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Category Archives: Bella Vista Christchurch

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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Best Walks in Christchurch


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With a Garden City reputation to uphold, beautiful walks in Christchurch are plentiful and varied. From the well-groomed paths in Hagley Park to the windswept tracks traversing the Port Hills, these free Christchurch activities are suitable for all fitness levels.  We’ve done the hard yards by rounding up the city’s five best walking tracks, including a few with delicious food along the way. 

 

The Bridle Path to Lyttleton (1 hour 30 minutes one-way) 

For the full Port Hills monty, leave your car at the Christchurch Gondola carpark and walk up the steep Bridle Path - a favourite amongst fit Christchurch locals - towards the Gondola station. Here you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the city, the golden Canterbury Plains and pristine Southern Alps. Grab a refreshment at the summit’s Red Rock Café before descending towards Lyttleton on the Bridle Path. Imagine walking in the footsteps of the early settlers, who would ride a horse or donkey over the Port Hills to Christchurch. Rather than endure an arduous boat ride around the coast. 

Once in Lyttleton, check out the quirky Spookie Boogie for the best coffee, sweet treats and hidden garden setting, in this historic hillside village.  A short ride on the number 28 bus back through the Port Hills tunnel, will return you to the Gondola carpark.  

 

The Stan Helms Track to Lyttleton - from the Gondola station (30 minutes one-way) 

Your express option is to take the Christchurch Gondola up to the summit, then walk downhill towards picturesque Lyttleton on the Stan Helms Track, a short walk from the Gondola’s summit station. Head west along the Crater Rim Walkway and take the track after the Bridle Path. The one-kilometre track zigzags down to the end of Harman’s Road, where 15 minutes later you’ll reach Lyttleton. This easier option will keep the family happy (and preserve the legs) before hopping on the 28 bus back to the Gondola carpark. 

 

Harry Ell Track (2 hours return) 

Another popular walk in the Port Hills, this 2-hour loop from the Victoria Park Visitor Centre is one of those tracks which provides big rewards for very little effort. Despite its gentle incline, you’ll get surprising views of the city and Alps, discover the Memorial site of the 19th Infantry Battalion and possibly spot beautiful Kereru (wood pigeon) in Victoria Park. One of the best hill-top places to eat in Christchurch is the Sign of the Kiwi café. Locals give five-star reviews for its stunning views, great coffee and delicious food. 

 

The City Promenade along the Avon River (1 hour return – without stops) 

This awesome 4-kilometre walk is designed to showcase the must-see activities in Christchurch. Highlights along the way include the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, the Bridge of Remembrance, the Christchurch Arts Centre plus vibrant bars and cafes. You may even chance upon lovers dreamily punting up the Avon River past draping leafy trees. This track is the perfect way to discover local life at the heart of Christchurch, including the delightful Margaret Mahy playground.  

 

Godley Head to Taylors Mistake (2 hours return) 

We had to include a superb coastal walk on our ‘best walks of Christchurch’ list.  

The Godley Head Coastal Walk follows Taylors Mistake Beach before climbing to the Head, once a wartime defence battery. Take in the surfing action of Taylors Mistake, panoramic views of Pegasus Bay, the Kaikoura mountains and the North Canterbury hills. Sometimes even dolphins and white flippered penguins make an appearance. From Godley Head, you’ll see Lyttleton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, and the Pacific Ocean. Given its high ratio of insta-worthy views, this well-formed track is one of the most scenic walks in Christchurch.  

So pack your walking shoes and drink bottle because Christchurch is a great place for trailblazers and nature-lovers. Ask the Bella Vista Christchurch team for information on free activities, places to eat and wonderous walks. We’ll happily provide the latest weather report and point you in the right direction.  


Taste Christchurch: The Foodies Guide


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Christchurch is enjoying a culinary revival with fantastic new eateries, bars and cafés complementing a vibrant food scene. No one wants to eat a dud meal while traveling places, right? So, we've compiled a gastro guide to the best restaurants in Christchurch for your eating pleasure. 

 

Brunch or lunch best cafes in Christchurch 

At Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters, you might just discover the best French toast and coffee in town! With a menu consisting of breakfast burritos, eggs any style and fresh healthy salads, this café is one of the best places to eat in Christchurch. The peppermint slice and cheddar muffins are great cabinet fare if you’re after lunch on-the-run.  

