Gardens Homestay
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Gardens Homestay

11 St Mary Street Thorndon, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
Entrance
Traveller (41)
Breakfast
Dining (3)
The fab pool area
Pool & Beach (1)

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About

5.0
#1 of 8 guest houses in Wellington
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
Gardens Homestay Bed and Breakfast was built in 1892 and lovingly restored during the 1990s. Your hosts are Fly by Wire Ride inventor Neil Harrap and his wife Sally Guinness. The elegant facade features stained glass, iron lacework verandah and bay windows. We're located in historic Thorndon, five minutes walk to Parliament and downtown Wellington. We're two minutes walk to the Botanic Gardens and many cafes, restaurants and specialty shops on historic Tinakori Road. Bird Sanctuary Zealandia is located three minutes drive away, a paradise for birdwatchers. 24 Hour parking provided at the door. We have one suite only and take one party of guests at a time so as to ensure the best of attention. Read our TripAdvisor reviews to see what our guests have to say.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Pool
Outdoor pool
Free breakfast
Non-smoking hotel
Self-serve laundry
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Business
Mid-range

Location

11 St Mary Street Thorndon, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 77 out of 100
77
Wellington Intl Airport
Kapiti Coast Airport
45.9 km
See all flights
100Reviews5Q+A8Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
JJRSmickle wrote a review Feb 2020
St. Petersburg, Florida
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I would recommend Gardens Homestay for anyone who would like to stay in Wellington. We stayed here Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. This was our first time away from home in years, and Neil made us feel like part of the family. Neil was helpful before we even got to Wellington. Having never traveled to New Zealand, I had a ton of questions and Neil took the time to answer each email that I sent promptly. When we got there, my husband was exhausted from driving on the winding roads, and Neil offered to park our car (just on the other side of the street), but we gladly accepted. In our honor, Neil even put up an American flag! There were six of us traveling together, my husband and I, and our teenage daughters stayed at Gardens Homestay and our friends stayed down the street. Neil invited our friends to have Christmas breakfast with us at no charge. Neil even had a present for us under the tree on Christmas morning. Our room was large and clean and breakfast was healthy and tasty. Couldn't ask for more from a B&B. Not sure if we will ever get back to Wellington, but if we do, there is no question regarding where we would stay - Gardens Homestay!
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Date of stay: December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay
Responded 9 Feb 2020
What a pleasure to have Janice, Bill and their daughters stay over Christmas! A lovely family and it was great to have them here over Christmas, along with our daughter and her partner who were also visiting. Bill noticed the faded condition of our American flag and as a complete surprise we received a new, stitched US flag in the mail some weeks later, along with a kind note! That was totally unexpected and a very generous gift. I certainly hope our paths cross again, it was a wonderful visit from a lovely family. Sally and Neil Gardens Homestay Wellington NZ
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
rmb_10 wrote a review Jun 2016
Christchurch, New Zealand
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Close to the city, so easy walking to the cit, waterfront and everything Wellington has to offer.
Friendly hosts. Very comfortable, clean accomodation, lovely antique furntiure in keeping with the historic villa.
We would definitely stay here again when in town!
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Date of stay: June 2016
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay
Responded 20 Jun 2016
It was nice to receive another positive review bringing our "Very Good" review total to three (our "Excellent" total remains at 69 reviews, and there are no other reviews). Sally and I always enjoy the company of interesting guests, whether around the fire or over breakfast and these guests were no exception. I hope our paths cross again. Neil
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VIKINGS3 wrote a review Dec 2010
Savannah, Georgia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Our stay at Gardens Homestay was just a perfect way to end our trip in New Zealand. The location of this restored Victorian house is in Thorndon neighborhood and just blocks from many very nice restaurants. The main room is on the second floor that opens to a patio with a tremendous views of the city. From Gardens Homestay you are at the natural start of a beautiful city walking tour. One does not need a car in Wellington and the local bus route stop just a short block from their house if one prefers to not walk.
In addition to a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood were the hosts - Neil, Sally and their daughter Nina . Words cannot express how welcome they made us feel during our stay. The breakfast, that included homemade muesli and lemon curd was excellent. Neil also answered any question I had prior to arriving. He was even able to assist us with other aspects of our trip. They didn't just want your stay with them to be pleasurable, but went out of their way to ensure you stay in Wellington was pleasurable. We checked in as guests, but we left as friends. We are truly thankful for everything they did to make our trip to Wellington so memorable.
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Date of stay: June 2010
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
wisborough1 wrote a review Feb 2020
West Sussex, United Kingdom
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Gardens home stay is perfectly placed for exploring lovely Wellington on foot. The beautiful botanic gardens are just across the road and the city centre is an easy walk. We were able to leave our car and spend two full days in the city without parking issues. Gardens also has several restaurants within 5 minutes walk, we would recommend the Italian “Cosa Nostra” in particular.
As a B and B, however, we found Gardens only average. The bed was not particularly comfortable and although we had lots of room some comforts were missing. For example there was no kettle/ coffee making available to guests. I suppose we could have asked to use the family kitchen but it did not seem appropriate. We were asked what time we would like breakfast but when, on a Sunday, we suggested 9, we were told this was too late as the host liked to go to a produce market early on Sunday morning. Things just didn’t seem as guest centred as we are used to.
This is not a terrible choice, it just didn’t suit us.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Neil Harrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay
Responded 20 Feb 2020
Wow, after 96 excellent and 4 very good reviews we have our first three star review! Curiously, we always ask our guests if they slept well and many have commented on how comfortable they find the Queen bed. They made no negative comment but I guess we can't please everyone. We usually offer tea, coffee and drinks to every guest, however, we might have been remiss with this couple. We wish they had asked as we always try to please our guests in any way that we can and of course, the English love their tea! They asked if there was a laundry they could use, but to be helpful, I washed, dried and folded their large load of clothes. No payment was asked for, none was offered. In conversation Mark told me that in total he'd written over 400 reviews and I wondered at the time if we were in the company of a serial critic! Looking back, perhaps we could have been more patient listening to his many stories. At no time throughout their stay was there was any sign of dissatisfaction expressed on their part. In fact, the kisses on both cheeks on departure suggested to us that they had enjoyed their stay.
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PaulJT9 wrote a review Mar 2015
Banstead, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed in some lovely homestays during our 3 weeks in New Zealand and Gardens Homestay was one of the best. Very well situated, a quick drive from the ferry and a short walk to Lambton Quay and Botanical Gardens, this is the perfect place to stay in Wellington. Neil and Sally were great hosts, nothing was too much trouble, and it was so easy to just sit and chat over a cup of tea at the kitchen table. Neil was forever experimenting with his blends of tea, but we were willing guinea pigs! The room (or should I say suite) was very comfortable with lovely views down to the harbour and lots of choice for breakfast. Wellington is very hilly and St Mary Street is steep and narrow - i was very glad when Neil took the car keys, turned the car round and parked it for me! There's a good selection of restaurants less then 5 minutes walk away if you don't fancy the (hilly) 10 minute walk back into the city centre. Thank you Neil and Sally for making our stay in Wellington so enjoyable (I've forgotten about the England cricket debacle already!)
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Date of stay: February 2015
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from NeilHarrap, Owner at Gardens Homestay
Responded 17 Mar 2015
The longer stays are often better as we get to know the guests and enjoy their company. Paul and Alison were delightful guests, well informed and widely traveled. We find that our B&B brings the world to our kitchen table with guests like Paul and Alison. Sally and Neil
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Christine D wrote a review Feb 2013
Dagenham, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked Gardens Homestay for three nights at the beginning of our trip to New Zealand. What a fantastic start to the holiday. Sally, Neil and Nina are so friendly and always made time for a nice chat over a cup of tea, about what we had been doing each day (Nina makes delicious ginger biscuits).

