The Charlotte Jane, Christchurch
A luxurious house in the heart of the city, The Charlotte Jane is billed as a boutique accommodation with fine dining, but it is much more than that. This converted 1890s Victorian mansion—lovingly restored by Siegfied and Moira Lindlbauer at a cost of more than $5 million NZ— is the place to stay in Christchurch. The former girl's school now offers 12 spacious guest suites, most with whirlpool rubs and fireplaces; a sitting room with computer and internet access; and an elegant, conservatory-style restaurant with a surprisingly good wine cellar. The ten-minute walk to the heart of Christchurch was a minor inconvenience, which we happily exchanged for the experience of staying in one of the world's finest small hotels. Rates start at $275 NZ and include a full gourmet breakfast.*
The George, Christchurch
This hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, can be described in one word: overrated. While the staff was friendly and accommodating, we found our rooms equivalent to a bad airport Holiday Inn desperately in need of renovation. Furniture was cheap, mattresses were saggy, and the hangers were those dreadful things you can't take out of the closet. The location—next to Hagley Park and the Avon River, and a short walk from The Art Centre—was a plus, but our recommendation would be to book a table at Pescatore, the hotel's marvelous seafood restaurant, then get the heck out. Rates start at $345 NZ.*
*At press time, 1USD = 1.53NZD.
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