Pen-y-bryn Lodge is an utterly charming place to stay in Oamaru, and certainly the most boutique accommodation in town.
This delightful homestead was built in 1889 during the Victorian period, and still preserves its original qualities such as European antiques, English oak interiors and a beautiful white and yellow timber façade, surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens.
Steeped in history and character, Pen-y-Bryn Lodge is undoubtedly the best hotel in Oamaru.
Owners James and James took over the lodge in 2010 and have made every effort to protect the heritage of Pen-y-Bryn. The building has been expanded to incorporate an Annex where three rooms are housed, while the other two guestrooms are found in the original homestead; each flaunts a unique character with individually decorated interiors. Elsewhere in the property, there are warm and handsome rooms to explore: the attractive lounge, where pre-dinner aperitifs can be enjoyed together with other guests; a library; the snooker room with an antique billiards table; and the dining room, where a culinary three-course masterpiece is whipped up by James himself.
Then, when it comes to exploring Oamaru, you’ll find that unusual Penguin colonies – the Blue and Yellow-eyed species – are just down the road at Bushey Beach, a real highlight of any visit to this Victorian settlement. You can also enjoy walking through the Old Town, or venturing further afield to encounter mighty landscapes; all right on your doorstep at Pen-y-Bryn Lodge.
There are only five guestrooms at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, three of which are located in the Annex and the other two found in the main lodge; all are individually designed. In the Annex rooms, expect a Nespresso coffee machine, satellite TV, Wi-Fi and air conditioning, plus an en suite with heated floors, a bathtub and separate shower.
An intimate hotel merits an intimate dining experience, and that’s precisely what to expect at Pen-y-bryn Lodge, where a delectable breakfast, evening canapés and three-course dinner is laid out each day in the handsome dining room complete with roaring fire. Co-owner James is the head chef (and also the New Zealand chancellor for the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, no less) who fuses local ingredients – from the kitchen garden, wherever possible – to create mouth-watering fare. You might start with confit salmon, followed by North Otago venison, and finish with sachertorte and homemade vanilla ice cream; though the menu changes according to the season and guests’ dietary requirements.
Activities and Entertainment
During your stay at Pen-y-bryn Lodge we highly recommend exploring Oamaru town, with its Victorian past still evident in the streets of Old Town. Enjoy a stroll or walking tour here, visiting the harbour, Clark’s Mill and Totara Estate too. Another must-do experience is getting up close to the Blue and Yellow-eyed Penguins at Bushey Beach, five minutes away, or heading half an hour down the road to Moeraki, home to an old lighthouse and intriguing boulders that look like dinosaur eggs. On top of this, you can go cycling, kayaking and fishing; discover Elephant Rocks, Maori rock art and the Anitini Fossils; take lunch at a winery nearby; or opt for a scenic drive or flight to absorb the stunning landscapes around Oamaru.
Although it is a very small boutique lodge, Pen-y-bryn offers more than you’d expect: unlimited Wi-Fi, a compact gym and concierge service, as well as the chance to book in-room spa treatments. Help yourself to complimentary tea, coffee and soft drinks in their inviting lounge, grab a book from the library, or play a game of snooker in the billiards room come evening.
1/12 - Exterior of Pen-y-bryn Lodge
2/12 - Gardens at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
3/12 - Pen-y-bryn Lodge covered in Snow
4/12 - Views from Pen-y-bryn Lodge
5/12 - Dining at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
6/12 - The Dining Room at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
7/12 - Relaxing on chairs at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
8/12 - Snooker at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
9/12 - Bedroom Pen-y-bryn Lodge
10/12 - Bathroom at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
11/12 - Activities at Pen-y-bryn Lodge
12/12 - Exterior of Pen-y-bryn Lodge with Car
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