Haley Saunders is taking Bay of Plenty holidays Beyonder.
There’s nothing better than a holiday that leaves you feeling happy and refreshed. Go behind the scenes with Beyonder founder Haley Saunders and find out about her perfect weekend away, why she loves the Bay of Plenty and how she picks the best accommodation for her friends and family.
Hey Haley, thanks for having a chat with us! Travel and beautiful accommodation are a major part of your life, so we’re pretty sure you’ve got the inside scoop on what makes a getaway great. Tell us, what does your ideal weekend away look like?
When I go away, I always look for somewhere special, somewhere that has a point of difference – whether it’s the location, the home’s unique quirks or standout amenities. I like to get off the beaten track, and really enjoy the downtime. We are all so busy being busy, so I think it’s really important to take the time to switch off and enjoy the company around you, whether it’s playing board games, going on hikes or eating good food with loved ones.
That sounds like a great weekend away! OK, so you’ve got 24 hours in the beautiful Bay of Plenty. What are you getting up to?
I love going to the beach, heading to the Bay’s best cafes for a coffee, and a classic Mount jaunt is always a must do. Kaiate Falls is one of my favourite waterfall hikes as it’s close to home, and we can take the pup! I can’t go past a beer and dumplings at Rising Tide in the evening sun while hanging with friends. I also love to bike around the region because there are so many tracks and trails to explore and such stunning scenery.
The Bay of Plenty is filled with so many amazing things and you’ll get more of an inside scoop when you book with us and receive our detailed guest pack! It’s a fantastic resource that gives you great insight on how to live like a local, all the hidden gems and the best spots to hit in the Bay.
The Bay of Plenty aside, if you could go on holiday with any three people from history, who would you pick, where would you go?
I would love to go to Japan, it’s always been on my list because of the culture, the skiing and the ramen. I would probably go with the cast from the Superbad movie – they’d be so much fun, and the trip would be pretty hilarious.
We’re McLovin that holiday! We know you’ve always had your finger on the pulse of the tourism and property management industry, and you’ve worked in some incredible places. What’s been a highlight so far?
One of my career highlights would have to be when I co-managed the apartments up at Cardrona ski field in Wanaka. We had 16 stunning apartments that were nestled in the snow. It was just beautiful and most of our guests were returning families, so we all became friends.
I would stay up the hill to make sure our guests were looked after, then take them on a tobogganing session, and later I would pop into their apartment and chat about their day on the slopes. It was really something special. Nothing could beat the people and the place. I would love to go back as a guest one day – just to go and watch the cats groom the slopes at night, gaze at the stars and catch up with old friends.
Oh, what a fantastic career highlight. That career has led you to create Beyonder, which is an incredible idea that seems to really fill a gap in the market. Where did it come from?
I have always loved booking accommodation for family and friends and finding a place that is truly unique. A place where there are thoughtful touches, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and local, organic and eco-friendly products.
The classic Kiwi holiday is going to a bach, playing backyard cricket and board games, while eating good food and relaxing with family and friends. I wanted people to have a platform where they could find a range of beautiful accommodation options – from those classic beach baches to luxury homes or even contemporary urban apartments. That way they can easily pick what works for them, suits their needs and helps them relax.
On top of that, anyone who knows the Bay knows we have so many amazing people, great experiences and products here. It was important to me to be able to showcase these to our guests and our homeowners. Being able to collaborate with local artisans and growers, and use eco-friendly products are the kind of thoughtful touches that people remember. They help to enhance and elevate the experience even more.
What’s your long-term vision for Beyonder?
I would love to continue creating lasting relationships with all the holiday homeowners, guests and local artisans here in the Bay. I want Beyonder to be the place where couples, friends and families come back to, time and time again. One day I would love to feature homes off the grid, those cabins in the Kaimai forest or baches at beautiful, secluded beaches.