The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Caledonian Hotel (A. C. Barnes, proprietor), corner of Hastings Street and Dickens Street, Napier. This popular hostelry, which was formerly a large two-storeyed wooden building, was totally destroyed by fire on June 9th, 1906. Plans have since been prepared for the rebuilding of the hotel in brick, and upon modern and up-to-date lines.
Masonic Hotel (Frank Mocller, proprietor), Marine Parade and Tennyson and Hastings Streets, Napier. P.O. Box, 89. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. The Masonic Hotel may be shortly described as an hotel without a rival in Hawke's Bay. With its noble double balcony fronting the finest marine prominade south of the Equator, it occupies a unique position. But this is by no means the only excellent advantage by which the hotel gains general favour. The house is large, and furnished with excellent taste, and contains over a hundred rooms, including eighty bedrooms. In the basement are extensive wine-cellars, a splendid billiard-room, and a “dive.” On the ground floor is the main entrance from Tennyson Street, the manager's office, a fine commercial room, library and music room, a writing-room with about a dozen writing desks, card-rooms, private bar, and a fine dining-room, which has accommodation for two hundred guests. The main feature of the first floor is the ladies' drawing-room, where perfect comfort is accompanied by good taste and decoration. Here, also, are music and writing rooms, and pleasantly-furnished private apartments. The second floor is composed of bedrooms, with fine bath-rooms and lavatories. The flight of steps to the principal entrance is constructed of marble. From the balconies the view embraces the whole coast of the Bay, from Cape Kidnappers on the south to Mahia Peninsula on the north. The band rotunda, presented by Messrs Neal and Close to the citizens of Napier, is situated on the Marine Parade in front of the “Masonic,” and on summer evenings the town bands frequently perform there. To all classes of visitors the “Masonic” offers superlative attractions. Commercial travellers meet their customers there, and the twelve fine sample rooms provided by the proprietor prove an additional advantage to them. Tourists are attracted in large numbers, every care being taken to meet their special wants. Coaches for the Rotorua, Taupo, and Kuripapanga sanatoriums leave the “Masonic” corner. Convalescents in search of health obtain the benefit of the invigorating sea breeze from the balconies or on the adjacent parade, while the Bluff overlooking the shore is only a few minutes' walk from the hotel. The house is almost fire-proof, even the beautifully-panelled ceilings being of iron.
Mr. F. Moeller, the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel, is the son of the late Mr. Philip Moeller, of Wellington, who was for a considerable period proprietor of the Empire Hotel, and at the time of his death was proprietor of the Occidental Hotel, which is still carried on by his widow. Mr. Frank Moeller gained his experience during his management of the “Occidental” for his mother. In 1892 he left Wellington for Napier, and since then has been host of the “Masonic,” which, during his occupation, has been renovated and re-furnished throughout. Mr. Moeller was specially complimented on the excellent management of his fine hotel by his Excellency the Earl of Ranfurly. Mrs. Moeller, the popular hostess, personally superintends the domestic arrangements, and is painstaking in her attention to invalids.
The Napier Hotel (William Parnell, proprietor), Hastings Street and Edward Street. Telephone, 251; P.O. Box, 142. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. This hotel is a fine two-storeyed building, and contains about fifteen bedrooms, a ladies' drawing-room, sitting-rooms, commercial room, and a well-appointed dining-room, capable of accommodating fifty guests. There are also hot, cold, and shower baths, and salt-water baths are adjacent. The whole house is very comfortably furnished, and guests receive every care and attention, combined with quietness.
Mr. W. Parnell, the proprietor, is the son of Mr. William Parnell, superintendent of the Botanical Gardens, Dublin, and was born in Dublin in the year 1855, where he was educated, and afterwards brought up to the grain trade. He went to Gisborne page 382 in 1881, and was with his uncle, Mr. Arthur Parnell, of Gisborne, trading as Parnell and Baylon, general merchants. He remained in that firm six years, then started business for himself as a stationer and bookseller, which he carried on successfully for a considerable time. In 1895 he removed to Napier, and purchased the present hotel. Mr. Parnell, who has a fine baritone voice, was leader of the principal concerts at Gisborne for a number of years. He was also master for two years of Lodge Turanganui, Gisborne. In 1891 he married Miss Dinnan.
The Provincial Hotel (John William McDuff, proprietor), corner of Emerson Street and Clive Square, Napier. This hotel is one of the oldest in the province, and was first built at Meanee. Early in the “seventies,” however, it was removed to its present site, and in 1901 was rebuilt in brick. It is a substantial two-storeyed building with a handsome balcony, under which is the main entrance; from the balcony a fine view of Clive Square and the south-west portion of Napier can be obtained. The ground floor contains a commercial room, a dining room, sitting rooms, manager's office, two bars, and a billiard room fitted with two tables. A broad staircase leads to the upper apartments, which include twenty-three bedrooms, two sitting-rooms, two large bathrooms with hot and cold wate laid on, and lavatories. The whole house is furnished with excellent taste, a good table is kept, and the tariff is moderate. The Provincial Hotel is situated close to the railway station and the Theatre Royal, and is on the direct 'bus routes to Greenmeadows and Taradale.
Mr. John William McDuff, proprietor of the Provincial Hotel, was born in Adelaide, Australia, in September, 1846, and was educated at the national schools in Victoria. He afterwards learned the coach-building trade, and came to New Zealand in September, 1878, to take charge of a branch business at Greytown for Messrs Black and Company. Four years afterwards he went to Wellington, and twelve months later to Wanganui, where he followed his trade till the year 1897. He then took charge of a small hotel at Waitotara, and removed to Napier in February, 1900.
The Royal Hotel (George H. Gilding, proprietor), opposite Recreation Ground, Carlyle Street, Napier.
Mr. Samuel Charlton, for several years proprietor of the Criterion Hotel, Napier, is a native of Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland, and came to New Zealand in 1872, landing with his parents in Hawke's Bay. He first learned the saddlery business with Mr. John McVay, of Napier, with whom he remained for fourteen years. In 1886 he left Mr. McVay, and started business at Kaikora North, where he remained for four years. He then purchased the Te Aute Hotel, remaining in it two years, when he took over the Railway Hotel, Hastings, and remained in possession five years, making a handsome competence during that time. In May, 1898, Mr. Charlton took over the “Criterion,” where by his courtesy and attention he added not a little to the established reputation of that popular hostelry. He owns a small farm near Hastings, on which he devotes much of his time. Mr. Charlton is a member of the Hawke's Bay Jockey Club, the Napier Park Club, and other local clubs.