Category Archives: Bella Vista Nelson
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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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.
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!
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.
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.
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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.
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.
- Visit www.bellavista.co.nz
- Call 0800 235 528
- Email [email protected]
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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.
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.
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
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.
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It’s shaping up to be a fantastic summer especially if the forecast outlook of higher than normal temperatures across the country stays on course. New Zealand beach holidays here we come!
Bella Vista has a range of motel accommodation throughout New Zealand that is ideal for your holiday at the beach. Whether you are travelling as a couple or a family, Bella Vista offers a range of rooms to meet your needs. Being centrally located they are close to restaurants and shops and many are just a short walk from the water’s edge or a short drive to explore beaches further afield.
Dream up images of sea, jandals, ice-cream, BBQ’s, waves, sand, fishing, sundowners, surfing, long walks along the beach, sandcastles, crabs, chilly bins, rock-pools, togs and of course lots of laughter!
Our Whangarei accommodation is a perfect base to explore the beaches of Northland. The beautiful coastline is only a short drive away and features remote coves, dramatic headland, off-shore islands and world class diving at the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, with popular safe swimming, good surf breaks and plentiful fishing.
Taranaki is one of New Zealand’s best surf regions and our New Plymouth motel is ideally situated just a few minutes’ stroll to the fabulous coastal walkway track. The track stretches 12.7km along the picturesque coastline offering spectacular views, beaches and rock pools, outdoor art displays such as the iconic Wind Wand or the Te Rewa Rewa bridge, playgrounds and of course coffee stops! Beaches such as Fitzroy and Back Beach are near the town and the Bella Vista New Plymouth Motel have bikes on offer for you to get out and explore. Or you can cruise Surf Highway 45 visiting other top spots or book yourself a surf lesson with a local expert. Also head out to Sugar Loaf Marine Park, home to seals, seabirds and other marine life. You can snorkel, dive, swim, kayak or take a tour.
Gisborne is the ultimate summer beach destination, it’s the gateway city to exploring the beaches of the East Coast of the North Island, it’s the first city to see the morning sun, boasts world-famous award-winning wines and fantastic surf beaches.
Enjoy the convenience of your Gisborne motel accommodation with the Bella Vista Gisborne which is situated only minutes from the airport and the beautiful sandy beaches with plenty of off-street parking and an easy walk to town centre. There are many attractions in the area to discover such as Dive Tatapouri where you can interact and get up close to Stingray, Yellowtail Kingfish, Crayfish, Trevally, Kahawai and even Octopus.
After a day playing on the beachhead to the natural hot pools at Morere Springs Scenic Reserve for a rejuvenating soak in the mineralised waters. They are popular with the locals and off-the-beaten-track just a 330-minute drive from Gisborne.
Exploring further afield you have the beautiful wild Mahia Peninsular, a hilly promontory with sandy coves, rocky bays, long golden beaches which attracts many visitors to outdoor sports and walking tracks. Only 45 minutes from Gisborne is Tolaga Bay, a small seaside town famous for its 660-metre historic wharf, a great place to dangle your fishing rod. Here you can take a picnic and stroll along the Cooks Cove Walkway to where in 1769, Captain Cook halted to repair his ship, the Endeavour, and take on fresh supplies. Once you reach the cove you can explore the hole-in-the-wall.
Napier and Wellington are also good spots for some summer fun. Our Napier motel is located just minutes from the waterfront and Marine Parade, which includes a boardwalk, skate park, the National Aquarium of New Zealand, sunken gardens, Ocean Spa Swimming Complex, Mini Golf and not to forget a fantastic ice-cream shop. Whilst our Bella Vista accommodation in Wellington is perfectly situated in Evans Bay, only a few minutes’ walk to restaurants and 5 minutes’ drive to beaches such as Oriental Bay, Wellington’s own slice of beach paradise close to the CBD and other attractions.
Nelson is the oldest city in the South Island. It’s a mecca for artists and craftsmen, has a perfect climate for growing grapes and faces Tasman Bay. The Bella Vista Nelson motel is located on Tahunanui Drive, just a short stroll from Nelson’s famous Tahuna Beach, great for swimming, windsurfing, jogging, walking, sun worshipping and general holiday making. And plenty of fun can be had at the Tahunanui Fun Park – hydroslide, bumpa boats and mini golf – along with other attractions at Tahunanui beach offering loads of sunshine entertainment.
The Abel Tasman National Park is on Nelson’s doorstep offering hiking, kayaking and cruising along its sheltered coastline with crystal clear turquoise waters. Home to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s “9 Great Walks”, the environment is yours to enjoy!
Don't delay, book your Bella Vista beach holiday today. Call 0800 235 528.
