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Category Archives: Bella Vista Hanmer Springs

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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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 Arctic 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.


South Island Easter Getaways


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Easter is nearly upon us and we’d like to feature four fantastic destinations in the South Island where you can have some fun with the kids together with a relaxing, cozy, autumnal break for Mum and Dad.   It’s just what the doctor ordered along with, of course, over indulging in some delicious chocolate treats along the way!

Why not make Easter extra special for the family this year and create an Easter hunt in one of these amazing locations. Or ask around and see if there’s any local Easter Hunts happening over the weekend that you can join in on.  The kids will be delighted and will talk about it for years.

Take the hassle out of getting away by staying at our Bella Vista Motel accommodation where you and the kids will have a warm and comfortable stay.  The hosts are friendly and on hand to offer some great local tips and there’s free parking so you can get out and explore by foot or bicycle.

Hanmer Springs is a great destination for an Easter getaway.  Only 90 minutes from Christchurch and you are in the picturesque resort town.  Your Bella Vista motel accommodation is easy to find on the way into the centre of town and within easy walking distance. Surrounded by mountains, Hanmer Springs has a laid-back vibe that will have you shaking off the “busyness of life” that encompasses most families these days.  Activities abound with forest walks and bike trails, fishing and 4WD tours or take the kids on a family rafting trip – a must for the photo album!  The owners, Julie and Steve will be happy to give you advice about the different walking trails in the area to find one that best suits or point you in the right direction for other activities.  At the end of the day head to the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa Complex where you can go crazy with the kids down the hydro slides or relax in a one of the many thermal pools.  There’s a café on site for when the family get ravenous. Enjoy a pizza and beer al fresco style or an ice-cream to celebrate an Easter full of adventure and surprise.  But hey who ever needed an excuse for an ice-cream though! 

For your Hanmer Springs accommodation book direct with Bella Vista Hanmer for the best price.

Hanmer Springs

 

Next up, let us recommend Wanaka.  Nestled on the edge of Lake Wanaka this place has great appeal for an Easter getaway.  Not only for its beautiful surroundings, its people, its walks or bike trails but also for its epicurean delights and activities to enthral both adults and kids alike.  Take the family to Puzzling World – challenge your perception of reality in the allusion rooms or try your luck in the multi-tiered maze. Hours of fun and laughs to be had.

This year Wanaka will hold ‘Wheels at Wanaka’ over the Easter Saturday and Sunday.  This is a great show for all that includes a Vintage Farm Fair, a Car, Motorcycle and Truck Show, and an Earthmoving Extravaganza. Entertainment galore! 

Look out for the locally made chocolate and other treats that Wanaka offers, and if you are starting your Easter weekend on Thursday then check out exquisite local artisan products at The Wanaka Artisan Market from 3pm until 6.00pm right in town centre alongside Bullock Creek. The doughnuts are a favourite!

Your Bella Vista Wanaka motel accommodation is right in town and only 150 metres from the Lake.  The perfect spot really!

 

Bella Vista Lake Wanaka

 

Queenstown is another top pick for an Easter getaway this year.  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 wandering around neighbouring Arrowtown, a charming, historic goldmining town. 

Take the kids for a ride on the TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship where they can watch the stokers add fuel to the fire or visit the engine room as the ‘lady of the lake’ gracefully cruises across to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you can all embark on a guided tour of the farm or indulge in a scrumptious BBQ buffet. 

Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ and full of activities to entice our young ones into the great outdoors. Travel up the gondola for an exciting luge ride or ziptrek whilst taking in the breathtaking views.  Or take them for a bike ride along the Frankton arm before treating them to a finger-licking chocolatey treat from Patagonia while you watch the world go by on the Queenstown waterfront.

Our Bella Vista Queenstown accommodation is in the heart of Queenstown and only 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre.  It’s a quiet location where you can put your feet up at the end of a busy day.

Our final destination in the South Island is Te Anau, gateway to the Fiords and home to the endangered Takahe birds.  Bring the family on an Easter getaway here and create some wonderful memories to take home.  Nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau with a spectacular backdrop of mountains and lush ‘virgin’ forest, the town is a serene place to wander and explore.  Make sure you hop on a boat for a cruise across to the Western shore to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.  The fascinating limestone caverns are incredible to see before reaching the glowworm grotto of shimmering luminous lights – a magical experience to behold.

