New Zealand has been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve always heard good things about the country, especially in the countryside. Initially, I had planned to go to Queenstown, however, the timing didn’t work quite well. Without realizing it was a new year’s eve, the cheapest nightly rate at a decent hotel in Queenstown would have cost $700. When you think about it, that’s a lot of money I could spend elsewhere, so I decided to visit Christchurch instead.
In this series:
- Introduction: New Year 2020 In The South Pacific
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles to Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Manila
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Manila to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur
- Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Satellite Terminal – Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL)
- Jewel Changi Airport
- Qantas International First Lounge – Singapore Changi (SIN)
- Qantas First Class A380 Singapore to Melbourne
- Qantas International First Lounge – Melbourne (MEL)
- Qantas Business Class 737-800 Melbourne to Christchurch
- Doubletree Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, New Zealand
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Tour Around the City
- Getting Lost in the Countryside: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
- Air New Zealand (Premium) Economy 787-9 Christchurch to Auckland
- My First Impression of Auckland, New Zealand
- Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart, New Zealand
- The North Island Must Do: Hobbiton and Rotorua
- Fiji Airways Business Class A350-900XWB Auckland to Nadi
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa – Nadi, Fiji
- Fiji Airways Business Class A330-200 Nadi to Singapore
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
- Malindo Air Business Class 737-900 Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu
- Shopping Spree in Thamel – Kathmandu, Nepal
- Cathay Dragon Business Class A330-300 Kathmandu to Hong Kong
- 16-Hour Delay on my American Airlines, with a Happy Ending
- Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to Los Angeles
- Fin: Final Flights and My Closure with American Airlines – It was Good While It Lasted
Hotels in Christchurch were reasonably priced. There were several options to choose from, but since I’m a Hilton Honors Gold member, I decided to stay at Doubletree Chateau on the Park — Christchurch. I’ve stayed at Doubletree hotels several times, and I liked it – it definitely grows on me.
The nightly rate was about 200 NZD per night, roughly 125 USD. As a gold member, I got complimentary continental breakfast with an option to upgrade to a full breakfast for just 8 NZD.
A quick rewind, getting from Christchurch airport to the city, was super easy. You can take uber, cab, or bus. Honestly, taking a bus was so simple, and I would highly recommend that. A round trip bus ticket from/to the airport only cost 15 NZD. Upon arrival, I couldn’t help but noticed the airport is literally situated around a residential neighborhood. It was interesting, nonetheless.
The bus dropped me off about two blocks away from the hotel. I obnoxiously walked hauling my roller board as well as my weekender stuffed with amenity kits (at least half a dozen of them at this point) from my Qantas and Turkish Airlines flights. Minutes later, I arrived at the hotel.
Check-in was a breeze. I got my key and went to my room. The room was spacious, though the view was nothing to brag about.
Nevertheless, the room was clean and tidy, which was exactly what I needed.
The bathroom has a standing shower as well as a bathtub.
The toiletries are similar across the Doubletree portfolio around the world.
After traveling for almost three days straight, I felt exhausted. I took a shower and napped for a couple of hours, which turned into an overnight nap!
Fifteen hours later, I woke up fresh and ready to go! I quickly jumped into the shower and headed to the restaurant for breakfast, Garden Court Brasserie.
Instead of walking through the hallway, I took a shortcut through the garden. As you can see, the hotel did a fantastic job on the landscaping.
I was then greeted by a lovely elderly lady; she asked my room number. She informed me that as a Hilton honors gold member, I was entitled to a complimentary continental breakfast, with an option to upgrade. I opted for the full breakfast since the cost was marginal, and I thought it would be worth reviewing the hot buffet, which was the difference between the two options.
Overall, the breakfast selections were pretty decent, even if you didn’t go for the full breakfast.
December and January are technically summer season in the southern hemisphere. Unlike in Australia, New Zealand has a colder climate. I had to wear a jacket the entire time and didn’t even bother getting in the swimming pool. But I managed to snap a photo on the last day before checking out.
Christchurch is a small city. Frankly, there is not much to do there. Most of the buildings are newly renovated because of the earthquake in 2011. Sadly, the city has lost so many historical sites, which would be quite fascinating to visit. Spending 3 nights in Christchurch was more than enough for me, especially if you just stay in town.
During my visit, I managed to book a tour to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, which was the highlight of my trip — I will review the journey on my next installment. Initially, I planned to drive there, but knowing I’d be dead-tired by the time I arrived, it would be wise not to. That said, it seemed like driving in New Zealand was quite easy, and I would highly recommend renting a car and explore the countryside.
That said, Doubletree Chateau on the Park in Christchurch is one of the nicer hotels in town, considering Christchurch isn’t very big. The hotel is centrally located near the botanic garden. The staff was friendly, the room was neat and clean, and the hotel was very charming.
While not anything fancy, I think breakfast was solid, even if you opted only for the continental option. But with only 8 NZD extra, I would get the hot buffet.
In the last couple of years, the Hilton brand has really grown on me. I’ve stayed at Doubletree hotels a few times, and I’ve always had a great experience. Doubletree Chateau on the Park was no exception. With a reasonable nightly rate, I would stay here again in a heartbeat.