Gateway to star rating

IT'S been kept as a Clarence Valley secret for years, but now, the word is out.

On Sunday, The Sun Herald newspaper ran an article about the only five-star holiday parks rated across Australia.

Out of 4500 parks, there were only five named and one of those was The Gateway Village on the Summerland Way in Grafton.

Owners Fred and Christine Kratz were surprised to hear of their park's new fame on the weekend, as it has held a five-star rating consistently for about eight years.

“We had someone call that day from Byron Bay and book for a week because they saw we were a five-star park,” Ms Kratz said.

“Until then, we had no idea it had even been in the paper.”

Fred and Christine bought the land in 1989, opening the park in 1992.

The park is rated every 12 to 14 months by AAA Tourism under the Australian Star Rating Scheme.

Mr Kratz said the park was rated again about four weeks ago, during the weeks of heavy rain that led to the Coffs Harbour floods.

“You couldn't have picked a worse day,” he said.

“The man said he would have to rate it based on his experience on the day.”

Fortunately for the Kratz family, they held on to their five-star rating.

So what makes a five-star caravan park?

For Mr Kratz, attention to detail, cleanliness, maintenance and staying in vogue are essential.

“You have to constantly update the place,” he said.

The Gateway Village has accommodation ranging from camping sites to cabins, motel rooms and villas.

It also has a function room, sports grounds, practice golf course and regularly holds weddings in the grounds.

With the economic downturn, Mr Kratz said holiday parks were being seen as a more affordable option.

Although he hadn't felt the impact yet, he said he wouldn't be surprised if business picked up.

“It's more economical for everyday people, even big wigs that used to never stay in caravan parks,” Mr Kratz said.

Five stars
  •  Gateway Village, Grafton.
  •  Mandalay Holiday Resort, Busselton, WA.
  •  Big 4 North Star Holiday Resort, Hastings Point, NSW.
  •  Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort, Kununurra, WA.
  •  Cairns Coconut Resort, Cairns, Qld.

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