bM chats to: TERRY KALJO from CONTEMPORARY HOTELS

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TERRY KALJO IS THE CREATIVE FORCE BEHIND
CONTEMPORARY HOTELS…

I’ve known Terry for years, and by that I mean, all my working career… she is so caring, so inspirational, so stylish and I absolutely adore her…


Terry is the brains {and beauty} behind Contemporary Hotels where she develops and manages very-chic holiday homes… homes where the rich and famous stay, homes which all have Terry’s signature style…

To be even more inspired, here’s a little more about Terry, in her own words:

You, in three words? Me: I think I’m innovative, quick, driven and fun. I suspect others think I’m creative, fussy, impatient and silly.

What inspires you? I love beautiful functional environments. I like to contribute to others happiness in the workplace and privately. Be it service, comfort, fascination, artistry and wellbeing, I feel motivated and successful if my family, friends, team, guests feel happiness from a lovely sense of place.

What’s you work title? Founder and CEO of Contemporary Hotels.

What was your first ever job? Waitressing at three-hat restaurant where I was always getting into trouble for fast tracking what I thought were finicky services. I was almost sacked when I put all the bread rolls into the oven instead of heating them one table at a time. My logic was I had more time to spend on upselling the side dishes. The owners didn’t agree.

What did you want to be ‘when you were little’? As the eldest of three, I never felt little and always thought big. Astronaut came to mind after seeing Jane Fonda in Barbarella.

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How did Contemporary Hotels come about? Contemporary Hotels evolved from an idea when I was the Fashion Director of Cosmopolitan Magazine. I saw a gap in the urban accommodation market for creative professionals and decided to fill it.

I started with a 10-room terrace in Darlinghurst, I then expanded to a 20 rooms with an adjoining terrace. When business was booming I added another building, The Medusa, with 18 rooms and a year later another, The Kirketon, that had 40 rooms.

Over a period of almost 20 years, and lately with my son Matthew Fleming as Managing Director we have bought and sold and incorporated many other properties and included a holiday letting arm for the luxury market. Today we boast more than 100 gorgeous properties in Australia and some offshore.

Explain your usual day? I am driven by the future and the assumption that each day will be purposeful, challenging and exciting – even if I’m not working. I’m not one for big breakfasts, a coffee will do, followed by an information grab from the newspapers/social media/ and a smart phone check of emails and texts. I think most of us are robots addicted to our phones – which I call my toy.

A day of communication about projects big and small, terrific and tricky is the norm. Contemporary Hotels is today a well-oiled machine. My son Matthew is the young gun of the company and business life for me has never been as enjoyable, better or easier.

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What ‘makes your day’? A successful day for me is when I feel I have moved forward in some way, be it ever so small both physically and mentally. In the process I like to think I have contributed to the wellbeing and happiness of others.

Three things in your life you can’t live without? Three simple things I can’t live without: An early morning cup of tea, an evening bath and a good chat about ideas and projects.

4 fave songs on your iPod? I adore Latin music, especially tango music by maestros such as Astor Piazzolla. I have his ‘Libertango’ and also Grace Jones version of the song too. Del Tango by the Gotan Project is also on my playlist. Anything that incorporates the Bandoneon also I enjoy.

I love old country songs; El Paso by Marty Robbins is my favorite and I often play ‘Somethin Stupid’ by Frank and Nancy Sinatra or Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman.

Fave place to escape to? I’m not as adventurous these days, as they say home is where the heart is. I love floating around my boyfriends Mike’s sailboat. Sydney Harbour and Pittwater are gorgeous. Of course, I visit our holiday properties but air travel bores and frightens me.

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How do you relax? As a busy person I truly think I’m the queen of relaxing. I have created a business of beach houses and villas for that sole purpose. When no one is looking I’m hanging loose and testing them all out, just to make sure they are, what we say they are. Hehehe… check out our website www.contemporaryhotels.com.au

Best piece of life advice you’ve received? Best advice I have been given is to listen, I am naturally a curious person. People are inspiring and interesting, communication and emotional intelligence is golden. Go Google TED if you’re bored or better still ask a neighbour ‘how’s things’.

What will you be doing 5 years time? I don’t want to know what I’ll be doing in 5 years, I’m hoping for an element of surprise. I’m assuming my loved ones will be around me and ideally I’ll be healthy, comfortable and enjoying the benefits of a miraculous youth pill.

Terry’s Taronga Ceo Sumatran Challenge

13118831_10154100604167440_1627264622311927272_nTerry is also helping save animals that face extinction. She’s raised over $15K and recently travelled to the Indonesion jungle to personally help the Taronga Zoo team. “This Sumatran Challenge, which is at my own expense was tough, but truly worth it. The Taronga and London Zoo’s breeding programs are working – only a month ago a baby rhino was born and this month we celebrate the birth of a baby tiger. This is enormously rewarding for everyone who is passionate about the survival of endangered animals and proof that our Taronga’s animal conservation efforts and breeding programs are working.”
To support Terry, CLICK HERE to donate.

connect…

+ find out more about Contemporary Hotels
visit www.contemporaryhotels.com.au
& follow them socially here: instagram.com/contemporaryhotels {as in slider above}
facebook.com/ContemporaryHotels

{Top pic: Vogue Living}


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