The Chateau on the Park is surrounded by 2 acres of peaceful gardens and its own vineyard. It features a restaurant, a bar and a fitness center.
Abisko Lodge is by far one of the best inn/lodge I have ever been in. Once you have entered the Lodge, you are given a warm welcome by the owner. The service has been tremendously helpful, the owner will make restaurant reservations, bookings and/or feed you with helpful information and tips. The Lodge offers different size of room depending of how many people will stay in one room. The rooms include standard household items such as comfortable beds, standard television and standard yet squeaky clean bathroom. The rooms are extremely comfortable with a friendly family home feeling. It feels just at home. The lodge includes a bar, breakfast, lunch and dinner area (not free), sitting down area which is right next to the bar and eating area, the sitting down area includes board games and a fire place (very cosy). The lodge also has a outdoor jacuzzi and sauna, although you have to make booking and pay, but it is a wonderful facility you can use if interested.
It has a unique family home feeling than any other hotel or inn I have ever stayed at. The lodge is extremely comfortable!
Amber Holiday Park is more than a campground. It is a site for caravans, campervans as well as tents. It also has tourist flats and studio appartments with various levels of service. It is part of the Kiwi chain which my mother and I used on or NZ road trip. If you pre-purchase a Kiwi card you are entitled to a discount on your accommodation and selected activities.
We chose self contained tourist flats/cabins with our own bathroom and kitchen facilities (in deference to my mother's age) but there are more basic units available with shared kitchen/bathroom facilities.
Clean spacious flat with comfortable beds and plenty of hot water.
Friendly and helpful hosts. Close to the city and a bus stop.
I have updated my Christchurch accommodation tips regarding availability and access after the 6.3 earthquake that devastated Christchurch and the CBD around the Cathedral in particular.
The Visitor Information Centre has published lists of open and closed accommodation after the quake. A few places I had been looking for are missing in the list but you get a very good overview.
You will see that most motels are still operating as the majority are not located right in the broken heart of the city.
A lot of hotels and hostels have been lost.
Although I always see "Vacancy" signs every time I drive past the motels, in particular in Riccarton Road, it is a good idea to make a reservation, as a lot of motels are used for accommodating recovery, police, and Civil Defence staff. There are also still plenty of tourists staying for a night or two, as Christchurch is the South Island's major and only really international airport.
Links to the city's accommodation lists:
More information on BBH hostels:
Update October 2012
Good news! The first hotel to re-open in the city centre has been the Ibis. It is at the fringe of the still cordoned-off Red Zone - but also just a few steps from the Re:Start container mall, the Bus Exchange (Central Station) and a short walk from the Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park and Canterbury Museum.
Update March 2011
Really bad luck for these two newish hotels. They are both inside the cordoned-off Red Zone of the CBD in the aftermath of the February earthquake and therefore not accessible and available until further notice.
Two new hotels have opened in the very city centre in 2010. The Novotel is next to the Cathedral, and the Marque Hotel is just a stonethrow away in Gloucester Street.
The Novotel has 193 rooms and competitive rates. It is a modern tower building, incorporating the historic Warners Hotel that was first built in 1863.
The Marque Hotel is located in the city centre's tallest building. Some people complain that it overshadows the Cathedral and the views of the TV weather cam - but you will surely enjoy the views towards the Southern Alps and the Port Hills if you happen to stay in one of the rooms at an upper level. It is a modern hotel in a modern high-rise building.
To begin, when we arrived at the resort at 6:45 pm on Tuesday 23 March 2010, there was not a single soul in the entire resort that we could find. Having expected to be greeted by at least one person at the reception area, this came as a major surprise given that we had not received any communication from Rakaia Villas at Terrace Downs (the booking agent www.terracedownsvillas.com) as to which villa we were actually staying in. On arrival at the Terrace Downs clubhouse, we discovered a notice on the door indicating the resort has closed at 6pm (including the restaurant) and apologising for any inconvenience. Needless to say, this was an unexpected inconvenience as we had expected to dine there that evening! Luckily, I checked my mobile phone and we thankfully had one bar of signal. If there had been no signal, our only option would have been to return to Christchurch as we would not have been able to contact the booking agent. We actually had to ring the booking agent three times within half an hour to ascertain exactly where we were to stay.