Breathtaking in any weather, Milford Sound is a must do day trip from Te Anau. With its sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls and the towering Mitre Peak, the best way to discover Milford Sound and all its grandeur is by a boat cruise.  Listen to the kids squeal with delight as waterfall spray rains down on them and help them spot dolphins, penguins and fur seals as you cruise the fiord. Get a boat cruise that stops in at the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory which offers views of rare black coral and other marine life.

Whatever you decide to do, the team at Bella Vista Queenstown look forward to hosting you!

Bella Vista Queenstown

 

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


Earlybird Booking Inspiration


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Do you like going away for the odd long weekend for a change of scenery or have you been considering making plans for the summer?  Don’t wait - now is the time to get motivated and lock in the great prices offered by Bella Vista Motels.

Bella Vista makes it so easy!  Make your reservation directly on the Bella Vista Motels website and only pay on arrival. By booking early you guarantee your room at the best price for destinations that can often get expensive if you try and book at the height of summer.

Bella Vista Motels have comfortable and convenient New Zealand accommodation options for you. Get inspired by the following destinations and book your getaway now for your next long weekend or summer holiday. Then while away your time and enjoy counting down the weeks with peace of mind that your summer plans have been taken care of.
 

Whangarei

What better place to stay and immerse yourself in the north’s laid-back lifestyle! Pack your jandal’s because with over 100 beaches in the area it’s the perfect spot to relax, build sand castles and dig your toes into the warm sand. There is a myriad of attractions to explore such as spectacular diving at the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, beautiful walks and exotic plants at the Whangarei Quarry Gardens or getting up close and personal with Kiwi’s at Kiwi North, Kiwi House and Museum.  Staying at the Bella Vista Whangarei accommodation means you are the closest motel and within walking distance to the CBD to amble away some time exploring the Basin Marina with its shops, cafes and galleries.

Whangarei Town Basin
 

Taupo

Taupo is situated in the centre of the North Island and nestled on the shores of the beautiful Lake Taupo, Australasia’s biggest freshwater lake. Surrounded by volcanic mountains and lush forests it’s an adventure and nature lover’s paradise. Explore the local geothermal phenomena such as bubbling mud pools at the Craters of the Moon, feel the power and fury of the mighty Huka Falls, hike through the Tongariro National Park, get out on the lake for a spot of trout fishing or discover the many cycle trails. 

Just 10 mins walk from the centre of town and the lake’s edge in a quiet location is our Taupo accommodation option providing a great base for visitors. A local tip is to take a soak in your own hot pool along the Lake Terrace – just ask the friendly Bella Vista Taupo motel staff to point you in the right direction!

Lake Taupo New Zealand

Gisborne

On the east coast of the North Island lies Gisborne “the first city in the world to see the sun”. Forested and hilly inland with beautiful sandy beaches along the coast the region has a reputation for great surfing, fishing, a strong Maori culture and many boutique wineries.

The Bella Vista Gisborne is conveniently located close to the CBD for shopping, restaurants and entertainment and your hosts Marise and Frik have provided us with their top pick to help while away your stay:  “You must take the drive from our Gisborne motel to the historic East Cape Lighthouse on New Zealand’s most easterly point for stunning views.  But don’t forget to stop at Te Araroa and see New Zealand's oldest and largest pohutukawa tree - it's around 600 years old.”
 

Nelson

One of the sunniest spots in New Zealand, Nelson is renowned for its beautiful surroundings.  Situated close to the famous Tahananui Beach and 10 minutes’ drive from the central city, Nelson Bella Vista is the perfect place to relax and unwind, stroll on the beach and explore the region.   

Your hosts Bruce and Nadine are happy to point you in the right direction with their top recommendations being a look through the World of Wearable Arts Museum, a visit to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park, and touring the local vineyards to discover the region's intensely flavoured Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as vibrant Pinot Noir. This is a great destination and an excellent Nelson accommodation choice.
 

Abel Tasman National Park


Hanmer Springs

Need a quiet getaway destination to relax and unwind or craving adventure away from the noise and rush of city life? Then make the picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs your next weekend away or holiday spot.

Only 1.5 hours from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs is nestled amongst the mountains and forests of the Southern Alps.  This small spa town is famous for its Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, the best place to indulge and soothe, float along the lazy river or have some fun on the water slides.  Your Hanmer accommodation is an easy 10-minute walk to the pools and a great base for many activities from walking or biking the many trails to jet boating, kayaking and quad biking.
 

