Sunday, April 18, 2010

Is this where I sleep?

Throughout our trip around New Zealand the Mr. and I stayed in a lot of places. I started to count them for this blog but gave up counting to go with “a lot”. Most of the time we stayed in a double room at a backpackers with shared bathrooms, kitchens, and communal rooms. With one exception from “a lot” they were all well taken care of, clean, and comfortable: our two favorites were the Mousetrap on the Bay of Islands and the Old Countryhouse in Christchurch.

Mousetrap was instantly comfortable with views of the Bay of Islands; comfy and warm common rooms; and cuddly beds. The owners – Nikki and Jake – were consistently ready with tips, answers, and pleasant conversation. While we originally planned on staying at the mousetrap for two nights, we ended up staying for five. The amazing area of Bay of Islands helped influence us to stretch our stay, but the Mousetrap was a very happy supporting factor.

Dominik on the porch of the Mousetrap, enjoying himself immensely.

Old Countryhouse was where we spent our first very night in New Zealand. It was extremely clean, had a great kitchen, and just reeked of ‘relax, go slow, enjoy your stay’. It was so nice that when we found out that we were going through Christchurch again we instantly called up Old Countryhouse to book another room.

We did spend most nights in backpackers but since the Euro is so strong against the New Zealand dollar, we treated ourselves a few nights. In Wellington we splurged big time (paying the normal rate for a European place) and stayed at a Halswell Lodge. The building was built in 1920s as a private house and recently renovated with absolute love into a hotel with – wait for it – spas in the rooms.

The spa we enjoyed numerous times.

Then in Waitomo Caves we read about a wacky hotel, called Woodlyn Park, with a plane, train, boat, and hobbit motel available. One read, one call and we were installed in the ‘honeymoon’ suit of the boat. The boat, now called the “Waitanic” was originally a WWII Patrol Boat named the Motunui. The renovation was successful and we had an interesting and comfortable two nights here.

The boat we stayed in; we stayed at the very end of the boat.

Ze Plane!

Frodo lives here. Really.

The best housing we had by far though was in Wanaka, where we finally cashed in our wedding from the the Mrs. Parents to stay at the Pines Resort. We had a 2 bedroom row house with a kitchen, laundry room, two bathrooms, living room with cable TV, free BBQ, and a stretching terrace. And did I mention that amazing view of an ancient tree that towered above the resort with magical views of Lake Wanaka and the mountain range behind it? The resort was stocked with a life-sized chess board, 2 spas, 1 pool, bikes and helmets for free, daily newspaper, and friendly, helpful staff.

The towering tree right in the middle of the resort. It was so big we couldn't get the whole tree.

The view of the mountains from our bedroom window.

Thanks ‘rents!

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1 comment:

MrsJ said...

Wow!!! I've never read this post before. How??? It is amazing!!! Your pictures are wonderful and the time must have been awing.

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