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La Frontiere, Luxury Accommodation in Gisborne, New Zealand

La Frontiere, Luxury Accommodation in Gisborne, New Zealand

Staying at La Frontiere Gisborne

If you intend visiting Gisborne when in New Zealand then I highly recommend La Frontiere Gisborne, a luxurious modern self-contained studio, set on an avocado orchard and farmland, and is about 5 mins drive to Gisborne city centre. This was one accommodation which we were very lucky to get at the last minute.

The accommodation was booked and secured via the AirBnB mobile app, our last resort as all hotels and motels in the area were booked up on the day of our visit, due to a Maori event. I’m not one for overstating the mark, but La Frontiere was indeed luxury accommodation…. read on!

Jennifer was the most wonderful host. On arrival at La Frontiere we got a tour of the villa which was decorated superbly and had wonderful colours and quality furnishings make this villa compete with 5 star hotels when it comes to comfort and making you feel at home.

The villa has an excellently fitted and provisioned kitchen which ideal for whipping up some dinner of your own. The bathroom is very nice with a power-shower. The villa also comes with a private spa hot tub and swimming pool. There is fast and free Wifi, radio and a wonderful smart TV also available.La Frontiere, Gisborne, New Zealand - Luxury Accommodation

The bed is very comfortable and it’s very easy to oversleep and miss your check-out time. La Frontiere is like a home away from home. I felt it was better than any hotel as you were in a private and relaxed environment.

La Frontiere, Gisborne, New Zealand - Luxury Accommodation Pool

Features of La Frontiere Gisborne

The Space

“Indulge in a truly relaxing stay at this luxurious sunny self-contained Villa. Set in picturesque gardens on the boundary of the city (4 mins drive to the city centre and beaches).
Enjoy your very own private spa during the cooler months and in the warmer months enjoy the pool next to your Villa.
If you are looking for a restful holiday this is the place to be, set on an Avocado orchard.”

Linen provided
No disabled access
Children not allowed
No smoking / No pets
Air Conditioning
BBQ
Cleaning supplies
Clothes line

Dryer
DVD
Electric blankets
Ensuite Bathroom
Extra Bedding
Food processor
Fridge/Freezer
iPod Docking station

Iron
Microwave
Off Street Parking
Outdoor furniture
Oven
Phone
Shower
Swimming Pool

Tea, coffee, sugar etc
Tennis court
Toaster
TV
Washing Machine
Wifi
Studio Kitchen

Things to do in and around Gisborne

La Frontiere Gisborne is only 5 minutes from the centre of Gisborne. The town of Gisbourne is also known as ‘Gizzy’ to some locals.  Gisborne is pronounced Gis-born not Gis-bun. The town itself is a very nice place to visit and lies on the east coast of the north island, north of Napier and 480km south east of Auckland (around a 6 hour drive). Gisbourne claims to be the first city on earth to see the sun each morning. It has a very relaxed vibe and is ideal if you are looking for somewhere to enjoy some beach time.

Gisborne is well known for wineries and amazing beaches such as Makorori. I’m not much of a beach person but museums and historical/cultural attractions would be more my style. The Tairawhiti Museum has exhibits on indigenous and colonial history, with Wyllie Cottage, an early European house, and Maori artefacts.

While we were staying at La Frontiere in Gisborne we had many drives around the area. It is very picturesque and you could easily spend a few hours each day finding nice spots to walk.

Some of the things we did in Gisborne included;

Titirangi Reserve

This is a park in Gisborne and you can find it on your SatNav at “Titirangi Dr”. It is located just off Queens Drive.

It is a high on a hill overlooking Gisborne. It gives fantastic views of the area. Titirangi was once a pā or a Maori fortified village. You can also reach Titirangi Reserve on the track from the Cook Monument. As you approach the lookout at the top, there is yet another Cook edifice, at Cook’s Plaza. Adjacent is a pohutukawa tree, with its crimson flower has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition – this one was planted by Princess Diana in 1983. The statue at Cooks Plaza apparently bears no resemblance to Captain Cook. But the views here and on Queen’s Drive are spectacular.