Dunedin

Dunedin is a vibrant and energetic city with a rich Scottish and Maori heritage.  From its well-preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture to its dramatic landscape and abundant wildlife topped with great shopping, restaurants and a buzzing nightlife this is a city full of character and you’ll come away with some memorable holiday experiences. The Bella Vista Dunedin is located near to the city centre with ample parking making it a perfect base for your adventures. Your hosts Robyn and Garry have provided some must do’s when visiting: Visit Larnach Castle (photo below), New Zealand’s only castle, that has been carefully restored to its Victorian grandeur; visit Orokonui EcoSanctuary 20km north of Dunedin and hear the wonderful birdsong, home to 17 native bird species; take a glimpse into the life of an early 1900s family with a visit to Olveston Historic Home; or depart from the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Larnach Castle


Whatever your destination of choice, Bella Vista has 27 quality locations around the country happy to host you, your friends and family. Book now for the best deal at www.bellavista.co.nz


New Zealand's Best Hot Pools


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When these cold temperatures head our way there is nothing quite like soaking our bodies in a heaven sent hot pool. Easing away all our aches and pains and taking some time out to relax from our busy lives.

We’ve searched high and low to put together our pick of the top ten hot pools in New Zealand using the best recommendations of our Bella Vista moteliers. For all you need to know of the best places to soak, where to stay and how to get there – take a read below!
 

Kerosene Creek – Rotorua/Taupo

We’re going to let you in on a bit of a secret with this one, located on the road between Rotorua and Taupo is a very special place – Kerosene Creek.  To get there head south from Rotorua, about 0.5km past the Murupara turnoff is Old Waiotapu Rd, it’s approximately 2.2km down this road.

Waiting for you when you arrive is an unbelievable hot springs experience, a basic corrugated iron shed has been built to accommodate bathers changing and once you’re all sorted you’ll jump into a natural hot pool in a surreal bush setting. It doesn't get much better than this, so relax and take in the raw back country beauty of this little gem.

When heading to Kerosene Creek, take your pick of either our Taupo accommodation or Rotorua motel accommodation. Or perhaps make a weekend out of it book into both! Check out Bella Vista Motel Taupo and Rotorua Bella Vista for some fantastic deals.

Kerosene Creek


Polynesian Spa – Rotorua

Treat yourself to some luxury and indulgence at Polynesian Spa.  Two natural springs feed into the 28 hot mineral pools at Polynesian Spa. Allow the thermal properties of this water to work its wonder on your skin, aching muscles and body.

This is also the place to go for a spot of pampering, with the Polynesian Spa offering a comprehensive spa therapy menu including geothermal mud wraps, massages, facials. Take some time to unwind and let Polynesian Spa work its magic.

Book into Bella Vista Motel Rotorua when you’re thinking of visiting the Polynesian Spa, its central location sees you only 7 minutes from the spa complex.
 

AC Baths – Taupo

This one is ideal for the whole family, in fact, AC Baths are almost a rite of passage for kiwi kids young and old. AC Baths offers an awesome all-weather, family-friendly pool complex. There are hours of fun to be had with a large outdoor pool, two toddler areas, two 25-metre lane pools, an indoor learn to swim pool, two hydroslides, a Tarzan swing, four private thermal mineral pools, a sauna and a delicious café. All of the pools in the complex are thermally heated using natural hot water. It’s a wonderful day out for all, so put this one on the to-do list for sure.

The perfect place to book your Taupo motel is Bella Vista Taupo, it’s an easy 4 minute drive to the AC baths and wonderfully central to Taupo activities and dining.
 

Te Aroha Mineral Springs – Te Aroha

The waters of Te Aroha have played a famous role in health and healing for over 100 years. The mineral spring flowing from beneath Mt Te Aroha provides the source to these magical hot springs, and this relatively unknown hot pools complex offers a quieter, more intimate soak. The mineral salts in the natural spring water are therapeutic, and for bathing, you have the choice of porcelain claw-foot baths or one of the many traditional wooden tubs. If you have a special occasion check out the romance packages, massages and beauty therapy treatments are available here.

Staying at Bella Vista Hamilton allows you to make a day trip out of a visit to Te Aroha Mineral Springs, pack a picnic and be there in less than an hours driving. Bella Vista Motel Hamilton offers a superb choice, positioned slightly out of the CBD in a quiet neighbourhood.
 

