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“Lovely English character home”
Review of Banks House Akaroa

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Banks House Akaroa
Ranked #8 of 26 Akaroa B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Banks House is a very well presented English House. The furnishings are traditional and tasteful. The bedroom (1769 Room) was well presented with Linden Leaves toiletries in the ensuite and excellent quality linen on the bed. The room we had was small in size, no tea and coffee facilities but we had full access to the kitchen downstairs where we could make a tea or coffee and have a biscuit. Milo would have been good but there was none. The ensuite was very small on the side of the room but was fine for what we needed. The room had a lovely view out over the harbour and garden. Simon the host was very friendly, helpful and took care of any requirements we had. The House is relatively close to the main shops (3-5 mins walk) and we walked down to the other side of Akaroa in the evening which only took 15 mins. The House also has some great walks around the location, up to the monument with fantastic view over Akaroa and down to the lighthouse. For breakfast there was a platter of fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals and toast. There were some very small croissants one for each of the four guests at the table that morning and considering a cooked breakfast isn't offered if would be better if more attractive french pastries were offered - larger fresh buttery croissants (even supermarket croissants from bakeries are fresher and bigger than what was offered), and maybe Pain a Chocolat. European guests do like Ham and cheese, which does go well with a French breakfast so good quality ham would be nicer. Overall however we thoroughly enjoyed breakfast and our stay and would definitely go back. It was our Wedding Anniversary and they had a note and complimentary bottle of wine on our arrival. Lovely place and would recommend to others.

Room Tip: The 1769 Room had the best view over the harbour and gardens and was very well presented even though...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank kalandjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Good morning Joanne .... thank you taking the time and placing your review on Banks House.

I have read your comments. Whilst we can’t change the size of the rooms we have furnished to maximise the room space, but yet not over crowd the rooms. The 1769 does have lovely views towards the harbour and is very sunny in the afternoon which is an attraction. Full Tea making facilities are available as you state downstairs. A complimentary upgrade to the Banksia Room with a new ensuite, which is much larger, was extended when the booking was made, this was re-affirmed on check-in – the decision was made to take the 1769 room to enjoy the views.

The Breakfast, consisted of homemade Bircher Muesli, home toasted honey muesli, a fresh fruit platter of 7 different fruits, individual imported grapefruit served in crystal comports, a ham & cheese platter with cherry tomatoes, jams , toast, plunger coffee etc. The ham was purchased from the local butcher, and sliced by him. It is always a fine balance between an overly generous breakfast and food wastage.

Unfortunately, the Akaroa Bakery burnt down a year ago and is still in a ‘derelict state’ – At this stage Akaroa has no bakery and all items are bought into Akaroa by road. We do the best we can with croissants and purchase par baked croissants, which we finish heating in the oven before serving. There is always plenty and more can be served. We do not have access to French pastries as you suggest – but if they become available, then yes we will serve them! We will however increase the offering in response to your comments.

Pleased you enjoyed the complimentary wine and Ferreo chocolates ..... and had an enjoyable time in Akaroa :) Hope to see you again,

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50 - 56 of 69 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2014

We stayed at Bank's House in February for 2 nights just before we returned to the UK. We wish we could have stayed longer... it is a lovely old house, really comfortable with great staff. The room was super and the breakfast excellent. Great internet connection. A perfect location in a beautiful place. We'd love to come back.

Room Tip: The front room probably has more traffic noise than the rear rooms but still very quiet.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Peter J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Thank you Peter, it was lovely to meet you and the weather was brilliant during your stay here in Akaroa. I hope we will see you again 'n the 'Riviera of the South' ....

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Reviewed 5 March 2014

After two weeks in the north island and a couple of days in the south (Nelson) we were very much looking forward to Banks House. Excellent reviews on this site and a good website meant we were full of expectation.

There is much we agree with here in terms of other reviews - it is a very charming house and convenient for the beauty and life of Akaroa but we were disappointed by our experience compared to the other 'boutique' establishments we had stayed in. Our room was inordinately small; we do feel that at these prices one should be provided with at least a wardrobe. There was no water or tea/coffee making facilities in the room. Indeed if those facilities had been available we would not have been able to fit in. As it was our cases stayed on the floor because there was nowhere to put them. The bathroom was tiny, tacked onto the end of the room with no toiletries of any quality and very poor (plastic) equipment.

Then we come to Simon, who is a charming young man. We liked him but he is not one of the world's hosts. We were stunned into silence when confronted by a breakfast that consisted of three croissant (there were three of us after all) and a platter with three cherry tomatoes, three slices of cheese and three tiny pieces of ham. When we enquired rather innocently if we could have a little more ham/cheese we were informed by Simon that that wasn't possible as he hadn't had a chance to go to the shops. That was it. On our second morning there was nothing apart from toast and muesli and of course the three croissant. Compared to the breakfasts we experienced throughout NZ this was a joke breakfast served by a person who really was not interested in any concept of service. Quite simply you don't get unless you ask - and there might not be any anyway!

Banks House is a lovely house but it needed to up its game as far as we were concerned.

Room Tip: Choose the garden room (our comapanion had it) and it is much more what one would expect. Tea/coffe...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Iain M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Dear Iain & Janet

I have given much thought to your comments on the recent review posted and spoken with Simon our staff member, who you mention.