During the half hour we waited to be informed that our pre-paid booking would be honoured, I phoned the booking service three times and was promised that the information as to our accommodation would be forthcoming by return phone call. Unfortunately, I was never called and eventually on my third phone call, we were finally informed of our villa number. Why this information was not offered to me by email prior to our arrival remains a mystery, particularly as there was no one at the resort to greet us.
Sadly, the problems experienced with the booking were simply the start of a horrid 48 hours at the accommodation. When we arrived, the one electronic key provided under the mat for four people was not actually required as the door was unlocked!! Despite several attempts to lock the door to secure our accommodation, we eventually gave up and before going to sleep, placed a chair at an angle under the door handle as the front door could not be locked. On entering the apartment, we found it to be somewhat cold. At first we tried the gas fire but after several unsuccessful attempts gave up on this as well. We then turned our attention to the reverse cycle air conditioning, only to find that the batteries to the remote control were flat and there were no similar sized batteries in the villa. So cold, tired and extremely frustrated, we drove back to Darfield for dinner (as the Terrace Downs clubhouse had closed at 6:00 pm prior to our arrival without notice) and to buy some batteries for the remote control to the air conditioning. Upon returning to Terrace Downs at approximately 8:30 pm, we brought the air conditioning to life and settled into a very unsatisfactory sleep given the events of the previous hours. The next morning only brought more frustration when we realised that only half a roll of toilet paper was supplied for four people between the two bathrooms. I then called the maintenance person to complain about the door lock, and he informed me that the batteries were most likely to be flat. He was indeed correct, and we used the batteries from our camera and the door lock finally worked. Unfortunately, the maintenance person was not able to assist us with the gas fire, despite the 20 minutes I spent with him on the phone trying to get the fire to work. In the end, it was in my phone conversation with the unit owner later that morning that we were informed the gas to the unit was turned off until after Easter. We had just decided to travel to Methven to purchase more batteries so that our camera and the door lock could work simultaneously, when to our complete surprise a second key arrived, courtesy of the owner's assistant, at approximately 1:00 pm.
At Methven, we purchased enough batteries to get us through the next 24 hours and several rolls of toilet paper. I must say that the toilet paper debacle was close to the final straw and we were very tempted to leave the unit and demand a complete refund.
On Thursday, I joined a number of colleagues for a game of golf. They had sensibly decided to stay in Christchurch rather than to chance it at Terrace Downs. Incredibly, following the game we retired to to clubhouse only to find that the bar had run out of clean glasses and we had to wait almost half an hour for a beer while the glasses were being washed as there was no one to staff the bar while the glasses were being washed!
On return to Australia, I negotiated a refund of the first night's stay with the owner of the unit. However, when the refund had not been paid within a few weeks of returning, I wrote to the owner seeking to clarify a date as to when it would be paid, only to be informed that he had changed his mind and withdrawn the offer. The complaint has now been referred to the NZ Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the NZ Tourism Board.
Overall, our experience at Terrace Downs was very unsatisfactory, and given the premium cost, our booking there is something that I deeply regret. The management of the resort is dysfunctional, the staff indifferent and the ownership structure of the unit we stayed in was disassociated with the resort proper so we could not enjoy any of the amenities at the resort without paying full fees (we only learnt this when we arrived). I could not in good conscience ever recommend that someone stay at this establishment and I will never be back. This was, quite simply, the worst accommodation that I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing.
The view. But this can be enjoyed for free on the road to Methven.
Amber Park is within easy driving distance of Christchurch International Airport. Booking via the internet and email was easy. Management accommodated our late arrival by placing our keys in an envelope and taping it to our cabin door.
