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7 August 2022
chateau on the park christchurch, a doubletree by hilton
chateau on the park christchurch, a doubletree by hilton

From stained-glass foxes in The Den Bar and ducks in the moat to warm cookies, celebrated 70s architecture and super comfy rooms, this unique South Island institution is ready to welcome guests once again. Words Josie Steenhart

Chateau on the Park, Christchurch


Right across the street from the huge and lovely Hagley Park (home to Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Canterbury Museum) and just 3km from the city centre. For those sans car or if the weather’s not up to walking, there’s a free scheduled local shuttle.


With its distinctive turrets, internal moat (you heard me), park-like setting and unique design features by pre-eminent architect Peter Beaven, Chateau on the Park has been something of a local institution since it opened its castle-esque wooden doors in 1975.

In 2016, the 192-room hotel got an $8 million refurbishment and rebranded to a DoubleTree by Hilton,
somewhere early in Covid-times it was converted to an MIQ facility (one of the more sought-after I would imagine), and just last month was refreshed and reopened to the general public.


Peter Beavan passed away a decade ago in 2012, and the neo Gothic-inspired/70s-influenced hotel remains one of his last standing buildings after several were sadly destroyed in the Christchurch earthquakes, so being able to have a solid nosey around is worth the stay on its own.

But turns out it’s also a highly comfy experience, with elegant rooms overlooking the garden and warm,
welcoming staff. You also get a piping hot cookie on arrival, which I very much appreciated with a cup of tea on the dark and chilly winter afternoon I checked in.

Garden lovers will be in heaven whether admiring the roses from the comfort of their room, taking a stroll in the sunny gardens after breakfast or checking out the impressively large weeping willow sweeping across the internal yard. There’s also a heated outdoor pool and a fitness room should either urge take you.


I can’t stress enough not to miss out on having a drink at The Den Bar, not least for the amazing decor (think Art Deco meets olde English pub meets late 70s meets something pretty unique), while the Garden Court Brasserie (or GCB as it’s apparently fondly known) has been offering relaxed al fresco dining since way back (another local institution I’m told).

The buffet breakfast is also highly worth a visit in the morning, with a plethora of options to suit a variety of foodie foibles and preferences.


Rooms start at $170 per night.

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