I work very near to Hulbert House and most days prior to it re-opening I’d press my face against the glass like a one year old (but without the licking bit) and dream of the goings on in there. The house was bought by Mr Fukutake a few years ago and then a dream of renovating it became reality. My daydreaming of seeing inside it also became real when I was invited to languish in it’s divine bedrooms recently.
A forlorn 1880’s cottage which finally went on the market back in 2013 after being a backpackers, a bed and breakfast, a nursing home, a boarding house, the mayor’s residence, and a staff hostel to name but a few. It’s transformation by Mr Fukutake (and partnered with the Karamura family) began and at the heart of the restoration; the community. To become an iconic place for Queenstown locals to come inside and explore.
Tucked away on Ballarat Street, Hulbert House is a luxury accommodation in Queenstown which has opened up to show off the care that has been taken to restore it back to it’s original beauty. Old photos of Queenstown adorn it’s walls, mindbogglingly lavish wallpapers, French antiques and fittings are placed with love and dedication. The bedrooms, six in total, are all individually fit for purpose; a honeymooners paradise, a romantic weekend getaway, somewhere to settle and think alone if you will.
There’s Firth (where
I rolled around in it’s huge bed slept), Archerfield, Malaghan, Boult, Mason and Wales (and you can book the whole house if you want to really party) all decadently laid out in all their splendour. Warmed towels, underfloor heating, humongous pillows, monogrammed bathrobes (which no, I didn’t steal), deep rich carpets to sink your tootsies into, everything polished and shining within an inch of its life.
Your grandma would be kicking up her heels and dancing around the suites. I know because I was (a girl’s gotta live a little).
I was welcomed into Hulbert House by the amazing managers Jay and Jade who are there to make sure your stay is absolutely perfect. Warm and cozy I settled into my room (and yes I had a quick bath – you know me well by now) 5pm was drinks and canapés by the roaring fire. Books and magazines a plenty to sit and read or head into town for the plethora of restaurants literally two point five minutes from the front door.
I stayed in and got my bearings. Upstairs (I was on the ground floor) I discovered my favourite part of the hotel; the reading nook. A lovely cushioned seat to read your book or just drift off staring at Walter Peak and the evening sunsets, which are usually mindblowing in Queenstown.
Nothing could be more perfect.
Whilst wandering round the halls my bedroom was secretly ‘turned down‘ and a little truffle waiting for me to have with my tea. Such simple little things make me smile so much.
Alongside the little bits of loveliness Jade and Jay are also charging forward with their plans about making the hotel as eco-friendly as possible. They’ve just gained their Qualmark Gold status and put in place some great things; bottles in the rooms so you don’t buy buy plastic, removing all single use plastic from the hotel (and letting guests know when they check in), composting food, talking with suppliers about what changes can be made and also big plans for the future.
Each room oozes it’s own story made all the more real with the adage of beautifully framed pictures of past Queenstown on the walls. The things these walls must have seen and heard. The people who graced the halls and rooms. The stories the stories the stories.
Makes me shiver a little in excitement.
Waking in the morning after a restful sleep (no baby : wake up at 8.30!) I breathed it all in and thought about where I was. This little house, now grand and full of character, has seen so much. It has had it’s walls rebuilt, it’s gardens manicured, it’s floors re-carpeted but it still emanates history, secrets, knowing who it is and where it’s come from. It doesn’t emit pomp, stuffiness, it isn’t churlish or unkind, it wants to be discovered. For the people of this town to know it’s story and glimpse inside the walls and see it’s beauty.
**Hulbert House are also offering a special deal for my Queenstown Life readers. Book and Stay period from 15th August 2018 – 15th December 2018 and get 25% off! Use the code: QueenstownLife. And book through here:
68 Ballarat Street
I was a guest at Hulbert House but if I didn’t think you’d like it I wouldn’t write about it.