Glacier Hot Pools – Franz Josef Glacier

If you’re looking for something that’s next level memorable, you’ll need to visit the Glacier Hot Pools in Franz Josef Glacier. This has to be one of the most unique hot pool experiences you can get, set in a rainforest on New Zealand’s West Coast these pools are a haven of tranquillity. Three pools weave their way through the lush forest where nature has set the temperature between 36 – 40 degrees centigrade.  Buy a single entry or a day long pass depending on your mood and head along to discover Te Puna Mahaki – The pool of calmness, Te Puna Makoha – The pool of tranquillity and Te Puna Marino – The pool of serenity, all named by the local Maori tribe.

Bella Vista offers two great options in this part of the world - the wonderful Franz Josef accommodation just a short stroll from the hot pools and Fox Glacier accommodation if you want to be based further south.  Try either Bella Vista Franz Josef or Bella Vista Fox Glacier and book your home away from home.
 

Glacier Hot Pools


Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

People come from near and far to relax in this beautiful setting. Take some time to appreciate the views around you, as every which way you turn it’s postcard like mountains or native forest. Hanmer is the epitome of relaxation and these pools go a long way to contribute to this.  There’s something for everyone here with private pools, rock pools, sulphur pools, kids pools, hydroslides, you name it!! The natural beauty of this location allows you to escape from reality and enjoy the healing waters of these pools.

When you’re on the lookout for Hanmer Springs accommodation, book into the Qualmark 4 star rated Bella Vista Motel Hanmer Springs for an exceptional stay - it's as good as any Hanmer Springs hotels!


Morere Hot Springs – Gisborne

Soaking in the heated ancient seawaters of Morere Hot Springs is something pretty magical. Set amongst 364 hectares of lush rainforest, the hot springs are piped to a series of private and public pools for all to enjoy. Therapeutic, medicinal and unforgettable, make sure you BYO BBQ food to make a day of it and don’t forget to try out the spectacular rainforest walks in the area when you need a break from the water.

When looking Gisborne motels, our recommendation is the friendly and welcoming Bella Vista Motel Gisborne - a very highly rated Gisborne accommodation option.


Onsen Hot pools – Queenstown

Queenstown has exceeded itself yet again with an out of this world hot pools facility in a breathtaking location, with views out over the Shotover River Canyon. You’ll find true relaxation calling, as you take a break from the hustle bustle of exploring and partaking in Queenstown adventures, or perhaps it’s an evening trip to the pools after a day skiing on the Queenstown mountains. The cedar hot tubs at Onsen each comfortably seat four people, and once you’re in you’ll not want to get out ever again! Don’t forget to book in advance for this one to ensure you don’t miss out.

There are many Queenstown accommodation options; if you’re looking for one that’s central to town and highly ranked on Trip Advisor, Bella Vista Queenstown is for you.

Onsen Hot Pools


Ngawha Springs Hot Pools – Kaikohe

Another well-kept secret that only a few are privy to is the tranquil Ngawha Springs in the Northland region. Located in an area rich in culture, kind locals and peaceful surroundings, the hot springs in this area are top notches. Slightly acidic and rich in ammonia, bicarbonate, boron and mercury (which is not typical of other springs in New Zealand) every one of the 15 pools is sourced by an individual spring, dictating its own temperature (some hot, some cold). The pools also vary in colour and clarity, determined by the mineral composition and individual underground source. When one of the pools is called ‘The Doctor’ you get a real understanding of the health and well-being properties available here.

If you book in and stay at Bella Vista Whangarei you can be changed and sit in one of the Ngawha Springs Hot Pools in just over an hour.


Maruia Hot Springs – Lewis Pass

As far as boutique hot pools are concerned, this one’s got it in the bag. Utilising the 100% pure geothermal spring water of the area and generating all of their own hydro-power, the mind and body will slip away into utter relaxation. Maruia offers views of the surrounding Southern Alps and an eco-wellness experience like no other. With 19 Wellness Stations situated across both the indoor and outdoor areas to enjoy, for a complete ‘wellness journey’ allow at least 2.5 hours.

Take your pick of Bella Vista accommodation options for a visit to Mauia Hot Springs – Bella Vista Nelson, Bella Vista Christchurch, Bella Vista Hanmer Springs or Bella Vista Greymouth are all within driving distance.

Maruia Hot Pools


For further information about hot springs and thermal pools refer to a terrific website called NZ Hot Pools which we found. It offers smart facts about every hot pool and thermal spring in the country. Or check out our latest video update below.
 


