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Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

Chicago, Illinois
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Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

My husband and I are trying to plan a trip over thanksgiving to SI. How is the weather then? I would like to go for ten days, so if I could shave a few days off, please let me know and where. This is for our anniversay, and a very espeical trip for us--one in a lfetime--we'd like boutique inns, romantic rooms, nothing too dated--we like b and bs, but only if they are not too outdated/worn and places in great venues (i.e. would love blanket bay if not so $$$, love the location and rooms)..please let me know your thoughts, esp. if you have better recs for better hotels/inns for smae price range/better locations, etc...

1: CHC 2 nights: Orari

2. Hokitika: Beachfront Hotel 1 night

3. Nelson: 2 nts: Cambria House

4. Blenheim: Hotel D'Urville 2 nts

5. Hapuku: 1 nt Hapuku Lodge

6. Back to CHC one night: Orari

7. Mt cook: Hermitage Hotel 1 nt

8. Qtown: 3nts: Grand Mercure Hotel: Should we do overnight cruise on Doubtful or Milford Sound one night?

I did some of my own research and liked: rimu lodge in hokitika, the lodge at parahito in nelson, matuka lodge in mt. cook, and in qtown, the evergreen lodge, matakauri, shotoverlodge, and mountvisa, jsut so you know the types of places I like--are all too expensive to consider instead of the above/better recs in those price ranges?

we are also divers--is that too hard to fit into this trip? really can only be gone 10-12 days or so..thank you so much!

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

Hi Brigirl,

Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in NZ but the weather at the end of November early December is typically pretty good being summer here.

I have been to Hapuku and the Hermitage and these are both very lovely and quite spacious, are you planning on staying up in the tree houses at Hapuku? Very romantic and perfect for such a special trip!

Not too sure about the other places but reviews seem pretty positive and you look to have done your homework.

You could potentially fit in a dive somewhere near Nelson as you are staying two nights there you should have plenty of time for this, or perhaps at Kaikoura or the Sounds if you end up heading that way.

Enjoy your time here, but looking at your itinerary that wont be hard.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

Hi, ok well here's my 2 cents worth.

First up accommodation.

Orari B&B Chc - great little number, simple but good value

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika, ok but Rimu Lodge is heaps better.

The Lodge at Paratiho no longer exists, Cambria House in Nelson is Ok, one other neat B&B in Nelson is Te Puna Wai.

Hotel D'Urville in Blenheim is neat, different.

At Hapuku you need to get into one of the Tree Houses, they are so completley unusual.

Hermitage Hotel at Mt Cook is very expensive but a good place to stay. St. Moritz Hotel in Queenstown is an award winning 4 star hotel, good central location and nice views from many rooms. Evergreen B&B I use a lot but it is out of town a bit, so for folks who like B&B's I use Central Ridge a lot (used to be known as Mount Vista).


My major comment would be that you have skipped the awesome West Coast Glaciers plus having to back track to Christchurch wastes a valuable night.

If you were prepared to drop Mt Cook you could switch this for a night at the Glaciers which means you would be doing a nice circuit of the South Island. You could save a night by cutting Blenheim down to a 1 night stay and yes you should seriously consider trying to do one of the overnight cruises, although chances are they are fully booked already by now.

If you want to get this down to just 9 nights you'll need to cut out a few places. E.g, one night only in Chc, drop Blenheim altogether, but that makes for some long touring days. An example outline could go:

Christchurch- 1 night

Kaikoura - 1 night

Nelson - 2 nights

Punakaiki or Hokitika - 1 night

Fox Glacier - 1 night

Queenstown - 3 nights

There are some long touring day's in here however so not exactly a relaxing vacation.

with a couple of extra nights up your sleeve you could add a second night in Christchurch, add in Blenheim or sneak in an overnight cruise on one of the Sounds.

Just try hard to keep the touring days down to about 300kmks/186 miles each day otherwise you'll be spending too much time behind the wheel. That will then dictate just how much you can accomplish in the time you have available.

Good luck with the plans, you've picked the right desitination!

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

thank you both so much for your assistance!

i have some f/u Qs/revised iteinerary:

1. CHC: (one night) Is there somewhere better to stay in chc that has more style/is more romantic or unique in some way? and is one night sufficient? side note: we were back tracking to chc b/c we were going to rent a motorcycle there and would have to bring it back before heading further out--decided to drop that idea so no need to back track anymore;

2. Hokitika (one night): I definitely want to stay at Rimu Lodge in hokitika, thanks for the rec!

3. Nelson (two nights???): do we want 2 nights here? we love pretty drives, etc...will look into other hotel rec;

4. Blenheim (1 night): although d'urville looks nice, I think I'd prefer to stay in the coutryside/vineyards--any great recs? also great vineyards? we are wine collectors and foodies, too, so any intersting must-dos are appreciated!

5. Hapuku: (one night) Treehouse at Hapuku Lodge: Is lower tree house ok?

6. fox glacier (one night): where would we stay?

7. should we drop Mt cook? Had thought about staying at Matuka Lodge in Twizel, so should we do this or fox glacier?

8. overnight cruise: which do you prefer? the one over doubtful sound or the milford sound?

9. queenstown: is 2 nights sufficient so we can do cruise, too? what do you think about browns Boutique Hotel, Nugget Point, Central Ridge, or queenstown Park Hotel instead?

Are there any other activities that are unique/interesting/or restaurants? We love to get out explore...would possibly like to rent a motorcycle for a day (been husband's dream)--what is best place for this for bext roads, etc?

thank you, thank you!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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4. Re: Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

I adore Aoraki/Mt Cook so hope you still plan to visit there, it's gorgeous. And the Hermitage is a pretty special place to stay... highly recommended.

Doubtful Sound overnight has my vote :)

enjoy your trip...

5. Re: Please Help Critique my hotels/locations for 2 weeks SI?

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