Raj Patel came to Australia 27 years ago chasing love, following his Australian girlfriend Bronwyn from the famous British port of Bristol to Warrnambool on Victoria’s rugged Shipwreck Coast.
New life, beautiful spot, one problem – Raj didn’t have a job.
Friends and family, that’s what life is all about for Gail and Graham Wilesmith.
The couple run the Best Western Motel Farrington in Tumut, a “beautiful country town” perched on the northern edge of the spectacular Snowy Mountains, southwest NSW.
How they came to be in Tumut – famous for its autumn colour – is all about family.
When Sherry Jones moved from Gippsland to Brisbane in 1980 she needed work.
So, the mother of three applied for a housekeeping role at the Best Western Sunnybank Star Motel, got the job and – almost 40 years and three owners later – is still there, the beating heart of the place.
Sometimes you’ve just got to dive in and have a go.
That’s the basic philosophy driving Linda Powell and Ian Henderson, who have just taken over the Best Western Meramie Motor Inn Albury, entering the hospitality industry from vastly different directions.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd. There’s some truth to that cliché but not when it comes to Jean Muller, business partner David Richardson and her husband Tony.
The three are best mates. Jean and David have worked together for more than 30 years and owned the Best Western Balmoral Motor Inn in Hobart for the past quarter century.
Less than a year ago Rob Page and Georgie Pontoni worked together selling properties at a real estate agent in Sydney’s trendy eastern suburbs.
Fast forward to the present and their business lives are still intertwined but the setting and job couldn’t be more different – they now are managing the Best Western Sanctuary Inn in Tamworth, country NSW.
Some people inflate their age to join the army. For 16-year-old Darryl Brown, fresh out of school in Grafton, northern NSW, it was to get his first job as a kitchen hand in a local restaurant.
It was an inauspicious beginning to a hospitality career that continues to this day – Darryl is now the owner of the Best Western Zebra Motel in Coffs Harbour, 90km away from where it all started.
Evan and Jenny Thompson’s hospitality journey started one Saturday morning…
“We were both teachers in Victoria and wanted to do something for ourselves rather than work for wages. We were sitting reading the paper one Saturday morning and saw an ad for an agent who was in Melbourne talking to people about business opportunities in apartment management rights.”
Life takes some strange twists and for Jamie Pascoe that happened when he left the building industry to run the family-owned hotel in Wagga Wagga at the tender age of 23.
It’s doubtful that anyone knows more about Best Western’s members than Stevie Russell, who has been working with them since 2003.
So it’s a good thing she reckons they are the best thing about her job as Member Services Manager.