While Christchurch is perhaps not the first city that comes to mind when you think of a luxury vacation, there is a real beauty and inherent charm to be discovered in this city. From the resilient spirit of Cantabrians who call Christchurch home to the way in which the City has had to reinvent itself following the devastating earthquakes more than a decade ago, innovation and ingenuity form its backbone, and now, as Christchurch’s culture and infrastructure evolves, so too has its accommodation offering, with the recent opening of a brand new, luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the city.
The arrival of The Mayfair feels like Christchurch is reclaiming its identity as a city to be proud of. Located centrally, in a premium spot on the corner of Victoria and Dorset streets, The Mayfair features 67 rooms over five stories, with spacious suites, including panoramic views through 3.3-metre floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views over Hagley Park and beyond, to the Southern Alps. It has often been said that the skies never feel as wide as they do when viewed from the Canterbury Plains, and from this outlook, that is certainly evident.
Luxury is at the heart of this boutique hotel, but not in a way that is overt or ostentatious. Instead, like much of the build, according to architect Tim Field, it is minimalist and elegant — luxury without all the formalities. “There’s a timeless drama to the black exterior juxtaposed with glass and concrete that gives the hotel an iconic street presence.” And Jeff Merrin of Lume Design says he established the interior design direction to make the most of the abundant natural light that streams in through the famed floor-to-ceiling windows.
Heading upstairs, the rooms are nothing short of delightful. Home comforts meet understated luxury, where every element of the guest experience has been considered with care. Noticeably, the bathrooms are stocked with a curated range of luxurious Byredo amenities, and while there is a gym nearby, we’ve heard that the concierge can organise gym equipment to be brought to your room — giving you no cause ever to want to leave.
Beyond the accommodation alone, The Mayfair’s flagship food offerings are cause enough to visit, with a delicious à la carte menu, all-day brunch, an exquisite cocktail bar, and afternoon high-tea launching soon. Curated by Executive Chef Nick Tatom, famed for his pivotal role in iconic Christchurch destination Hello Sunday, this exceptional culinary offering is reflective of the impressive inroads being made in the food scene across the city.
Should you decide to venture from The Mayfair (and trust us, you almost don’t need to), it is on the doorstep of Christchurch’s inner city — a location that includes the incredible art gallery and museum, alongside bustling art markets and some of the country’s most beautiful gardens. It is at the centre of the city where Christchurch’s heart is most evident, a place that captures the determination and spirit of Cantabrians and the place in which the old charm of Christchurch is brought into harmony with its more modern developments.
With international travellers set to finally arrive through our borders this week, taking on the Southern delights with reverence, the opening of such a monumental and design-led hotel could not have come at a better time. We, for one, cannot wait to plan our next trip to the Garden City.
155 Victoria Street, Christchurch