Monday , October 15 2018

SiloStay: an NZ original

We feature all sorts of accommodation gems from across the globe but this is one of a kind – a true original – a hidden gem and close-to-home!

Check out more articles like this in our quarterly industry magazine, Accom Management Guide.

New Zealand certainly claims some quirky accommodation: over time we have found comfy caves, homely hobbit holes, and even converted aero-planes. But, really NZ, do you expect us to believe that staying in a converted grain silo is desirable?

Apparently, it can be. Positioned just a 50-minute drive from Christchurch and close to the Little River Rail Trail is where this very unusual, innovative, and eco-friendly accommodation sits on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula.

SiloStays operational man-ager, Lisa Ashfield told us: “Original inspiration comes from living adjacent to the Canterbury Plains, a major grain growing region that is covered in silos.”

She asks: “Why put grain inside them when you can put people?”

The township of Little River is a small country town adjacent to the Canterbury Plains, and had never had any significant accommodation. So, she says, “SiloStay was a chance to marry a need for accommodation, innovative design, environmental awareness, and the thought that you can have something original and unique in small town Kiwi-land”.

SiloStay is the national winner of ADNZ Architectural Design Award 2014 for Best Commercial Interior and every smidgeon of the 24.5m2 of space in the converted silos has been cleverly capitalised on. Designed across two floors with a fully-equipped kitchen, storage, a balcony, wifi and a television, working with the dimensions of a grain silo, space is unsurprisingly limited, but the layout ensures room for bags and suit-cases under the stairs and bed.

SiloStay is an idiosyncratic place to choose to stay but it is not just aesthetically pleasing and eccentric it is also superbly comfortable, more importantly it has been designed with attention to resourceful and ecological details, like towel racks that double as hot water pipes running to the shower. Other ingenious design features include an inventive pulley system outside the silo that secures a bike, as well as inspired mood lighting that surrounds the queen bed.

The silos have been well-designed to provide everything you need for a short stay and although they are close together, they have been cleverly orientated so that each silo has a slightly different view point, offering privacy.

Guests enter the rotund silo into the bottom floor to find a neat, compact, and ultra-cool kitchen area, bean bags, a small table and chairs, there is also a toilet and a winding staircase up to the bedroom with a balcony overlooking the fields and hills. A small TV sits above the balcony doors, and a roof port hole cover can be retracted for star gazing from the restful bed. The shower is all glass and exposed copper piping.

The café/gift-shop next door features work from local artists, and the beautiful nature surrounding the property promotes “peaceful introspection”. However, Akaroa is a “hop, skip and a jump over the hill” offering delicious breakfasts and a delightful ambience in the quaint French village.

“The art gallery, which, for 20 years, has continued to stun people with its art and exhibitions. In a way, Silos were yet another art work mixing great design and challenging aesthetic,” adds Lisa.

For New Zealand visitors, SiloStay offers a very unique experience and indeed for locals who are searching for somewhere extraordinary around Christchurch, this is the place to stay.

About Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Mandy Clarke, is an industry reporter for

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