Banks House Akaroa is an 1878 historic property which has building constraints as to keeping in character with the era. When we purchased Banks House a year ago the ensuites were already in place, except for the new ensuite recently installed in the Banksia Room. The property had previously operated as a B&B prior to the earthquakes. Whenever ensuites are retro fitted into a character property space is always at a premium. It is a trade off which is accepted by most of the guests who love character.

Although there is a Victorian chest of drawers in the room, we have noted your comment re a wardrobe or hanging space. We have calculated that there is sufficient space alongside the chest of drawers to have a custom made wrought iron hanging facility specifically for jackets and or trousers.

Full tea and coffee making facilities are available downstairs, available 24/7.

The toiletries are in plastic containers as no glass is placed in a bathroom, for safety reasons. They are quality NZ Natural Products (Jeymar Products) from Nelson, a small bespoke company. The bed side cabinets have NZ natural spring bottled water and 2 water glasses, in the cupboard. As you were staying for 2 nights, I had assigned the Garden Room to yourselves, which is more spacious and the 1769 Room to your daughter, though I believe a decision was made to exchange the rooms.

I have spoken in depth with Simon who has read your review. Simon has a Diploma in Hospitality, and previously worked for us in our fine dining restaurant in Christchurch while he completed his studies. He has all the skills but may have had difficulty in the balance of service versus intrusion. I have gone through every detail regarding your comments and have been quite specific as to the standards that are expected from us as owners of the business. Portion control is very important and he will not place in himself in such a position again.

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Reviewed 2 March 2014

We stayed at Banks House Akaroa for three nights in February after traveling for two weeks in the South Island. Akaroa is a charming little bay with wonderful character homes surrounding it.

We arrived well before check in time and drove to Beaufort House (the sister house to Banks House) to see if we could leave our suitcases somewhere whilst we went for coffee. Sharon was friendly and welcoming and said she would contact Simon, their housekeeper to come and open up the house for us. We drove back to Banks House and Simon welcomed us in and showed us to our room. The house is beautiful with lots of character and decorated with antique furniture and finished with silver and glassware. The garden is very pretty and it was really pleasant sitting out there one evening with a glass of wine. We stayed in the house itself but the little cottage in the garden is lovely and would be worth a stay.

The house is picturesque and when the cruise ships come into Akaroa, you will see groups of travelers outside the house with their cameras poised snapping away taking photographs.

As we were staying three nights we were invited to Beaufort House for drinks and canapes one evening, which was lovely. Sharon and Noel were the perfect hosts and we also met other guests staying at the house.

Akaroa is well worth a visit and I would recommend Banks House to anyone considering staying in the area.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank PerthDave_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2014

Thank you Denise, for taking the time to write about your Banks House Akaroa visit.
We enjoyed your company and hope to see you back this way again in the future!

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Reviewed 11 February 2014

Nice little place with an easy walk down to the harbor and restaurants.
We stayed in the guest cottage behind the house.
Lovely garden even in late summer.
Good coffee at breakfast.
Fast internet
Friendly staff

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2014

Thankyou Dan , hope your back is better and you are back hang gliding again in the skies!

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Reviewed 7 February 2014

We spent 2 nights at Banks House and was met on arrival by Simon who was so helpful and friendly. The Garden Room was beautiful and the furniture in the house takes you back on memory lane. Quiet street but walking distance from the warf. Can recommend Banks House.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Elise O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2014

Thank you Elise, so pleased you enjoyed your stay in Akaroa with us at Banks House.
Banks Peninsula a beautiful part of the country, in the 1920's Akaroa was promoted as 'the Riviera of the South' ...

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Reviewed 6 January 2014

I spent two nights here covering New Year's Eve 2013 and loved it. The guesthouse is actually a historical home, beautifully refurbished. The owners themselves do not live there but in another historical home at the far end of the village. The effect of this is that you essentially have the run of the place - can sit about reading peacefully in either of two living rooms and can help yourself to whatever coffee/tea/biscuits are available in the kitchen. If you staying here alone, this can effectively be like having not so much rented a room as a house!

The guesthouse is kept spotless, and in all respects is very tastefully furnished - although recently renovated, the decor has not drifted at all far from the 'heritage' mood of the house itself.

Proprietors Sharon and Noel were very kind and welcoming - even to the extent of suggesting that I have breakfast not at Banks House but at Beaufort House (where they live). They both evidently take pleasure in welcoming people and on both mornings Noel joined us in the dining room and regaled us with some fascinating anecdotes. All in all, you are made to feel very much at home.

The only caveat I could think of is that the 1769 room was (thus far) without a wardrobe: that didn't bother me, as I was travelling light and staying only a short while, but others might want to keep that in mind. This is mere detail, however: there are surely very few places to stay in Akaroa that are as good as Banks House.

Room Tip: Ask for the 1769 room: it has a modest view of the harbour and the side of the house it's on is...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sharon R, Owner at Banks House Akaroa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2014

Thank you Gary, we thoroughly enjoyed having you to stay at Banks House and hope to see you again in the future! There is plenty to see and do in Akaroa and a pleasant get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I trust you were rested on your return and managed to finish the books :)

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Additional Information about Banks House Akaroa

Address: 158 Rue Jolie, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Akaroa
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 26 B&Bs / Inns in Akaroa
Price Range: £142 - £152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Banks House Akaroa 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banks House Akaroa offers luxury boutique accommodation and harbour views to discerning guests who enjoy heritage, character and the charm of a bygone era. All rooms have en suite facilities, European Breakfast included in the tariff. ... more   less 
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