An all-day option close to the motel, is Strawberry Fare. While popular with the locals for its stunning chocolate-themed dessert platters and gateaux, this eatery serves up light savoury dishes too like hot smoked salmon with tasty apple slaw or slow roasted duck confit. So it’s the great food combined with views over Hagley Park which makes this longstanding café one of the tastiest things to do in Christchurch 

 

For the best steak restaurant in Christchurch 

Where New York-sized steaks meet Canterbury prime-rib, is where you’ll find Bloody Mary’s. Choose your cut of Angus, Wakanui, or Angus Hereford at this all-day upmarket diner.  Guests drool over the 7-day aged steak, especially the 300g Mary's cut with a side of hash brown and truffle mash. This place serves up hearty brunch options too. 

 

For Christchurch best fine-dining restaurants  

Head to Inati for a special lunch or dinner. Book the 6 or 8-course ‘Trust Us’ menu as chef Simon Levy, once head Gordon Ramsay's head chef, has also sharpened his knives at London’s Claridge’s and The Ivy. This team have earnt their cooking stripes! Trust us in that you’ll sample dishes you’d ordinarily never choose but enjoy immensely. Artichokes with cottage cheese, duck trumpets with rhubarb jam, or smoked venison tartare may be laid before you. But be warned, this Chef’s menu changes often! 

Could Story, in historic Little Regents Street, be the city’s best kept dining secret? Locals are keen to keep this place on the down-low given the popularity of the Chef’s mystery 3-courses for $75. The story lies in the ever-changing nightly menu. One night it could be Mushroom Ravioli followed by chocolate mousse, the next night, lightly grilled Venison in an oyster sauce. All you need to know is incredible food and flawless, friendly service combine to make Story one of the best restaurants in Christchurch.   

 

For the best cheap eats in Christchurch 

Let’s take things down a notch or two to the Thai Container. Close to the motel, is this cheap and cheerful, no fuss pop-up, which serves up tasty fresh Thai food like spicy fried chicken, trusty Pad Thai and fragrant green curry.  Or for a quick healthy fix, head for top-rated Kinji for Japanese-style tapas like Cajun-spiced garlic tuna, wagyu beef sushi or salmon sashimi. You can’t go wrong with either option. 

 

For the best burgers in Christchurch 

If you’re craving a big, juicy, delicious burger then Bacon Brothers has you covered. With a mission to create the best burgers around and over 18 delicious options, there’s a choice for everyone. They’ve even ‘burgered’ coconut bacon and deep-fried cauliflower to cater for vegans too.  And their hand cut fries are a must-have side. With most burgers under $18, this is another of Christchurch’s best cheap eats. 

 

Best bistro style fare 

Our pick is 5th Street for their vibrant buzz, stylish decor, and innovative flavour-packed menu. Imagine a slow roasted Lamb Shoulder with side couscous salad, triple cooked potatoes, and a burnt Basque cheesecake to finish. Or Himalayan salt block cured fish served with broccoli doughnuts and seaweed butter. Sounds great right?  

The menu changes often at 5th Street, inspired by seasonal produce and the need to keep their regular diners coming back for more.    

There’s plenty of great places to eat in Christchurch, so whatever your tastes, please ask the Bella Vista Motel Christchurch team for up-to-date information and local dining recommendations. 


Your Getaway Guide to Christchurch


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Planning a short break or a few days with the family in Christchurch? Rediscover a city once famed for its well-groomed gardens, now going places with a vibrant rebuild, great eateries and fun attractions.  The city is still green and beautiful, but this gateway to the South has blossomed into an exciting creative destination, since the transformative 2011 earthquake. Here’s our guide on the top ten things to do in Christchurch.  

Number one is to head for the Christchurch Gondola, an 862-metre cable car ride up the side of Mt Cavendish, for spectacular 360-degree views of the city, the plains, the Southern Alps, Lake Ellesmere and the Pacific Ocean. If you’re keen on stretching your legs, take the scenic track down the Bridle Path Walk, back to the gondola carpark.    

Tick off number two and three on your list by heading into town.  Stroll through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens to discover the finest collection of exotic and native plants in the country before dropping into the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch locals are so justifiably proud of. With free entry, kids will love climbing through the moa cave, digging for fossils, visiting the paua house and walking ‘back in time’ down an old Christchurch street (complete with horse and penny farthing cycle!) 