The ensuite cabin is equipped with a double bunk plus single bed; toilet, shower and basin; cupboard space for clothing and crockery; a small wall-mounted television (which tuned to a number of channels); bar fridge; kettle (with powder coffee and tea); alarm clock; and small table with two chairs.
The beds have pillows, sheets and a duvet cover.
For cooking there is a communal kitchen with stove/oven, two microwaves, toasters, fridge, boiling water and washing basins. The TV room/lounge has computers for paid internet connectivity. You can also use them to burn photographs onto CD.
The Park also has a dump station, car wash, BBQ, playground, laundry and public telephone.
Amber Park is located on Blenheim Road in Riccarton. Very close to public transport (bus) into the city. Easy and quick travel by car to the city or to get onto SH 73, 1 or 75.
Update March 2011
Despite having walked past The Worcester two days ago I did not check out if it is closed or not after the February earthquake. It is neither on the closed or open accommodation list the city's tourist information centre has published. I will check out as soon as possible. In the meantime, please check with the owners who have not posted any update on their website.
I think Worcester Boulevard is a fantastic location, opposite the Arts Centre, just some steps from the Botanic Garden and three or four minutes from Cathedral Square, a quiet street although it is in the very city centre.
So I list this luxury B&B although I cannot afford it, just to give you an impression what is available, from hostel accommodation to five stars – and overpriced although very nice.
The heritage-listed Worcester is a two-storey Victorian style house full of antiques, and accordingly furnished.
Two super-king suites are available and come at a price.
Rates until 31 August 2008: $ 425 per room, extra person $ 175.
From 1 September 2008: $ 450 (185).
Rates include pre-dinner drinks and breakfast.
15 Worcester Boulevard
Phone (03) 365 0936
Freephone (0800) 365 015
I have only stayed at some few places in Christchurch as I moved in rather fast with my husband ;-) But as so many people want accommodation tips I have looked around quite thoroughly, so I can give you hints about location, rates, reputation, and how easily you reach it from the city centre. In some cases I have also talked to people who have stayed at the places I have listed. The only thing I cannot really check is the service and the friendliness of the hosts/staff.
Update March 2011
None of these apartments are available after the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch on 22 February. The Chamber Towers were even very badly damaged, a very sad look of such a beautiful heritage building.
Cashel Apartments in 87 Cashel Street range from $ 249 to 307.
More info on http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/accommodation/christchurch/cashel-apartments-christchurch.aspx
The Chamber Towers apartments, located in the spectacular corner building at the intersection of Lichfield, High and Manchester Streets are in the same price range, starting at $ 230.
More info on http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/accommodation/christchurch/chamber-towers-apartments-christchurch.aspx
Rates at Poplars Apartments, located on the Avon River at the Corner of Madras & Chester Streets, start at $ 219. However, it is NOT a five minute walk to Cathedral Square, as stated on their website, rather a fifteen minute walk, as the address is north of Bealey Avenue. The five minutes apply to jogging and taking the car - looking for a carpark not included ;-)
More info on http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/accommodation/christchurch/poplars-apartments-christchurch-the-.aspx
Update March 2011
The Oaks Apartments on Cashel Street will be out of action for a very long time after the 22 February earthquake. They are located next to the leaning Grand Chancellor Hotel that has to be demolished. As long as this has not been done, there is no way to access the apartments even if they got a green sticker (meaning: inspected and safe). This area is cordoned off, the area around this part of the CBD has a curfew, and once when the sites are cleared from the rubble, the area will be a noisy building site. So really no place to go back to for a long time.
You might want to check out City Apartments, as they manage apartment buildings all over the city, some at better and some at worse locations. I would not stay there, as there is no life in the city.
A good and sometimes more economic alternative to staying in an inner-city hotel is to book an apartment. Oaks Apartments is such a place. They are located in 187 Cashel Street, next to the SO Hotel. Studio accommodation comes to NZ$ 138, and a two-bedroom apartment (for 4 people) to $ 198.
