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“Good food in a lovely location”

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Governors Bay Hotel
Ranked #24 of 135 Christchurch B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Took a trip to Sumner, Lyttleton and then on to Governors bay. Enjoyed a good dinner here. My mother-in-law had the lamb ribs which she really enjoyed. My husband and I had the burger which was excellent - home made and tasty. My father-in-law had the fish and chips which he also enjoyed. Pleasant, young staff. Good value and reasonably priced.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Munro1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 54 of 72 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2014

Another great night at the Governors Bay Hotel. New Years Eve with great food, fabulous views of the harbours lights and a band which made you want to dance the night away. As always this venue is friendly, fun and worth while detouring from the city to enjoy the hospitality of Claire and Jeremy. If you stay the night it is great to wake up
to the sun coming up over the harbour and enjoy the beauty from your bedroom balcony.
Enjoy a wine in front of the fire in the winter or the garden to loll away summer days.
Paradise for sure!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Apes63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeremy D, Owner at Governors Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear Apes,
Thank you so much, New Year's Eve was fun even for me behind the bar so I'm so glad you were aboard and enjoyed your night with us. I managed to release my pyromaniac urges by setting off a few fireworks at midnight.
There was a great vibe amongst all of our guests and I'm happy to say that in the ten years we have hosted New Years Eve events here, no aggro that can sadly hinder some town events. Anyway yah to that, have a fabulous 2014 and hope to see you soon,'
Kind regards,
Jeremy Dyer

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Reviewed December 22, 2013

Recently, somewhat randomly, I ended up staying for nine days at this pretty vintage inn which sits a little south of Christchurch. The hotel has only six rooms (most opening out on to a shared balcony which looks across the sea towards Lyttleton). The view is spectacular, as is the burst of bird song (featuring bellbirds) in the morning. Breakfast is simple and self-service and washroom facilities are shared. The rooms are capacious and comfortable.

The inn is a hub for the local community (a good endorsement in itself) and set in a pretty garden. It provides fine reasonably-priced food and drink and people come from far and wide to enjoy it. The proprietors provide a personal welcome and clearly work hard to maintain the quality of all that is on offer.

The accommodation is used over-night by some passers-by on their way north (or south) but if you want somewhere to stay for a little longer that allows you to explore with ease the beautiful Banks Peninsula and all that it has to offer (including spectacular wildlife) or Christchurch (and even Kaikoura), then Governors Bay serves more than well and it is well outside the hustle of the city. The drive to Christchurch takes you over Dyer’s Pass with its spectacular view across Christchurch and the plains beyond, although you can also go via the tunnel at the busy port of Lyttleton.

I really enjoyed my stay, especially taking breakfast on the balcony surrounded by mountains and sea; the sea-food chowder being another highlight, and the hosts could not have been kinder.

Room Tip: Seek a room opening onto the balcony if you can.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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Thank mark_simmonds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeremy D, Owner at Governors Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Hi Mark,
Welcome home. Thank you for taking the time to review us so generously in this forum. We're very glad you could utilise and enjoy us as your base during your South Island vacation, particularly as many of our guests tend to stay for only one or two days.
Yes, the birdsong in the morning is gorgeous and a much better offering than the traffic and boy-racer noise many tourists complain about in central Christchurch.
If you're ever back this way we would very much enjoy your company again. All the best for 2014.
Kind regards,
Jeremy Dyer

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Reviewed November 16, 2013

After a very hot day on the road and at the Sculpture exhibition at Governor's Bay the hotel was a great place to relax, wonderful views up the harbour from the king bedroom, friendly staff. Great to see the old place restored next time we visit let's hope the church down the road is on the way to being restored.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Barbara F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeremy D, Owner at Governors Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Dear Barbara,
Thank you for coming, the Sculpture on the Peninsula is such a great event I wish it was every year. We very much appreciate your feedback on the Trip Advisor forum and since this is your first review, we're very glad you were prompted by a good experience. You are most welcome back anytime,
Kind regards,
Jeremy

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Reviewed October 7, 2013

My Dad and I stayed at Governors Bay Hotel whilst I attended a conference at Lincoln University (25 min drive away). The precarious drive there from Christchurch, its position along the Bay and seclusion to a 'populated' area, add to the great character of the hotel. Lets be clear, nowhere is far in NZ!!

We have nothing but praise for the excellence of the chef's restaurant, refurbishment of the rooms and care/interest of the individual hotel staff.

The GB Hotel is a working pub. However, it has to be one of the classiest, cleanest, well maintained/preserved hotels I've visited. It feels so much like home, that I didn't want to wear my shoes on the upstairs carpet. In fact, I didn't. Rooms are neat and yes you may not get to swing a cat in the back row of rooms, but the beds and quality of linen are perfect for a superb sleep.

The hotel's character and charm are amazing and snippets on the walls are a quaint reminder of its historic past.

The Governors Bay locals are the hotel's best asset. Visiting in the low season gave us great exposure to meeting some of their best. When they pull up to eat and drink at their local, and then stick around to have a chat with you, then you know you have hit accommodation gold!! (Trev, we had a blast!)

After all, that is what travelling is about........right!

