Tag Archives: Mount Maunganui

Mount Family Haven – Omanu, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

Where: Mount Family Haven, Omanu, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

When: 26 December 2010 – 2 January 2011

Who: The Growdens and the Windles – 4 adults, 2 toddlers, and 2 babies.

Why: Christmas/New Years vacation.

Accommodation Details: $220/night.

Mount Family Haven is a three bedroom, single-level family home. The owners rent it out over the Christmas/New Year period while they are away on holiday. The property was listed on Baches & Holiday Homes to Rent, but the listing has since been removed. I imagine the owners list the property closer to the end of the year, on the years that they intend to go away for the Christmas holidays.

The three bedrooms are configured as follows:

  • Bedroom 1: queen bed and en suite bathroom.
  • Bedroom 2: single bed and cot.
  • Bedroom 3: Set of single bunks in a very small room off the lounge area.

Mount Family Haven features the following family friendly attributes:

  • The property is fully fenced.
  • There are plenty of toys and DVDs for young children.
  • There are two separate lounge areas (adults can claim one and banish the kids to the other :)).
  • There is an awesome kids’ tower/slide/climbing wall/sandpit in backyard.
  • The property has awesome indoor/outdoor flow from the dining/kitchen area to the patio and backyard.
  • The kids have their own table and chairs on a non-carpeted area.

It is a reasonably short walk to the beach and New World Supermarket, and a short drive to the Mount CBD and Bayfair.

In a nutshell, the house has everything you need to entertain young children, and that means more relaxation time for us Mums and Dads.

Things To Do:

  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to Baywave.
  • If the weather packs up, go to Lollipops Playland.
  • Enjoy a gourmet meal at Mount Bistro.
  • Have brunch and coffee at Tay Street Beach Cafe.
  • Sit out on the patio with a good book and read while the children play in the backyard.
  • Go to one of several playgrounds nearby – Omanu Primary School and Gwen Rogers Free Kindergarten are just across the road from the property.

Gallery: Click on a thumbnail to enlarge picture and view description.

The Verdict: We had a fantastic holiday here. The owners even left us a bottle of Pinot Noir and a box full of festive goodies to greet us!

Whilst this is a modernly presented home, it easily caters for families with young children. The owners seem to have found the perfect balance when it comes to adults and children cohabitating in harmony. That is, the place doesn’t look like the kids have taken over  :).  I loved that the cabinets and drawers in the living areas were not only gorgeous pieces of furniture, but also served as storage for children’s toys – convenient and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. In fact, I was so inspired that I bought a set of seagrass drawers as soon as we got home and stuffed them full of the toys that normally take up residence all over our living room floor!

There are only a couple of improvements I would humbly suggest. All three bedrooms get really hot in the afternoon/evening. If you have children that still need to nap in the afternoon, then I suggest you bring a fan from home. In fact, the rooms stay hot until midway through the night, so adults and children alike will benefit from having a fan in their room.

The second suggestion is completely illogical and has more to do with my personal quest for the perfect family holiday home… we should lift this house up and plonk it on a beachfront section, then it would score a full 10 out of 10. Basically, a place right on the beach where packing a bag of kids’ necessities and paraphernalia is unnecessary wins hands down. If you forget to bring sunblock or one of the kid’s towels, ya just get on up and grab it from the house, which in a perfect world would be merely seconds away  :). The search continues!

Helpful Links: Mount Mainstreet; NZ Tourism Guide – Mount Maunganui; Wikipedia – Mount Maunganui

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Filed under Bay of Plenty, Family vacation, Holiday Homes, North Island

Cutterscove Resort Apartments – Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

Where: Cutterscove Resort Apartments, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

When: 23 – 25 April 2010

Who: My husband, our two-year-old daughter and me

Why: Babymoon – our last holiday as a family of three

Accommodation Details: We stayed in Apartment 209 on the second floor – a two-bedroom luxury apartment overlooking the pool complex.

The kitchen is modern and attractive, but perhaps not as functional as one might hope an apartment kitchen would be. This particular kitchen is equipped for two adults, in my opinion. For example, the casserole dish and the two small pots provided aren’t big enough to cook portions that will feed a family of four or two couples. I also found the bench configuration rather awkward. I only mention this because apartments are generally rented out for longer holidays and perhaps the lack of functionality in the kitchen would prove frustrating over time.

The lounge and dining areas are large, comfortable and modern. Both areas have large sliding doors that lead out to a private balcony that overlooks the tropical garden and pool complex. The lounge has a decent-sized LCD television and stereo system. The dining area has a gorgeous dining suite, which quite frankly made me nervous to eat at with our messy two-year-old: fabric-covered chairs and carpet under the table is a disaster waiting to happen 🙂

There are two bathrooms in the apartment: the ensuite bathroom has a shower over a spa bath, vanity and toilet; and the main bathroom has a shower, vanity and toilet. The underfloor heating was a real luxury on these chillier autumn mornings.

The bedrooms are located down hallways well away from the main living areas, so they are quiet and private. I absolutely loved the walk-through wardrobe between the master bedroom and the ensuite bathroom: it meant no clutter in the bedroom. There are TVs in both bedrooms – a LCD on the wall in the master bedroom, and a regular tube television mounted in the wardrobe in the spare bedroom.

Things To Do:

Gallery: Click on a thumbnail to enlarge picture and view description.

The Verdict: Apartment 209 is a decent-sized apartment that gets the sun all day. It is modern and comfortable, but perhaps more suited to a family with older children or two couples, as opposed to a young family. The resort seems to have a nicer outlook than most of the other apartment buildings along Marine Parade which appear to look onto other apartment buildings (unless you have a seaview apartment). Cutterscove apartments overlook an attractive tropical garden and pool complex or the Mount beach. It’s just the right distance away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD (2.5 km away) and you need only cross the road to get to the gorgeous white-sand beach.

Just a word of warning: if you value your privacy, then a pool-facing ground-floor apartment won’t suit you. Other guests in the pool complex can see right into the ground-floor courtyards, and – unless you draw your curtains all day – the master-bedroom and living areas as well. However, if you are a family that will be going in and out of the pool-complex all day, then perhaps it would be worthwhile to sacrifice a bit of privacy for convenience.

Helpful Links: Mount Mainstreet; NZ Tourism Guide – Mount Maunganui; Wikipedia – Mount Maunganui

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Filed under Bay of Plenty, Family vacation, North Island