Ideas for a weekend break to Hanmer Springs


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Living life in 2017 can sometimes take its toll, whatever your stresses – work, children or busy lives, a weekend getaway can help make all these worries seem like a distant memory (if only for the weekend!).

If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation weekend, then it’s hard to go past the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs. Located in the South Island of New Zealand, only an hour and a half scenic drive from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs is one of New Zealand’s most picturesque settings. Offering nature, relaxation and some pretty sensational scenery.

Hanmer is a very special place that we’d love to share with you. So if you’re serious about needing some time out, then this is the spot for you! You’ll enjoy staying at the Bella Vista Hanmer Springs; Steve and Julie are the hosts with the most and previous guests rave about this Hanmer Springs accommodation option - that’s why we see so many repeat visitors year after year! We consider the Bella Vista as the very best of Hanmer Springs motels offering great value for money, comfortable, quality rooms are guaranteed and the location is spot on, close to town the hot pools and world-class dining options.

Many choose this location to do absolutely nothing - possibly apart from a game of tennis on the onsite court  - just rest up, read a book and stroll around the village. If that’s your ideal relaxation then boxes are ticked, if you need a little more to see and do, take a read below:

Hanmer Springs Village

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

Award-winning Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is set in a fairytale-like surroundings. In every direction you look, it’s native forests or mountains. The minerals and thermal properties of the water will work wonders on your body, easing away your stresses and providing your body with some much-needed attention.

The pool complex offers an array of spa treatments for those wanting additional pamper time, and the children are kept busy with family pools, a water playground, activity pools and a hydroslide.

An added bonus to your visit to Hanmer during winter is the spectacular snow-capped mountain backdrop.

The Great Outdoors

Getting back to nature can reap all kinds of de-stress rewards, there are no bosses, deadlines or meetings, just forest and birdsong as far as the eyes and ears can reach.

Walking/Hiking

You’re spoilt for choice with walking trails around Hanmer, from short walks through to full day hikes or longer.  A couple of popular ones are: Conical Hill Short Walk (1 hr) A great option for visitors as it offers spectacular views when you reach the top, the trail is pretty and well maintained and there is a picnic table at the summit where you can unpack the sandwiches and take it all in. 

Another enjoyable walk is the Waterfall Track (2.5 hrs return) this is a medium fitness level walk that sees you climbing steadily through the forest towards the impressive 40+ metre high Dog Stream Waterfall. This walk is a little harder, but the spectacular falls when you get there to make the effort worthwhile.

Bella Vista Hanmer Springs

Mountain Biking

The terrain of Hanmer Springs basin makes it ideal for those interested in mountain biking. There are a number of cycling trails through the forest from beginners through to experts and also options for those keen on doing some backcountry tracks. If you pop into the i-SITE when you get there, they’ll be happy to provide all the information you need and also point you in the right direction for hiring bikes and gear.

Adventure

People find relaxation in all kinds of different ways, for those, a bit more adventure focused Hanmer has it all – jet boating, quad biking, rafting, canoeing, bungy jumping, extreme paintball, the list goes on and on.

Shopping

There’s nothing like a spot of retail therapy to help calm the body and mind, from clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts or souvenirs, Hanmer Village offers a lovely collection of boutique shops to keep even the fussiest of shoppers happy. p.s. the fudge at the Decadent Fudge Co is out of this world!

Dining Out

This small village of only about 1,000 permanent residents offers a phenomenal amount of places to eat and drink. From take away options and casual dining through to fine dining experiences there’s something to keep everyone happy. Here’s our pick for dining:

  • Best Takeaways: Coriander’s Restaurant - If you want delicious Indian food to take back to the motel, this will hit the spot.
  • Best Café: The Powerhouse Café - A café situated in a historic hydroelectric power station, with a fun vibe and great menu.
  • Best Bar: Monteith’s Brewery Bar Hanmer Springs - Great food, friendly service and a wonderful place to sit back and relax.
  • Best Restaurant: Malabar Restaurant - people sing the praises of this Asian fusion restaurant; you’ll want to go back again and again.

As you can see, Hanmer Springs is the ideal choice for those that want an escape from day to day life, just for a little while. Give us a call on 0800 BELLA VISTA and we’ll help arrange a relaxing getaway that will give you the boost that you need. But be warned, you may find yourself coming back again and again. Bella Vista Motel Hanmer Springs would love to welcome you.

Accommodation Hanmer Springs


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'