The Rutherford: A Nelson landmark for nearly 50 years. Photo / Supplied
A Nelson landmark for nearly 50 years, the Rutherford is a hotel of refined luxury, writes Helen van Berkel
Location: A short stroll away is Nelson’s central business district and the dining precinct of upper Trafalgar St.
In the neighbourhood: Nelson’s Cathedral is just across the road and the inner city’s many attractions: Queen’s Gardens, Founders Park, South St, Suter Art Gallery are all nearby. Further afield are the beaches, rivers, mountains, vineyards that make Nelson one of the country’s favourite playgrounds.
Style: Its stately air of traditional opulence makes the Rutherford special.
Perfect for: Conference rooms named after Nelson localities and big screens bring in business travellers. Modern suites attract well-heeled visitors sampling the city’s many attractions.
First impressions: Pull into the drive-in entrance like royalty to unload the luggage. An elegant lobby is cleaved by a curved staircase leading to a mezzanine gallery. I first stayed at this hotel as a child and it was comforting to see that although thoroughly modernised, the lobby still has that feel of calm grandeur I loved back then. Guests’ visitors can park on the streets immediately surrounding the hotel but be warned: parking wardens prowl and warning signs are scarce.
The room: A corner desk allowed me to get some work done but the view of Nelson’s cathedral spire just outside the window was distracting. My bed was huge, its pillows soft, and a day of sightseeing was nicely rounded off with a bit of TV on the big screen. Despite the Rutherford’s central location, not a whisper of traffic noise leaked through the two walls of windows, shielded after dark by black-out curtains.
Bathroom: A bath! Indulging in my winter holiday pleasure was bliss: bubbles, book and more bubbles. The hotel gets another tick for the wall-affixed shampoos and body washes, the latter coming in handy for my bubble bath.
Food and drink: The Rutherford has two restaurants plus a cafe and we kicked back with a burger and a chowder at the Port O’ Call. The Oceano concentrates on local produce and were it not for an early flight we would’ve had breakfast there. The cafe is called Atom in a nod to hotel’s namesake Ernest and his scientific achievements.
Facilities: Guests can park in the covered carpark. In summer, take a dip in the pool. And of course, there’s free and ample Wi-Fi.
Accessibility: Premium Rooms and Two Bedroom Family Rooms can be made accessible for disabled travellers on request.
Price: From $195 per night.
Contact details: rutherfordhotel.nz