Maison de la Mer in Akaroa, Canterbury: a luxury B&B

I’m sure there are many places to stay in Akaroa but this was our “splurge” on our trip. The Maison de la Mer bed and breakfast was five star plus and worth every penny. We had two nights in the Boathouse. The Boathouse is a self-contained apartment separate from the main B&B house. This place was pure luxury and a month later we are still raving about what a great time we had here.

This guest post is from a professional couple in their late 30s who were inspired by Sandal Road to take their own trip to New Zealand. In their third post on Sandal Road, they are giving some great tips on accommodation in Milford Sound.

The Boathouse is a full apartment reached via decking stairs to a great sliding glass door that reveals a delightfully appointed room with views over the harbour. There is a full kitchen stocked with port, homemade biscuits and tea / coffee facilities. The French style bathroom has an amazing shower, top quality French toiletries and the softest towels ever made. The room is decorated with fresh flowers and is light, airy and air conditioned (if required). Outside there are chairs on the deck and a sunshade which made for a perfect location to watch the sunset over the harbour.

Maison de la Mer, Akaroa, New Zealand

Maison de la Mer, Akaroa

Carol and Bruce, who own this B&B, are truly the most delightful people we met in New Zealand (and that is saying a lot because we met many great people). They have lived all over the world and their sophistication showed in everything related to this B&B.

As you can expect, Bruce skippers a sailboat (how could you live in Akaroa and not get on the water?) and the Boathouse reflects Carol’s elegance and Bruce’s knowledge of sailing. Every detail was perfect. All shades of calming blue, signed photographs of America’s Cup racing – even the radio was designer and reflected the décor of the room. First edition books related to sailing were elegantly piled on the coffee table and we spent at least two hours one afternoon flipping through them and relaxing looking out the “porthole” window directly into the harbour. They even supplied a set of binoculars for viewing the harbour.

This was our first “Guest and Hosted” category stay in New Zealand and it was hosted so well that we nearly rang Carol and Bruce a few weeks later for more suggestions for our trip. Carol & Bruce invite their guests for a glass of wine on their veranda in the evenings where they have a table size map of New Zealand. Our first night, we had the B&B all to ourselves and spent nearly an hour with Carol & Bruce discussing our planned itinerary and taking in their feedback of what to see, where to stay, etc. It was like having your own personal tour guide.

There is no doubt that everyone who runs a restaurant or attraction in Akaroa knows Carol. Nothing ordinary is acceptable for her guests. She knows the best table in each restaurant and when she makes you a reservation, it is not a “table for 2”, it is “table 12 for 2 people”. On our second night, when the B&B was full, she put all of the guests at various restaurants in town and is a force for driving the local economy.

Maison de la Mer B&B in Akaroa, New Zealand

Maison de la Mer B&B in Akaroa, New Zealand

The breakfast part of B&B

Of course, as a B&B, something must be said about breakfast. Bruce & Carol have their own egg delivery man who ensures only the best free range eggs and ingredients make up their breakfast every morning. Fresh croissants from the oven, homemade muesli and homemade yogurt grace the table before Bruce whips up your cooked breakfast specifically to order. We cannot begin to explain the amount of care that is put into breakfast. Everything is perfect – the china, the flowers, the classical music, the food – pure divinity.

With a good nights sleep, a full belly and an armful of suggestions, Bruce and Carol set you free into Akaroa for an exciting day that they expect to hear all about at sundowners later that evening.

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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