My husband's enterprise always books those apartments for visiting business partners, and up to now there have been no complaints.
More info on http://www.nz.com/new-zealand/accommodation/christchurch/oaks-smartstay-apartments-on-cashel-christchurch.aspx
City Apartments are located in Armagh Street, between Colombo and Durham Street North. This is just some steps from beautiful Victoria Square, and about a five minute walk from Cathedral Square. They require a minimum stay of two nights.
Rates (as April 2008):
Two night minimum stay rate from NZ$145 per night
Seven night rate from NZ$120 per night
Two Bedroom Apartments:
Two night minimum stay rate from NZ$205 per night
Seven night rate from NZ$185 per night
Long stay rates can be negotiated.
More info on http://www.city-apartments.co.nz/
Update Feb. 2011
Due to insolvency of the creator and owner, the SO Hotel has been sold and become the All Seasons Cashel Street. (There is another and completely different All Seasons Papanui Road, so take care when booking.)
Update March 2011
Since the 22 February earthquake this hotel is unaccessible. It is in the cordoned-off Red Zone of the CBD, and additionally it is next to the leaning high-rise building of the Hotel Grand Chancellor which has to be demolished. Before this is not done, the All Seasons Cashel Street is off limits.
The All Seasons Papanui Road is not open either.
If you do not care about the size of your room this is surely a great place to stay. This hotel claims to deliver five star service at budget rates, and the location is fantastic – in Cashel Street, just some steps from Cathedral Square. The slogan is: Great rooms at great rates. They save on room size, so you save money.
Depending on the room type you choose you can get a room from NZ$ 79.
Although being small (they call them compact), the rooms have smart features like free wireless broadband, flat screen entertainment system, and controllable mood lighting. The walls are triple insulated, so the rooms are surprisingly quiet although you are right in the busy city centre.
Checking out some hotels for visiting friends and colleagues a while ago, I had a look at a room of the hotel (when it was still the SO Hotel), and was blown away. The quality of the accommodation is fabulous. I had a closer look at a family unit. The main room is absolutely funky and a lot more spacious than I would have imagined, and there is good storage space. I really liked it at first sight. The small second room has two bunk beds (so four beds) but to be honest, that is it in this room. The bathroom is accessible from the main room, small, modern and functional. I would happily stay there.
BTW They told me that thanks to their low rates they have quite some local guests who stay for the night when they go out and do not want to drive, instead of investing the money in a taxi ride home. As rates have been "adjusted" in the meantime, I am not so sure if a lot of people are still doing this. A taxi back home would still be a cheaper option.
Rates (as February 2011):
Single NZ$ 79
Twin/Double NZ$ 109
Premium double NZ$ 119
Family room (1 double bed, 2 bunk beds) NZ$ 149
This is a B&B I would happily recommend to anyone. Although four people can be acommodated in the self-contained private guest suite with its double bedroom and seperate sitting room with a sofa bed, only one booking at time is taken so that a foursome would always be just friends or family. It is a Bed and Breakfast however, with tea and coffee making equipment and a small fridge but no cooking facilities, though when we wanted a quiet night in with fish and chips from the local takeaway, plates and cutlery were cheerfully provided. Breakfast is served upstairs either on the deck or in the dining room - either way the view is spectacular and the continental breakfast substantial, a great way to begin a day of sightseeing - and coming back in the evening to real home comforts was just as good.
The owners, Bernie and Denise, were excellent hosts - welcoming and friendly, with extensive local knowledge that they are happy to share.
Denise and Bernie have spared no efforts to create an ideal environment for their guests - with a warm welcome and quiet, calm and immaculate accommodation. They obviously love their home and its environs and spending a few days with them was the perfect end to our most recent New Zealand holiday.
