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“Crayfish, wine, art, massage, mountains, beach, golf: paradise in Kaikoura, New Zealand” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Fairways

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The Fairways
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Crayfish, wine, art, massage, mountains, beach, golf: paradise in Kaikoura, New Zealand”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2010

Finally, I hit one smack in the middle. My drive on a nifty par four rises like a Jumbo Jet, far and high in the sky. But I lose sight of the golf ball. Instead I’m caught gazing at the majestic snow-capped Kaikoura mountains. To my right I hear the waves crashing on the shore.

This is Kaikoura: and it’s paradise. This is hardly New Zealand’s best kept tourist destination secrets – a million people stop and pass through Kaikoura every year.

It’s a little seaside township of barely 4000 people. But it is fast developing into a tourist destination. This cosy coastal settlement has its name flung worldwide because of whale watching. One hundred years ago they used to kill whales; now people just look at them. Whale watching is a big business.

But I digress. I putt out for a regulation par but have played poorly as usual and I grab my trundle and walk back to The Fairways at Ocean Ridge, a divine resort apartment destination where I am staying. The aptly name Fairways, on the edge of the gold course, is run by Stephan Rattray, who is in a race to become the town’s new mayor. He is bright, young and genial and has the area at heart. The Fairways is part of Ocean Ridge where they have planted 170,000 native plants among the walkways around the area. It’s a fantastic project.

But that’s not unusual in Kaikoura where they have one of the best recovery recycling centres in the country. Kaikoura is big on eco-tourism, green glob e measures and they try to keep the town as natural as possible, without it being over-run by tourists.

It’s just two hours’ drive from Christchurch’s international airport and is one of the most breathtaking locations of any town in New Zealand. Its towering, craggy snow capped mountains that plunge deep into the Pacific Ocean where whales, dolphins, seals and marine life thrive.

I stroll along the beach right next to the main street and see a sleepy seal was lazing on the sand. Out at Southbay, sperm whales dive for food. They are the biggest of the toothed whales and the world’s largest carnivore. They are equivalent in size to four elephants. World famous Whale Watch boats take you up close to giant sperm whales. Their 95 percent success rate means they guarantee an 80 percent refund if you don’t see a whale. I just love the play on words that their headquarters is in the town’s railway station, renamed the Whaleway Station.

Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where sperm whales can be seen year-round and close to shore. One of these monsters consumes over 900kg of food a day.

Today I go crayfishing with Ian Croucher, who runs Southbay fishing charters. He’s a top bloke. We belt across the water in his Coastal Experience boat and lift a couple of pots to get some big crayfish. Ian says the crayfish (lobster) areas abundant as ever.

``I think it’s because we have more seals about now. The seals eat octopus and the octopus eat the crays but the seals have been dealing to the octopus so we have heavy quantities of crayfish now.’’

He takes out tourists – usually six at a time - and they catch sea perch, blue cod or red cod with clients and occasionally a whale pops up close by. They often see dolphins, seals, orca (killer whale), and little blue penguins.

Satisfied with my cray, I head back to The Fairways apartment to boil up my cray, savour the tail flesh and wash it down with a magnificent glass of Spy Valley Envoy bubbly from the Marlborough winemaking region. Outside my apartment I put my feet up on a chair, sip my bubbly, and listening the waves pounding the shore and look at the sun setting on the Seaward Kaikoura snow-tops. It’s so romantic. This is the life. The Fairways is luxurious and just seems the best place to stay. It on the town’s edge so it’s quiet but close to all I need.

The next day, I’m exhausted from all this lazing around so I head to Indulge Body and Soul and find out why they won a best spa in New Zealand award. My masseuse Tia Timms is amazing. She works hard on the knotty parts of my back and shoulders. My neck is tense but I feel so relaxed everywhere else!

An ace netballer, Tia suggests what else to do for the day. I could go surfing at Mangamaunu Point, one of the South Island’s most famous surf breaks. I could go bird-watching – sadly just the feathered-kind; scuba diving, Glenstrae farm biking, luging, archery, surf-casting, learn to fly and see whales from the air, diving with dolphins, fossil hunting, horse trekking, sea kayaking, cave tours, mountain hiking, deer hunting...I fall asleep, exhausted at the thought of all these.

Refreshed and invigorated, I plod off to Ruth Stirnimann’s art studio and fall in love with her bright geometric works which she just recently exhibited in Buenos Aires. She has a real talent and is a great asset to the Kaikoura art trail.

