Hanmer Springs Hotel. Photo / Ben Reed
Francoise Cook finds a rare blend of comfort and history at the Hanmer Springs hotel
Site: In the heart of Hanmer Springs Village, with easy access to shopping, dining and spa.
Style: A Spanish-style building dating from 1932 forms the main hotel, surrounded by beautifully sculpted gardens. Formerly the Hôtel du Patrimoine, it was reopened in December thanks to the new owners of the CPG group.
Perfect for: A romantic weekend in central Hanmer, with an indulgent on-site restaurant and easy access to the spa and famous thermal pools.
Price: Get a classic room for $ 180, breakfast included. If you want to have fun on a chic romantic weekend, upgrade to the Food Lovers package, where you can stay in a suite, enjoy a three-course dinner for two with a bottle of wine, breakfast, and a late checkout for $ 480.
First impressions: The hotel is immediately reminiscent of the golden age of travel, when grand and imposing was the order of the day. The hotel started as an 18-room wooden lodge in 1897, but the current Spanish-style building was constructed in 1932, with additional separate units added over the years.
This history has been preserved through updates and renovations, rather than construction, and the hotel proudly displays old photos and newspaper clippings to continue to keep this history alive. Well-tended gardens add to Alpine luxury, with towering misty hills in the background.
Rooms: We stayed in a suite, a stylish, well appointed bedroom with plenty of space and its own living room connected to the bedroom. The view of the gardens from the balcony is a good start and end to the day. Despite a lively conference held downstairs, we were not disturbed by noise.
Bathroom: The rooms are equipped with a simple and neat private bathroom, with toiletries provided.
Food and drink: The hotel restaurant is the star of the show here, transformed into a destination in its own right.
The Italian chef, together with his chef son, loves to prepare anything from mussels in a tomato, feta and ouzo sauce to a braised shoulder of merino lamb, slowly cooked for 11 hours until ready. melts in the mouth. The chef was often seen checking in with diners that they were enjoying their meal.
This face-to-face meeting with the chef not only allows you to enjoy the flavors of the meal, but also the inspirations behind it. A blend of Mediterranean flavors and local ingredients means recognizable meals, but at the first bite, revealed to be a new experience.
Installations: Ample parking on site, ensuring we had no problem finding a park despite the busy conference that was held that evening. The wifi was reliable.
In the neighborhood: The hotel provides easy access to the rest of the Alpine village of Hanmer Springs. Head down the road to indulge in the famous thermal pools that gave the city its name. Or go next to the Spa for a massage, facial or body treatment.
When your fingers are too slender for more, take a stroll down the street to enjoy the local shops or restaurants. If you feel the urge to stretch your legs even more, there are plenty of hikes and walks to help whet your appetite for dinner.
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newfinder.co.nz and newzealand.com