AMBER HOUSE - at the centre!™
Bed and Breakfast Guest House (B&B) in Nelson city centre, New Zealand
Our Gold Room is our favourite room at Amber House - on the upper floor, at the South-East corner.
The Gold Room is not the largest bedroom in Amber House (that is the Rose Room) - but we do think it does have by far the best view!
This is due South towards Dun Mountain, the Brook Waimarama sanctuary and the Sugar Loaf through twin, double-glazed, 'tilt and turn' windows imported from Germany.
The setting sun is viewed between two large Canary Island palm trees in Cambria Street with Cathedral Hill and the Grampians providing a backdrop.
A third large, double glazed window at the West of this bedroom has ultra narrow venetian blinds inside the argon filled gap of the sealed glazing unit (operated by a magnetic drive) so the blinds do not rattle in the regular breezes from the sea each afternoon.
The Gold Room has a Daikin, reverse cycle air-conditioning unit to provide almost instantaneous and abundant heating in Winter and cooling in Summer.
There is one Queen-sized bed with an Orthopaedic mattress - but another single bed can be carried up the stairs and added upon 24 hours notice (and for an extra charge, if less than 3 guests are booked). Please see below for the arrangement when more than 2 guests are booked into the Gold Room.
- a shower cubicle
- a wash hand basin
- a Toto close-coupled toilet with Geberit Fluidmaster inlet for quiet and fast filling
- a large mirror with shaver light above
- a toiletries cabinet
The Gold Room has a small desk with chair, cordless direct-dial DECT phone, a Blu-ray player, an AM/FM radio alarm clock, a hairdryer and there are heated towel rails. In the fitted wardrobe there is a small digital safe and twin hanging rails with 16 coat hangers to hang your clothes.
The highest speed Wireless internet connection available in Nelson is included in the Gold Room tariff, together with your own choice of cooked breakfast dishes or a "continental" breakfast - both served in the guest dining room downstairs.
Satellite (programmes from Al Jazeera [in English), BBC World, Central China TV9 (in English), Deutsche Welle (in German and English), Māori TV (in
English and Māori), Russia Today (in English) via geo-stationary satellite transmissions and Teletext TV programmes are available, together
with other local and terrestrial colour television channels.
On the desk is a Samsung LA32C450 flat screen TV which receives three channels in High Definition (HD) resolution.
This HD TV will also show your movies, play your MP3 files and display your photos (up to a maximum size of 15,360 x 8,640 pixels) when you connect your USB drive at the right hand side and then select "MEDIA.P" on the TV's remote controller.
The Toshiba Blu-ray Disc player has been specially updated with a manufacturers software upgrade so that it can not only play Blu-ray Discs from each of the three BD geographical regions, but will also play back DVD's from all region codes (regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). Because this Toshiba BD player features Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), an HDMI feature designed to allow the user to command and control up-to ten CEC-enabled devices, it can be operated either through its own separate remote or via the Samsung TV's remote. Later this year a video library catalogue will feature on this website - for now, just ask a member of the family to show you what is available.
Place your order with Mila the previous afternoon for a complimentary cooked breakfast of your choice served in the guest dining room downstairs the following morning. Help yourself to the breakfast buffet and coffee, tea, Ovaltine, hot chocolate, Milo, fruit juice, spring water, biscuits, etc., in the downstairs dining room at any time. Take fruit from the bowl whenever you fancy.
A silver, Asus laptop computer is located underneath the satellite receiver on the right of the small work desk in the Gold Room.
Please do NOT remove it from its stowage position. This laptop currently runs the Firefox 9.01 web browser operating under Micksoft's Windows XP (Service Pack 3) and you should log on as "Amber House Guest" (no password required). If everything goes according to plan, this computer will automatically connect to the "Amber House" wireless network.
Please do not open or move our laptop computer (and certainly DON'T switch it off)!
There is both a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse and both should be switched off underneath when not in use.
The sequence of operation is as follows:
a) switch on both the mouse and the keyboard (there is a tiny switch marked "ON" and "OFF" on the underside of each)
b) wiggle the mouse so that the flashing green light visible on the front edge of the computer changes to a steady state to indicate that it has been woken from hibernation by the mouse activity
c) switch on Samsung 32" TV (or leave switched on if already active)
d) toggle [SOURCE] button at upper right of Samsung TV remote until "PC" is displayed on TV
e) hit [ENTER] on Samsung TV remote
f) use computer normally using wireless keyboard, wireless mouse and Samsung TV in monitor mode
g) when finished using the computer, select "TV" or "Satellite" on TV using the [SOURCE] button at upper right of Samsung TV remote (or simply switch off TV)
IMPORTANT: please never switch off the computer (neither using Windows "Switch off computer" option nor using the power off hardware reset button)
h) switch off both wireless keyboard and wireless mouse from underneath each
i) computer will return to hibernation automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity
If you wish to use your own device on our wireless network, please:
a) locate our "Amber House" wireless network on your device and select it
b) when your device requests a password, hand your device to a member of the Amber family so they can enter a confidential sticky password before handing the device back to you.