Room Tip: You may not get to swing a cat in the back row of rooms, but the quality of the beds and linen are s...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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Thank alex m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis D, Owner at Governors Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear Caitlin,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review. We're so glad you enjoyed your stay with us and might I say, you really got us!
I think the locals are chuffed that you consider them our greatest asset and you're probably right, they don't bite at all.
Would love to host you and your Dad again if you're ever back this way,
Kind regards,
Jeremy

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Reviewed March 21, 2013

Booked because of the reviews and was let down. On arrival was told that we had been upgraded to the King room. Shown up stairs to room with bed, table chair, mirror and that's pretty much it. I don't remember seeing anywhere that the toilets and showers were shared with everyone else in the hotel. For $130 I have stayed in much better with our own facilities.

The outside door opened onto a shared deck area. The blinds over the doors do not close fully so other people on the deck can see you in bed. The king room is right beside the wooden stairs so anyone else coming up or down stomps past the room.

The comedy of errors continued with the noise from the bar filtering through the floor boards until they turned it off after midnight. Then at 3am the burglar alarm went off. We couldn't wait to get out of there.

Breakfast is continental in a small shared room at the end of the corridor. The room is so small you cannot have the chair pulled out from the table as well as access the small sink or the bench. The muesli container was empty. No bread. No juice. So not sure what we were paying for.

On a positive note, the bed was very comfortable and the view from the balcony was good. They need a visit from the hotel inspectors.

Room Tip: Do your homework on this place before you stay. Don't expect to sleep.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RoseandTrevor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biggles63, Owner at Governors Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 23, 2013

Dear RoseandTrevor, I would be the first one to confess that occasionally not everything comes together on the night. We are as disappointed as you with your experience and sad that you did not appreciate your upgrade. After 7 excellent and 9 very good reviews in this forum, yours is the only poor one and yet, nearly every one of those reviews, mentions the lack of ensuite facilities. In fact we are very clear on our website as well, so I do challenge your assertion that you didn't remember seeing this before your stay.
We are a humble 'country hotel" that prides itself on the quality of our cuisine, friendly service and breathtaking views. We also appreciate we can never be all things to all people and clearly you did not get us at all. Our rooms are indeed simple but clean and excluding ensuites, offer every other convenience most guests could want.
As you appear to be from Christchurch I would have thought you might appreciate our 140 year old heritage, something of a rarity here now, and I would also challenge you to find anything equitable for $130.00 that is not a motel on a busy urban thoroughfare.
I earnestly apologise that your sleep was interrupted by a noisy guest on the balcony and who despite our warnings, set off the alarm by walking into our commercial kitchen. I can assure you that our bar was closed by 11pm last Saturday night, however, some things are beyond our control.
Lastly, the "Hotel Inspector" is generally bought in for failing Hotels, we have had the good fortune of having our 6 rooms full every night since Boxing Day last year and are now booked close to capacity until the end of June. That is indeed a situation many hotels would envy and I might suggest there is an element of our fine reputation that plays its part in our success.
Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Dyer

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Reviewed March 18, 2013

Firstly lets be clear, this hotel is several kilometres from Lyttleton and Christchurch city. We took a cab the first day from the airport and it was expensive. Second day we caught the local bus to Lyttleton, paused for a refreshment at a charming bar and then took a cab to the hotel. Much cheaper option. So we would recommend having a car of your own. The hotel is a refurbed old wooden hotel. We had fantastic views across the green water of the Bay from a balcony. Percet for drinking our champagne. It has been done up with taste and is clean and modern with a shared breakfast room. There are 2 shared bathrooms and no ensuites which may put some people off but we found it fine as the hotel is quite small and they provide fluffy white robes for any foray into the hall.
The host is very welcoming and looks after you well. The only place to eat really is the hotel, as apart from a chocolate cafe over the road there is no other shop in Governors Bay. That's its charm! Luckily the restaurant is excellent. We had a Valentines Day special menu. There is a good selection of local wine as well.
There are some lovely walks in the area - around the edge of the Bay. We walked to Christchurch one day, the locals thought we were mad as its over fifteen km, but it was a fantastic way to see a wide range of scenery and to see first had the terrible damage the earthquakes had done to the outer suburbs.

Room Tip: Book a balcony room of course - good value
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Magda011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biggles63, Owner at Governors Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2013

Dear Magda, thank you for your review, I do admire your energy in climbing over our hills. Once upon a time the early settlers did this on a regular basis and they are a few mad cyclists that do it today, far too regularly.
You are most welcome back anytime, kind regards, Jeremy

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Additional Information about Governors Bay Hotel

Address: 52 Main Road | Lyttelton, Christchurch 8971, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Christchurch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 135 B&Bs / Inns in Christchurch
Price Range: $72 - $86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Governors Bay Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Governors Bay Hotel is an historic 1870s Hotel overlooking Lyttelton harbour, 20 minutes drive from central Christchurch. There are 6 guest bedrooms, 4 of which have French doors opening out to a wide balcony. Shared bathroom facilities, free wifi, 32 inch LCD TVs. The Hotel serves highly regarded gastro-pub fare 7 days a week from 11.00am to 9.00pm. Recommended in the Lonely Planet guide and 2012 winner of the Beef and Lamb Excellence award. ... more   less 
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