La Maison St Arnaud B&B, Rutherglen

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When Kellie-Anne Briggs opened her boutique bed and breakfast, she had little idea she was also about to make some lifelong friends.
Kellie-Anne’s business, La Maison St Arnaud B & B at Rutherglen, opened five years ago after she had bought the property two years prior. It was further enhanced with an extension last year.
“My aim of being in this type of business is for people to feel they can have a personal and local experience, and be welcomed into a home that I get to enjoy every day of the year,” she said.
“I try to make them feel welcome and do this by inviting them to take part in what I might be doing, for instance, joining with my family and friends if they don’t have plans of their own. Essentially just being warm and welcoming to them.”
Kellie-Anne said the extension to the property last year has doubled the property footprint and now allowed her guests to enjoy breakfast and socialise with her whilst she is cooking breakfast. When appropriate, guests are invited to share a glass of wine out on the back verandah, enjoying the far-reaching views toward the high country.
“I think when I started, I was a bit uncertain about how it would all go but the expansion came about because I was doing so well,” she said.
“It is a competitive environment and we are really lucky to have excellent B & Bs in Rutherglen. Guests have really embraced the concept of coming into my home and feeling like they are part of my life for a few days.
“The business and myself have been very lucky that we have been receiving excellent guest reviews and have just been rated 9.8 out of 10 by our guests for the 2017 year on bookings.com This tells me people are saying positive things and sharing the great experiences they are getting.
“They come in and don’t know me, but go away as firm friends and have had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful area we live in.”
Kellie-Anne, who is a sole owner-operator doing everything from making beds, cooking breakfast, providing travel advice and taking people on tours, said the secret to her success was simple.
“It is about putting people at ease and making everything a great experience,” she said.