Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood
In the matter of hotels, visitors to Christchurch will find every opportunity of satisfying their particular fancy, whether it may incline them to the old historical house, the quiet secluded family one, the busy commercial, or the select squatters' resort. As samples of these we give below descriptions of one identified with the history of the settlement (the Clarendon), and two in the latest style (the Empire and the Star), which have not long been rebuilt regardless of cost:—
The Clarendon Hotel,
Of which Mr J. White Parsons is the landlord, is situated at the corner of Worcester-street and Oxford Terrace, immediately opposite the City Council Chambers, and in immediate proximity to Cathedral Square, the Museum, Public Library, the Collegiate establishments, and the Public Gardens. The building, one of the first erected in Christchurch, has a rather interesting history. It was built in the very early days of the settlement by Mr. Guise Brittan, as a residence for himself, and at that time was one of the land-marks in the place. The old Land Office—the first building put up in the city—was immediately opposite it, and for a long while these two stood there without another within a long distance of them. Even in these days the house would be considered by anyone large, so our readers can easily imagine what was thought of it in those first days when V huts and single-roomed shanties were the rule rather than the exception. That the rooms are commodious is shown by the fact that when Provincial Institutions were first established the Canterbury Provincial Council met in one of them, which has remained intact till now, and a visitor can, if he choose, occupy the same apartment in which some of the first work of legislation in Canterbury was done, and the first foundations laid of our present importance and prosperity. It was not till many years later that the house became a hotel, for which it is admirably suited. We might mention that three of the page 227first gum-trees planted in Canterbury are still to be seen flourishing in the garden. The private entrance of the house is through a large garden from Worcester-street, and is particularly quiet and respectable, having, indeed, none of the ordinary hotel appearance, but quite that of a private house. The accommodation is extensive, and well-known by travellers and residents, the fact of its central position, yet quiet locality, rendering it very suitable for families and ladies. The charges are very reasonable considering the high class in which the hotel ranks, and we need not say that everything connected with the house is of the best.
The Empire Hotel,
Established more than twenty years ago, was about two years ago rebuilt in brick, with stone facings, and refurnished by the present proprietor, Mr. R. Richardson, at a cost of £12,000. It is situated in the most central and busy part of Christchurch, viz.—in High-street, facing Cashel-street and the Triangle. It has three storeys, besides the basement, with a frontage to High-street of 30 feet, and a depth of 112 feet. The basement, access to which is gained from High-street, is mainly devoted to the "Dive," one of the best arranged and coolest places of refreshment in Christchurch, with two handsomely-furnished snuggeries opening out of it, with every convenience for lounging, smoking, and writing. The kitchen is also on the basement, and is fitted with the large double range by Watters which gained the gold medal in the International Exhibition in 1882. It has two circulating boilers, which supply hot-water all over the hotel; and there is also a Binnie's hot-air engine, which pumps cold water into every room and landing in the house. A pantry, serving-room, servants'-hall, and other conveniences, besides the private office of the proprietor (to which the telephone is carried), are also on the basement, which is lit and ventilated by two large ventilating shafts carried up to the roof. From the "Dive" a wide staircase leads up to the hall on the ground floor, to which entrance from the street is gained through two wide double-swing doors. Just at the top of the staircase, equally handy from the "Dive" or the hall, is a lavatory, fitted up with Shank's patent hand-basins, &c. From the hall, which is 9 feet wide, the visitor, passing the clerk's office on the left, reaches the dining-room, 37 feet by 20 feet, with pantry at the back, supplied with hot and cold water. This dining-room is both handsomely decorated and furnished, and is not surpassed in Christchurch. From the hall a carpeted staircase, 6 feet wide, leads to a wide corridor on the page 228first floor, 85 feet long. At the eastern end a doorway leads to the commercial room, 30 feet by 19 feet, without doubt one of the most cheerful apartments in Christchurch, with three large windows, facing High and Cashel-streets. Mr Richardson has contrived that while this and all other rooms in his house are evidently newly and most expensively furnished, they have a "home" look quite distinct from the usual "bran new hotel" appearance. In this room are two marble mantelpieces and polished grates, one at each end of the room. The gasolier is the one of Burt's which took the gold medal at the late Melbourne Exhibition, and the paintings and photos which decorate the walls are worthy the attention of any connoisseur. One painting by Armitage (collection of setter dogs) is valued at considerably over £100; while the photo of the old arch of Constantine probably has not its equal in the colony. On this floor are also three private sitting-rooms, and seven bedrooms, bathrooms, and lavatories, with a fire escape at the end of the corridor, and a fire-hose about the centre. Proceeding up the stair-case the visitor reaches the top-floor, where the corridor, 106 feet long, lit by a large window at each end, with the painted gas-lamps hanging from the ceiling, has a very cheerful, pretty appearance. Out of this corridor, on each side, open bedrooms, sitting-rooms, bathrooms, and lavatories, all lofty, well ventilated, and of a good size. It is worth mention that all the bedrooms are furnished with spring bedsteads and hair mattresses, that each floor has its fire hose, fire escape, and lavatories. Throughout, the house is most admirably arranged for a "commercial" trade, which the proprietor seeks. The arrangement of the "Dive" keeps the bar so distinct from the hotel that people might live in the house without seeing or hearing anything of it. The accommodation is equal to, if not superior to, any other house in Christchurch, while the tariff is at the usual rate.
Star Hotel (Late "Feathers"), Addington.
Mr J. A. Hansman's Star Hotel, well known to the early settlers as "The Feathers," is the oldest hotel outside Christchurch. It is situated on the Lincoln-road, close to the Addington railway station, the Government railway workshops, the Addington Sale Yards, and the Agricultural and Pastoral Association's new grounds. The hotel, stables, outhouses, and yards cover over an acre and a half of ground, and Mr Hansman is, therefore, the owner of one of the most valuable freeholds in the suburbs of the city. The old hotel was destroyed by fire in September, 1884, and the present handsome structure, of which we give our readers a lithographed view, was erected page 229in its place. The building throughout—not only the outside walls but also the interior walls and partitions—is all of concrete, so that it is as near as possible fire proof. The private entrance in front opens into a hall 16 feet wide, across which a corridor 63 feet long and 6 feet wide runs, at each end of which are other private entrances, the one leading out into a large garden and the other into a side street running at right angles off the Lincoln-road. A fourth door, at the end of the hall, leads to the out-building in the rear of the hotel. On the ground floor are four good sized sitting-rooms, a capacious dining-room, and a large commercial room, besides the bar, 16 feet by 16 feet, and the bar parlour. These last are so arranged that visitors to the hotel can easily reside there without knowing or hearing of their existence. A broad staircase, six feet wide, leads up to a landing on the upper floor, 10 feet square, out of which a corridor 8 feet wide runs right and left, giving access to twelve bedrooms, two sitting-rooms, and a bath room. Hot and cold water is laid on all over the building, both for household and fire prevention purposes. Gas has also been laid on to all the rooms and corridors, with fittings of more than usual expense and taste. Of the furnishing of the house we must say a few words, no pains or expense having been spared to make all the rooms both thoroughly comfortable and elegant. The beds have all spring mattresses, with New Zealand flock mattresses over them. Outside the house there is ample yard room, stabling, and paddock accommodation for the busiest times, and, in fact, in every particular, care has been taken to supply the wants of the most fastidious visitor.page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page break page i page ii page iii page iv page v page vi page vii page viii page ix page x page xi page xii page xiii page xiv page xv page xvi page xvii page xviii page xix page xx page xxi page xxii page xxiii page xxiv page xxv page xxvi page xxvii page xxviii page xxix page xxx page break page break page break page break