By now you’re probably feeling peckish. So, amble down to pedestrian mall New Regents Street (our number four destination) to sample some of the best restaurants in Christchurch and the street’s 1930’s style Spanish Mission architecture. Pick up a quick bite, like the whitebait fritters at Café Stir or dine at the top-rated Twenty-Seven Steps (visitors rave about their aged beef fillet with hasselback potatoes). If it’s coffee you’re hankering after, drop into The Caffeine Laboratory or indulge yourself with a late-afternoon cocktail at The Last Word or The Institution. 

Activities five, six and seven on our list will delight both young and old. The excellent Margaret Mahy playground, named after the famous children’s author, is tucked alongside the Avon River and one of the fun stops on the Christchurch Tram’s route. The playground features a double flying fox, large slides, colourful climbing frames, even a splash pad (and for the big kids, great food and coffee trucks on the weekend). 

Want to cool off? Then head to the thrilling International Antarctic Centre Christchurch near the airport, to play in the snow at replica Scott Base, hang out with little Blue Penguins and hop on a rugged Hagglund ride. You’ll feel like an intrepid explorer! 

No trip to Christchurch would be complete without reflecting on local life before and after the February 2011 earthquake. In one afternoon, it changed the city forever. The Quake City exhibition, the 185 White Chairs Memorial and the Cardboard Cathedral are all excellent yet sobering reminders of the resilience and strength of the local Cantabrians and their determination to rebuild a world-class city.  Lest we forget. Which is why the Quake-themed experiences need to make your ‘things to do Christchurch’ top ten list.  

For advice, a city map or tour recommendations, please ask your Bella Vista Christchurch team for help. We’re here to make your visit a treasured memory. 


Reaching New Zealand Snow


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If you are searching for a holiday that includes snow, New Zealand is very definitely for you.  Every winter and often into late spring, New Zealand can guarantee a whole swag of the white stuff in both the North and South Islands.   And we’re not talking about measly quotas that leave you feeling short changed.  We’re talking about infamous New Zealand snow dumps that can bring the chills right through every self-proclaimed beach lover.

Winter time southerly winds racing up from the Antarctic are cold enough to frighten even hardened rain into beautiful New Zealand snowflakes and once they fall, our stunning landscape is taken to a whole new level of awesomeness as New Zealand proudly shows off its seasonal white winter blanket.   Blessed with major mountain ranges that reach above and beyond 2,500 metres tall, New Zealand naturally attracts snow to those highest peaks.  In some cases, such as with Mount Cook at over 3,700 metres high, the snow tends to hang around all year.

Winter sports enthusiasts have long held New Zealand in high regard for its high quality ski-fields and the variety of its snow-covered mountain terrain, but it’s not just ski and snowboard aficionado’s that New Zealand snow attracts.  It may be hard to believe but for many visitors travelling to New Zealand from distant tropical countries,  the opportunity to touch snow for the very first time is a very exciting part of their journey.

So read on for our detailed guide to where you can find New Zealand snow.

New Plymouth

Perhaps not the most obvious place to start, but New Plymouth sits adjacent to New Zealand’s largest stand-alone mountain, Mt Taranaki.  During winter and often extending well into later seasons, the upper slopes of the mountain which reaches 2,518 metres will be snow clad.  Taking a hike in Egmont National Park is a popular activity and a winter time walk to the snow line is quite easy to achieve with three main access roads allowing you to get you part-way up the mountain.  We definitely wouldn’t recommend a summit hike during the winter season however!  New Plymouth is a great city to visit and our down-town New Plymouth accommodation option can give you all the information you need for your time there.

West Coast Glaciers

Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier are world famous for the nearby glaciers from which the settlements take their names.  And naturally, a glacier experience is what most people visit these townships for.  The best choice to get up and personal with those glaciers is a heli-hike and this includes touching down on the top of the glaciers and being able to actually walk amongst virgin snow.   It really is quite an experience to not only take a scenic flight up and around Mount Cook, but then to land and tread on these massive snowfields at the top of the glaciers.  It is quite a wondrous experience.  Franz Josef Bella Vista and Fox Bella Vista can give you all the details you need to make this a really memorable visit.

Heli hiking west coast glaciers

Arthurs Pass

If you intend to travel from Christchurch Bella Vista across to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Bella Vista has a great value Hokitika accommodation or Greymouth motel facilities available to book.  But it’s the journey that crosses up and through the Southern Alps and through Arthurs Pass township itself that we are interested in, as this presents a strong chance of accessing some winter snow.  With several good walks there is every chance of getting amongst the snow line and probably meeting some Kea’s,  NZ’s very unique mountain parrot..

