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Category Archives: Bella Vista Blenheim

Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  

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NZ Summer Getaways that will Surprise


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With summer just begun our minds start drifting thoughts of a summer getaway.  A quintessential kiwi holiday.  A chance to enjoy some lazy days in the sun, a trip to the beach, or just a complete change of scenery.

With 27 destinations nationwide Bella Vista motel accommodation network offers a great number of destinations to choose from.  But popular destinations can quickly book up in the summer months and so we want to highlight 3 alternative destinations that you should consider for a fun-filled summer getaway.

New Plymouth

The city of New Plymouth sits on the far west coast of the North Island, in one of the best surf regions of New Zealand, so we think this is an ideal spot for a summer holiday.  Spend a day cruising Surf Highway 45 picking top spots to while away the day at the beach or book a surf lesson with a local expert for some great fun in the waves.  New Plymouth is known for its coastal walkway that stretches 12.7km along the fabulous coastline.  This is fantastic for walking at your own pace, or hire a bike and feel the sea breeze on your face as you glide along.  There are amazing outdoor art displays along the way, like the iconic Wind Wand or take in the spectacular views of Mount Taranaki from the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.  You can while away time by investigating rock-pools or having a much-needed coffee stop!

There is so much to discover from art galleries to beautiful parks, beaches to restaurants, the subalpine forests and waterfalls of Egmont National Park to the home of seals, seabirds and other marine life at the Sugar Loaf Marine Park.  From kayaking to surfing, walking or biking, relaxing on the beach or taking a tour of the area – there is enough to keep you as busy as you wish, interested, and most importantly to come away knowing you’ve had another brilliant summer getaway.
 

Looking towards Mount Taranaki


Blenheim

Did you know that Blenheim is only 30 minutes from Picton or 1.5 hours from Nelson and so it is an ideal spot for that summer getaway?  Not only will you be close to Marlborough Sounds, Nelson City and neighbouring beaches and the Abel Tasman, but you will be based within the heart of one of New Zealand’s famous wine regions – Marlborough.   The region boasts a rather pleasant sunny climate and therefore offers a wide range of outdoor leisure activities and a relaxed lifestyle on top of the flourishing wine industry.   With over 50 vineyards near Blenheim you can have a great day out tasting and sampling food and wines.  Make it even more fun and do it all on a bike tour!

The Marlborough Flyer is a great way to get a taste of Picton on a day out.  The train operates some Super Sundays which enable you to travel by majestic steam train from a by-gone era to Picton from Blenheim Station and back. The 70-minute journey on the Marlborough Flyer to Picton will include the challenging decent into Picton on a 1-in-37 grade, the 4th steepest rail line in New Zealand.  The journey allows for a couple of hours to explore Picton before the 50-60 minute ride back to Blenheim.

Don’t forget to check out filmmaker Peter Jackson’s collection of World War I aircraft at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. The aircraft are displayed in realistic dioramas created by Peter Jackson's Weta Digital.  It’s pretty awesome and a must see whilst in Blenheim.

 

Blenheim Vineyards

 

Invercargill

Invercargill sits at the bottom of the South Island surrounded by farmland but the gateway to some of New Zealand’s spectacular wilderness areas such as the Catlins, Stewart Island and Fiordland.

The city also boasts a number of exciting must see and dos. The Southland Museum and Art Gallery has live tuatara reptiles that you can see.  Queens Park is a large 81-hectare Edwardian styled city park featuring flower displays, the Observatory, rose gardens, duck ponds, bird aviary and zoo, a children’s playground and sports facilities such as the Queen’s Park Golf Club.  It’s a great place to explore.  Take a picnic and while away an afternoon.  To the southeast, Waituna Lagoon is home to abundant bird life and trout populations and has some easy walking trails.  The Bill Richardson Transport World is a must-see museum for history and automotive lovers as it showcases the transportation history of NZ including vintage motors and old-fashioned petrol pumps.

Exploring outside the city offers several options:  To the north you have the Southern Scenic Route, a magnificent drive through stunning scenery into the mountains and Queenstown.  It’s a 2 hour 15 minute drive each way but makes for a great day out to explore the lakeside resort town.  Time for a jetboat ride or cruise on the lake, a spa or an ice-cream on the lakefront, a gondola ride or a meander round the shops and a leisurely bite at one of the many cafés and restaurants.

