South Island Accomodations for Upcoming Trip

Jan 27th, 2012, 09:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9
South Island Accomodations for Upcoming Trip

So my wife & I finally have our itinerary set for our trip to the South Island in April. I have booked most of our accommodations, but still struggling with a few. Here's what I have so far:

Nelson (1 nt) - Staying most likely at Grand Mecure Nelson Monaco. Any other Suggestions?
Farewell Spit (1 nt) - Clemmiec B&B - Couldn't find much info on this B&B, but it is close to Farewell Spit and Wharariki Beach. Anyone ever been there?? Anyone done the Cape Farwell Horse Trek?
Kaikoura (2 nts) - Bendamere House B&B
Mt. Cook (1 nt) - Hermitage Hotel
Queenstown (2 nts) - Thinking about Villa Del Lago based on all the good reviews, but not sure on the view. Any other places between 150 & 275 NZD per night with better views??
Milford Sound (2 nts) - Milford Sound Lodge
Wanaka (2 nts) - Beacon Lodge B&B
Hokitika (1 nt) - Shining Star Beachfront Chalets
Akaroa - (2 nts) - ??? Looking for a nice B&B, with great view (NZD 150 - 225ish).

I'd really appreciate any feedback good or bad on some of the accommodations or if you have a better suggestion I'd love to hear it.
STLBarks is offline  
Jan 27th, 2012, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,478
The view at Villa de Lago depends more on the unit you book than anything. As I recall, some units have much better views than others. Do keep in mind that it's on the outskirts of QT, and therefore not in the center of things, although it's only a shortish walk along the lake into town. This might be a drawback for some, but it's a benefit as far as I'm concerned, because it's QUIET. It's nice accommodation, I highly recommend it.

We stayed at the Herimitage in Mt Cook years ago. If I had to do it again, I'd probably opt for the lesser priced Mt Cook Alpine Lodge just because I thought the Hermitage was overpriced and poor value. They've remodeled at least once since we stayed there though.

No personal experience with the other accommodation you've booked, so can't help there.

However, if you're looking for something unique, quiet and just a short drive to Nelson, I can recommend Milcrest Estate.

Clemmiec B&B looks interesting. Do keep in mind there's not much in Collingwood in the way of restaurants and services. I haven't done the horse trek, but loved the Farewell Spit 4x4 tour years ago. We've been to Wharariki Beach many times. Love it there too.

As for Akaroa...have you seen these?

I have no personal experience with them, but they look promising.

Looks like you've got a great trip planned. Have fun.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2012, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 297
I can't comment on any of the others, but I can recommend the Villa Del Lago. We spent 4 nights there over Christmas a couple of years ago and were very pleased with both the accommodation and service. The managers even brought us some locally made fudge wrapped up beautifully on Christmas day.

As Melnq8 has already mentioned, it is a short walk from town, but we also found this to be an advantage. I loved sitting out on our patio, overlooking the lake and watching people running/walking along the path by the lake.
dkw is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9
Thanks Melnq8 & dkw for your input! I have been very close several times to booking VDL, but just haven't pulled the trigger. I'll book it tonight. The Hermitage does seem overpriced. I booked just a standard room and it was $249 and to eat there is expensive as well. I'm liking your suggestion Melnq8 of the Milcrest Estate...looks nice and reasonable $$. As far as Akaroa, I'm torn between several places but The Olive Grove is one of them so we'll see.

Thanks again!
STLBarks is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 118
I can highly recommend Coombe Farm B&B. It is an active sheep farm about 3km outside of Akaroa. Wonderful hosts and luscious breakfasts.
We had the king bedroom ensuite in the farmhouse and it was NZD$165. Lovely pastoral views (although not of the Akaroa harbour). Really a good value and an excellent base to explore the Banks Penninsula.
steamboatsista is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 06:30 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9
Thanks for the recommendation SteamboatSista...I just booked our last 2 NZ nights at Coombe Farm! Looks exactly like what we were looking for.
STLBarks is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 118
The VBT Bike Tour was really excellent. We had three wonderful New Zealander guides.Lots of flexibility to ride as much (or little) as we wanted. New Zealander drivers are generally very courteous to cyclists. Since this forum is generally for independent travelers, I won't go over the itinerary point by point, but I do want to point out some special locations. When in Franz Joseph, we stayed at the Franz Joseph Glacier Country Retreat. The rooms are just OK, but the food is really great. We rode our bikes to Okarito Lagoon and spent most of a day there. We rented kayaks and saw a wide variety of birdlife. Okarito lagoon is a hidden gem along the West coast Be sure to get a flat white at the little coffee shop in town (there is only one).

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moereki was a standout as well. Morning and evening walks with Michael, a naturalist (plus a nightime walk to see the glow worms)were impressive. The food was excellent, particularly when you consider how far the food has to come to this isolated location. My husband caught a nice German Brown trout in Lake Moereki which the chef smoked and served as an appetizer.

We also had a homestay on a sheep farm near Wanaka that was great fun and very educational (and the views were breathtaking as well). I would definitely recommend a homestay or farmstay at least once during a trip to New Zealand.
steamboatsista is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 118
Darn...that last post was supposed to go on my trip report! Let's see if I can figure out how to move it.
steamboatsista is offline  
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