Book early if you want to stay in Picton, which is a busy place during the summer months. Blenheim has a larger range of accommodations, including many delightful self-contained cottages and vineyard stays.
In Picton & the Sounds
In addition to Picton township, there are quite a few lodgings waiting for you in the Marlborough Sounds. Prime among them is the very stylish Bay of Many Coves Resort, Arthur’s Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound (www.bayofmanycoves.co.nz; tel. 0800/579-9771 in NZ, or 03/579-9771), which has 11 one-, two-, and three-bedroom self-contained apartments priced from NZ$540 to NZ$975. It also has an excellent restaurant open to casual diners. Craglee Lodge, Bay of Many Coves (www.craglee.co.nz; tel. 03/579-9223), has three delightful rooms from NZ$450 a night. This good-value stay includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, fresh baking, fruit, and pre-dinner drinks in the tariff.
In Picton itself, McCormick House, 21 Leicester St. (www.mccormickhouse.co.nz; tel. 03/573-5253), is hard to beat for character and charm. It has three beautiful rooms for NZ$350 to NZ$450 and hosts Carl and Jeanne Beaumont serve up delicious gourmet breakfasts. Their property has a Qualmark Enviro-Gold award for sustainability. The Gables, 20 Waikawa Rd. (www.thegables.co.nz; tel. 03/573-6772), has three more modest rooms plus two cottage suites (NZ$140-NZ$175). For great-value backpacker accommodations, the Villa Backpacker’s Lodge, 34 Auckland St., Picton (www.thevilla.co.nz; tel. 03/573-6598), is hard to beat. It has dorm beds for NZ$26 and double rooms for NZ$65 to NZ$75.
If you’re looking for a place with individuality and style, try Hotel d’Urville, 52 Queen St. (www.durville.com; tel. 03/577-9945), which has 11 lovely themed rooms priced NZ$195 to NZ$290 right in the center of Blenheim township. Also centrally located, Chateau Marlborough, corner of High and Henry streets (www.marlboroughnz.com; tel. 0800/752-275), has 46 excellent motel rooms from NZ$260 to NZ$600. Old St. Mary’s Convent, 776 Rapaura Rd. (www.convent.co.nz; tel. 03/570-5700), is a unique stay in the vineyard area—albeit a slightly overpriced one—in a restored 100-year-old convent. Its five rooms are vast and cost between NZ$600 and NZ$800 and include breakfast. The honeymoon suite is gorgeous, and there’s even a small church on the property, but I think you get better value at The Peppertree, SH1, Riverlands, Blenheim (www.thepeppertree.co.nz; tel. 03/520-9200), where Werner and Heidi Pluss have an elegant, historic homestead with five beautiful rooms priced from NZ$595 to NZ$655. Rates include breakfast, coffee, cookies, and fruit at any time, and full use of all lodge facilities. Werner also has his own small vineyard, a tiny olive grove, a small farm, and organic gardens. The property has a Qualmark Enviro-Silver rating. Uno Piu, 75 Murphys Rd. (www.unopiu.co.nz; tel. 03/578-2235), offers lovely B&B homestead accommodations for NZ$430 plus a delightful, self-catering, two-bedroom mud-block cottage set in its own garden for NZ$470 (NZ$60 each extra person). You can also frolic in the home swimming pool.
Sleeping Among the Grapes
There are a growing number of vineyard accommodations for visitors to choose from. Walnut Block Cottages, 43 Blicks Lane, Blenheim (www.walnutblockcottages.co.nz; tel. 03/577-9187), has two lovely, one-bedroom, self-contained cottages right beside vines, for just NZ$225 per night, which is a great value. Another option is Straw Lodge, 17 Fareham Lane, Blenheim (www.strawlodge.co.nz; tel. 03/572-9767), where three lovely private vineyard suites have their own courtyard and facilities. Rooms cost from NZ$335 to NZ$395 and the property has a Qualmark Enviro-Silver rating. Vintners Retreat Resort, 55 Rapaura Rd., Blenheim (www.vintnersretreat.co.nz; tel. 03/572-7420), has a wide range of stylish one-, two-, and three-bedroom self-contained villas nestled among the vines, ranging in price from NZ$332 to NZ$495. At St. Leonards Vineyard Cottages, 18 St. Leonards Rd., Blenheim (www.stleonards.co.nz; tel. 03/577-8328), choose from five delightful self-contained cottages for the incredibly good value of NZ$115 to NZ$320.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.