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“Great base for a long stay”

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Ounuwhao Harding House
Ranked #5 of 20 Russell B&B and Inns
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great base for a long stay”
Reviewed 15 January 2012

We stayed in the cottage for 5 nights over Christmas. The cottage is fully self-contained and has a private setting towards the rear of the property. It's on a busy road, but we didn't notice it.

The cottage has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus another bed in a sun room off the main sitting room area. The kitchen is well equipped and there are lots of books and DVDs in the sitting room. The master bedroom and bathroom were newly decorated and of a high standard. The secondary bathroom was a little dated, but perfectly functional.

The cottage is a bit of a 70s / 80s time capsule, apart from the new TV, but that added to its charm. There is a barbeque and private outdoor sitting area.

My only minor gripe is that there was no WIFI in the cottage and I needed to walk over to the main house to get a signal. I needed to keep in touch with work and because of the time difference, needed to get up at 5:45am to do this. It would have been nicer to do it in the cottage! Some of the other places we stayed at had repeaters installed for annexes, and it would be good if a repeater were put in here. Not a big deal, but a suggestion to make the stay better, esp for international guests.

We didn't have breakfast as we just wanted something light. Marilyn cooked a lovely Christmas meal and the food was of a high standard.

Russell is a great location for a longer trip. We did expect to use it as a base to tour around, but there were so many things to do locally (Waitangi, Paihia, Long Beach) that we stayed fairly nearby. Long Beach is a short drive away and it is one of the best beaches we came across in NZ. Russell itself is a fairly short walk away and there are lots of restaurants and takeaways if you don't fee like cooking.

We were relieved not to be staying in Paihia as that's really touristy.

Marilyn and Lee were really friendly and we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank suzesmithkent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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141 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2012

B and Bs have not been part of our travel experience since travelling around England before children. We took our two 15 year olds for their first B and B experience to this wonderful restored grand home and enjoyed all the home made delights Marilyn could offer up- home made cakes and tea on arrival, breakfasts with home made muesli, fruits from the garden, baked muffins and jams...beautifully decorated rooms and all spotless and appearing just restored...no dust, no mould, no peeling paper...all spic and span. But the real treasure is Marilyn, a lovely host, and the interesting guests from all around the world that are attracted to stay here. The girls have not stopped talking about our stay there and we will be exploring Band B options in future after such a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 333MichelleW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2012

We were lucky enough to get a cancellation at the cottage over New Year and what a treat. Loved the peace, the home cooking and hand work. It was great being only a 5 min cycle from town and being able to return to our little haven- best of both worlds. Thanks

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Donna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2012

Bed and Breakfasts, however good the accomodation, stand or fall by quality of the hosts. Marilyn and lee could not have been more hospitable. The breakfasts were far more imaginative than most hotels the bircher muesli was to die for!! They have a wealth of local knowledge and nothing was to much and after 20 years Marilyn has lost none of her enthuisiasm for looking after her guests but has learnt all the tricks that make for a comfortable stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Michelle J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 18 October 2011

We stayed here last January and although we have styed in some lovely bed & breakfasts, this was definitely our favourite on North Island.

Marilyn made us so welcome, lots of home cooking. Beautfiul rooms full of Marilyns amazing quilting. It is situated within walking distance of the centre of Russell where there are lots of good places for an evening meal.

The breakfasts were definitely the best of any we have had, everyday was different.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Deb R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2011

We felt the cottage was damp and could have been warmer, with only one electric heater. The wood fireplace was not able to be started, but that could have been our own incompetence in such matters. However, overall the cottage was beautifully decorated and very very comfortable, and in spring or summer would be delightful.
Marilyn's breakfast was superb, and nothing was a trouble to her. One of our party was allergic to all dairy products, and it caused Marilyn no problem in the slightest preparing a great breakfast for us. Overall, recommended especially in Spring or Summer.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank pittjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 July 2011

This is a peaceful and beautiful location, and the B&B is a lovingly restored Villa, with wood floors and ceilings - totally traditional - and with an interesting history. Marilyn is a wonderful hostess, and her breakfasts are stunning - especially try the muesli - her secret recipe! And she is an expert quiltmaker - her designs are truly original and lovely.
I have stayed here now, at least four times over the past 10 years. I've travelled the world (US, South America, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Far East , Iceland, - Japan, India etc) and this is definitely my favourite B&B and the one I will always return to.

Room Tip: Honestly, all the rooms are great - I don't have a favourite.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Janevt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ounuwhao Harding House

Property: Ounuwhao Harding House
Address: 16 Hope Avenue | Matauwhi Bay, Russell 0202, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Russell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Russell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ounuwhao Harding House 4.5*
Number of rooms: 4
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Also Known As:
Ounuwhao Harding House Russell, New Zealand - Bay Of Islands

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