In Marlborough's wine growing area lies Old Saint Mary's Convent, situated on an estate of 20 acres and surrounded on all sides by vineyards and olive groves. Spring Creek, with its abundant bird life and trout, meanders through the property. Old Saint Mary's Convent is located a 10 minute drive from Blenheim or 20-25 minutes from Picton on Rapaura Road.
Designed by Thomas Turnbull and built in 1901 for the Sisters of Mercy, the Convent was originally located next to Saint Mary's Church in Blenheim. It provided nineteen bedrooms for the nuns, a library, music room, sewing room, office and a beautiful chapel upstairs on the first floor. Native timbers were extensively used in the construction including Matai, Rimu and Kauri.
In 1994, Mieke and Wilfried Holtrop purchased the Convent and moved it in five pieces to its present location in Rapaura. The task of restoration then began under the guidance of architect Sir Michael Fowler. The interior layout downstairs has remained exactly as it was nearly 100 years ago, retaining its original charm and character.
The Honeymoon Suite, with its antique stained glass windows, is the size of a small apartment and has its own private balcony. It epitomizes luxury with casual elegance. The large ensuite bathroom features a two-person claw bath, walk-in shower, double basins and superior toiletries. Each of the four guest rooms has views of the surrounding hills and vineyards. All have their ensuite with bath and separate shower. The rooms are very spacious and airy with easy access to the balcony.
Continental or cooked breakfast is served in the large formal dining room. The library with its ornate Kauri fireplace is for the exclusive use of guests. A large billiard room downstairs has an antique full sized billiard table.
Blenheim has many superb restaurants providing a wide variety of cuisine, while lunches and evening meals are also served at a number of the local wineries.
Old St Marys Convent B&B,
Rapaura Road, RD 3
Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand
Old St Marys Convent B&B, Blenheim, New Zealand
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