Bluff, a quiet little town only 30 kilometres south of Invercargill is famous for its oysters and the Bluff Oyster Festival held each year.  From here, take a 1 hour ferry ride to Stewart Island, where you can experience the wild beauty of bush and beach, a slower pace of life in an unspoilt slice of New Zealand.  Take a guided walk, a village and bays tour or visit Ulva Island, a renowned bird sanctuary.

The Catlins coast offers some dramatic and wild scenery. The drive as far as Curio Bay takes about 1 hour 13 minutes but allow for a few stops along the way.  Visit Waipapa Point’s Historic Lighthouse and the scene of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck, the passenger steamer SS Tararua in 1881.  It is located on a very scenic section of dunes and beach that make it certainly worthy of a visit and sealions and fur seals frequent the beach.  Curio Bay is home to a 160 million year old fossilised forest and one of the major attractions of the Catlins.  Walk among the stumps of the petrified forest at low tide, the remaining tree stumps and logs are exposed and clearly visible.

 

Stewart Island

 

Bella Vista motels welcomes you to these destinations and our friendly hosts at Bella Vista Blenheim, Bella Vista New Plymouth and Bella Vista Invercargill would love to help you start planning your stay.  They offer a range of accommodation to suit your needs, are close to town centres and have free parking along with unlimited free WiFi.

So book now and book direct at www.bellavista.co.nz and get your summer getaway locked in!


Easter Getaways


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With Easter, and the excuse to over indulge in delicious chocolate just around the corner, why not start thinking about where to head to next!

It’s our last long holiday before we start heading into the cooler months, so we’ve taken all the hard work out of it and uncovered your next exciting escape with Bella Vista! Here's a few ideas:

New Plymouth

A great place to explore this Easter holiday is New Plymouth - one of New Zealand’s best surf regions with a spectacular coastline for a great beach getaway.  Our New Plymouth motel is ideally situated just a few minutes’ stroll to the fabulous coastal walkway track. The track stretches 12.7km along the picturesque coastline offering amazing views, great beaches and outdoor art displays such as the iconic Wind Wand or the Te Rewa Rewa bridge.  

 

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge New Pymouth

 

Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes and while away some time exploring rock pools, or head out to Sugar Loaf Marine Park, home to seals, seabirds and other marine life. You can snorkel, dive, swim, kayak or take a tour.  A top tip from our Bella Vista New Plymouth hosts is to make sure you also visit Giles Chocolatier to indulge in artisanal chocolate tastings or a decadent hot chocolate – I hear the Star Anise Hot Chocolate is yummy!

Wellington

Whilst we are spoilt for choice on locations in our beautiful country, we concluded that it’s hard to go past our capital, Wellington.  The vibrant feel to this city is obvious as soon as you head out for a stroll, with its sophistication, quirky corners and cosmopolitan mix of cafes, restaurants, bars. Wellington very rarely disappoints. You also have plenty of options to pick up an Easter treat. Take a tour at the Wellington Chocolate Factory who produce delicious organic artisan chocolates, or visit Butler’s Chocolate Café, specialist chocolatier and coffee chain, serving handmade sweets, pastries and sandwiches.

Our Bella Vista accommodation in Wellington is perfectly situated in Evans Bay, only a few minutes’ walk to restaurants and 5 minutes’ drive to beaches such as Oriental Bay. Our Wellington motel is a fantastic option as it provides a quieter location with a bit more space to relax.  Wellington Airport, Wellington Waterfront, Te Papa Museum, the Ferry Terminal and Westpac Stadium are only minutes’ drive away.

The capital city ticks all the boxes!

 

Wellington Bella Vista

 

Blenheim

Blenheim is the hub of the Marlborough region, gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, and our Blenheim motel accommodation is the perfect base for your Easter adventure in the Marlborough district. Marlborough's varied attractions include its wine industry, the waterways of the Marlborough Sounds, gourmet foods, adventure activities, museums and heritage centres, relaxing recreational opportunities and so much more. Enjoy the walks along the banks of the Taylor River or catch the Delta Queen paddle steamer for a journey on the river. Take a drive to the outskirts of Blenheim to Riverlands Cob Cottage, an early Marlborough dwelling furnished in the original pioneer style. Or for the more adventurous visit the Wither Hills Mountain Bike Park, a 40-hectare mountain bike park crisscrossed with tracks and offering visitors loads of fun for all levels of rider.

