With some really easy choices to fly in to Christchurch direct from overseas, and several new fly fishing options coming on stream in the area, we’re always on the look out for really good first/last night stays in Christchurch. Fly in, stay the night to relax and refresh, then head out to your chosen fishing stay for a few days (or a week) of excellent fishing for trout and/or salmon. So, Hotel Montreal, in the central city, was high on our list when it opened two years ago.
Good hotel options have been limited in Christchurch the last few years, but now the rebuild is well underway there are new properties opening every month. With spanking new buildings popping up all round, and old ones like the Arts Centre and Cashel Street Mall reopening, the CBD is bouncing back to life just 5 and a half years after two big earthquakes wrecked large parts of the city. We were keen to learn more.
Hotel Montreal is a nice 4 star option just 10 minutes walk from The Square, the old centre of the city. Sitting opposite Cranmer Square and and overlooking cleared blocks of land yet to be rebuilt, it’s a sunny open site looking north. Winning New Zealand’s Best Hotel Suite in the World Travel Awards 2016 and again in 2017, it is already drawing a loyal fan base. The Polo Bar serves an Argentinian-inspired menu filled with hearty beef, fish and vegetarian options as well as a tasty tapas menu. The cured salmon, lemon jelly and salmon caviar plate was amazing.
The hotel is contemporary, a little bit funky, and appeals to younger, busy travellers looking for something a little less conservative than the usual ‘hotel’ stay. Strong bold colours like deep blue, black and gold are offset by white and soft shades of grey. Suites are spacious, with big comfy seating areas and a decent-sized entertaining kitchen with microwave, but no cooking facilities as such. Our room was on a sunny corner with two walls of glass and a big bank of cupboards for our luggage. Furnishings were sturdy and easy to sprawl on, so that when the All Blacks game started on the big screen later in the evening we were able to enjoy it, feet up, lights low just like at home.
It proved to be an ideal last night stay as we were flying out the next afternoon, and the standard 11am checkout meant we could relax well in to the morning before heading off to the airport.
In addition to offering an excellent first/last night stay Hotel Montreal is also a good base for a fishing stay if you’re using a Christchurch-based guide and you have a non-fishing partner. While you’re being taken out to a different river every day your partner will be able to enjoy the growing shopping options, wander the botanic gardens, take a cycle tour of the city or join one of the many day tours to places like Kaikoura, Akaroa, Arthur’s Pass or the Waipara wine region.
(C) NZ Fishing Lodges by Sue Farley 2017