Friday, 21 January 2011

More reviews

I know I am going to lose momentum/interest in this idea now I am home and busy again - so here is some thoughts about the other accommodation we stayed in during our NZ travels. After Tekapo we headed to Dunedin. There we stayed in our best value accommodation of the trip, Living Spaces, although I was shocked at first by how small the room was. However, we got to appreciate that we had everything we needed and it was very well designed to maximise the lack of space. The bathroom, built in a big glass cylinder, had fantastic water pressure, which redeemed the room when I was initially feeling a bit claustrophobic, compared to our wonderful large unit in Lake Tekapo. We didn't make use of them, but there was a range of shared facilities, like a 'theatre' you could book to watch DVDs and a shared kitchen. Overall, for the price, quite good value and I'd stay there again. Although, looking at their website, we payed quite a bit more than the advertised rate - (so much for bargains on wotif) but I guess it was peak period....
I can't remember where we stayed in Akaroa at the moment. I'll look it up at some stage :) but next stop after that was Hanmer Springs. The main draw card there of course is the hot springs, so a motel in walking distance to the centre of town is very handy. We stayed at Aspen Lodge Motel, and since it was our wedding anniversary, splurged on a spa room (in hindsight, a bit redundant in a spa town, LOL) and had a beautiful suite, with a separate lounge and its own balcony. The home made baked goods delivered when the room was cleaned were a lovely touch. And while you are in Hanmer Springs, make sure you try the Tapas at the Rustic Cafe - such good food, we ate there both nights (we needed 2 visits to try the full range of Tapas). While on the subject of dining, we discovered a fantastic restaurant in Dunedin, very reasonably priced, called Nova Cafe. It's right next door to the cinema, in the Octagon. You have to try the slow cooked lamb... and the caramelised banana creme brulee was amazing.
Last stop of the trip was Kaikoura and ironically (we stayed there the longest), our most modest accommodation (although not the cheapest). The Bella Vista was a perfectly acceptable motel, with really nice service in the office (they let me on their computer to check in and print our boarding passes) but overcrowded rooms and very expensive Internet. We were tripping over the suitcases for 4 days. The motel was also quite a way out of the centre of town, so for the first time, we had to drive in every time we wanted a meal. Luckily, there is so much to do in Kaikoura, we didn't need to spend a lot of time sitting around our tiny room. And that's where I'll leave things for now - I'll review the attractions next post.

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