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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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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 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.
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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What’s not to love about Nelson? Longer sunshine hours, lower than average rainfall, friendly vibe and laid-back locals. Nelson is one of the true gems of the South Island and should not to be missed!
Annually Nelson sees big numbers come through the region - in excess of 1.4 million guest nights in 2016. Although these numbers are staggering, Nelson does it with grace and ease. Always managing to keep its unique charm at the forefront.
It’s a magnificent place to visit all year round with its appeal reaching far and wide. The art scene is one of the best in New Zealand, with many artists: painters, sculptors, potters and artisans calling Nelson home. While nature lovers and adventurist's have options aplenty, from Seal colonies, bird sanctuaries and of course, Nelson’s trump card, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.
We’ve decided to take all the hard work out of planning a trip to Nelson for you. Researching high and low, scouring Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, you name it to find for you the best of the best (well Bella Vista's guide anyway). So here goes:
World of Wearable Arts & Classic Cars Museum. A collection showcasing everything brilliant in wearable arts, including award winning garments from the high profile World of Wearable Arts competition, alongside a prized collection of classic cars. Male, female, young and old – everyone loves this place.
Best Short Walk:
The Centre of New Zealand. One of New Zealand’s most popular walks; taking you literally to the Centre of New Zealand! Its location on Botanical Hill is a 20 – 60 minute walk depending on your fitness level. It’s well worth the exercise though as the views of the Nelson area and beyond are stunning.
Tahunanui Beach. A beautiful beach and great place to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. If you’re partial to a spot of swimming, beach walking, paddle boarding or wind surfing, then this one’s for you. And guess what, Bella Vista Nelson is but a short stroll from the beachfront!
Queen’s Gardens. Dating back to 1892 and registered as a New Zealand historic place, Queen’s Gardens are a place of true beauty and tranquility in the heart of Nelson City. Listed as a Classical Victorian Ornamental Park, take your time and enjoy the park’s sculptures, the Cupid Fountain, the Water Wheel, the Boer War memorial, plus much more.
Nelson Market. This iconic market is open Saturdays from 8am–1pm and located in Montgomery Square. Nelson Market showcase's everything special about this region including: local food & produce, gifts, arts & crafts and talented artisans. Message to those first timers- don’t fill up on breakfast prior to visiting, as the food on offer is top class (and so is the coffee).
Best Art Stop:
This was a hard one to pick, with over 300 living artists based in the Nelson area but we've gone with Hoglund Art Glassblowing Studio where world renowned glass artists Ola and Marie Hoglund open their doors and welcome visitors to their glassblowing studio and gallery. You’ll be the epitome of restraint if you manage to leave without your very own glass platter, paperweight, jewellery or vase.
And here's some of the best bits which are slightly further afield, but absolutely not to be missed:
Best Outdoor Adventure:
Abel Tasman National Park. The Abel Tasman will wow you around every corner, native tree and rock, it’s a popular destination for those exploring both by foot and by kayak. The coastal wildlife, pristine beaches and native bush, flora & fauna provide so many photo opportunities, you’ll want to make sure you’ve allowed a good amount of time here! Nelson is the perfect base for exploring the Abel Tasman; in fact the majority of people will add on a day either side.
Best ‘Wild Card’ Location:
Farewell Spit & Puponga Farm Park. The northern most point of the South Island is just begging to be explored. This off the beaten track experience is famous for its bird sanctuary (with over 90 bird species recorded), historic lighthouse, pa sites, the seals and rock formations.
Looking for Nelson accommodation options? Bella Vista Motel Nelson ticks all the boxes, plus more. Its location is a stroll away from the beautiful Tahuna Beach and an easy drive into town, restaurants and activities. Your friendly hosts Bruce and Nadine will treat you like long lost friends and they will go out of their way to help you with your Nelson exploring. The modern, purpose built Nelson Bella Vista has everything you need, meaning you can truly relax and breath in that good old Nelson fresh air.
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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!
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Autumn is a great time to travel New Zealand. The colder nights give way to crisp mornings leaving the famous New Zealand landscapes refreshed. At this time of year you’ll often witness a scattering of low hanging but atmospheric morning mist reaffirming why this beautiful country is called Aotearoa or “the land of the long white cloud”. A sunny autumnal day can often be as good as any summer’s day with the added benefit that the maddening summer crowds have disappeared. Occasionally, you might even feel like you’ve got the entire country to yourself.
Here’s three ideas for your next Autumn break...
