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“Wonderful comfortable base”
Review of Gardens Homestay

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Gardens Homestay
Ranked #5 of 45 Wellington B&B and Inns
Nottingham
Level Contributor
249 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“Wonderful comfortable base”
Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our four nights with Neil and Sally . Where to start...well the house is lovely and we had a great suite although the bed was a little firm for our taste...others may like it of course. Neil was very welcoming when we arrived and every afternoon when we returned hot from our explorations we enjoyed a drink and a chat with him. The house is just walking distance from several reasonably priced restaurants which I liked very much ...no long trips to get food. Sally is an excellent cook and breakfasts are great...the only downside is that if you are like us and not very early starters, then Sally has to get off to work mid week early some days so breakfast compromises might be needed. One day we enjoyed bacon sandwiches cooked by Neil which were very good! Neil has a limited cooking repertoire!!!! Great conversation is also part of the package, Neil is an enthusiastic entrepreneur and Sally works in parliament so the conversation is broad and interesting! The only other downside is that it is on a steep hill so manoeuvring the car and luggage is a little tricky although we just left the car there on two full days so that shows you how easy it is to get around Wellington. Neil was also very quick to help with the luggage up the hill. Thank you Neil and Sally for making us so welcome in your lovely house.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Robinhood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
It's nice to have Gardens Homestay described as a "Wonderful, comfortable base" by our guests. While the bed may have been a bit firm for our reviewers, we're amazed by how many guests say: "That's the best night's sleep I've had in ages!"

We find most guests want breakfast at 8 am so they can get out by 9 am and explore the city. However, four days a month Sally needs to leave for work at 8.20 am to meet with senior MP's in her job as Executive Assistant at Parliament making an 8 am breakfast necessary (Yes - Sally is a much better cook than me!)

I always offer to move and park the car for guests as many people dislike driving on hills and helping with luggage is the norm around here. We want to help our guests in any way that we possibly can. Of course, the best part about the hill is that the views are great!

Thanks again for visiting us. We're pleased that you felt welcome in our home - that's exactly what we want.

Neil Harrap
Gardens Homestay
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86 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Make sure you stay here if you are in Wellington! Neil & Sally are wonderful hosts who welcomed us into their beautiful Edwardian home. Facilities are excellent, and it's easy to walk into town to visit the main attractions.Fantastic breakfasts too. What more could we ask for?

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Margaret B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Once again we are treated to wonderful, well traveled guests! Richard and Margaret's company was so enjoyable, we had several lovely and interesting conversations, one was beside the fire as there was a cold snap (in February!) Having only one suite means that we're relaxed with our guests and can focus on their needs. Thanks again TripAdvisor, you send us the best people!
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Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We were tired and very sore, having just completed the 33.5 miles of the gorgeous Milford Track, and our flight from Queenstown was delayed, so we were very late in our arrival. Our spirits perked up immediately upon viewing this splendid B & B, especially when we saw the American flag flown for our benefit! And with such a warm welcome from both Neil and Sally, our spirits continued to improve, especially upon seeing the beautifully appointed suite that was pure luxury after our hiking lodges! We slept like logs in the comfortable bed and loved everything about our suite. Sally makes an incredible breakfast and is a whiz at poached eggs! Both Neil and Sally are amazing hosts, warm, knowledgeable, engaging, and interesting. We enjoyed wine by the pool, loved meeting their charming daughter, Nina, and felt fortunate to be able to do some laundry. Neil took us to the top of the hill to Stellin park for an eye-popping view of Wellington. He also referred us to a delicious restaurant in the Tinakori village named Aubergine. We cannot say enough about how wonderful this B & B is! Stay here and you will feel pampered! Neil and Sally are the absolute cat's meow in terms of B & B hosts!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jaylance67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
For reasons unknown to us, Gardens Homestay attracts the most interesting and wonderful guests! Perhaps it's because they find us on TripAdvisor, the discerning traveller's guide? Whatever it is, our guests are the best and this charming couple were right at the top! Well travelled, knowledgable and personable, we were sad to see them leave. Taking them for a little side trip to see the panorama of Wellington was a real pleasure. Thank you TripAdvisor, for sending us the finest of world travellers!
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Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed November 22, 2013

We were in a bind trying to find a B & B in Wellington (as there was a World Cup qualifying football game in the city that we did not know about) and lucky for us we found this B & B. Sometimes good things happen and this was certainly one of them. The house is fabulous, the accommodations were top of the line and Neil and Sally topped it off by being wonderful hosts. Due to the soccer game and as the B & B was booked, we were going to leave Wellington the next day but Neil and Sally made arrangements for us to stay another night - they really put themselves out to help us. If you are going to Wellington, this is the B & B for you. John & Laurie Horrocks - Canada