The guest suite is immaculate and the bathroom has everything you could possibly need including an abundance of lovely fresh towels. There are two bedrooms, so four people could stay comfortably.

Breakfast can be any time you choose and there's a choice of both hot and cold food including home made muesli and fresh fruits with yogurt etc: Sally and Neil will happily cook hot food to order all nice and fresh. Thanks for the yummy bacon Sally.

The surrounding area is very interesting and there are lots of places to visit including the Botanic Gardens across the road, Te Papa museum and the tram ride which takes you up to a terrific view of Wellington, plus much more. Try the tasty craft ales in the local friendly pubs too.

When it was time for us to set off on the rest of our journey through the North Island, Sally, Neil and Nina all contributed with an array of ideas and places where we could visit. Neil even called our motorhome company for us, in order for us to be picked up and taken to collect our campervan. Nina picked us some lovely grapefruit as we set off on our journey. This family really go the extra mile for their visitors and this place is a gem.

All in all we had a fantastic time at Gardens Homestay and should we ever visit Wellington again would definitely stay there. If there were already guests staying we would still go and visit the kindly Harrap family in their beautiful home.
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Date of stay: January 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jenny P wrote a review Sept 2011
Sydney
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I recently stayed at Gardens Homestay in Wellington when we travelled to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup 2011. The house itself is absolutely beautiful in a very picturesque, historical part of the city. Our room was huge and comfortable with free Wifi. The location is fantastic - an easy stroll to the city, the botanical gardens, lovely restaurants and a great local pub! Neil and Sally were extremely helpful and all-round lovely hosts who gave us loads of information about things to do and see in Wellington, as well as Queenstown (which was our other destination in NZ). I would definitely stay there again!
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Date of stay: June 2011
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Robin017 wrote a review Jun 2011
Sydney, Australia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed here recently for 4 nights, to attend my daughter's Graduation, so there were 4 adults in all. Lovely house, extremely comfortable accommodation, perfect location with easy access to bus, very close to shops & lovely restaurants. We ate at the historic pub and also one of the other restaurants (can't remember the name) but had wonderful food. The location is especially appealing as it's so close to the Botanic Gardens and easy walk to the city centre.