From the moment you arrive you'll enjoy the convenience that our Blenheim motel has to offer.  The Bella Vista Blenheim is near to the town centre for shops, business, entertainment and other activities, and just minutes from the many well-known Marlborough vineyards. There are an enormous number of vineyards to explore in Blenheim, either on your own or as part of a tour: Saint Clair, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay, Allan Scott, Spy Valley, Lawson’s Dry Hills, are only but a few.  Our hosts at the Bella Vista Blenheim will happily offer local advice on any of these activities and help you make any reservations.

 

Blenheim Vineyards

 

Queenstown

Queenstown always inspires when considering a holiday.  Whether for the adventurous at heart, those seeking solace in the beauty of its surrounds, getting together with friends or family, its possibilities are endless.

Our Bella Vista Queenstown motel accommodation is in the heart of Queenstown and only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre or the mesmerising lake where you have many options to get out on and explore including the TSS Earnslaw steamship, jet boating, cruising, fishing or a thrilling and ultimate ride in the Hydro Attack.  Don’t forget kids and big kids alike can have fun freestyle trampolining at SITE, or visit Game Over, home to the Grand Prix Indoor karting track and laser tag.  Right next door is the Remarkables Park Market on Saturdays, a great place to relax, taste the local delicacies and enjoy the vibe. 

At this time of year, the trees are starting to turn those vibrant autumnal colours and what better place to see this than at one of the many vineyards whilst sipping on a Pinot Noir!  Or get yourself a finger-licking chocolatey treat from Patagonia and watch the world go by on the Queenstown waterfront.

The attractions that are going to bring you to Queenstown really are endless the team at Bella Vista Queenstown look forward to hosting you!

 

Queenstown. TSS Earnslaw and the Remarkables

So book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and secure your Easter break.

 


Top 10 Motel Tips. Know Before you Go!


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If you are travelling to New Zealand or are a resident Kiwi, there is a good chance you're already aware that New Zealand motels offer a great option for your overnight accommodation needs.

With 27 motels nationwide, Bella Vista is well placed to cater for anyone requiring a motel stay. They are affordable, comfortable and convenient plus in most instances, you will get a better feel for your locality. Whether you stay at Bella Vista Oamaru, Bella Vista Hamilton or Bella Vista Queenstown you will enjoy the hospitality of your Bella Vista host and be assured that each motel is Qualmark endorsed.

Unlike hotels, motels in New Zealand are not big complexes, will not have an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, lobby area, nor different staff for each department. But then you don't have to pay for these extras either! By comparison, Bella Vista Motels will have a welcoming reception area, a convenient carpark, some public spaces such as a garden or BBQ area and guest units within a secure courtyard. 

As Bella Vista's are managed by the owners/operator, you will certainly enjoy Bella Vista's genuine kiwi hospitality; a laid back and down to earth style and attitude.

Up to this point, if you have now decided to make a reservation with Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide, here are 10 light-hearted tips you really should know before you arrive at the motel

1. There's no slippers

Yep. So there it is. We thought we'd get this out of the way first. Bella Vista nor New Zealand motels in general offer complimentary slippers. We understand you're disappointed so do make sure you pack your own.

2. Bella Vista motels are two storeys tall and do not have an elevator

Requests cannot always be guaranteed, but if you'd prefer to be on the ground floor please make sure you book with the motel and place your request directly rather than via a booking websites.
 

Bella Vista Motel

3. Please don't dry your clothes on the heater

Be very careful as it will create a significant safety risk. Covering a heater can cause fire.

4. Leave your luggage in the car

On your arrival, relax and leave your belongings in your car. Save your time and energy so that you only have to carry your luggage once, from your car to your room, after you have checked in.

5. Bella Vista Motel reception is not open 24/7

Bella Vista owner operators live on-site and do go to bed at night. They need their rest to ensure they can be bright and look after you during the day. So if you are going to check-in later than the advertised office hours, please make sure you let your host know.

6. Check-out time is 10 o'clock

For Bella Vista and most motels in New Zealand, check-out time is 10am. You can request a late-check out from your host which may be available.