Visiting the historic Gisborne Town Centre

Gisborne is a very vibrant town. It has unique buildings and there is a sense in certain areas of stepping back in time a little. I found it was a very authentic taste of the New Zealand lifestyle. The architecture in certain areas is spectacular and one of the highlights is Gisborne Clock Tower. The Art Deco style Gisborne Clock Tower was erected in 1934 and was built after the severe earthquakes that hit the region in the early 1930s. At night, the clock tower is illuminated.

We had a wonderful time in Gisborne and staying at La Frontiere and would certainly return. It was great to also make the acquaintance of the dogs and cats on site – it is such a relaxing place to stay. Thanks again to Jennifer for her wonderful hospitality. We look forward to returning if we are lucky enough to get back to New Zealand again.

Overall Review : 10/10 all round

La Frontiere Gisborne – Location & Information:

La Frontiere Gisborne, 1 Main Road , Makaraka, Gisborne, New Zealand
+64 6 8684931. +64 274412876

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LaFrontiereBoutiqueAccommodation

Information on Gisborne : http://www.gisbornenz.com/

La Frontiere Gisborne, 1 Main Road , Makaraka, Gisborne, New Zealand

La Frontiere Gisborne, 1 Main Road , Makaraka, Gisborne, New Zealand

Hotel on Davenport, Hotel Review – Tauranga, New Zealand

Hotel on Davenport, Hotel Review – Tauranga, New Zealand

Hotel on Davenport was booked as our 2nd last stop in New Zealand. The area around Tauranga is wonderful and we should have spent a bit more time here and also around Mount Maunganui which is very scenic.

We arrived at the Hotel around 4pm on a Saturday. The check-in was quick and friendly and we got a free WiFi code. We were given a room in Harbour-view wing with great views.

The hotel compendium states that Hotel on Davenport is a boutique hotel with a big heart and that is true – we were only in the room 10 minutes when we got a welcome drink and some snacks which was very nice.

Hotel on Davenport - Hotel Review - Rooms

The hotel room was very comfortable with really plush carpet and great bathroom which included bath and shower as separate installations – Always nice to see this. The bed was very comfortable and overall this was a very pleasant stay and had we more time we would certainly have extended our stay in this wonderful part of New Zealand.

I would certainly recommend Hotel on Davenport and next time we are in this part of the world we will be back.

Hotel on Davenport - Hotel Review - products

Products in Bathroom : Hotel on Davenport – Hotel Review

Hotel on Davenport - Hotel Review - Bathroom

Overall Rating : 9/10

Address: 72 Devonport Rd, Tauranga, 3110, New Zealand
Phone:+64 7-578 2668

Hotel on Davenport, Tauranga, NZ

Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

My Top 5 things to do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand has had it’s share of troubles in the past few years and I visited here in 2011 and 2014. In 2011 we were not able to access the city due to the damage. In 2014 we were able to access the city centre and we found that the residents of Christchurch were Most welcoming. Although certain parts of the city were restricted during our visit, we still had a busy three days here. You should find a lot more than 5 things to do in Christchurch and we would have loved to extend our three days visit.

Even after these huge events there are still plenty of things to do in Christchurch, and these are my Top 5 Things to do in Christchurch, in no particular preference…

Take a Tram Ride

The ticket shop for the Christchurch tram was located only a few minutes around the corner from where we stayed, at the Novotel Christchurch. The Tram actually drives through the shopping mall where the tickets are sold, which is an ingenious feat of engineering when you see it.  Much of the tram infrastructure was damaged in the earthquakes but this line from New Regents Street to the Botanical Gardens.

Christchurch Tram

There is excellent commentary on board and you certainly learn a lot about Christchurch and it’s history.  The ticket is hop on, hop off and is great value for the day – this should certainly be one of your 5 things to do in Christchurch.

