Abel Tasman "Bed and Breakfast" accommodation at a heritage Guest House
AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™ is a Bed & Breakfast plan lodging (B and B) in Nelson city centre - handy for the 3 National Parks of Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes that encircle us in the `Top of the South' Island of New Zealand (NZ) and just a short stroll to restaurants, Tahunanui Beach, Founders Park and the newly renovated Theatre Royal.
Our homestay was built in 1897 by an Irish immigrant newly arrived from Kilkenny who started a school for young ladies. The brass school bell celebrating New Zealand's new-found status in 1907 as a Dominion still hangs to the left of the front door of
Amber House for guests to ring to signal their arrival and crystal chandeliers still hang from ceilings more than eleven feet high downstairs.
However, you will enjoy modern comforts and amenities such as air-conditioning and argon gap double glazing (for a restful night) a satellite dish (for clearer reception and a wider selection of TV programs), new 21st Century hot water systems, direct dial DECT cordless phones in every room with FREE short calls and fast 802.11b and 802.11g wireless Internet in our accommodations.
All our rooms have en-suite showers and wash hand basins. Upstairs, the Blue Room and Balcony Suite lodgings have their own balconies with a view over Tasman Bay to the Arthur Ranges on one side and the Sugar Loaf and Botanical Hill (geographical Centre of New Zealand) from the other.
Our rooms are SPACIOUS - large enough for two Queen Beds and our double-glazed Green Room is very good value for families and those on a limited accommodation budget and willing to go without air-con in the sunniest guesthouse in New Zealand.
Most guests compliment us on our hot breakfasts cooked to individual order. Many folks have enjoyed one of our "Ulster Fry"s in our lodgings - or you can just help yourself to fruit any time and from a cold (or `continental' style) buffet breakfast if you`re watching your weight.
Wilsons Abel Tasman Experience will typically drop off your water-resistant "Lodge Bag" with us before you arrive so it's then ready and waiting for you to pack. They, along with most other tour and guiding firms, usually collect you from our breakfast room - so you can lie in a bit longer for your trip to the Abel Tasman National Park or paragliding that day...
Keep your Bikes and Kayaks securely in our garage. We grow many of our own vegetables organically in the sunniest place in New Zealand. All water is filtered for low chlorine drinking and bathing and is naturally soft.
We do not allow smoking anywhere on our land because we have children at primary school. We are not a motel or inn and do not have a reception desk staffed round the clock, so you will need to advise us of your estimated time of arrival at our Abel Tasman accommodation when you book (and again if that estimate subsequently changes) so that you can be sure we'll be at home to welcome you to your lodgings.
Anne and Adam Amber were both born and raised in Nelson and would very much enjoy giving you tips on how to get the best out of your stay in the Abel Tasman National Park...
Obviously and if you can afford it, the ideal Abel Tasman lodgings are right on the beach front within the boundaries of Abel Tasman National Park itself.
Some folks then make the mistake of thinking that accommodation in Richmond or even lodging in outlying areas like Upper Moutere would be preferable since
they look a tad closer to an Abel Tasman National Park boundary than Nelson city centre.
We'd like to explain why that isn't always true:
- Security - digital safes and secure parking
- Convenience - Abel Tasman shuttle bus, kayak and quay transports collect you directly from our dining room after a satisfying breakfast and return you in time for tea
- Comfort - air conditioned and double glazed rooms with orthopaedic mattresses assure a restful night
- Local knowledge - Anne and Adam are both born and bred in Nelson
- Value for money - sometimes less than half the price of our competitors. If you ever think you've found better value phone me, Adam Amber and tell me where!
- Shopping - potteries, glass blowers, craft workshops and boutiques are just a short stroll
- Night life - 30 different restaurants and pubs are less than 12 minutes walk away
The Nelson Tasman police district has the lowest crime rate in New Zealand, but burglaries and thefts still occur. Too frequently thieves target the larger motels and camp grounds because they can mingle unobserved and unremarked in the throng. They know that windows will be left open in hot weather (because few Nelson or Richmond motels have air conditioning like Amber House) and that visitors often carry high value items like video cameras, jewellery and laptops.
There is only one road access into the Abel Tasman National Park from the South or East and it terminates at Marahau. The thieves know that there is a
good chance that a rental car parked there (or from where the water taxis leave at Kaiteriteri) will have occupants that won't return for quite a while and
that those occupants may be reluctant to carry their heavy valuables on the track. Unfortunately, even if you have not left anything in your vehicle for
thieves to steal, you will still be faced with the expense and inconvenience of a smashed window or jemmied boot (trunk) lid when you return.