7. Drying Dishes

In New Zealand we dry the dishes with a tea towel after being washed and then put them back in the cupboard. Just a friendly request not to put wet dishes back in the cupboard!

 

Bella Vista Motel Cupboard

8. Enjoy an electric blanket

Electric blankets are terrific inventions and it seems that many hotels don't even know they exist. They are particularly useful in winter. Simply turn it on at least an hour before go to bed to get your bed warm and then turn it off once you're in bed before you sleep.

9. Make your own breakfast

Every Bella Vista room features a kettle and toaster, complimentary tea, coffee and milk. So feel free to add some extras and put together a half-decent breakfast before you leave.

 

Bella Vista Continental Breakfast

10.  Be Aware of the T&C's

Terms and Conditions sound so tedious but they are there for a reason. So it is important that you understand them once you have completed your booking. Look specifically for cancellation and amendment policies so you can be sure your booking won't become problematic. 

With these tips now safely stored, head to www.bellavista.co.nz and book your next stay.


10 Reasons to Book Direct with Bella Vista


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Today, Wednesday 7th February is global #bookdirect day. It’s the one day in the calendar year where the hospitality industry including the 27 nationwide Bella Vista Motels would like to remind our valuable customers that you can Book Direct with Bella Vista New Zealand and that you don’t have to book via an Online Travel Agent.

But why Book Direct we hear you cry. Well here’s a few reasons:

1. The Best Price.

Don’t always believe what you read and hear! You will always get a better price booking with your host. It costs them less to receive your booking over the phone, on the Bella Vista website or by email as they don’t have to pay agent commission  - so ignore those annoying adverts and visit www.bellavista.co.nz or dial our Freephone reservation number 0800 235 528. Quite often you might even receive a special offer.

Book Direct with Bella Vista

2. Flexibility.

Enjoy the most favourable booking conditions with no hassle of having to work through a faceless intermediary. Phone your host and they are going to be more than happy to assist every single time. Surely that has to be better than contacting an offshore call centre and finding out no one really wants to help you amend your booking.

3.  Local Knowledge.

Whilst making your reservation, your host will answer all your questions about your stay without hesitation and no doubt offer some friendly advice at the same time. Take your time to pick their brains to make the most of your visit.

4.  Secure your favourite room.

By booking direct and talking to your host, you can request your preferred room. Whether it’s a garden view, an upstairs or downstairs studio, make your request and fingers crossed the room is available.  This simply isn’t possible to do with an online travel agent.

5. Help is at hand!

Have you ever had a booking with an online travel agent go wrong? Let’s just say the booking engine has a failed and you have booked a room that you think is available when in actual fact it isn’t. It’s not your fault. It’s not the motel or hotels fault but you’re the one left to pick up the pieces. If you want to avoid this disastrous scenario, book direct every time.

6. Book Now, Pay Later.

Secure your booking and pay when you arrive. That’s always going help with the holiday cash-flow

7. Earn Bella Vista Rewards.

Only customers who Book Direct are entitled to collect Bella Vista Rewards. If you Book Direct you will earn 5 points every time you stay which can be saved and then cashed in against a future stay. So booking direct is not only cheaper but we give you something back – how good is that!*  *available at participating Bella Vista's only

 

8. Support the New Zealand economy!

Every time you book via one of these monolithic online travel agents, your money is leaving the country and only a small portion gets returned to your host when you stay. It may be you don’t care whether the government is able to capture it’s GST slice,  but why should other countries profit either.

9. Put a smile on your hosts faces.

There is nothing your host will like more than a booking that has come directly to them. You making them happy will in turn increase the likelihood of them making your stay even better!

10. Free Continental Breakfast.

If you Book Direct on the Bella Vista website today, Wednesday 7th February, we’re going to give you a free breakfast when you stay. Just as a little way of saying thanks.

Bella Vista Continental Breakfast

So whether it’s Bella Vista Queenstown you’re heading to, Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier or Bella Vista Christchurch here are your Book Direct options:

  • ­   Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
  • ­   Call 0800 235 528
  • ­   Email [email protected]

#bookdirect   #trustbellavista


When Quality Counts


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In the modern digital age, every person travelling with a smartphone, iPad or other device has the opportunity to both read and post reviews and ratings on their overnight experience.

