NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group



If walls could tell stories, those surrounding the chic foyer at the Kaikōura Boutique Hotel would be the town gossips. The renovated 1870s building, once the general store, has kept a watchful eye over everything from its long-standing waterfront location. “She's a glamorous, beautiful and strong old building — and she held up in the earthquake. She is easy to fall in love with,” says co-owner Jen Barnes. It was regard for the building that nudged Jen and her husband Warren to buy it in 2016. And as their champagne flutes clinked to celebrate its finished renovation, the earthquake struck. The grand old lady reopened nearly a year later, adding one more tale to her repertoire of stories. The hotel is a short walk from Fyffe House and the town centre; its location also a front-row seat to the seals and dolphins that frequent the area. Guests are treated to a touch of elegance inside — think light-filled waterfront rooms, chandeliers and possibly the best champagne list in town. The Barnes also run a Frenchinspired café on the property, so guests don't have to wander far for a freshly baked croissant, crêpe or chorizo scramble. There's nothing quite like holing up in the courtyard after a tiring day, settling in with a glass of wine to recharge. 146 Esplanade, Kaikōura. (03) 319 5748, kaikouraboutiquehotel.co.nz