We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“High Class”
Review of Escape to Picton

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Escape to Picton
Ranked #2 of 24 Picton B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 August 2010

We enjoyed the hospitality shown by Juliearna, her family and happy team. The room was exquisite and our needs where catered to in all areas. The food was of high class and the service was polite and informative. This Boutique Hotel is one of the best we have stayed in. A beautiful hideaway.

Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank tarnhg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (176)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

165 - 171 of 176 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2010

We recently had the pleasure of staying at Escape to Picton and would recommend this Hotel to all who are wishing for high quality service and accomodation.

Juliearna and her team went out of their way to ensure that we were comfortable and well fed at all times. In saying that, they were never over familiar or encroached on our space enabling us to have a truly relaxing and romantic stay.

The meals provided were of excellent quality and exceptional value - the garlic bread was second to none as was the ribs and the wine list.

Having stayed in various hotels in a variety of contries all over the world I would say that Escape to Picton is hands down the best hotel I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. I fully intend to return there as soon as possible and have recommended it to my own friends and family already.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank V30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2009

I found Escape to Picton through a review for their restaurant , we were only gong to spend the day but when we realised we could go dolphin watching we decided to book their modern suite. We arrived before check in and decided to eat lunch I had the chowder which was bliss and my husband had the biggest steak sandwich I have ever seen !
When we got to our room we were really surprised we had seen the photos on the website but they do not do it justice. The room is spectacular with two flat screen TVs and an Ipod with a good selection of music. The spa bath is pure luxury and was a real treat as the weather was cold and wet. From the balcony there was a lovely view of the sounds although a little misty when we were there.
We also had our evening meal at the hotel and again the food was superb I had the lamb and my husband had steak again ! Brunch the next day was also a treat, perfecty poached eggs on my eggs benedict which was the best I have ever eaten the citrus hollandaise was a real winner and my husbads french toast was also excellent. If you can't stay overnight you must eat here at least once !!
The staff at the hotel were so lovely and helpful and Mrs Kavanagh is an excellent host and made us feel really welcome and special.
The next time we visit New Zealand we will be visiting Escape to Picton again !

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank petenlisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2009

We were expecting great things. It was okay but by no means wow. We had booked the Sea Room through the Wotif website for one night but when we arrived got the impression that they had no idea we were coming. As a hotel that only has 3 rooms they had to ask us which room we had booked even after giving our name. Thankfully we got in to our room straight away and were pleased to see all was in order and looked impressive. The bathroom was grand but it was disappointing to discover that there was no shower other than that attached to the taps over the lovely roll top bath. Our conclusion was the true luxury in this hotel is in the suites upstairs and the Sea Room is only the poor cousin for those (like us!) wanting to stay in a nice hotel but not pay top dollar.

We booked for dinner and went out for a wander around Picton, which was undergoing some major renovations and not looking at its best. Dinner was good (especially the garlic bread!), and we took advantage of the winter menu offer, though the mains were weaker in flavour than you might hope for. There was a good selection of local wines to compliment the menu- as one would expect in Marlborough!

Our main gripe was having requested breakfast for 7:45, we were informed that it would be the continental breakfast delivered to our room as the 'gourmet' breakfast incuded in the room price isn't normally served until 10am. Usually, this would suit us on a leisurely break but as we had to be at the adventure centre round the corner at 8:30 we were surprised it was too early to expect full breakfast beforehand. If 10am serving is standard policy then it should be made clear when booking, as there will often be guests in Picton needing to catch transport in the morning. We did get a cooked breakfast served cheerfully in the morning, but we couldn't help feel that we had rocked the boat a bit.

Over all we felt that it was a bit disappointing, despite having had a very comfortable stay, perhaps because we have had better for less elsewhere. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't as special as we had hoped.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Likesaholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Escapetopicton, Owner at Escape to Picton, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2009

Hello Trip advisor,

I would like to clarify some points made by the above review.

The guests were greeted in our restaurant as they came in though this entrance, we had another suite booked this evening and I was not at our accommodation desk, so unfortunately I did not have our reservation book in front of me. We greet every one in a very polite manner and always ask which room they have booked. We were aware they were booked so I am surprised by this statement.
Our Sea Room is on the ground floor and at a lower price point then the two upstairs but again very beautiful. Their rate was $220 including breakfast with a 3pm check in and a 12 o’clock check out again very reasonable. The two suites upstairs are priced accordling and this is standard in any hotel to have differing suites, with differing prices.
The guest’s received not a cooked breakfast as they stated it was a gourmet breakfast which was included, breakfast is served by us at any time and not 10am as stated, this breakfast was cooked at 7.30am as we feel this isn’t clear in the review. What was asked by the waiter the night before was would they like a continental breakfast due to their 7.30am start, a lot of our guests wish to have this in their room prior to starting a track walk etc, not that we are trying to avoid cooking them breakfast. When they stated they wished to have the gourmet breakfast which is two course’s toast, fruit, muesli and then a cooked option they were accommodated as we would with any guests. Again we would like to clarify and make clear breakfast is served any time a guests wish to have it.
Also we believe our food to be second to none and they are the first to think it was off par! Juliearna Kavanagh.

