Christchurch-based hoteliers Francesca Voza and James Sumner undertook a full interior overhaul on an 1860s heritage building to create their boutique accommodation, Eliza’s Manor.
Despite having opened in 2021, it still feels like a bygone era inside with an impressive kauri wood staircase in the foyer along with heavily patterned carpets, gilded-frame artworks, stained-glass lamps and velvet armchairs.
Quirky and contemporary touches such as brass animal head wall hooks and amusing artworks keep it fun, rather than being too “wealthy older relative’s stuffy front room”.
The eight rooms are all decorated differently, with Queen Anne-legged chaise longues (some original, some replicas), Victorian-inspired pastel floral wallpaper, stained-glass windows, heavy curtains in rich tones and antique side tables. There are plenty of modern, comfortable touches such as electric blankets, flat-screen TVs, a pillow menu and large, deep baths waiting to absorb your stress.
Eliza’s central address means that, while it feels like an oasis away from modern life, it’s easy to visit for a Christchurch weekend stay – or even just a flat white and a half-hour breather in the plant-surrounded courtyard.
Voza and Sumner also own popular Christchurch cafe Miro, which they opened when they moved to the city two years ago.
The hotel’s restaurant is a sister venue to Miro, offering what they describe as “modern New Zealand” food – riffs on Euro classics such as confit duck leg and beef short rib made using as many local and from-scratch ingredients as possible. They even cure, age and smoke their own bacon.
The Manor is now climate-positive with a heavy focus on sustainability, reducing waste and being kind to the environment. This includes everything from efficient energy systems to the honeycomb on the cheese board, which comes from their own bees.