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68 Tophouse Road Nelson Lakes, Saint Arnaud 7072 New Zealand
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Free cancellation until 05/06/22
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Traveller (28)
Dining (8)
Room & Suite (7)
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.


#2 of 6 in Saint Arnaud
TopHouse Historic Guesthouse offers accommodation, meals and drinks ( in NZ's smallest bar) to travellers and has done so since 1887. TopHouse is located on the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park and offers fabulous mountain views from the guesthouse or from your veranda of your chalet. The Guesthouse has a home away from home atmosphere. It is steeped in history so come and experience the atmosphere and feel the warmth. The mountainview chalets are each self- contained and sleep a max. of 4 adults or a family of five. The Nelson Lakes National park is an outdoor persons delight with, boating, fishing, walks & hiking on your doorstep. In the area there is mountain biking, wineries, 4x4 tracks and more. The property is set amongst farmland and is a safe haven for young children. We have the best views to the mountain ranges. Retreat to your deck of your chalet or the garden terrace and watch the bunnies, cows, goats, sheep meander in the fields or read a good book in utter peace.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Paid wifi
Bar / lounge
Kids' outdoor play equipment
Airport transportation
Meeting rooms
Secured parking
Coffee shop
Snack bar
Special diet menus
Board games / puzzles
BBQ facilities
Baggage storage
Outdoor furniture
Shared bathroom
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun terrace
Sun umbrellas
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
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Room features
Blackout curtains
Bottled water
Coffee / tea maker
Complimentary toiletries
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, French, Dutch, German and 1 more
85Reviews0Q+A12Room tips
Traveller rating
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Popular mentions
Jean Wing wrote a review Apr 2022
3 contributions
This is my second stay at Top House this year. The house itself is an historical cobb house with lots of interesting original features and history. Its a short five to ten minute drive from St Arnaud, so easy access to the lake area. Clint and Helen have done a great job with landscaping and maintaining lovely gardens. The hosts, clubs and Helen, are great. Very friendly, helpful, and happy to chat or to just leave you to enjoy the tranquility of the house and gardens. They really made me feel at home and comfortable. Good breakfast and nice home cooked dinners, or the option of the short drive into St Arnaud for a meal. I chose to eat at the house and thoroughly enjoyed the food and the company of the hosts and other guests. Good selection of drinks are also available from the on site historic "smallest bar in New Zealand" (licensed). This is definitly a place I will keep going back to when I am in the top end of the south island.
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Travelled
Richard wrote a review Mar 2022
Paraparaumu, New Zealand1 contribution
On a recent trip to the South Island we spent 2 weeks tramping at Nelson Lakes. Having had the opportunity to go to Tophouse early on for a meal we decided to go back if the opportunity arose and stay there. We could not have been happier with that decision. Helen and Clint offer what is in essence, a kiwi accommodation experience the way it should be. Nothing was too much trouble. The food delicious from their very capable in-house chef and the accommodation reasonably priced and very tidy. That coupled with the vista and the history of this property made for a delightful stay. They even have a resident ghost! Would love to stay there again if the opportunity arises.
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Date of stay: March 2022
87bor wrote a review Feb 2022
London, United Kingdom59 contributions35 helpful votes
We are a Christchurch based Classic Car Club and travel the length and breadth of the South Island on a regular basis. We heard that the Tophouse had closed for renovations and on a trip back from Nelson decided to go and take a look. Heading South on SH 63 to St Arnaud we took a right turn and wound our way up a short gravel track. Once we reached the top we were in for a surprise. The quaint historic building, garden settings and the views were simply breathtaking. We started taking photos when a black labrador came out to say hello, shortly followed by Clint the owner. He said they were closed but as we had taken the time to come up and have a look invited us in for tea and coffee. Clint took us on a tour of the old building explaining that it was first built in 1847. We decided to return and once I got home arranged a four day car run to take in a night at Tophouse. We arrived early in the afternoon and after settling into our individual two bedroom cottages paid a visit to the pub. Clint and Helen are the perfect hosts. The beer, wine, jokes and banter were all freeflowing. The evening meal was held in the restaurant where our group of nine shared the big table with another couple. As usual in New Zealand a stranger is a friend (or relative) you haven't met yet. We all got on famously. There was a set menu, with the meals prepared by the Chef Sebastián , ably assisted by his wife Angelina. The starter was home grown wild mushrooms in a risotto. My main course was the lamb rump with sticky date pudding for desert. The lamb was cooked to perfection and the sticky date pudding with caramel sauce was simply the best I have ever had. Clint and Helen prepared us breakfast the next day and the free flowing banter was still going strong. This was a home from home and totally relaxing. Sebastian would like to prepare a pig on a spit but needs a full house of 24 so we will be liaising with Helen to arrange a date for our return. Everything about Tophouse is perfect. It's a slice of true Kiwi magic. The views, the miniature pub, the hospitality, the Michelin Star chef. etc. We had an exceptionally good time at Tophouse and strongly recommend that you go and stay there.
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Date of stay: February 2022
Room Tip: In winter take one of the bedrooms inside the house which as an open fire
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Nicole F wrote a review Feb 2022
Nelson / Marlborough9 contributions2 helpful votes
I’m not sure what I was expecting when we made a booking here but it was really lovely. The cabins were basic but clean and had all the amenities. The “smallest bar in NZ” was a treat and the hosts couldn’t do enough for you. Very laid back and casual and that’s exactly what I liked. The only thing I would change were the mozzies - again though the hosts had bug spray waiting for you. Great view over towards Mt Robert and a tranquil rural setting. Will definitely stay here again in the future.
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled
Amy R wrote a review Jan 2022
Earth, Texas20 contributions8 helpful votes
Lovely stay in a quiet room overlooking farmland and forest. Rooms were really comfortable and clean, and the shared facilities were excellent. Owner friendly and helpful. Really enjoyed our stay, thanks very much.
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Date of stay: January 2022
Sleep Quality
US$88 - US$120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
New ZealandSouth IslandNelson-Tasman RegionSaint Arnaud
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Frequently Asked Questions about Tophouse Historic Inn
Which popular attractions are close to Tophouse Historic Inn?
Nearby attractions include Lake Rotoiti (6.7 km), Brunner Peninsula Nature Walk (6.5 km), and Korimako Studio (5.6 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Tophouse Historic Inn?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Tophouse Historic Inn?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and barbeque facilities during their stay.
Is parking available at Tophouse Historic Inn?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Tophouse Historic Inn?
Conveniently located restaurants include Alpine Lodge Restaurant & Bar, Tophouse Inn, and St Arnaud Cafe.
Does Tophouse Historic Inn have airport transportation?
Yes, Tophouse Historic Inn offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Tophouse Historic Inn?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian, and Dutch.