A good start

Jono helps design a 6-10 room lodge for a reader.

Good day, Jonno
I have a 1,5ha plot in Bela Bela that already has a main house. I would like to build a lodge with six to 10 rooms, so that I can make extra income from the property. I would like you to use block bricks and design a thatch roof. It must have an African feel and, referably, a boma or bar.

Thanks, Takadzani

Hi Takadzani,
An accommodation venue would certainly be a worthwhile venture, if the demand is there. You said on the phone that you were thinking of converting portions of the existing farmhouse to lettable accommodation rooms. From my experience, in the field of tourism and passer-by overnight accommodation; the call is for upmarket facilities. You may want to start off with three or four rooms converted in the existing house.

Ultimately, the call will be for individual en-suite bedrooms and then a place where folks can chill-out after a hard day’s driving and where good eats and drinks will be the order of the day. The sketch layout here incorporates most of those requirements. I would suggest a separate outside bar-room, where folks can be rowdy and socialise, without keeping the weary travellers awake.

Test the market first with your house conversion, but I think that with the number of units you’re proposing, the better option would be to have a separate complex.

Jonno