks have now decided they want to share their knowledge and build professionalism in the tourism industry by offering a mentoring course. Gaynor and David offer a hands-on course for people considering venturing into the holiday accommodation business.

"We want to give people guidance and help them understand what they are getting into to - hopefully to inspire a successful future as tourism accommodation operators," Gaynor said.

According to Gaynor, the tourism business was about thinking ahead, being innovative and always one step ahead of the market.

"We are tied to the business 24/7 but we enjoy what we have chosen to do and we put everything into it. We love living here and we want our guests to have a great experience."

Return to Award Winners 2010