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“Great weekend away spot” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aylstone Boutique Retreat

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Aylstone Boutique Retreat
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   19 Huangarua Road, Martinborough, New Zealand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Martinborough
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Christchurch, New Zealand
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Great weekend away spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2010

Husband & I made a last minute decision to go to Martinborough for a long weekend. We thought it would be a busy weekend being the last of the school holidays but we managed to take advantage of someone elses cancellation. We somehow managed to pick the best weather...calm, sunny and clear.

Aylstone was great. Booked due to the reviews on TA. It didnt disappoint. We stayed in Room 1 with a great view out over the neighbouring vineyard. Big comfy bed with great bed linen. If I was picky I would say the bathroom wasnt the same great standard as the rest of the room but was clean and functional. I think it was the wheelchair accessible room.

We dined in the restaurant attached to this property-Brasserie One. Our meal was delicious. The duck trifle was yummy.

We borrowed the bikes and cycled around some of the local vineyards tasting wine. On a great day as we had this was fun. Finished up with a beer sitting outside at Margrain which is right next door to Aylstone. Best view there. On a personal note we tasted our best wines at Margrain. Their Pinot was as we like it and at $50 somewhat cheaper than a lot of the others.

Although Aylstone is somewhat on the outskirts of town, having a good restuarant on site and in close proximity to the wineries we wanted to visit, made it a perfect location for us.

My only gripe would be that the rooms would be greatly impvoed by having their own fridges. When in a wine growing region, people often end up buying cheeses and other nibbly bits to enjoy with wine later in the day and we did not expect to have to put it in a communal fridge. Also,if each room had a fridge, you could have 'real' milk in your tea or coffee in the morning rather than having to make a dash outside to the communal room or resorting to using UHT milk in your plunger coffee.

My other suggestion would be to offer a cooked breakfast option. Continental is included with your room. Great selection of fresh fruits with a couple of cereals, juice and toast with tea and coffee. Great for one day but we would have liked a cooked option on our second morning and would have been very happy to pay for it.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here and look forward to coming back to sample some more great food and wine.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
nj
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
116 hotel reviews
Reviews in 104 cities Reviews in 104 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2010

Aylestone Retreat sits at the edge of Martinborough, a 10 minute easy walk into town. It looks out over adjacent vineyards and is associated with an excellent restaurant. Each room has an outdoor seating area; ours looked out at the vineyards. The room was quite comfortable, with an exceptionally comfortable and huge bed and fluffy pillows and duvet. Strangely, there was no place in the room to hang up your clothes, but each room contained tea and coffee making supplies; there is a refrigerator available in a common lounge room, wifi is available, and a newspaper is delivered each morning. Chocolates are placed on your pillows and in the common room, port and cookies are available. The lodge only offers a continental breakfast which is not available until 8:30 in the morning. Alternatively, it would be quick and easy to drive 2 minutes or take a nice walk to town for a more substantial breakfast. I would highly recommend having dinner at the restaurant which offers excellent and inventive food--duck trifle for example, which consisted of layers of onion marmalade, parfait, duck confit, corn custard, and corn kernels. This restaurant was one of the best we ate in during our trip.

Be aware that a notice in the room at the lodge stated that at certain times of the year, one might hear gunshot noise to keep birds away from the grapes, or helicopters or windmills to keep the frost off the grapes (ear plugs are provided). This situation would be true of any accommodation located in or near the vines. You might want to inquire about this prior to booking, if it would be of concern to you.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Co.Meath, Ireland
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2010

We stayed two nights at the Aylstone Boutique Retreat and we were delighted with our stay there. 

The room was spacious, complete with all the accoutrements one could want and had a wonderful view from
the room onto the vineyard which adjoined the accommodation.

Aylstone Retreat is located just outside Martinborough and on one of the main roads which comprises the Wine Trail. Bicycles were available at Aylstone and we spent a delightful afternoon cycling to the wineries close-by and sampling the "fare" available at a number of them. 

However, the "icing in the cake" for us was the restaurant associated with Aylstone - it was fantastic. 
Run by Jurgen, it is a gem of a restaurant with a quality of cuisine that is world-class. We dined there on two successive nights and the meals will rank amongst the best we have had anywhere. The value for money was exceptional. 
However, I would note that the wine list is on the expensive-side based on our experience in other restaurants to that time in New Zealand.
 
Notwithstanding that, the Alystone Boutique Retreat is THE place to stay in Martinborough and the restaurant a MUST for anyone with an interest in fine dining.      

