29 WINS FOR THE REGION
ONCE again the Granite Belt has proved to be one of Australia’s best tourism destinations, with 29 businesses in the region receiving Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence.
Alongside these wins, Diamondvale Cottages received Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award and currently sits as the third best Inn and B&B in Australia and seventh best in the South Pacific region.
Owners Stephen and Taya Michalski said they were shocked to see their name so high on the list.
“When we saw it I couldn’t believe it,” Mrs Michalski said.
“We are humble people, we don’t like boasting, but when we did start telling people a lot of people were saying ‘you should tell more people, you should put that on Facebook!’ and we were like ‘really?’
“Running this business is not easy. It’s seven days a week, it’s not just 9 to 5 and you put in a lot of hard work.
“There’s tears along the way, sometimes it’s really challenging. But at the end of the day, to see that, it does make you go, ‘it’s worth it.’
“When you get those lovely reviews and awards like that, it just reconfirms you are doing a good job.”
For the Michalskis, holding this accolade means more than highlighting their own business. Hailing from Sydney, after travelling the country the Michalskis chose to make Stanthorpe their home because of the region’s potential.
“It’s a great place to live, a great place to bring up a family,” Mrs Michalski said. “There’s pride in the fact that when you’ve been to all those places around Australia, to see Stanthorpe up there (on the list).
“We just feel like we’re part of the puzzle, part of the team for the region.”
Mrs Michalski said having other businesses winning awards helped build the region’s calibre.
“Every capital city has their local wine region. For us, this is it, Granite Belt is the wine region. So when more and more businesses in the region, when they’re winning awards, they’re overall improving our ranking for our region.
“That’s what you want, you just want it to grow.
“It’s good for us because when people come here and say, ‘what can I see and do?’, if there’s other great award-winning businesses out there, I can go ‘these are great too’ and it just overall emphasises what we have on offer.” Mr Michalski said bringing people to the region was an important part of their business.
“Particularly during the busy winter season, everyday we’re turning people away saying we’re fully booked,” he said.
“But even then when we’re turning people away we say ‘I can recommend these places, these are really nice, if you’re looking for this, try this place’. It’s about going above and beyond even when we get nothing out of it.
“Fundamentally we’re ambassadors of
Diamondvale and we want our guests to be ambassadors of Diamondvale, but we also think we’re ambassadors of the region.”
We just feel like we’re part of the puzzle, part of the team for the region.
— Taya Michalski
ALL WELCOME: Stephen and Taya Michalski at their award-winning Diamondvale Cottages.