Christchurch’s best boutique hotels demonstrate that, amid all earthquake destruction, there is plenty of beauty and elegance to be cherished. With a handful of newly refurbished historic houses and beautifully kept contemporary buildings, anyone can get a taste of luxury while passing though this iconic New Zealand city. Here are some of the finest accommodation offerings you can check into.
You’ll recognize this Italian-style villa as soon as you see it. A lovely pink exterior welcomes guests into the five-star hotel which, since redevelopment, has earned its place on TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame for winning the Excellence Award for six years in a row. The Classic Villa is tucked away on a private pedestrian boulevard, just a few minutes walking distance from the Art Gallery, Botanical Gardens and the main shopping precinct. There are 15 rooms to choose from, each named after a key historical figure, like Earnest Rutherford, known for splitting the atom, and Kate Sheppard, who pioneered the campaign that made New Zealand the first country to give women the right to vote. A common area with lounge and dining facilities keeps guests comfortable and replenished, and complimentary continental breakfasts are very much a part of the Classic Villa experience.
Over the years, The George has become a darling in the ranks of Travel and Leisure Magazine’s World Best Awards — it has won the top accolade from 2006 to 2010, and again from 2012 to 2016. Along with a remarkable collection of 53 luxurious rooms, this incredible retreat boasts two separate restaurants, both of which are renowned for their minimalist take on all things fine dining. If you need a bit of a pick-me-up, there’s also an on-site gym, a private garden and library to enjoy in your downtime. The lush interior, with upscale furnishings and amenities abound, flows into a courtyard with a cozy fireplace that will keep all guests snug on the chilliest nights.
Originally built in 1861, Eliza’s Manor is a historic institution in its own right — in fact, it has been around since the city’s foundation. In its lifetime, the Manor has been a private residence, a hospital and two different luxury lodges (both carrying the name Eliza’s Manor, through the most recent incarnation received a temporary name change early on). The lush accommodation is named after Eliza Doolittle from the film My Fair Lady, and combines its rich history with the finest B&B amenities. The hotel comprises eight elegant suites, a function room, an antique-inspired guest lounge that regularly hosts high tea sessions, and a bar with a spacious courtyard right on its doorstep.
For something more contemporary and centrally-based, you can’t go wrong with the stylish Hotel 115. Designed to look and feel like the chic hotels you’ll find in some of Europe’s top destinations, this hotel makes full use of the heritage building in which it resides. The city tram runs through the hotel itself — something you’ll likely to never see elsewhere. Eight spacious suites aptly contrast modern interior design conventions with the dramatic architecture enveloping it. The hotel is also very close to the Christchurch’s finest artistic attractions and the iconic Cathedral Square.
Hotel Montreal is a new addition to the Christchurch boutique hotel scene. Set right at the edge of Hagley Park, this sophisticated accommodation is a melting pot of exquisiteness: the rooms are European by the design, while the restaurant’s contemporary cuisine has a hint of Argentinian flavour. All 26 suites come with their own private balcony. The three-bedroom Penthouse is the finest of the lot, and includes a self-contained kitchen, separate living room, and a spacious dining area that is perfect for private functions and dinners.