The owner, Tony, bought the property that Blue Hills Lodge is situated on in 1988. Our family’s connection to this Lodge runs deep, as it started out, not as Bed and Breakfast but as a family home for Tony and his daughter, Ciara and her mother, and later his partner, Irmgard and her two children. There have also been numerous family pets that have come and gone over the years, as unfortunately pets do. Dogs, cats, horses, cows, chickens, ducks, donkeys, bunnies, goats and racing pigeons have all lived on this beautiful property at one time or another.
Tracy began working for Tony way back in the early 1990s, and is as much a part of the family as anyone else! She was there from the Lodge’s humble beginnings, when it was the family home and home office; she saw the kids grow up and partly raise her own kids in and around the property.
With the kids grown up, the family home was expanded- it was half the size it is today- and became a Lodge but you will still chat to Tony’s daughter, Ciara, if you book with us. It’s a family business through and through, with Irmgard, Tony and Tracy coming in and out to welcome guests, attend to the running of the Lodge and visiting the animals too! The Rescue Donkeys need their carrots or they get cranky!
When Tony bought the property the surrounding area was nothing but veld and large open areas. The family could, and would, ride their horses on largely-deserted, dirt roads, for miles. Today Midrand and Kyalami is a bustling residential, economic and shopping hub, with Gallagher Estates, The Mall of Africa, Kyalami Race Track, Woodmead and a Gautrain Station just around the corner. But you can still find a feel of the old family home, with goats and donkeys running around, and ducks quacking at the top of the property. The original stone fireplace is still in the Bushwillow room, and the patio is where numerous milestones were celebrated for the family- everything from first birthdays, to first boy-girl dances in Primary school, to twenty first bashes, to fiftieths! If you explore near the ducks you will even find the old bunny rabbit hutch that saw numerous generations of beloved family pet bunnies born.
You see, this isn’t just the history of a business, it is the history of a family.