Room Tip: Get Neil to show you his garage - the guys will love it!!!!!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laurie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, November 24, 2013
We were pleased to be able to come to the rescue of Laurie and John with an alternative room that we don't normally book. Wellington was buzzing with the excitement of the World Cup soccer match and every hotel and B&B was full. Then they were lucky enough to get tickets at the last minute to a great soccer event and enjoy the party atmosphere that prevailed in the city.
Lovely people, probably the perfect guests!
Neil
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Wales
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

We stayed with Neil, Sally and Nina for 3 nights and were very pleased we did! This is a truly splendid home in a suburb of Wellington which Neil and Sally are more than happy to share with their guests. The room is fantastic; spacious, light, well decorated and furnished, and comfortable. Being in a suburb provides the best of both worlds; an easy walk into the City but away from all the mayhem. We loved it. Neil and Sally are extremely generous and clearly passionate about catering for guests' every need. They are interesting and interested and breakfast conversations were illuminating and enjoyable. A little more expensive than the other excellent places we stayed but we thought it was worth it. We will most definitely be back!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank rarebitwales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, November 24, 2013
We were very fortunate to host this delightful family from Wales. Phil and Babs were visiting Wellington to visit their daughter who is practicing medicine here. Part of the pleasure for us was the lovely interaction between parents and daughter as they had not seen each other for some months.
Sally and I are pleased that their experience here was so positive and that their stay with us was so comfortable.
Neil
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England
Level Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2013

The house is located in a dead-end very steep street, with the forest at one end and the Botanic Gardens at the other, which means peace and quiet. The room is very spacious with an ensuite shower room (no bath). There are no facilities in the room to make a drink, as Neil and Sally like their guests to join them for a cuppa, rather than stay in their room. However, we would have liked to have had the option, there was certainly ample room to site a table with a kettle/tea/coffee etc. The walking tour Neil has put together, is very good. Sally makes the perfect poached egg. The local eateries are great and we would particularly recommend Leaffee (cafe by day, Japanese by night). My only reservation is that we thought it a little overpriced compared to other similar properties in NZ.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank stayathomeEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
It's true, we greatly enjoy the company of our well traveled B&B guests, be it for a glass of wine by the pool, or tea and home baking, perhaps beside the fire in winter. Our 30 'Excellent' reviews clearly show that visiting with Sally and myself has been a very enjoyable part of the reviewers experience. It was most unfortunate that these reviewers were both suffering heavy colds during their stay with us.

If asked, we do supply tea and coffee facilities in the suite, though this is seldom requested. We're sorry that we failed in that respect. However, we're pleased that they praised Sally's poached eggs as we try hard to provide the very best breakfast possible.

Our Walking Tour is always praised by our guests. For a range of opinions on Gardens Homestay please see the 30 'Excellent' reviews below this.

Neil Harrap
Gardens Homestay
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Tucson, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 20, 2013

During our recent trip through New Zealand one of the few mistakes we made was not staying longer with Neil and Sally at their lovely home in Wellington.

Every aspect was great, from my original email communications to make reservations. Neil provided excellent directions to their home, and also sent along an excellent recommendation for a walking tour of Wellington.

Upon arrival Neil greeted us, helped us park, bring our luggage in, and after an appropriate rest he invited us to sit with him in their lovely family room. We took him up on his offer and were immediately engaged in great conversation.

Everything about our stay was excellent, location (an easy walk to the city center, or a bus ride, or the cable car) but also in a charming neighborhood; our room and bath; breakfast; a great walking tour itinerary; restaurants (both in city center and in their neighborhood); and importantly - conversation. We learned a great deal about New Zealand life, not just things of tourist interest in our conversations. What a treat.

On our last day we received notice that our ferry to the South Island was delayed by several hours, and Neil immediately provided a great driving itinerary which provided a nice view of other parts of the city.

We think anyone would truly enjoy staying with Neil and Sally at Gardens Homestay.

Room Tip: Bring your walking shoes and follow the itinerary that Neil has laid out. It provided a wonderful t...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank tghenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Thank you for this wonderful review, our 30th Review and all of them 'excellent'!
We are fortunate to host such interesting and accomplished people from around the world. Sally and I enjoy every aspect of the B&B experience and our lives are enriched by the guest's visit.
Neil Harrap
Gardens Homestay
Wellington
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gardens Homestay

Property: Gardens Homestay
Address: 11 St. Mary Street | Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Greater Wellington > Wellington
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 45 B&Bs / Inns in Wellington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gardens Homestay Bed and Breakfast was built in 1892 and lovingly restored during the 1990s. Your hosts are Fly by Wire Ride inventor Neil Harrap and his wife Sally Guinness. The elegant facade features stained glass, iron lacework verandah and bay windows. We're located in historic Thorndon, five minutes walk to Parliament and downtown Wellington. We're two minutes walk to the Botanic Gardens and many cafes, restaurants and specialty shops on historic Tinakori Road. Bird Sanctuary Zealandia is located three minutes drive away, a paradise for birdwatchers. 24 Hour parking provided at the door. We have one suite only and take one party of guests at a time so as to ensure the best of attention. Read our reviews to see what our guests have to say. ... more   less 

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