Escape to Picton has just won the best new re-developed accommodation hotel for HANZ in New Zealand.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2009

I took my husband on his 1st ever trip overseas. We stayed 4 nights at Escape to Picton. Our room was absolutely beautiful and Sooo comfortable. The food was devine with a large selection of superb quisine. The staff made us feel very welcome and they new exactly what wine to serve with each dish. This was impressive. As my husband is Gluten Free their menu more than catered for his needs. They even devised a delicious chocolate desert just for him. For all chocolate lovers it was to die for. To make our trip more personal Chef and Owner dined with us on one occasion and we were lucky enough to meet her children who sang and serenaded us on the piano. An extremely talented family. We could not have asked for better service, room and food with an extremely personal touch. FANTASTIC!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2009

A cosy retreat with top quality fittings and facilities on the Picton waterfront.
Off-street parking .
The rooms are large and comfortable.
The bathrooms have big showers and spa-baths complete with bubble-bath.
Beds are comfortable.
Tea/coffee making facilities just out-side bedroom door.
staff are friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank rugratNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2009

Picton has never tasted anything like this before. For the first time in 100 years there IS a stunning food oasis at the southern end of the New Zealand inter-islander ferry journey. It’s called Escape to Picton.

This is a tiny luxury hotel, bar and glorious $40+ mains restaurant. Escape to Picton is the brainchild of energiser-bunny, chef, hotel owner, former model, entrepreneur and ball of dynamite Juliearna Kavanagh who used to own and run Kavanagh House in Winchester, north of Timaru.

The food at Escape to Picton matches any cuisine in the main cities and has the bonus of having tranquil Marlborough Sounds upmarket ambience. The building is the 1907-built BNZ Bank. It was derelict until Juliearna did NZ architects and historical protection a favour and ‘did it up’ – and how.

The tiny three-bedroom $450 a night hotel is equal to any $1000 a night lodge in Queenstown plus it has pizzazz, oomph and staggeringly fine food. I loved their seafood chowder of fish, salmon, mussel and scallop with their homebake bread. The pumping jazz music lifts the building into another planet.

The sun shines, the Seresin Reserve chardonnay flows and the salmon on baked caramelised salmon is uncluttered, heavenly and dovetails perfectly with the environment. A southern French front of house manager is a perfect host. An Irish gap year student waiter and bar staff adds quality to the evening. A smiling blonde waitress named Jenna is a genuine and naturally gifted hostess who puts one at ease. Above all, there is Juliearna, Marlborough’s answer to Fleur of famous Fleur’s in Moeraki 500km south – and more!

There is ranking system for accommodation in New Zealand based on stars. Five stars and above being luxury; four stars and below being cheaper, less in quality.

They should scrap this idea and base the system on pillows. The Escape to Picton tiny hotel in New Zealand would be right at the top as a 13-pillow hotel. That’s what I had in my ‘Modern Suite’ and it was divine. This is one of the sexiest most romantic hideaways in New Zealand and it is brand spanking new. Well, new as in newly opened. But Escape to Picton is a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant in a 101 year old building.

The lodge is Juliearna’s creation. She set up and ran Kavanagh House is the southern part of New Zealand for 15 years. Then she bought Escape to Picton, as a derelict old building on April fool’s Day 2007. She is a great chef and wonderful personality. Her husband Killinan Kavanagh, who lives in Dublin, runs the graphics design company for the band U2, is a former top rugby player and his dad was an Irish senator.

Juliearna wondered past the old building two years ago and decided on the spot to buy it. It was run down, unused but she was determined to restore the 1907 old bank, rather than have it flattened for a modern building.

With a designer friend, Juliearna transformed the old bank into the finest luxury lodge in this part of the world. The colours are soothing, the fittings stunning and some features outright romantic...such as the sexy stand alone sway bathe in the middle of the bathroom of the Formal Suite.

This is the perfect escape in the first step on to the scenic and majestic South Island.

Stayed: May 2009, travelled on business
Thank WordChristchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Picton hotels
0.1 mi away
Picton Beachcomber Inn
Picton Beachcomber Inn
#6 of 16 in Picton
266 reviews
2.2 mi away
Bay Vista Waterfront Motel
0 mi away
Picton Yacht Club Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.6 mi away
Historic Sennen House Boutique Accommodation
0.5 mi away
Kippilaw House
Kippilaw House
#3 of 24 in Picton
129 reviews
0.2 mi away
Broadway Motel
Broadway Motel
#2 of 16 in Picton
511 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Escape to Picton? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Escape to Picton

Address: 33 Wellington Street, Picton 8170, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Marlborough Region > Picton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 24 B&Bs / Inns in Picton
Price Range: £169 - £300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Escape to Picton 5*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Escape to Picton reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Escape To Picton New Zealand - Marlborough

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing