Heritage Hotel Christchurch features an impressive Ōamaru stone facade and opulent interiors. Photo / Supplied
Elisabeth Easther stays at the Heritage Hotel, Christchurch
Site: Right in the center of Christchurch, right next to Cathedral Square.
Style: Designed by Joseph Clark Maddison in the opulent Italian palace style of the High Renaissance, the hotel opened in 1913 and is listed as a Category 1 Historic Place.
Price: Book directly to benefit from the best rate in effect. Advance purchase rate from $ 216 per night.
Perfect for: Romance, city weekends, family vacations, and with the suites fully equipped with spacious kitchens, washing machines and dryers, you can even move in full time.
First impressions: An impressive Ōamaru stone facade and sumptuous interiors. The heavily carpeted corridors offer a marvelous silence. For the stairs alone, it’s worth the visit and be sure to grab your finest evening wear so you can walk downstairs floor by floor, Audrey Hepburn style.
Relieve the spirits: The only building in the city center to survive the 2013 earthquakes intact, it was also the first operational heritage building after the devastation, which residents saw as a beacon of hope.
Price: This iconic hotel won the Historic Hotel category at the 2016 and 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards in the Australasia and Oceania region.
Rooms: Let’s call a suite a suite, and suite 108 on the first floor was so divine, I had to FaceTime my partner, who was arriving later, so he could experience the wow factor with me. The windows facing the cathedral were at least 12 feet high and everything was super plush, from the size to the fully equipped kitchen, to the separate dining room and TV lounge.
Bedroom: Upstairs in its own little eagle’s nest on the mezzanine, really comfy bed, excellent linens, good amount of pillows, and for icing the cake, little squares of Whittaker chocolate on the pillows, while the regular tinkle passing trams gave the impression of living together at Auckland Motat.
Refreshments: A huge range of teas and a best class instant coffee sachets in sachets and a fully stocked minibar.
Bathroom: Upstairs near the bedroom, generous bathroom with shower, ideal for a good old lady to wallow. Soft towels and bathrobes. Manuka Spa toiletries, conditioning shampoo, moisturizer and a soothing bath bag.
Food and drink: The kitchen is so well equipped that you can cook any type of meal, including a full roast, which is my benchmark for a good hotel. Although the surrounding area is full of restaurants. On the ground floor, the OGB (Old Government Building) is an underground bar-style restaurant and bar that is open until late. OGB has won the award for Best Bar in Christchurch five years in a row, and there is a very lively atmosphere there, with the staff dressed as extras from Tom Brown’s School Days.
Installations: Free Wi-Fi, a spa and a pool for swimming in the hallways, and the gym is ripped apart, like a regular hotel gym was on steroids. Valet parking is also available if you’re happy to pay for it.
In the neighborhood: Right in the city center, you could be crazy shopping if you are that way. Or go for a rowboat on the Avon River; visit the botanical gardens or the museum; play at the Margaret Mahy Playground or visit the Christchurch Art Gallery.
Friendly and family: One, two and three bedroom configurations are available if you are traveling with the tamariki.
Accessibility: Most of the rooms are not suitable for wheelchair users as they are on two levels, with rooms upstairs. There is a three-bedroom suite with one bedroom and one bathroom on the lower level, but none have specific accessible features. As a Category 1 heritage building, structural modifications are prohibited, which unfortunately means that modifications cannot be made.
Durability: Customers are encouraged to separate waste, with facilities provided, and you will also find a ‘goodie bag’, so if you use the toiletries you can take what you started with you and then recycle the containers an once completed.
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