Neil, Sally & Nina are wonderful hosts and made our stay very memorable. They were always willing to help in any way and anyone that stays at this beautiful home is indeed lucky.
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Date of stay: May 2011
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
gillybriant wrote a review Mar 2011
Wellington, New Zealand
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Wellington downtown is easily walkable but the homestead itself is in a quiet (but steep) cul de sac. We were welcomed with a glass of wine after being shown our lovely rooms and they could not have been more friendly or helpful in planning our activities with us. A breakfast to die for!
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Date of stay: February 2011
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MkerrCanmore_Alberta wrote a review Jan 2011
Canmore, Alberta
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Neil, Sally and their fabulous daughter Nina made us feel incredibly and instantly welcome in their stunningly beautiful historic home. We've never had such great hospitality - offering us drinks by the pool, inviting us to a New Year's eve party, great breakfasts, and great suggestions for touring Wellington. Our room was stunning - huge, comfortable with everything you could need, a very quiet sleep and a deck overlooking the town and harbor in the distance. The house is on a very quiet street, in a beautiful quaint neighbourhood with several great restaurants right around the corner. Despite its setting away from the harbor, it is only a 15-25 minute walk through beautiful gardens and historic cemetery to reach the downtown and harbor area of Wellington, so if you are reasonable walkers no need to worry about taxis or getting in and out of your car.

We simply can't say enough about the great conversations and welcoming hospitality at the Gardens Homestay. If you are looking for a real gem in a great locale, and somewhere where you can really feel like its your home away from home, then this is the place!!
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Date of stay: December 2010
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
NeilHarrap asked a question Jul 2017
13 contributions1 helpful vote
Testing to see if the system will advise me of this email
Answer from Rob v
Ohope, New Zealand15 contributions7 helpful votes
Saw your email Neil
Answer from NeilHarrap
13 contributions1 helpful vote
Sorry but we're unavailable but may have a suitable alternative for you. Email me on our website address. Neil
Daisy M asked a question Jul 2016
London, England, United Kingdom8 contributions4 helpful votes
Do you have availability for the 21st-24th September by any chance? And what is you pricing? Thankyou! 😀
Answer from NeilHarrap
13 contributions1 helpful vote
Hello Daisy, Yes, we can take a reservation on those dates. Please can you advise the number in the party and I will provide further details and information. I would appreciate you contacting me on our email address which is Neil at gardens homestay followed by . co . nz
Answer from NeilHarrap
13 contributions1 helpful vote
Yes, we serve a hot breakfast, fresh fruit salad and a lot of other breakfast foods as well. Our suite does not have a bath, however, there is a bath in another bathroom which is not in use and you could use that bath. Our rates are the same year round, however, if this is for a longer stay than one night then we will improve the rate for you. I hope this helps. Neil Harrap Gardens Homestay Wellington NZ
Mone A wrote a tip Nov 2017
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Single suite, wonderful view"
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bettysmate wrote a tip Mar 2016
Eastbourne, United Kingdom82 contributions21 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"There is only one room, a suite actually, and it is a great place to stay with the long balcony off the main bedroom."
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Robb L wrote a tip Dec 2015
Durham, North Carolina89 contributions102 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"only 1 and it's great!"
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John M wrote a tip Mar 2015
Kailua, Hawaii3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The rooms were upstairs and they were fantastic."
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Janet H wrote a tip Feb 2015
University Park, Texas5 contributions6 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"One big ensuite with two bedrooms and one Bath and sitting area well suited to someone with teen or child, possibly two couples who want to flip a coin for the bigger room"
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LOCATION
New ZealandNorth IslandGreater WellingtonWellington
NUMBER OF ROOMS
2
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GARDENS HOMESTAY - Guesthouse Reviews (Wellington) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Gardens Homestay
Which popular attractions are close to Gardens Homestay?
Nearby attractions include Escape Mate (0.9 km), Tarot Zamm - Tarot Reader (1.0 km), and Fragrifert Parfumeur, the Victorian Perfumery (0.8 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Gardens Homestay?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
What food & drink options are available at Gardens Homestay?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Gardens Homestay?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Gardens Homestay?
Conveniently located restaurants include Hillside Kitchen, The Thistle Inn, and Shed 5 Bar & Restaurant.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Gardens Homestay?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Are there any historical sites close to Gardens Homestay?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Old St Paul's (1.1 km), Wellington Cable Car (0.8 km), and Government House (3.3 km).
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