Te Anau

Te Anau itself will get snow to the ground a couple of times of year, but being on the edge of the Fiordland National Park means getting close to the snow line in winter isn’t too difficult.  If you are undertaking one of the New Zealand’s Great Walks, Te Anau is a great base to use as a start or finish point and these walks will invariably enter the snow line.  Perhaps the most accessible snow is on the road to Milford Sound.  As the road climbs to a height of 925m where it enters the Homer Tunnel, there is always a good level of snow by the adjacent car-park to play in.  It’s quite special watching tourists who have never seen snow before experiencing it for the first time.  The team at Te Anau Bella Vista have a lot more detail on these options.

 

Bella Vista Te Anau

 

Of course New Zealand’s ski fields are an obvious place to head to access to snow even if you are not intending to ride skis or snowboards, as most have well-formed access roads to the snow line.  Be sure to travel with snow-chains and if your car is only a two wheel drive, this may prevent you from getting as close to snow as you might like!

Ashburton

The team at Bella Vista Ashburton have a secret and it’s time to let you know.  Ashburton is a great place to base yourself for skiing Mount Hutt whilst enjoying some great value Ashburton at the same time.  Understandably, Mt Hutt accommodation prices increase quite considerably for the towns that are closer to Mt Hutt Ski Field, so being just under an hour’s drive from the mountain, it makes sense to try and take advantage of the cheaper rates staying in Ashburton accommodation offers.  A weekend and school holiday ski shuttle from Ashburton takes care of the driving for you so you can relax and enjoy the snow. 

Hanmer Springs

Dotted around the South Island of New Zealand are lots of club ski-fields, including Hanmer Springs Ski Area.  There is a chairlift, a tow rope and the club offer groomed trails with lots of space.  A shuttle will take you to the ski field from Hanmer Springs and our team at Bella Vista will ensure you have an enjoyable stay at their quiet Hanmer Springs accommodation.

Oamaru

Not the most obvious base to use for snow adventures, but if you are using Bella Vista Oamaru accommodation as an overnight stop on your New Zealand journey, there are a couple of ski-fields which you may pass and are worth a try to get in touch with snow.  An hour’s drive up the Waitaki Valley will bring you to the small township of Kurow where a small ski-field called Awakino is located.  At the top of the valley and into the foothills of the Southern Alps is another relatively un-commercialised ski-field called Ohau.  Located above the picturesque Lake Ohau this is a great area to enjoy the snow.

If you intend to continue your journey onward to either Wanaka or Queenstown, you will be required to cross the dramatic Lindis Pass which at a height of 971 metres is often covered by a layer of snow during winter.  There is a car-park and look-out which will allow you to stop safely.

Wanaka

When it comes to ski holidays, the southern lakeside resort of Wanaka is an obvious choice to head to get amongst the snow.  It boasts two fabulous local ski-fields in the technically excellent Treble Cone and the popular all round favourite Cardrona ski resort.  With your Bella Vista Wanaka accommodation set in the heart  of town you are never far from your ski transport, ski retail outlets, eateries and bars.  After an enjoyable day on the slopes, you can quickly change and fall into any number of evening outlets safe in the knowledge that you are hardly a stone’s throw away from a good night’s sleep.

Queenstown

Queenstown needs no introduction as a place to head for winter snow and in particular skiing or snowboarding.  Two major ski-fields  - Coronet Peak and The Remarkables - lie within a 30 minute drive and if you drive over the Crown Range road, you’re only a short distance from another significant ski centre which hosts international competitions called Cardrona Skifield.  Bella Vista Queenstown is perfectly positioned to take advantage of these winter sports with free parking, a drying room, and an easy five minute stroll into town to take advantage of Queenstown’s famed après ski hospitality.  Even if you don't ski there are terrific facilities on offer and room for the kids to have a play.  Queenstown will often experience between 1 or 2 major snow storms through the winter that will bring snow to ground level.  They are often very memorable days as the surrounding countryside is blanketed white – as long as you can look beyond the inconvenience of snowbound cars and the potential of flight cancellations. 

 

Ski Queenstown

 

Taupo

Ski fields are not the exclusive preserve of the South Island.  The North Island also offers some impressive ski fields, the three main options being located on Mount Ruapehu which is within striking distance of the popular lakeside town of Taupo.  Bella Vista has a highly rated motel located just a few blocks back from the lakefront and they are a very good Taupo accommodation option to consider as a ski base

 

If you are travelling in snow conditions, please ensure you have snow chains in your vehicle and above all, travel safe!  Bella Vista New Zealand Accommodation Nationwide looks forward to hosting you.


