The Dunston House in Clyde is like a trip to the past without any of the inconvenience or low tech of a Victorian B&B. The Dunston House is located in “downtown” Clyde which is a charming former Gold Rush town. Clyde can be the beginning or the end of the Otago Rail Trail ride, and in either case, the Dunston House should be part of your trip.
The owners Maree and John have considered every detail and anticipated what guests and particularly cyclists might need. The rooms are decorated in period detail. Ours included a fainting couch, two fireplaces (tiled and bricked, but beautifully highlighted in each room), a canopy bed with a crocheted coverlet, water, fine china tea/coffee cups, and fresh cut flowers.
There is coffee, tea and water available outside your room in the hallway area of the B&B. Maree kindly brought a large bottle of cold water when we arrived. There are wine glasses available if you decide to bring your own bottle of wine.
Unlike many other accommodations in New Zealand, we were supplied with soap, shampoo, and conditioner which were greatly appreciated, as we were traveling light. The shower was a claw foot tub with modern fixtures. Most showers in New Zealand do not have water saving devices and consequently have unrestricted pressure with lots of hot water. The Dunston House is no exception and you will be treated to a great shower.
The bed was very comfortable and we appreciated the lights on either side of the bed for reading. The room has terry cloth robes and the two chocolate caramels provided were a nice touch.
There is a peaceful sitting area in the back of the building and a place to hang your handwashed laundry after a day of riding the Rail Trail. The hollyhocks and roses are beautiful and it is clear that the owners take pride in the garden.
Breakfast in the morning is coffee (french press) or tea, cereal, toast, croissants, a selection of cold cuts and fruit. During breakfast, John, who is from the area, gave us a brief history of Clyde (formerly Dunston) and it was a fascinating tale of the gold rush and how parts of the town including the B&B were built.
Many of the little touches about the B&B are geared for cyclists but are nice for anyone staying in Clyde. The B&B is walking distance to the Four Square Grocery, and the former Post Office, now a restaurant/pub with an excellent dinner menu.
We highly recommend the Dunston House - it was one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand. It is truly how a stay at a Victorian B&B should be.