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Living the best life at Best Western Ballarat

For years, Danny Marwood travelled the country installing modular school buildings or “de-mountables.” He spent three to four nights each week away from his family, staying in regional Victorian hotels and motels. Danny quickly realised that he wasn’t alone. 

 “They were packed with corporates like me during the week,” he says.

Life on the road can get tiring. Danny missed his wife, Natalie, and two children Sienna, 6, and Quinn, 8. So he began to look for a business opportunity that would allow him to spend more time with his family. And when he did, those crowded motels were front of mind.

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Danny and Natalie decided to become hotel managers. 

Natalie and Danny Marwood Supplied
Natalie and Danny Warwood. Credit: Supplied

Best Western – Ballarat

“I said, ‘let’s do this’ “, he says. After 12 months of looking for the right property, Danny and Natalie are now the successful owners and managers of Best Western Plus Ballarat Suites.

The hotel is close to the major attraction of Sovereign Hill and a short drive to the CBD. 

“We bought the newest one in town – this is exactly where we’re meant to be,” Danny says. 

Lydiard Street colonial Ballarat Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock: Nils Versemann

In Ballarat, the family found there was plenty to do. The kids were happy and the family spent more time together. 

The Marwood family has grown up in the hotel. It is a family-operated business. Natalie works with Danny to manage the hotel operations and until a few months ago, the family lived in the hotel. 

“We used to live on site,” Danny says. “A few months ago, we employed full-time managers, which has allowed us to spend more time with the kids, who have grown up thinking everyone’s parents work together like Natalie and I do.”

It’s easy for the couple to work together as it was how they first met. Danny employed Natalie, a qualified horticulturalist, when he was running a landscaping business.  You could say that love bloomed.

“We broke both rules: one – never get romantically involved with a workmate and two – never work with your partner,” Danny says. 

But rules are made to be broken.  

“We’re really compatible and work well together,” Danny says. 

The couple enjoy the industry and the people they meet. Life in the hotel business has brought them closer than ever. When pressed on what they see inside the motel, they are discreet – as you would expect of an brilliant hotel manager. 

Best Western Suites Ballarat.
Best Western Suites Ballarat. Credit: Supplied

“Every motelier would say they could write a book about the characters you meet in this job. Owning and running a motel broadens your insight into life, put it like that.”

This story about Best Western Plus Ballarat is one of many that Best Western are collecting for their blog. We republished it here with editing and permission from Best Western. To read more “People of Best Western” stories click here. 


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