SHARE
Big plans ... Adam Martin and Betti Hoellery have bought the Hurunui Hotel and are building up the business. PHOTO: ROBYN BRISTOW

By ROBYN BRISTOW

SIt is a landmark and it belongs to the community. –Adam MartinAdam Martin and Betti Hoellery are breathing new life into the Hurunui Hotel.

The couple, who bought the pub in November, are relishing owning an “historic part of Canterbury”.

“It is a landmark and it belongs to the community,” Adam says.

The community was on hand last week when the doors of the historic 150-year-old hotel, which can boast having one of the oldest continuous liquor licences in the country, was finally opened.

It has been in lockdown since it was battered by the November 2016 earthquake and deemed unsafe.

Former owners Rodger and Nola Strong worked hard to ensure it was repaired, brick by brick, with traditional techniques and materials used where appropriate, to respect its heritage values.

When Adam, who opened the Powerhouse Cafe and Restaurant in the former Hanmer Springs Post Office and still owns Scarborough Lodge in the alpine village, first spotted it for sale, he was overseas.

But on returning, and just before heading off to Austria, Betti’s homeland, they decided to have a look at the property.

The deal was done, and returning to Austria put on hold.

The Hurunui Village was born. Plans began to turn it into a destination.

A chef was hired to get the dining area open for lunches and dinner in the hotel, but it is not just about the pub.

The couple also bought the nearby function centre, wine cellar, the camping area, two cottages and the vineyard.

They are now working to open the function centre and a cafe in the wine cellar.

“It will be a wine cellar and cafe and open about 8am,” says Adam who also plans to run a commercial vineyard, only selling the wine at the cellar door.

The accommodation cottages which look out over the vineyard are already proving popular, along with the camping area alongside the hotel, which has 10 powered sites, tent sites, hot showers and a laundry area available, as well as a dump station.