Whether they choose to leave their thoughts and opinions on Trip Advisor, Google, or a booking agent’s website, this very public feedback has guaranteed that New Zealand accommodation standards must remain high and guest expectations are met every time.

The evolution of user-centric feedback is an overwhelmingly positive development for the travel and tourism industry and ensures the general public can be fully informed about their purchasing decision by peers rather than by some clever marketing words or sales pitch. It’s the way things should be.

Customer Reviews

The digital feedback revolution is something that the Bella Vista Accommodation network fully supports. All positive feedback allows our terrific motel operators to take comfort that they are delivering a great experience. Of course, no motelier wants to receive a poor review but when that does occasionally occur, more often than not, it’s an easy fix and we are able to improve our offer.

One critical point that the customer seems to miss when using peer-to-peer reviews, however, is that these ratings are really only scratching the surface and are simply a superficial overview. Important questions that all New Zealand motels should be able to answer often get left unasked. Those question should include:

  • How robust are your health and safety policies and practices?
  • What does your businesses environmental footprint look like?
  • Do you engage and give back to your local community ?
  • Do you have an emergency plan to ensure I can rely on you in the unlikely event of a natural disaster?
  • What do your cleaning schedules and systems look like and do they meet not just international standards by my standards?

This is where Quality really comes into the equation of deciding where you want to stay. In Bella Vista’s opinion, only accommodation operators who have been audited by a recognisable external and independent organisation can really promote their accommodation business with any kind of credible quality or star rating.

Qualmark a mark of quality

Bella Vista works closely with Qualmark, New Zealand’s official quality assurance
organisation who provide a trusted guide to quality travel experiences in New Zealand.  Qualmark's business advisors visit Bella Vista motels at least once a year ensuring we
are checked against best- practise operating standards and the optimum customer
experience delivery.

There is a huge amount of evidence that business planning, good management and
solid processes as audited by Qualmark result in a better product. Furthermore, research
shows that an identifiable mark of quality is an important deciding factor when customer’s
etermine where they book. Certainly, any motel promoting itself as ‘self-rated’ does not
provide the necessary credibility any guest to New Zealand deserves.

From 4 Star rated Bella Vista Queenstown in the south to 4.5 Star rated Bella Vista Whangarei in the north, Bella Vista takes pride in the fact that we are the only motel chain in New Zealand that is Qualmark endorsed across each of our 27 comfortable and convenient locations.

Bella Vista Motels

#trustbellavista


Bella Vista's '27 Club'; An Exclusive Membership


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Founded in 1998, the Bella Vista Accommodation Network quickly spread across the country creating a comprehensive motel chain of 27 quality motels from Bella Vista Invercargill in the scenic south to Bella Vista Whangarei in the winter-less north.

Over the following 18 years, tens of thousands of guest nights and a good number of hearty breakfasts delivered, Bella Vista motels have welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, it has forged a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations, facilitating business travellers a convenient place to stay when criss-crossing the country for work and in all cases, a trusted overnight stop.

Whilst the Bella Vista story continues to unfold, a question was recently asked which stopped us dead in our tracks; “Has anyone stayed at all 27 Bella Vista motels?” A quick delve into our records was unable to offer any conclusive results. Even a poll amongst the Bella Vista team came up short. The record for the most Bella Vista motels stayed in by any one individual was 24. Only 24, that can’t be right!! As you can imagine, we’re now on the hunt for anyone who can claim to be part of what we imagine is a very exclusive group. Have you stayed at all 27 Bella Vista’s?

The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain ensures that not only do most major New Zealand towns and cities feature properties, such as Bella Vista Christchurch or Bella Vista Dunedin, but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Do you travel for work and have decided to use our chain to cater for your accommodation? Perhaps you’ve decided to undertake a New Zealand road-trip similar to these itineraries and whilst touring, you have used our motel accommodation network? Possibly a mixture of both work and pleasure at different times?

What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 or even just a small handful - whether it is Bella Vista Hamilton, Bella Vista Queenstown or Bella Vista Fox Glacier to name just three, you are going to experience a four star Qualmark endorsed level of comfort and be entertained by some of New Zealand’s very best hosts.

So tell us, how many Bella Vista motels have you stayed at? With 27 in the network it takes a certain type of loyalty and commitment to tick them all off.  

If you have stayed at all 27, we want to hear from you!

Bella Vista '27 Club'