Satisfaction Very Good
Value Score Poor Value
Good For Solo
Clarion Hotel's Chateau
Anyone who has met me will know that I am very conscious of different methodologies of collecting airline and hotel frequent flyer miles/points. The reason I feel this is particularly important for me, is that in many cases, I can make a trip to a foreign land almost free, without having to live in a youth hostel. On this particular trip, my mother-in-law actually gets most if not all the credit for making our trip free, by saving up her Clarion points. The Chateau on the Park is affiliated with the American company, so for $0 USD, we had the opportunity to stay in this beautiful little accommodation before heading out on our wild drive through New Zealand's South Island.
The accommodation was definitely nice, as rates would normally range from $120-250 NZD dollars based on peak or off-peak times. It had two comfortable queen sized beds, the showers and bath were working properly, and although the overall property was quite old, it was kept in good shape. There were a couple dining options, of which we did not participate, and there was plenty of parking up close. Overall, I would give this hotel a "very satisfied" for the money we paid (0) and also would have ranked it a "satisfied +" at a $120NZD a night price tag.
Directions: On the west side of Hagley Park
Luxury Accommodation with Secret Rates
Update March 2011
The hotel is open after the 22 February earthquake but not a real option for leisure travellers. Their priority is to accommodate Emergency Personnel. This is due to the accommodation shortage in Christchurch. Please check the situation at a later date on the hotel's website as I cannot do this job for all my tips every day.
If you have a lot of NZ-dollars left at the end of your trip stay at the Château on the Park, and they will be gone fast.
I chose this aggressive introduction because the 4 star Château is one of those luxury places that keep their rates secret in Accommodation Guides and even on their websites. You will not find the rack rates without searching for hours and making an heroic effort by checking every single day for availability of a certain room type. This is absolutely ridiculous! Why can't they just write: We offer you superior accommodation, and you have to pay a superior price which ranges from $$$ to $$$$. The secrecy does not make a stay cheaper, it just annoys customers. But you can get a report on the superb gardens!!!
The only rates you find easily are the hot deals. Actually there are three available: Premier Rooms at NZ$199 and Deluxe Room Summer Specials at NZ$150, both until 31 March 2007, and Deluxe B&B at NZ$175 until 31 May 2007. All subject to availability... For other options expect more - or a lot more, depending on your wishes.
At least they do not hide the great qualities of their hotel which is located in 2 hectares of wonderful gardens which even contain a vineyard. If you are used to European dream castles you would rather consider this château as a cheap prefabricated new world wannabe castle. But the rooms, from superior rooms to presidential suites, are of best quality, superbly finished, perfectly designed and appointed with luxurious furniture, all with a warm and cosy atmosphere, not at all coolish modern or so.
The amenities for the guests include a nice garden bar, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a BBQ area, an elegant restaurant and café.
Although not right in the city centre the hotel is still a good location for exploring inner Christchurch. The centre is not too far away for walking, this just takes you 15 to 20 minutes. You just have to cross Hagley Park and/or the Botanic Gardens.
It is perfect that they hire bikes as Hagley Park is just across the street, and you can go on very nice and safe rides in this huge city playground. Another attraction across the other road is the Mona Vale Homestead with its wonderful gardens and the Avon River.
The hotel is located at the north-west corner of Hagley Park.
From the city centre (Arts Centre, Botanic Garden) drive north along Hagley Park (Rolleston Ave), turn left at bridge and drive around the northern end of the park (Harper Ave, direction: airport), do NOT turn right to the airport (Fendalton Rd), automatic turn to the left, chose right lane, turn second to the right (Kilmarnock St).
Or: Coming from the southern end of the city centre on Tuam St, this leads into Riccarton Rd (hospital) which crosses Hagley Park. At the end of the park turn right at roundabout and next left. Hotel right on the corner.
If you come from the south or the West Coast on Riccarton Road drive straight ahead until you reach Hagley Park, turn left at roundabout and next left again (Kilmarnock St). If you come from Blenheim Rd (parallel road to Riccarton Rd) turn left at Hagley Park, drive straight through next roundabout and turn left.
Update 23 Nov 2009/March 2011
In the vicinity is the "Argyle on the Park" which for a start is open and second, it is a budget motel option.
The link: http://www.argyleonthepark.co.nz/
hotel within a park
we stayed for several days at the Chateau, which is located at the very far end of the major park in the city, It takes a good 1/2 hour if not more to walk across the park to the city centre. I strongly do not recommend walking, but instead take the hotel shuttle.
the plus point of this hotel is the free usage of the internet altho there is only one terminal, but you can book to use it, and it is also not very busy.
The hotel rooms faces nice flowering garden, and lots of waterways. There is a house cat, Sebastian who grew very fond of me....tailing me even to my room and I had to call reception to get him out. At the end of my stay I even bought a momento of Sebastian...a stuffed version of him for NZD 20!!! And it sits now on my sofa at home in Kuala Lumpur.
The buffet breakfst is horrible - so darn boring - so please do not take rates with breakfast - it is the same stuff and very limited choice as oppose to the Grand Chancellor Hotel in the city I also stayed at.
The good bit is that most hotels in NZ has a self serviced laundry and I happily used to do my laundry. That is the most amazing bit - i came home without a mountain of dirty clothes!!!
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