Explore Fiordland from Te Anau
Beautiful Lake Te Anau acts as the gateway to the Fiordland National Park and there is genuinely no better time to explore the brilliant wilderness of New Zealand’s southwest and the country’s largest national park. There are plenty of outstanding day excursions on offer including a visit to Te Anau glowworm caves with Real Journeys, lakeside walks or tramps, a journey to the famous Milford Sound and a cruise on the fiord, or perhaps even an overnight trip on Doubtful Sound. Each of these trips works equally as well in autumn as they do in summer and the lack of tourists makes them more personable and often more enjoyable.
Of course, your getaway will only be complete by basing yourself at Bella Vista Te Anau where you will enjoy the warm southern hospitality. Spend a long weekend or just a few days but we guarantee you’ll return home from your trip refreshed!
Catch the first sunrise at Gisborne
Way out east and somewhere you always thought you’d like to visit? Well, what are you waiting for! Autumn is possibly one of the best times of year to go. Bella Vista Motel Gisborne would love to host you for a long weekend break, or even a couple of nights as you pass through on your road-trip around the East Cape.
Please be aware that if you don’t stop for more than two nights, you’re doing this great city a disservice. Famous for being the first city in the world to see the sun each morning, there’s a whole lot more to experience including great food and wine, some of NZ’s best surf beaches and a deep cultural connection to early Maori settlers. And don’t forget to add a breakfast to your stay at Bella Vista Gisborne which includes the “best freshly baked croissant in Gisborne”(!)
Find all year summer in Nelson
Another location for a perfect autumn getaway is Nelson. Tourism New Zealand sums up the town perfectly as, “One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson is the perfect spot to base yourself while you spend some time exploring the Abel Tasman National Park.”
There are in fact three National Parks within a 90 minute drive of the Nelson Bella Vista motel so you’re absolutely spoilt for choice if you want to get out and about. The Kahurangi National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park are an easy drive from a stay at our Nelson accommodation, but the Abel Tasman National Park is probably the more well-known park with spectacular sandy beaches and an excellent destination for day-trips including walks and boat excursions.
If the great outdoors doesn’t entice you, then there is plenty to do in and around the city including strong art and culture scene, as well as sumptuous local culinary delights. Despite the theme of this blog promoting autumn escapes, our Nelson motel owners will remind you that ‘in Nelson, it’s summer all year round!’
Wherever you decide to go to get away this autumn, Bella Vista has got 27 excellent placed motels offering plenty to see and do!
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In the first of a new regular series, the team at Bella Vista have decided to share ten of their favourite things, from local eateries to adventure activities. These updates will give you an idea of some great things to do right around New Zealand, both the top tourist attractions and few ideas which are a little more off the beaten track.
My Top 10 New Zealand Sites and Activities by Natalie Evans
Natalie is Director of Bella Vista Management and lives in Oamaru, in New Zealand's South Island.
- Blue cod and kumara chips from Coast, Kakanui North Otago - speaks for itself plus awesome view to boot.
- Picnic at Elephant rocks, Duntroon, North Otago - picturesque and provides a challenging climbing experience!
- Nosh Cafe on State Highway One, Waimate - their food display is a feast for the eyes.
- Stroll from Friendly Bay around the harbour, Oamaru. Easy, picturesque and adjacent to the Steampunk playground which is a playground of old providing ages 6 plus with challenges. (Also not far from Bella Vista Oamaru!)
- Walk from St Kilda Beach to St Clair, Dunedin - coffee and cake, brunch or lunch at any one of the fabulous cafes and walk back along the seaside track and over the playing fields ending up at St Kilda playground - another must for those with families.
- Riverstone Cafe, just north of Oamaru. Home grown produce, terrific menu, gardens, castle, shops and playground. Just perfect.
- Bill Blair, Coppice Crafts Oamaru working from a red shed at the end of the harbour railway line at the Harbour Oamaru. Watch Bill in action making his crafts. Take home a very well built trug complete with copper nails to use to collect your fresh produce from your garden.
- Turn right at Otematata and view Lake Benmore Dam. The largest earth dam in the Southern Hemisphere. Whilst there walk from the top of the dam on the circular walk where on a good day you will view Mt Cook in all its glory and the full length of Lake Benmore - a truly magnificent sight and great walk.
- Visit The Vines Restaurant in Waimate. Friendly hosts and a view over Waimate. Stroll around Waimate for a town streetscape straight out of a bygone era.
- Finally, my recent find - Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson. A ride on the Marahau/Abel Tasman water taxis is a must. Make sure you land at Marahau so that you can experience riding on the boat trailers direct from the beach being pulled by tractors. Walk all or part of the Abel Tasman. It's a gem because you can walk it and return daily to civilisation via water taxi if that's your preference. Nature and clean sheets - bliss (check out Bella Vista Nelson for just that!).
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