I drive back to Christchurch in my little Jucy rental, mentally making a note of all the things to do when I return Kaikoura.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WordChristchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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294 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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62
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2010

Modern, clean, warm apartments located on the road into Kaikoura. The host is very friendly and gave tips about the local area and things to do and where to eat.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Holidays_Yay_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2010

We were in the Canterbury area for 11 days, and The Fairways was my favourite one-night stopover.

We received the most warm welcome from Kelly. She made sure that our room was ready, all the necessary heaters and lights were on - well prepared for our arrival. She also shared with us her favourite restaurant - where we had one of the best meals during our trip.

The studio room we were in smelt brand new. The place, although only in their 3rd season, has everything taken out of it, and a fresh coat of paint in - ensuring the best possible condition of the room.

My favourite part of the room - the heated bathroom floor!

The Fairways has prepared the studio room with all the amenities that you would choose for your very own home - making it indeed like a home away from home.

For the eco-concerned traveller, full recycling facilities are provided.

Do remember to speak to them about where to get a personal encounter with the seals!

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank truemobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2010

For only one night in Kaikoura, it is an excellent accommodation, with a wonderful manager. It's clean, modern, spacious and very comfortable. It's a short drive away from the town to get some shopping done, and its very peaceful and quiet at night. There were free dvds to borrow from the manager to kill time at night. Perhaps the only little improvement they can make is to upgrade the TV to a slightly larger one. I would recommend it to anyone who's going to Kaikoura.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HeloK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2010

We stayed for two nights whilst whale watching. The apartments are a couple of miles south of Kaikoura and are excellent, in fact the best apartments we stayed in during our trip around North and South Islands. They are really modern with superb kitchen and bathroom and a beautiful log effect gas fire in the lounge area. They are well maintained and serviced, with extremely friendly and knowledgeable management and staff who couldn't do enough for us. We wouldn't hesitate to stay again on any future trip.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cheshirekatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level Contributor
128 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2010

We spent 3 nights at “The Faiways” in Kaikoura, also 3 nights in the summer before.

Location:
The resort is located 5 min by car from the town centre of Kaikoura, on the south entrance of the town. The area is under construction, which means new houses and grounds are built, but in the year that passed between our first and second stay, obviously nothing happened, all looked somehow the same. Because of this, the resort is a bit “in the middle of something” that does not really exist by now. The resort is run by a couple living nearby, so when you arrive you have to call them and wait some minutes until they arrive.

Apartments:
Both times, we stayed in a one-bedroom apartment. The interior was really spacious, very modern with large windows from the ceiling to the floor, clean, but it somehow lacks a certain ambience. In summer, if you do not switch on the air-conditioning it gets really hot inside, so the isolation does not seem to be very effective. You can open the large windows, of course, to get some fresh air in.

We can recommend staying here. To our knowledge, there is no other place in Kaikoura providing this kind of modern and comfortable accommodation combined with the luxurious space The Fairways has.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelSiMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bigfella10, Owner at The Fairways, responded to this review, June 21, 2010
Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure to have you back to stay at the Fairways. As well as being the owner of the Fairways with my wife Sarah, I am also the Project Manager of the Ocean Ridge residential community. It is unfortunate that the global recession has slowed development of the housing, however we are very committed to presenting the Fairways and Ocean Ridge as impeccably as possible.

We have a full time Duty Manager living on site at the Fairways. On occasion we relieve for her and as we live across the road from the Fairways, we do our utmost to get to reception as soon as possible.

We have had the air-conditioning installed at the request of guests as during the summer, temperatures can often exceed 30 degrees in Kaikoura. There is no restriction on the usage of the air-conditioning throughout the duration of guest stays to maintain desired temperatures. Fortunately in the winter the apartments are very warm and cozy.

We are very proud of the Fairways and believe that the ambience provided by the open gas log fires, dimmable lights, magestic mountain views, gourmet kitchens, spa baths, outdoor bar-b-que areas and manicured native gardens are truly something special.

Kind regards
Stephan Rattray
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2010

We had a quick overnight here before going whale watching and were totally happy. The room was small but smart and the bathroom was very nice. There is plenty of parking in front of each unit and the woman at the front desk was friendly. Not too many viable options in the area, so this is a good choice.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank renu-and-sam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fairways

Property: The Fairways
Address: 1 Kersage Dr | Ocean Ridge, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Kaikoura
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Kaikoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Fairways 5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Modern 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and studios offering luxurious fully self contained accommodation for travelers looking for some quality and friendly service that will your make to trip to Kaikoura a memorable one. Located just 3 km south of Kaikoura within Ocean Ridge between the Kaikoura Golf course and the Kaikoura winery. Your hosts are Graham and Robyn Lamond who live on site. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairways Hotel Kaikoura
Fairways Motel Kaikoura

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