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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novato, CA
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2010

how can this place only have three reviews? are they trying to remain martinborough's best kept secret? we often use tripadvisor for guidance on where we want to stay on our various trips. sometimes we get great advice (campton place in san francisco), other times it can be a bit misleading (no specifics here...). aylstone was a place we found after looking at pepper's martinborough hotel (where we had stayed before but they were full) and it is absolutely beautiful here. our room backs right onto a lawn and vineyard. it is a very good sized room with tasteful decoration and a comfortable bed. also, the restaurant (brasserie one) attached to the b & b is excellent. we had wonderful lamb and a cheese souffle there in addition to seafood and duck appetizers (we were so full we couldn't order dessert). anyway, we want people to know that this is a great place and a great deal in martinborough.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

My husband and I were looking for somewhere special to stay for our 19th wedding anniversary. As Jimmy Barnes was playing at Alana Estate, we decided Martinborough would be special - AND IT WAS!! What an amazing place..... We also wanted the accommodation to be special as well - and at Aylstone we were not disappointed. The room we had was private with it's own courtyard - the linen was crisp and clean - the decor stylish and fresh, and the extra little touches like the chocolates on the pillows, the full cookie jar and even the free port for a tipple after dinner! Sharon and her chef partner who manage the restaurant were amazing - 5 stars for the food, better than the food at a local renown restaurant that had just got an award for its beef and lamb!!! Rob and Penny went the extra mile (even ferrying us and some friends we'd made on the wine trail!) down to Alana Estate for the concert. This truely is an amazing retreat that not only went the extra mile but GAVE the extra mile as well..... We're already planning our next stay!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

We debated about whether to stay at the main hotel in Martinborough or choose Aylstone. We made the right choice. The rooms overlook the Vineyard. They are decorated in a clean modern style. You feel right at home. Robb met us as we arrived with a warm New Zealand greeting. You can walk to the other wineries or ride the bikes which are available for use. There is also a common room for use by the guests. A continental breakfast is served at the restaurant. We were there the day after the wine festival ended and so the hotel had only a few guests and yet the breakfast was still displayed beautifully with a wide choice of fruit, breads and juices. We envy the people in Wellington who can come out and spend a weekend at Aylstone.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2008

We have recently returned from our 3 and a half week honeymoon one night of which was spent at Aylstone. We had booked their 'Romantic' package which involved B&B, a bottle of champagne on arrival and dinner at a local restaurant (EST or the Martinborough Hotel).

We are both big wine drinkers and decided a night on a vineyard was 'a must' during our brief stay in Martinborough.

We had been staying at some pretty luxurious resorts/hotels during our trip and our standards were extremely high so whilst Aylstone was probably the least traditionally luxurious of all the places we stayed at, the room we had was amongst the best.

We arrived early at Aylstone (about 10am) but were still able to check in. As we were early we decided to hire bikes from town to travel between the vineyards but were told we could use bikes provided by Aylstone for free (as part of the service). They also have scooters which are available to hire at a small fee.

The room we had felt extremely private and was positioned at the end of the property overlooking the neighbouring vineyards. It was bright and airy with south facing windows and a SW facing private terrace which had all of the afternoon and evening sun. As the sun set after a long day cycling around the local area, it was nice to sit out and enjoy a superb bottle of wine from one of the local vineyards (which came from the owner's celler - we chose to have this as part of our 'Romantic' package instead of the champagne).

Our room was very clean and tidy, the bed linen was fresh and comfortable, the bathroom products (L'Occitane) were lovely and the jar of free cookies were a nice touch.

We were not expecting much for breakfast the next morning given the day before we were told it would be a continental buffet. We had visions of some bread for toasting and a few limp croissants. On our arrival we found we were the only people who had bothered to turn up (it was about 10.30) as the buffet had been untouched (or at least it seemed that way). We were faced with a massive spread of beautifully presented dishes: every cereal you could think of, home made museli, 3-4 different types of bread to toast and a selection of jams and spreads, freash fruit salad, a plate of freashly cut fruit, croissants cooked to order, ham and cheese croissants pre-prepared, a plate of cut meats and cheeses and a huge plate of smoked salmon. We were even encouraged to take as much away in a doggy bag to have for lunch.

As far as we were aware Aylstone has been open for about 12 months and the owners were very new to the trade (this was their first experience of the industry). This however certainly did not show through and at all times we were superbly looked after, and on a par with some of the 5 star resorts we had already stayed at.

Aylstone provided the peace and tranquility we desperately needed following some manic travelling. Well worth a visit

  • Liked — Being amongst the vines
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aylstone Boutique Retreat

Address: 19 Huangarua Road, Martinborough, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Greater Wellington > Wairarapa > Martinborough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Martinborough
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Aylstone Boutique Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aylstone Boutique Retreat in Martinborough, just 1 hour from Wellington, offers six boutique rooms with exquisite views, classic furnishings and ensuite bathrooms, set amongst World Class Martinborough vineyards offering peace & tranquility. Mini Bar & Platters are available and on request Ice buckets. ... more   less 
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