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Experience Marlborough boutique accomodation at one of New Zealand's finest Country Retreats
In the heart of Marlborough's wine growing area lies Old Saint Mary's Convent, a haven for the discerning traveller, where luxury boutique accommodation and an intimate retreat may be found.
Old Saint Mary's Convent is situated on an estate of 60 acres and surrounded on all sides by the vineyards and olive groves Marlborough is famous for.
Spring Creek, with its abundant bird life and trout, meanders lazily through the property. It is here, beneath Marlborough's azure sky, that one may spend a pleasant afternoon sipping local vintages and sampling the provincial gourmet fare.
Each of the five rooms has spectacular views of the surrounding hills, vineyards and/or gardens. All have their own ensuite with bath and separate shower. The rooms are very spacious and airy with easy access to the balcony.
Essential modern conveniences, like fire protection sprinklers and a sophisticated heating and air conditioning system, are cleverly hidden behind the old ceilings, rimu panelling and timbered floors.
Continental or cooked breakfast is served in the cosy dining room. The library, with its ornate Kauri fireplace and separate billiards room, is for the exclusive use of guests.
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. One of the many splendid examples of Victorian craftsmanship is the substantial carved staircase, constructed entirely from Kauri.
In 1994, the Convent was moved 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.
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