The Boot Bed and Breakfast The Boot Bed and Breakfast CREDIT: Veronec Cornelle

The Boot near Nelson named as New Zealand's most unusual place to stay

Monday 21 May 2012, 11:18AM
By Word of Mouth Media NZ

The Boot near Nelson has been name the most unusual place to stay in New Zealand, according to an author and travel writer who stays at the most unusual places around New Zealand.


Pip McCurdy, a Wellington author, says the Boot bed and breakfast is the most amazing place to stay in New Zealand, with its sitting room as the toe.


``A bedroom tucked halfway up the leg and a kitchen in the heel, it is like residing in fairytale. This place is truly extraordinary,’’ McCurdy said today.


McCurdy is a travel writer who stays at the most oddest places in her travels.


A list of the eight of the most original stays New Zealand has to offer  has been compiled as a result of research by McCurdy for her recently released book, Stay Somewhere Strange.


For New Zealand’s most unusual place to stay, The Boot near Nelson has been singled out as a plastered monument to craftsmanship and whimsy. The Boot has been admired in New Zealand and internationally. It opened in 2000 and its courtyard is shaped as a footprint and the courtyard wall is the sole of another Boot.


The Giant’s House in Akaroa was selected in second place. Referred to as a mosaic masterpiece, it is a unique stately home sitting in a garden full of full size almost human sculptures and their friends, clothed in the most ornate of  mosaics.


The 2013 edition of a Stay Somewhere Strange is currently being complied and McCurdy’s search is on for next year’s most weird and wonderful, curious and quirky overnight stays in New Zealand.


The full 2012 list is:


1 - The Boot (Nelson) – Outstanding craftsmanship has created this celebration of whimsy. With a sitting room in the toe, a bedroom tucked halfway up the leg, and a kitchen in the heel, it is like residing in a fairytale: truly extraordinary.


2 - The Giant’s House (Akaroa) – French music flows out of the mosaic covered piano on the lawn. Sculptures of the most unusual folk greet you at every turn. Inside this stately home each bedroom is uniquely individual. Mosaic rose vines twist and turn their way up the bathroom walls ... The artist’s hand is everywhere in this astonishingly beautiful creation.


3 – Nikau Sanctuary (Raglan) – This luxury yurt is gorgeous. With twinkling lights above, heated floors below and the most enticing bedding and furnishings, this is a Bedouin dream straight from the Arabian Nights.


4 – The Jailhouse (Christchurch) – Previously a women’s prison, this backpacker accommodation has been given the lightest of makeovers. Each private room was once a cell. The bars remain on the windows. The door must be at least 12 centimetres thick. They do give you your own key, however.


5 – Maruia Springs Spa (Lewis Pass) – Your own kimono and Japanese sandals to make use of; unlimited access to the hot springs in a stunning mountainous setting; single sex hot steamy communal bathhouses complete with a plunge pool to finish off.


6 – Woodland Park (Waitomo) – Several accommodation alternatives are on offer. Sleep in the cockpit of the old DC freighter – the last of our planes to carry troops out of Vietnam.  No bullet holes but the real deal in every respect.  All the controls are still there including instructions on which lever to pull if you need to bail out.


7 – Pagoda Lodge (Kerikeri) – The African Safari tents are perched on individual timber platforms overlooking a meandering tidal inlet. Sit on your private deck sipping your gin slings at dusk listening to the crickets chirping somewhere deep in the lush tropical vegetation.


8 -  Solscape Eco Retreat (Raglan) – A number of alternative accommodation options are available but the tepees are the most unique. Set amongst native bush you can spend a night living and sleeping as a native American . Cooking and bathing are outdoors with a nod to privacy here and there.


McCurdy also wrote about other most unusual places:  Rangimarie Cottage in Anarua  Bay near Gisborne, Cardrona Hotel  near  Wanaka, The Flying Fox near Whanganui, the  Boathouse on the Beach – Plimmerton, Straw Bale House - Tasman Bay, Larnach Castle – Dunedin, Aquapackers - Tasman Bay, The French Barn – Martinborough, Tree Crop Farm – Akaroa, The Chapel Apartments – Dunedin,  International Police Museum Lodge – Dannevirke, The Mill House - near Oamaru.