Sunrise and Sunset. The Best in New Zealand with Bella Vista


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For any one heading on holiday or taking a journey a sunrise or sunset can be an iconic part of your experience.  Some may argue that it is an essential element to any great trip and we can assure you that when travelling to New Zealand you will have a great time.  

Watching dawn break and the sun follow shortly after is always memorable, particularly if you have got up early to see it.  Finding the perfect spot in the evening to share and enjoy with friends and family as you watch the sun go down can also be very special.  If you record the occasion with a photo there is no doubt it will take pride of place in both your photo album and memory.  Recollections of spectacular colours dance together as sounds all blur into an occasion of happiness and wonderful memories.

Being an island nation and surrounded by oceans stretching to infinity both east and west, New Zealand is uniquely well-placed for this experience.  The Pacific Ocean gives the days first light to New Zealand along the east coast whilst the Tasman Sea swallows the sun in the west at the end of the day.  Being a relatively small nation, it is not difficult to traverse between coastlines and capture both the sun rising and setting across the sea in the same day.  Not that we would necessarily advise that, however, because it would create an unnecessary rush between coasts. 

Any well-planned itinerary should definitely allow time and so it may be that you choose a different option to capture the sunset or sunrise and that is to get amongst the mountains.  With the spine of New Zealand carried by the Southern Alps in the South Island and the Volcanic Plateau in the centre of the North Island, there are lots of options here to obtain your perfect first light or sundowners experience.

With 27 locations through the country, Bella Vista has motels which are well-placed to help you achieve your ‘sun time’ goal.  Have a read of the following suggestions and plan your travels accordingly. 

 

Sunrise in New Zealand with Bella Vista

Gisborne

The most obvious place to start is Gisborne, commonly known as the first city to see the rising sun – every day!  Gisborne Bella Vista is well placed to access not only the heart of the city by car or by foot, but it is a great location to head a little bit further out of town and explore more of the East Cape.  But where is the best place to see the sunrise we hear you ask?   Wainui Beach often takes the headlines but one recommendation is to head further up to Makorori Beach, a lovely locals beach north on State Highway 35 with great views of the coast from the lookout.  It is popular with surfers but also those wanting to see the start of the day.  Sunsets aren’t too shabby here either as the light of the day disappears behind you creating a wonderful warm glow.  If you want something closer to town, Kaiti Hill is a look-out point which you can reach by walking, biking or by car.   With views out to sea and right across Gisborne,  you’ll be well set to see the new dawn.  Gisborne Bella Vista will be more than happy to help you with the local knowledge that you need, including heading further around the East Cape where there are some other terrific sunrise spots including East Cape lighthouse and Anaura Bay.

Wellington

Wellington is another great North Island destination to watch the sunrise.  An early start from the Wellington Bella Vista to head up Mount Victoria that stands closely behind your Wellington accommodation will bring brilliant rewards.  As the sun eases up behind the hazy shadowy outlines of distant mountains,  you’ll watch the city catch the light and come to life in the dawn sunlight.   With views of the city, the harbour, planes and ferries arriving and leaving, you really get a sense of the day beginning.   Mount Victoria can be a challenging walk but the team at your Bella Vista motel will know the best way to go and critically the best time to ensure you make the most of this peaceful time of day.

New Plymouth

For terrific sunsets in the North Island it might sound too obvious but we would point you to New Plymouth, New Zealand’s most westerly city.  With our Bella Vista accommodation set right in the heart of town, you have the most perfect location to enjoy the highlights of the region and you’re also not too far from a popular sunset spot.  Back Beach overlooks Sugar Loaf Marine Park and is a short 10 minute drive from your New Plymouth accommodation.  Taking in the sunset at this spot seems to be the highlight for many visitors and comes highly recommended.  Take your time to end the day and enjoy a wander or just

Hokitika

Heading to the South Island, we’re going to take you straight to Bella Vista Hokitika accommodation, a motel set in the most delightful West Coast town that happens to be directly adjacent to the beach.   Not only that, but Hokitika has a beach called Sunset Point which is a 3 minute drive from the hotel or a 15 minute walk.   As the name suggests, it is a great place to watch the sunset and a quick look at Trip Advisor confirms this with a 5 out of 5 star rating.   