 

 

See the Botanical Gardens

At the end of the Tram trip we arrived at the botanical gardens. The gardens are located on the River Avon and welcome over 1 million visitors per year. There are many walking trails and you could easily spend a few hours here. One of the highlights is the Native New Zealand gardens with stunning ferns and native plants. Also, don’t forget to take a trip to the Visitors Centre which was opened in April 2014 and encompasses a cafe with delicious food and botanically themed gift shop which has lots of very nice gifts to bring home. The visitors centre is also a hub for the operational side of the Gardens, with a working nursery, potting shed, herbarium and reference library. If you enjoy plants, nature or just seeing something different then the Christchurch Botanical Gardens should be one of your 5 things to do in Christchurch.

Go Punting on the Avon

Of all the items on my ‘5 things to do in Christchurch’ list, this was one of the most relaxing. We noticed a few signs along the river for Punting. Now, I never punted in my life, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out to be a relaxing and a memorable experience. On a chilly July afternoon (it’s New Zealand’s winter), the temperature was about 8C. We arrived at the offices for ‘Punting on the Avon’ and we were welcomed by a gent in 1920s style clothing. Having paid a small fee, which I felt was great value, we were welcomed on-board and we were supplied with a nice warm blanket and 2 hot water bottles, which was a really nice touch.

Punting on the Avon, Christchurch, New Zealand

The punting trip was about an hour from the time we arrived and we got to see the River Avon at a very relaxed pace, while listening to some local history along the way. This was one of the highlights of the trip to Christchurch, as well as being the most relaxing.

Visit the ReStart Mall

One of the terrible outcomes of the earthquakes were that many of the buildings in Christchurch were damaged or demolished. These included shopping malls which were unsafe or unusable. Therefore retail outlets used an ingenious method for getting back info business. Using huge steel shipping containers, shops and outlets have been able to re-open with great effect.

Restart Mall, Christchurch, New Zealand

Not only is the ReStart mall a colourful and enjoyable place to shop but the stores which are there give great value. We did some of the best shopping in the ReStart mall. You can find great value in shoes, clothes, and souvenirs. The shops here are also different ; not the usual stock you see elsehwere. Also, check out the Hummingbird Café for great coffee and food. The breakfast is very good!

Eat at Cafe Valentino

After the walking, shopping, exploring and punting you will be hungry. If you are looking for good food in Christchurch, you have to eat at Cafe Valentino. Great food, extensive menu and great staff. The mussels were on special on one of the evenings and on the other it was a chicken dish.

Christchurch in conclusion

Christchurch, New Zealand is one of the places which, before I went, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Furthermore, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it due to the sad events of the earthquakes. To me it was just the place we were flying into. But, having been there, having seen the city, having met the friendliest of people… I look forward to returning.

It is a great place to visit and I wish I had more time to spend there and with the great people of Christchurch!

 

POI Map for Christchurch, New Zealand

The map below shows the above 5 locations which may help with your trip to Christchurch.

Re-start Mall

Re-start Mall

Botanical Gardens, Christchurch

Botanical Gardens, Christchurch

Punting on the Avon

Punting on the Avon

Cafe Valentinos Restaurant

Cafe Valentinos Restaurant

Christchurch Tram

Christchurch Tram

Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport – Hotel Review

Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport – Hotel Review

Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport, New Zealand – Hotel Review

Copthorne Hotels in New Zealand are a part of the Copthorne and Millennium group of hotels.

Having flown in from Singapore via Sydney (a long flight), travel from Christchurch International Airport is via a free shuttle bus provided by the Commodore Hotel. This had been confirmed via Twitter and following a quick phone call on our arrival, the hotel shuttle bus arrived and we were at the hotel in under 5 minutes.

On arrival at the hotel, the Duty manager, Jaimie, sorted out our reservation very efficiently and walked us to our room. Jaimie had a chat with us and on arrival at the room showed us the facilities in the very well appointed room. I have stayed in many hotels and even in 5 star hotels I have rarely seen such a level of professional and friendly service on check-in. I was blown away by the welcome and the level of comfort at the Copthorne Hotel. Airport hotels are normally just a place to rest your head after a long flight, but this hotel is actually comfortable and a delight to stay in. Although not actually on the airport grounds, it is a very quick drive to the airport and I would recommend this hotel if you were catching a flight.

