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The Classic Villa

The Classic Villa, exterior

Christchurch, New Zealand
It's a long way from Italy, but don't think for a minute that it's any less authentic. Blue List Hotels embraces la dolce vita ... in New Zealand.

first impressions
A little Pisa Italy right in the heart of Christchurch. This beautiful Italian-style mansion, just a stone's throw from the city centre, really is Med to measure. Expect luxury, boutique accommodation in one of Christchurch's most elegant and exclusive historic properties. Built in 1899, this late two-story Victorian townhouse recently underwent extensive restoration and refurbishment, and now boasts both five stars, and the coveted Historic Places Trust listing. With its terracotta-coloured stone walls, sun-drenched private courtyard and plush interior, The Classic Villa is every inch the Italian temptress: stylish, proud and sexy.

bedrooms
The Classic Villa's 12 guest suites come with everything you'd expect from a hotel of this class: spacious, en-suite bathrooms; free Wi-Fi; ornate, high ceilings; superb views; and climate control.

The Classic Villa, bedroom

Deluxe Rooms have polished wooden floorboards, wood fire-effect heaters, queen-sized beds with handmade linen and wool-down duvets as standard. They also come fully furnished with a huge, 20.5-inch flatscreen SKY TV, hand-made writing desk with complimentary stationary, and intimate lighting. En-suite bathrooms, with underfloor heating, are stocked a range of complimentary toiletries, a porcelain vanity, and a luxury massage shower. A direct-line telephone is also available for free local calls.

Super Deluxe Rooms. at an impressive 32 square-metres, are grand. They come with designer 'Rimu' furniture as standard, shag-pile carpets, temperature-controlled underfloor heating and wonderful views across the courtyard and gardens.

The Classic Villa, kitchen

The Corporate Rooms are equally inviting, with Queen-sized beds and polished floorboards as standard. As with the Deluxe Rooms, they come with a host of luxuries, as standard.

For unrivalled comfort, try the Super Deluxe Suite. Expect all the mod cons of the Super Deluxe Rooms - with a staggering 44 square-metres of space. The suite also boats a separate lounge area with additional bathroom, where meetings can be held for up to eight people.

food and drink
The Italians are famous for their food - and The Classic Villa will not disappoint. Complimentary breakfasts, served in the elegant dining room, are sumptuous and second-to-none. Expect a mouthwatering selection of locally-farmed fruits, freshly-squeezed juices, choice meats, homemade tarts and pies, speciality teas, and ground coffees.

For late brunch, lunch and an afternoon snack, head to the city and its range of inviting cafes. The Curator's House Restaurant, in the heart of the nearby Botanical Gardens, serves-up gourmet, a la carte fare including succulent Canterbury Lamb. For a hearty Cajun meal at an honest price, try Zydeco Cafe & Bar, a short walk away.

Before hitting the sack, be sure to take advantage of the complimentary wine and homemade nibbles on offer in The Classic Villa's dining room.

service with a smile?
It's a long way from Rome, but expect warm, Italian-style hospitality the moment you step foot through the door. Guests receive complimentary off-street parking, a welcome newspaper of their choice, and information about local attractions on arrival.

The guest lounge, with its luxurious sofas, armchairs, flatscreen TV and piano, is also complimentary. Its adjacent dining room and kitchen is stocked with fresh juices, homemade snacks and tea and coffee, while the sun-drenched courtyard, with wrought-iron tables and chairs, and with an open fire and BBQ, is open for guest use 24/7. All public areas have free Wi-Fi. Fax and photocopying facilities are also available. There's even a babysitting and childcare facility. Two bedrooms are wheelchair accessible, and come fully equipped for guests with disabilities.

If you fancy a workout, guests can use the fitness centre at the nearby YMCA, without paying membership fees.

local attractions
Christchurch is teeming with activities, sights and attractions of every kind. And given The Classic Villa's prime location, most are only a short walk away.

No trip to the city would be complete without a punt along its majestic River Avon. Be sure to pack your camera - you'll meander past some of the city's most iconic sights.

Nearby Hagley Park is perfect for a morning jog, while the Botanical Gardens are a must-see on any itinerary. Explore the region on foot or, if you fancy venturing out into the surrounding countryside, rent a bicycle for around NZ$25 per day.

But if it's serious adrenaline you're after, then you've come to the right place. There's sky diving, jet-boating, rock climbing, bungee jumping, sailing and skiing - and much, much more - all just a short drive away. Further-afield you'll also find good surfing spots at Sumner Beach, New Brighton beach and Taylor's Mistake. There are several ski fields within a few hours of the city.

will it break the bank?
Probably - but remember living la dolce vita doesn't come cheap. Corporate Rooms start at NZ$249 per night; Deluxe Rooms at NZ$299; Super Deluxe Rooms at NZ$349; and the Super Deluxe Suite from NZ$449. Seasonal discounts apply.

details
The Classic Villa
17 Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch
Canterbury, New Zealand
Web: www.theclassicvilla.co.nz

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