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Eliza’s Manor Boutique Hotel – this isn’t her first pandemic, and it’s unlikely to be her last…

By May 27, 2020 No Comments

Originally known as No.82, Eliza’s Manor – in Christchurch – has been referred to as many different names, offering many different services. She has been a shining light in many people’s lives.

Her story starts as a family home, in 1861, when the land she stands on was bought for 600 Pounds ($1,196 NZD), by Charles William Wyatt, a solicitor practising in Christchurch. He commenced the construction of the beautiful premises we all love and enjoy today. Before leaving Canterbury, he passed her on to Maurice Harris a few years later, who enjoyed the family home till 1906, when she was passed onto Frederick Henry Pyne, founder of Pyne and Co.

During the Inflenza Pandemic in 1918, she was temporarily repurposed as a Children’s Home. Pyne’s widow, Ethel Pyne, offered her as a home for children that the Plunket Society could not cater for (3-12 years of age). A year later, she became a boarding facility for St Margaret’s College, an all-girls school located on Papanui Road. She then became a private maternity hospital, offering a safe place to bring life into the world in for 2 years, starting in 1922.

Between the years of 1924 and 1929, she ran as a private hospital and later as a boarding house. In the thre decades that followed, she changed hands four times and returned to her original roots as a family home. The years and services she provided had taken their toll on her,  and so John and Roz Smith started repairing the many years of deterioration in 1981. Within the same year, she was renamed as Eliza’s Manor and became a buzzing Bed and Breakfast. Six years later, she became a high class a la carte restaurant for 4 years. In 2002, She was passed onto Ross and Alison Ruddenklau, who temporarily renamed her ‘The Manor’ (changed back to Eliza’s Manor in 2008), opened the café, and continued with Bed and Breakfast accommodation and weddings.

At 4.35 a.m. on Saturday 4th September 2010 Christchurch awoke to violent shaking. Soon to be known as the ‘September Quakes’, the 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Christchurch and surrounds. On February 22nd, 2011, Christchurch experienced a devastating day, once again rocked by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, followed by a 5.8 13-minutes later, and then a 5.9 at 2.50 pm. The first hit was the fastest recorded acceleration of any earthquake in the world, causing major damage to the buildings and the tragic death of 185 people.

In July of 2016, she was sold to the current owners, the Zhang family. She has sure seen her fair share of devastation over the years, surviving through a war, the Influenza pandemic, the Christchurch earthquakes, right through to the Covid-19 Pandemic. With all this said and done she is proudly standing, a little weathered but still beautiful. With T.L.C. coming her way, this lovely lady will be gleaming once more!

The team at Eliza’s are awaiting eagerly to greet guests once more. Whether for a cup of tea or coffee coupled with their amazing home-baked delights, or a well-deserved night away in one of their 8 beautiful rooms.

“We signed up with Rooms Online just 7-weeks before NZ went into lockdown. We just cannot thank them enough for their non-stop support and updates, and we’re looking forward to a long-term partnership”

Eliza’s Manor Boutique Hotel | 82 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch City | 03 366 8584 | info@elizas.co.nz