Set high on the hill near Sumner, with absolutely stunning views looking north all the way up Pegusus Bay to the Kaikoura Mountains and east over Christchurch to the Southern Alps, staying here you'll be close to the city and also well placed to explore the beautiful Port Hills and Lyttleton Harbour.
I spent a week here at the end of my New Zealand trip. It has an indoor pool, nice kitchen area, a lounge with cable television, and is located a walkable distance from downtown Christchurch. I put up my little tent in a small grassy area for $9US a night in December 2003. It is more of a caravan park than a campground with a lot of vehicles and people crowded into limited space, but it was still comfortable. It is very family oriented, often the mothers are very territorial in the kitchen area (attack of the elbows) and the pool area is overcrowded with small children.
Update March 2011
Nearly all motels in Papanui Road in the suburb of Merivale have survived the big earthquakes that hit Christchurch on 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 exceptionally well. Most of them are operating. On my latest walk on this road I have only noticed the All Seasons Papanui Road hotel not operating.
Although located on a main road (Papanui Road), north of the city centre, the motels and hotels of Merivale are rather peaceful. And above all: Most of them are absolutely beautiful, some even stunning. They all have beautiful gardens with spectacular roses, be it old picturesque mansions or more modern motel complexes. Just have a look at my photos, and you know what I mean.
The big advantage of Papanui Road is that it has only two lanes, so there is no real chance for car hoons to cause havoc like on four- to six-lane Bealey Avenue where Papanui Road starts.
As those motels and hotels are just between 1 and 1.5 km to the city centre you can either stroll back to your accommodation after dinner, or just take one of the buses servicing Papanui Road (## 11, 12 and 13 from the Bus Exchange). Merivale also offers great shopping and dining possibilities, so you would not have to go far to be happy. A bit further north is Northlands Mall.
Just some names:
Merivale Manor (rates from $ 138)
Click here or here
The Charlotte Jane (5 star luxury boutique hotel, rates NZ$ 350 to 700…)
Camelot Motor Lodge (rates from $ 125)
Diplomat Motel (rates from $ 110)
Randolph Motel Apartments (rates from $ 140)
Click here or here
Casino Court Motor Lodge (rates from $ 100)
Colonial Inn (rates from $ 110)
Photo 2 shows the Charlotte Jane.
Photo 3: The Camelot.
Photo 4: Cotswolds Heartland Motel.
Photo 5: ... another one LOL
Update March 2011
Despite their location between Cathedral Square and Bealey Avenue, most of these motels and B&B's are fully operational after the 22 February earthquake, for example:
Check out details on the motels| websites as conditions of access might change. In this area south of Bealey Ave there has been a curfew in place from 6pm to 6am in order to avoid looting. Even a more quiet night guaranteed... ;-)
Just the other day when I walked down from Bealey Avenue to Cathedral Square I thought what good location for accommodation the northern part of Colombo Street is. There is little traffic, so it is really quiet. Perhaps one or another drunken sailor walks down there at night, but I cannot imagine it any bad - whereas nearby Bealey Avenue is infamous for car hoons who keep the neighbourhood awake, and also during the day it is rather noisy due to a lot of traffic.
On this stretch of Colombo Street between Bealey Avenue and Peterborough Street you find quite a lot of motels which do not look bad from the outside.
You must look for house numbers between 800 and 900. From there you will not walk longer than 10 minutes to Cathedral Square (if you do not stop for the attractions and souvenir shops on the way ;-), so you would not need to worry about your car. Just leave it at the motel and walk to the city centre.
Update 23 November 2009
A very beautiful B&B named Wharetiki House (854 Colombo Street, phone 379 7392), a delightful colonial two-storey house with turrets, bay windows and verandahs I had recommended earlier is out of business. There were even reports that this gem was risking to be demolished. (Update 26 July 2010: Wharetiki House is now on the market for sale.)
Update 26 November 2011
Even worse. Wharetiki House was so badly damaged in the earthquakes that it has been demolished lately. The only thing left intact was the turret, leaning against the fence...
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