Have you ever tried to be a tourist in your own city? A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Christchurch, the city I call home. I stayed the night in a hotel, went to the restaurant and did some sightseeing. Weird, right? But it wasn’t!
Eco-friendly Eco Villa
I was lucky. It was a beautiful sunny winter day. My place for the night was the Eco Villa, a boutique hotel in the centre of Christchurch.
Eco Villa breathes history (built in 1910!) and is more than just another hotel. It feels more like a home, with a gorgeous garden, communal kitchen and living room. It mixes the benefits of a hotel with the charm of a hostel.
What I love even more is their focus on sustainability and recycling. They have an edible garden, which is cool, but did you know that all the wood they use in the hotel is reused? Every night stand, table and bed has its own story.
I stayed the night in the Oak room, with a big bed and oak dressers. The owners have crafted these with recycled materials, most of them came from the original house while renovating. My bed headboard is made of Rimu wood, from the panelling from the ballroom. The little tables are up cycled old shelves and a small table in the room used to be a kitchen cupboard.
Originality: 10! Looks: 10!
Let’s explore Christchurch!
Once I settled in and had my cup of tea I explored town. Christchurch is getting better every day. It took a big hit with the earthquakes a few years ago, but it is coming back stronger and prettier!
At only a minute walking distance you find the cardboard cathedral. The cathedral was built when the original cathedral got destroyed by the earthquakes. It’s called the ‘cardboard’ cathedral because the foundations are all made of cardboard, and it looks beautiful.
Christchurch is the city of street art and there is lots! Take one of the free bikes at Eco Villa, or go for a stroll and be amazed by what you’ll see. You can find the latest street art locations on this map: http://christchurchstreetart.co.nz/
Walking around town makes a person hungry, right? That’s the excuse I use to eat in one of my favourite restaurants: Pot Sticker. They have the best dumplings and bao buns. The food is just amazeballs. Every time I go there I overeat myself, ordering loads of dumplings, burgers and other delicious goods. Be ready to go loco on the menu and brace yourself for a food coma.
If you like little cute cinema theatres I highly recommend checking out Alice Cinemateque, which is also only a few minutes walking from Eco Villa.
It is actually a video rental shop – yes they still exist – with an almost unnoticeable door next to the counter. That door leads you into a magical Egyptian style theatre! They have one cinema room which makes you feel in a different world. Enjoy the luxurious dark red seats and Pharaoh statues around you.
And if you don’t want your evening to be over yet, you can soak in Eco Villa’s outdoor baths!
Interested in seeing more of Christchurch? Have a look at my top 10 activities for Christchurch.