The Gold Room has five 230 volt, 10 amp, RCD protected, australasian style, electric sockets available for you to use. These switched sockets are
a) 950mm above the floor, just above the air conditioner unit adjacent to the Queen sized bed. (the left hand socket of this pair is already in use - please DON'T switch off!)
b) 250mm above the floor, on the Western exterior wall, just below the window (the lower socket of this pair has a doubler plug with one socket already in use for our satellite receiver and so should NOT be switched off!)
c) on the floor between the bed and the bedside cabinet - two sockets are already in use and two sockets are available
Above the wash hand basin in the mirrored, en-suite shower compartment is a shaver light where the low current (Maximum 20VA) socket is
permanently live and the voltage switched between 115 and 230 volts by a switch underneath the unit (next to the pull cord which turns the strip light on or off).
Please do not use high power equipment such as hair dryers or curlers in the shower compartment - this is extremely dangerous and life threatening!
A normal power, earthed adaptor for your European, British square 3pin or flat pin, USA style plugs is also available on request. Please note, if you borrow this adaptor, that it does NOT convert voltage from New Zealand's standard 230 volts so it should NOT be used on equipment designed only to take 110 volts!
We do also offer room service.
A cooked breakfast of your choice is complimentary for guests that have paid the Gold Room tariff. Guests can also order (for a moderate charge payable to the cook in cash when she arrives with your meal) other meals and snacks prepared and served at your convenience in the dining room below.
Rather than ringing the "School Bell"if you need us and we're not visible, please instead press the electric door bell push just to the left (when standing outside) of Amber House's front door.
This small bell push wirelessly activates five different chimes located in the front hallway, upstairs landing, main kitchen, Garage and the cottage at
the back of the section 200 feet away.
[If you need us at a time when these chimes are likely to disturb other guests, please use the cordless phone in your room: dial 539 0605 (no need to use the South Island area code of 03) to initiate a free local call and your call will be automatically diverted free of charge to the family's cellular (or mobile) number of +64-21-202 4961.]
Please visit this page for information on our call charges...
We'll try and respect your privacy and will try and come into your rooms to empty the waste-paper basket, etc while you are out during the day - unless, of course, you tell us not to.
Triple and Quadruple Occupancy
Although the Gold Room usually only has one Queen sized bed (with an orthopaedic mattress), you can also make a booking for our Gold Room with three, four or five guests.
In this case, your three, four or five person Gold Room tariff automatically includes an adjoining, larger bedroom in addition to the Gold Room - ie you get TWO bedrooms if you are paying the Gold Room tariff for more than 2 persons!
This extra additional bedroom on the upstairs front (North-West) corner of Amber House has one Queen sized bed (with an orthopaedic mattress) and one single bed. This additional bedroom is also air-conditioned, like the Gold Room and also double glazed. However, the windows are the traditional Victorian sash windows re-engineered by a local craftsman in Monterey cypress to take argon-filled, double glazed units.
There are three over-each-bed L.E.D. reading lamps, an alarm clock radio and a table and chair. There is plenty of extra hanging space in the fitted wardrobe which contains another small digital safe, with a combination you can set yourself.
This additional bedroom does have its own 55 inch plasma High Definition (HD) flat screen satellite TV - just the job to keep the kids amused! This has NiCam Stereo but the second Gold Room does NOT have its own personal computer.
In this three, four or five person configuration, both bedrooms share (and are interconnected by) the same Gold Room en-suite shower compartment. Naturally this additional bedroom also has its own separate entrance door opening off the top landing.
Alarm Clock Radio and iPod/iPhone Dock
On the bedside cabinet is an alarm clock radio that will also charge your iPod or iPhone.
This Sony ICF-C05iP DREAM MACHINE will wake you to either a local FM pre-set station (15 are pre-set in Nelson) or to a buzzer or to music from your inserted iPod or iPhone 3GS. (The iPod or iPhone adaptors are stored in the top drawer of the Gold Room's desk.)
This Sony DREAM MACHINE has extendable snooze and adjustable sleep functions and a digital tuner and dimmable display.
Full instruction for this Sony DREAM MACHINE can be viewed as a PDF file here, but you turn the radio ON by pressing the "FM" button and OFF by pressing the "iPod & iPhone" button.
Setting the alarmThis clock radio is equipped with 3 alarm modes: iPod, radio and buzzer.
To set the alarm:
1. Press and hold ALARM SET.
“WAKE-UP” appears and the hour flashes in the display.
2. Press ALARM/CLOCK + or – repeatedly until the desired hour appears.
(To cycle the hour rapidly, press and hold ALARM/CLOCK + or –.)
3. Press ALARM ON/OFF.
The minute flashes.
4. Repeat step 2 to set the minute.
5. Press ALARM ON/OFF.
The alarm mode setting is entered.
