With jewel-toned furnishings, the bar and lounges are the perfect place to unwind. Photo / Alexia Santamaria
Alexia Santamaria checks in at Eliza’s Mansion, Christchurch
Location: On Bealey Ave, just a 10 minute walk to Hagley Park and the River Avon.
Style: A mansion with all the glamor of a bygone era (the building has been around since 1861) but enough modern and quirky touches to make it fun and approachable.
Perfect for: People looking for luxury boutique accommodation that is a destination in itself. It’s more than just a bed for the night.
Rooms: The bedrooms are delightfully spacious — all slightly different but sharing elements like heavy curtains, antique bedside tables, Victorian floral wallpaper, and furnishings like Queen Anne-legged lounge chairs. Also keep an eye out for funnier elements like brass hooks shaped like animal heads and quirky artwork. Of course, there are also all modern comforts – mini bar, refrigerator, flat screen TV, heat pump, electric blanket, hair dryer, Nespresso machine.
Bathroom: Large and modern (no one really wants the practical impossibilities of an 1800s bathroom) Four bedrooms have lovely deep soaking tubs you may never want to leave, and all showers are extremely spacious with large marble tiles. European porcelain. The water pressure is excellent.
Food and drink: If you’ve ever been to Miro, an incredibly popular brunch spot in Christchurch, you’ll recognize the breakfast menu (they’re the same smart owners) and then there’s the rather opulent dining room which serves a la carte and tasting menus and high teas – these sold out every week. There are also great cocktails and a fabulous bar menu and a pasture board if you prefer to hang out in the bar or the courtyard – really beautiful. But if you just fancy a homemade pastry and a coffee, Eliza is also everywhere.
Facilities: The idea here is to escape and relax in a place very different from home, a true oasis. And that if you didn’t want to leave at any time during your stay, you wouldn’t have to. There are 14 parking spaces – with an EV charger if you need it – you’ll get a welcome glass of bubbles on arrival, a nice turndown service (there’s also a pillow menu) and there’s there is even a cedar sauna. A full a la carte breakfast is included — even the bacon is homemade — and everything is available for room service, including tasting menus. And all of this within a 10 minute walk of town, if you can tear yourself away from it.
Friendly and family: Although the rooms are designed for two, extra beds are available for an additional charge
Accessibility: Unfortunately, heritage restrictions mean that no lifts can be fitted and rooms are therefore not accessible. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible.
Sustainability: Eliza takes sustainability seriously, and it shows in everything she does. Sugarcane straws, beehives for their own honeycombs, offsetting emissions from suppliers, composting, vermimania, almost total elimination of single-use plastics, reduction of energy consumption, smart lighting and rainwater for the garden are just some of the many initiatives. It’s no surprise that they have achieved climate positive certification from the carbon forestry company Ekos.
See elizas.co.nz for details
For more travel inspiration, visit newzealand.com/nz.
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