29 WINS FOR THE RE­GION

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

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

PHOTO: LIANA WALKER

ALL WEL­COME: Stephen and Taya Michal­ski at their award-win­ning Di­a­mond­vale Cot­tages.

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