The room was excellent, with a very comfortable bed, and I was surprised at how large, bright, clean and airy it was. Air conditioning was very good with tea coffee facilities and a very nice and there was a very large bathroom.

The breakfasts are served in Pattersons Restaurant in the hotel, very well presented with a lot to choose from. There is also a hot tub and covered pool (which we did not try on this occasion as it was winter … but it looked nice). There is also a nice garden area with a fire where you can enjoy a drink in the open air if you so wish.

The complex is very secure and safe with key cards required after a certain time to access the main accommodation building and then again at your floor.

We actually stayed twice at this hotel, once on arriving into Christchurch from Singapore and again the night before leaving en-route to Cork via Bangkok/London.

Christchurch Copthorne Airport Hotel

The Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport is a great hotel within 5 minutes of Christchurch International Airport. It is ideally situated for you to start or end any trip to New Zealand.

 

  • Comfort 95%
  • Food 90%
  • Service 98%
  • Would Return? 100%

Hotel Location

Te Anau to Queenstown – What to Do, Where to Stay, What to see…

Te Anau to Queenstown – What to Do, Where to Stay, What to see…

Having stayed 2 says in the comfort of the Te Anau lodge we were next headed to Queenstown.

This won’t be a huge post as we only spent one night in Queenstown. It’s an amazing drive so leave some time for stopping to admire the view. The small town of Kingston is an ideal stopping point – set on the banks of Lake Wakatipu ; it makes for a great excuse to stretch the legs and take some photos. There is a train there but when we were there the train was not in operation.

Where to Stay in Queenstown

We stayed at the Distinction Nugget Point Boutique Hotel & Spa about 10 minutes drive outside of Queenstown (Booked on Booking.com iPhone app which is a handy app to download). The hotel wasn’t overly full as it was heading towards low season, but it was very nice, with antique furnishings. The Spa is very good and has a large pool. The highlight was the view from the room, an amazing vista overlooking a canyon. At night you can see the milky way extend between the peaks of the two hills, and due to the lack of light pollution this view around 2 or 3am is worth getting up for. There are plenty of hotels and hostels in the town which might be more to your liking if you are after some nightlife or if you are with a group as it takes about 10 minutes to get in from Nugget Point.

What to See in Queenstown

Queenstown has a lot to offer, as it is a very scenic place on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. The quay side or lake side is very picturesque and worth taking some time to walk around. There are also many cafes around there so you can enjoy a snack also.

Queenstown, Lakefront

Queenstown, The Lakefront

When you arrive in Queenstown, one of the first things you will see is the cable cars heading up to the Skyline complex. If you are approaching from Arthurs Point direction the Skyline complex actually looks like a UFO in the dark as there are no surrounding lights and looks quite cool just perched in isolation on the peak of the hill.

Accessed by scenic gondola or cable car the Skyline Queenstown is the “Must See” attraction during any visit to Queenstown. You will get stunning views of the spectacular lakes, Coronet Peak, and The Remarkables mountain range. You can also eat while taking in the view at the Skyline Restaurant, recently voted the restaurant with the best view by Trip Advisor. More Casual dining is available in the Skyline Cafe.

While you are up there if you want you can take in the Skyline Luge which has you hurtling down the winding downhill Luge track. If you are feeling more adventurous you can try a tandem parapente flight. If you are feeling less adventurous you can simply shop in the Skyline Souvenir Gift Shop. Don’t forget to bring your camera if you are visiting the Queenstown Skyline Observation deck as the views are not to be missed.

View from the Viewing point in Queenstown, New Zealand

View from the Viewing point in Queenstown, New Zealand

Other areas around Queenstown

Before leaving Queenstown, you have to visit Arrowtown. Arrowtown is a lovely little town, almost like a frontier town from the old west. Not to be missed, stunning in Autumn.

Queenstown is a very nice town, ideal for extreme sports if you are into that. Probably worth spending more than one day here but its a place I would certainly go back to.

Finally, one hour out side Queenstown on the way to Fox Glacier you will find Puzzling World which is an amazing series of visual tricks of the mind which will leave you confused. If you want something to puzzle your world then visit Puzzling World in Wanaka.