There are times in everyone’s life when they need a bit of luxury when they travel, and Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel gave us just that. I am definitely more of a flashpacker than backpacker when travelling, and when on weekends away I definitely like to splurge a lot more than I would when on longer travelling trips. I’m not ashamed to admit that I like the finer things in life and could easily get used to the kind of luxury that Escape to Picton provided.
Picton is in Marlborough in the South Island of New Zealand and is the gateway to the Queen Charlotte Sound. It’s a cute little seaside town that in summer is full of tourists from visiting cruise ships or people getting off the interisland ferries, and others holidaying and fishing in the Sounds. In June though it is a lot more sedate and definitely has a slower way of life. Rory and I headed there for the long weekend. A friend of mine had very kindly given us a voucher to use for a 2 night stay in the Formal Suite at Escape To Picton Boutique Hotel, which also included a 3 course meal, breakfast and a glass of bubbles with dinner.
We took our time on the drive up from Christchurch, stopping in Kaikoura for lunch in the sun, and then at the Makana Chocolate Factory and Saint Clair Estate Winery in Blenheim. By the time we arrived in Picton it was late afternoon and we were greeted by Juliearna, Escape To Picton’s owner, who showed took us up to the Formal Suite – our home for the weekend.
The suite was decorated in a old french style that ooozed safistication and romance. It’s high ceiling was adorned with antique chandeliers and in the middle of the room was the biggest and most comfortable (super king-sized) French bed. A seating area was to off to one side of the room home to plush furniture, beautifully decorated with pillows and blankets, a plasma TV and a door leading out onto the balcony overlooking the Picton Marina. On the other side of the room was the wardrobe, complete with white fluffy robes, a decorative desk and the door to the bathroom. Other than the bed, I think the bath was my favourite thing in the room. A beautiful freestanding bath tub was situated in the middle of the bathroom. The taps on both the bath and the sink were ornate french style gold taps which I am now longing to have in our house. At the end of the bathroom was the toilet and a huge corner shower.
My first thought was god I hope I don’t have to leave here! The service was amazing and anything we needed was delivered to us within minutes. It was such a romantic setting and a chance to enjoy some serious R&R and pampering.
On the first night we just wanted to enjoy the room and spend a quiet night in – not that Picton was that happening anyway. We decided to head out for dinner and found a little pizza restaurant on the main street. A little warning – apparently in winter things do close relatively early in Picton – restaurants are closed by about 8.30-9pm so make sure you head out early enough if you want to get some dinner.
After dinner we strolled back to the hotel and settled in for the night.
The next morning we woke late after one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a long time. We went headed down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast was huge and definitely a great way to start a day of exploring Picton. First up was toast and jams with juice and either tea or coffee, followed by a full breakfast – bacon, eggs, sausage, whole tomatoes, portobello mushrooms all resting on a bed of toast (remember this is a luxury hotel so it’s not your usual fry up – all fresh and mainly local produce). When we headed back up to the room to get ready for the day, we discovered the maid fairies had been whilst we were at breakfast and had made our bed, given us fresh towels and even folded and put away our clothes for us. Was such a pleasant surprise – and one I could very easily get used to.
Our first stop for the day was to Waikawa Marina which is about a 5 minute drive from the hotel. I love boats and have grown up around and on them so we went for a long walk around the marina having a look at the different yachts, motorboats, and luxury boats moored up there. It was a beautiful sunny day and the temperature high enough that I didn’t have to wear a cardigan let alone a jacket – not bad considering it was winter!
After our walk, Rory and I headed for a glass of wine at the bar on the edge of the marina, and sat in the sun watching people coming in and out on their boats. It was so relaxing and just what we needed. We then headed back into Picton and spent the next few hours wandering down the main street in and out of the various shops, and even stopped and sat in the sun eating ice creams.
We got back to the hotel early evening and decided to just chill out. I couldn’t stay the weekend in the suite without trying out the magnificant bath. So along with a nice glass of pinot noir that’s exactly what I did for the next hour. The bath was that big that even Rory joined me too!
That evening we went down to the restaurant for our 3 course meal. It was without a doubt in the top 2 meals I have had this year and probably for a long time. The restaurant was perfect for a romantic evening together with soft mood lighting and some great music playing in the background. The staff were all very attentive and the food delicious and we had a lovely romantic evening.
All in all the weekend was fantastic. I really didn’t want to have to check out at all and can’t wait to stay there again in the future. The only negative if there was any, was that the reception area was a bit messy but in the grand scheme of things that didn’t really matter at all.
For more information about Escape to Picton Boutique Hotel go to www.escapetopicton.com