It is for this very reason that our advice contradicts that of the police: in a rental car you should remove all valuables (including the radio) from the car and then leave the doors unlocked with the windows closed. Leave the empty glovebox open so the thieves can see that there is nothing to steal.
The Amber family is still permanently resident in Amber House and have never had a theft or burglary. Since we don't book more than four guests into our own home at one time, all comings and goings are noted. We don't advertise our guests as a target by taking care to be excluded from printed directories. We record the names, phone numbers and permanent addresses of all our guests and check photographic ID if they have not stayed with us before. We want to keep our children very safe and an agreable by product of that caution is less risk for you.
AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™
If you choose a Motel in Richmond just because you think it may save a few minutes off the road trip, just ponder how many extra minutes you'll spend with the car rental damage and insurance forms?
Much better to leave your valuables in your secure digital room safe at Amber House and/or your car in our secure parking while an experienced local National Park shuttle bus driver collects you from Amber House's dining room and leaves you safely right at the start of the track!
During the summer months, for a one way price of $22 per person, we can arrange for you to be collected from our dining room at 07:45hrs and travel by coach to the great beach at Kaiteriteri where sea shuttles and water taxis are available to all parts of the Abel Tasman National Park. The return journey is the same price and will usually have you back with us by 17:30hrs..
That way you can enjoy some drinks along the way and at the end of your adventure as well without the anxiety of being stopped by the police and breathalyzed...
Amber House is just six minutes walk from the wonderfully informative and helpful government Department of Conservation (DoC) visitor centre where you can book your campsite and buy the Abel Tasman N.P. Great Walks pass that you must carry and exhibit on demand while tramping overnight in the Abel Tasman National Park. They also have the best selection of maps and guidebooks in the entire region.
All rooms have direct dial DECT cordless phones and hairdryers.
All our rooms have en-suite facilities. Our Blue, Gold and Rose Rooms, together with the Balcony Suite are air-conditioned with reverse cycle heat pumps providing rapid room heating in winter.
Our Balcony Suite, Blue, Gold and Green Rooms also have German manufactured, uPVC double glazing by Koemmerling (with argon gas filling the 16mm gap) for extra sound proofing (and low emissivity glass) to reduce our carbon footprint.
Balcony Suite, Gold Room and Blue Room guests can watch channels and programs on High Definition LCD screens via our satellite receivers that are simply not available in New Zealand on terrestrial channels or Sky.
Both Anne and Adam were born and raised right here in Nelson. Our Irish and Scots relatives were some of the first European settlers in Nelson and arrived on the barque Bombay on Friday, 12th December 1842.
Our pacific island and Māori relatives arrived six hundred years and more before that.
New Zealand in general, and Nelson in particular, has excellent value Motels and many of them have kitchenettes where you can
prepare your own meals
and some of them also have swimming pools.
We have no pool - but with the fabulous Tahunanui beach close to us, who wants to suck chlorine?
We will cook for you. Even if you value our breakfasts at $5 less than the going rate we still beat all of Nelson's Motel prices - and they don't offer air-conditioning or a laundry service like we do.
All our prices are fully inclusive of breakfast, applicable taxes and service charges.
If you ever think you've found better value in Nelson's city centre or with convenient access to the Abel Tasman National Park, please let us know immediately because, like John Lewis, we are never knowingly undersold!
It may sound like heresy to say it, but there may come a time in your holiday when you will appreciate a bit of retail therapy. Nelson's Saturday morning market is rightly famous throughout New Zealand. Whether it's an organic fijoa or a model airplane built from a Steinlager can, nobody ever comes away unhappy from Montgomery Square.
Nelson city is just big enough to have all the facilities you need while preserving small town friendliness and helpfulness. Because it is such a pleasant place to stay, many artists, musicians and other creative people have settled in the South Island's first city - how many other towns of a similar size to Nelson can boast their very own Symphony Orchestra?
If you're billetted in sleepy little Richmond, Motueka or bored stiff in Mapua or Upper Moutere the taxi fare to Nelson's nightlife might prove prohibitive.
However, if you made the sensible decision to stay at Amber House in Nelson's city centre, even if you've got blisters from dancing the night away, you'll still be able to stagger the three streets back to Amber House without even stopping to look for a cab.