 

Hokitika Sunset

  “This is the place to watch the sunset each day as the sun kisses the ocean and disappears into the water. Plenty of photo opportunities with drift wood sign spelling out the towns name.”   

Photos from previous travellers instantly draw you to want to visit the town so don’t delay.  If you hadn’t heard of Hokitika previously be sure to add it to your itinerary and book for two nights, not just one.  Our Hokitika motel has handy maps to guide you the right way and will also be able to tell you what time you need to be there by to enjoy the most of the sun descending into the sea.

Queenstown

Set in the heart of the mountains in the southern region of New Zealand, Queenstown may be completely landlocked but here you can view a wonderful sunset, sunrise and see the southern nights stars in between.  For the early risers, a trip in the car up the public road to Coronet Peak will position you perfectly to watch the first light of the day cast itself across the Wakatipu basin.  As the sun comes up in the distant west, you will see bands of light rising behind mountains and the reflections of early sunlight casting shadows which create wonderful effects on the valley floor far beneath you.  It is a magical time of day and the beautiful views keep growing as the new daylight chases down the Remarkables and onto Lake Wakitipu.  Queenstown Bella Vista will advise you on the best timings to head out and the which route to take to capture these views.  The team at the centrally located Queenstown accommodation motel will also point you toward Queenstown lakefront in time for a perfect sundowners.  The beach at Queenstown Bay can become very busy during the evening on a warm sunny day but it is very much worth finding a spot after purchasing some fish & chips and sit there as the sun sets behind Ben Lomond.   Some would say this is the best show in town but wait, have you looked at the stars?

Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier

It might sound strange, but another perfect sunrise spot is actually on the West Coast near Fox Glacier and within a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier.  Lake Matheson takes pride of place as the sun rises above the snow-capped mountains perfectly reflect in the still lake waters.  It's a special spot and close to both Bella Vista Franz Josef Glacier accommodation and Bella Vista Fox Glacier motel.

Dunedin, Mosgiel & Christchurch

Two other favourite spots we have in the South Island for sunsets are Dunedin’s St Clair beach and New Brighton Pier in Christchurch.  Luckily both have Bella Vista’s nearby, Bella Vista offers a great Mosgiel accommodation option just 10 minutes’ drive from Dunedin or you can stay at the Dunedin Bella Vista itself.  Bella Vista Christchurch apartments and motel is located on Bealey Avenue, a 15 minute drive from New Brighton.  If you happen to be spending your last night in New Zealand before flying home from Christchurch Airport, take time to head to the pier in the late afternoon and enjoy a memorable end to your holiday.

 

Sunrise on the Lindis Pass

We’d love to hear from you where you have enjoyed your most memorable New Zealand sunrise or sunset so feel free to leave your comments on the Bella Vista Facebook page or share your photo on Instagram with the tag #bellavistanz


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


Spring and Summer Holidays. Bella Vista is your perfect match


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Who’s planning to get away this spring or summer?  A weekend break or maybe that long awaited and talked about road trip around New Zealand!  Our Bella Vista Motel accommodation will be the perfect match for your spring break or summer vacation. Check out these reasons why staying with Bella Vista is a great choice.

With over 27 locations nationwide Bella Vista has welcomed visitors from right across New Zealand and the world. Whilst Bella Vista has been open for business, we have established a strong reputation for convenience and quality becoming a preferred choice enabling tourists to visit New Zealand’s beautiful scenic locations and by offering a quality overnight stop along the way. Be reassured by the familiarity and consistency of our distinctive design and quality of service! Trust Bella Vista because you know what to expect - it's like a home away from home.

The geographic spread of the Bella Vista chain throughout New Zealand ensures that not only do most major towns and cities feature Bella Vista motels, such as Bella Vista Wellington, New Plymouth or Bella Vista Christchurch but so do popular tourist destinations such as Bella Vista Franz Josef and Bella Vista Queenstown. Even locations which you wouldn't necessarily consider first time as a destination offer a great overnight option such as Bella Vista Mosgiel, Palmerston North Bella Vista or Ashburton Bella Vista.  All our motels are conveniently placed in central locations, close to local amenities, and with free car parking on-site for all guests making it easy to unpack for your stay and come and go as you please to explore the local attractions.