6. Press ALARM/CLOCK + or – repeatedly until the desired alarm mode flashes.
You can choose one of 3 settings: “iPod”, “FM” or “BUZZER.” Set the alarm mode as follows:
Setting the Radio alarm1. Perform steps 1 to 6 in "To set the alarm“ above.
2. Press ALARM ON/OFF to select “FM” alarm mode.
“FM”, “PRESET” number or “– –” flashes.
“– –” is the last station received.
3. Press ALARM/CLOCK + or – to select the desired preset number or “– –”.
4. Press ALARM ON/OFF.
“VOL” appears in the display.
5. Press ALARM/CLOCK + or – to adjust the volume.
6. Press ALARM ON/OFF.
7. If “ALARM” does not appear in the display, press ALARM ON/OFF again.
The pre-set radio station will now turn on at the set time and at the set volume.
Setting the Buzzer alarm1. Perform steps 1 to 6 in "To set the alarm“ above.
2. Press ALARM ON/OFF to select “BUZZER” alarm mode.
The setting is entered.
3. If “ALARM” does not appear in the display, press ALARM ON/OFF again.
The buzzer will now sound at the set time.
Note: The volume cannot be set for the buzzer alarm.
Setting the alarm for iPod1. Perform steps 1 to 6 in "To set the alarm“ above.
2. Press ALARM ON/OFF to select mode for “iPod”.
“VOL” appears in the display.
3. Press ALARM/CLOCK + or – to adjust the volume.
4. Press ALARM ON/OFF.
The setting is entered.
5. If “ALARM” does not appear in the display, press ALARM ON/OFF again.
The iPod will now sound at the set time.
When using an iPod touch/iPhone
To wake up to music stored in an iPod touch/iPhone, connect the iPod touch/iPhone to the unit first, follow the steps above to set alarm time, and then select the music function.
Even if the alarm setting for iPod is complete, if you turn the power of iPod touch/iPhone off before inserting the iPod touch/iPhone into the unit, the alarm for iPod will not work.
VERY IMPORTANT: The large, German made, "tilt and turn" windows in the South and West walls of the Gold Room cost more than $21000 to install
(these windows are double glazed with argon in the gap and coated with 2 molecules of Gold to reduce infra red emissions) and need special care when opening or closing.
Please ensure that all of the window is completely and entirely seated in the window frame before you attempt to rotate the handle to the down position to lock it. If you feel any resistance to rotating the handle - STOP immediately before you damage the Austrian precision-engineered mechanism. If you ignore this instruction and carelessly damage our window(s), you will be charged appropriately!
It would be a good idea to hang your towels out to dry on the rotary drying frame in the back garden first thing in the morning as the
sunny Nelson climate usually ensures they'll be bone dry within
a couple of hours.
[Less environmental stress than switching the heated towel rail on, eh? Kiwis value their "clean and green" image so we also ask that you turn off your lights, TV, stereo and air conditioning unit when you go out.
Please do NOT switch off our computer or then we'll have to go and get George to enter several different passwords...]
We'll probably take both towels and your washing back to your room if you forget... Ask us for beach towels if that's where you're going.
We don't usually turn down beds unless you are physically handicapped and will change the bed linen every 3 or 4 days.
If you do have an accident and need bed linen changing earlier, don't hesitate to say!
We don't allow guests to use our front loading automatic washing machine as the various dials and buttons can be complicated to explain to guests and they
would not be covered by our insurance. If you do need more than just a few items washed with our own load, we charge similar prices to a service wash in a
launderette: $5 per washing machine load.
You'll need to hang your items on the rotary washing line and take them down again yourself unless you bribe us with winsome words and pleasing smiles or recipes (grin). We charge $12 dollars per hour (or part) of dryer time if you need to be wasteful and use our electric dryer rather than the rotary clothes line.
We keep the fruit bowl and biscuit jar well stocked in the guests' dining room so just help yourself. In summer you can also pick your own strawberries and cherry tomatoes in the back garden on the way back from bringing in your towels or washing... We don't do ironing unless you're going to a wedding or special occasion (20 dollars per hour or part) but can provide you with a steam iron and board and mending materials.
"...The real plus on the service side, is that you will be staying with hosts who really know their neighbourhood and can give you the best independent advice about places to eat, shop and visit, unlike hotel staff who don't always live locally and don't know about these things or perhaps get some kind of kick-back for referrals. Wouldn't it be great having your own local source of up-to-the-minute insider information about what's going on? Your hosts can give you useful nuggets of information, such as the many delightful speciality shops...(and) help you make the most of your trip, when time is at a premium..."
We would rather be modest and let our Guest Book speak for that aspect.
We would like to close by mentioning our beds and our breakfasts.
Our beds are comfortable and will ensure you get a good night's sleep. The Gold Room has orthopaedic mattresses and is double glazed, so guests staying in this room should ensure that they set the alarm clock radio if they have a early start. You should also not forget to tell us the previous afternoon or early evening what you would like cooked the next morning since, within reason, we'll serve you whatever you fancy for breakfast if you've booked the Gold Room.