An adventurous couple are celebrating now they have opened an idyllic beachfront hotel which they created from scratch.
Michael Airhart and his wife Aileen built the Gecko Rock Resort over a period of two-and-a-half years, managing construction themselves and hiring help for only nine months of the building process.
The couple, who have been married for five years, met when they were working as English teachers in South Korea and worked in the travel industry until they decided to leave their old lives behind and build the hotel south of Oaxaca in southern Mexico from the ground up.
Mr Airhart, 38, said: “We both wanted to live the travel lifestyle for ourselves. We knew it would be difficult, but this is how we finally decided to do it.
“Though it was hard, tiling the swimming pool and filling it with water was a very special moment.
“We still had a lot of work to do, but the best part was seeing it turn from grey concrete to having colour and taking life.”
Mr Airhart said committing to the project and seeing it through to completion posed a daunting challenge.
He said: “It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done in our lives. You don’t realise until you’ve been in construction how you have decisions to make every single day.
“We had to hire hardcore construction workers like masons and electricians, but for almost 2 years it was just us. The painting, tile work and woodwork was all us.”
“There were times in the middle of the process where we wondered what we had got ourselves into.
“But now we live in paradise. Being able to share it with other people has made it all worth it.”
The hotel is set in a romantic location on the coastline in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, and is primarily aimed at honeymooners. Since opening they have received rave reviews for the hotel itself as well as their hospitality.
For more information visit www.geckorockresort.com.
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