Each property has a choice of several room types to suit your needs or budget, from singles, couples and families.  All rooms come equipped with kitchenette, ensuite bathrooms, television with a range of channels and free wifi.  Most of our motels also have a BBQ area for you to crank that summer sausage sizzle and relax into the summer evenings with a well-deserved glass of wine. 

Relax with Bella Vista


Your friendly Kiwi hosts live on-site offering a safe and secure accommodation option and peace of mind. All Bella Vista motels also offer additional services like guest laundry, continental breakfast and luggage storage. A travel booking service is available and your hosts can offer local knowledge and tips to make your stay more enjoyable. Your hosts will happily book your onward journey to ensure you can stay at your preferred New Zealand accommodation option. 

What is certain is if you have stayed at every 27 Bella Vista’s or even just a small handful - whether it is for accommodation in Hamilton, Napier accommodation or accommodation in Fox Glacier to name just three destinations, 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.

Having flexibility with your accommodation reservation process can also make your travel planning for this summer a lot less stressful.   A tempting option when booking on the Bella Vista website is the convenience of our Book Now, Pay Later offers, which allows you to make your booking and only pay when you arrive at your motel.  Another good deal when booking direct is our Best Price Guarantee deal. Refer to our Best Price Guarantee page to find out more and how to take advantage of this offer only available at bellavista.co.nz.
 

Bella Vista Accommodation

At Bella Vista we understand how to meet our customers’ expectations every day, are proud to offer a high-quality standard of accommodation, facilities and service at competitive pricing and delighted to provide genuine kiwi hospitality at every one of our 27 motels nationwide. 

So book now at www.bellavista.co.nz and get your spring and summer off to a cracking start.


All Your Meeting Needs in One Location


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Bella Vista network is unique amongst New Zealand motel providers in that every one of our 27 locations across New Zealand provides a similar, consistent design, guaranteeing our customers piece of mind that you know what you are going to get. 

What you may not know is that many of our Bella Vista accommodation locations are happy to host meetings, gatherings, interviews, showcases and alike. Fully equipped apartment units with kitchenette's can easily be set up to match whatever style event you are holding. Full catering options are provided and rooms can be hired as part of a package for overnight stays.

Bella Vista Christchurch

With a set of five town-house style apartments as shown in the photo below, there is endless opportunity to operate a small numbered delegate meeting on-site. Situated a short stroll from the historic CBD and set amongst a significant choice of eateries on and around Bealey Avenue, this is a great Christchurch accommodation option to consider using if you need to meet.

 


Bella Vista Motel & Conference Centre Palmerston North

Unique to the Bella Vista motel network, Palmerston North Bella Vista has an onsite conference room. All the relevant details can be found on the Palmerston North accommodation page. Shown below is the dedicated meeting space which can accommodate up to 30 people in theatre style or 18-20 people in boardroom style. The room is available to hire on a daily rate of $150.

 

 


Bella Vista Ashburton

Bella Vista Ashburton is very active in the meeting space. Located at the north end of the township, Ashburton is one hour's drive from Christchurch Airport. Ashburton Bella Vista corporate customers come from across the region to hold team meetings, board meetings and consultations. The meeting spaces are welcoming, modern, meticulously clean and can be configured to your requirements whether it is a boardroom, U shape or lounge style. The rooms are accompanied with kitchen facilities and if your team need to take a break from time to time during a meeting head out to the gardens.

  • Ashburton Half-Day Meeting - Duration: 4 ½ hours, max 10 people | $120.00 includes complimentary WiFi, tea, coffee and orange juice on arrival, pads, pens, mints, whiteboard and fruit. Morning tea with 2 food 3 choices is $8.00 per person.
  • Ashburton Full-Day Meeting - Duration: 8 ½ hours, max 10 people | $160.00 includes complimentary WiFi, tea, coffee and orange juice on arrival, pads, pens, mints, whiteboard and fruit. Morning tea and afternoon with 2 food choices is $8.00 per person per setting. A light lunch is available -$15.00 per person.
  • Ashburton Overnight Meeting - Pricing as per the full day option. | Accommodation starts from $125.00 per room.


Paul & Michelle pictured below would be happy to host your meeting so we encourage you to make contact and book your next meeting in now.

 

So why waste important time running between your hotel and the meeting space? Bella Vista Accommodation Nationwide can offer you and your team well appointed meeting spaces, affordable accommodation plus breakfast options. Contact any of our 27 locations for more information or call 0800 235 528 to speak to one of our team about your requirements. We look forward to hosting you.