David Smith checks into the Golden Star Motel, in Christchurch.


Golden Star Motel is one of the newest accommodation properties in Christchurch. It is in Riccarton and is a contemporary two-storey complex offering studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units.

Getting there: We took a taxi from the airport which cost $40. This seemed expensive and no doubt an Uber would have been cheaper. There's a separate area for non-taxi rideshare pick ups at the airport. There are also cheaper bus and shuttle options but we wanted to get to our accommodation quickly.


Check-in: A painless experience. A short wait and our host greeted us with a warm smile and completed the check-in efficiently. She gave us maps of the area and directions to Addington Raceway, where we were walking to that night.

Room: Our Deluxe Queen Studio was on the second floor, with a narrow stairway and balcony to get there. Not an issue with small bags but perhaps more so for people travelling with large luggage. We were immediately impressed with our room. It was snug but it didn't compromise comfort. The fittings were all high quality and the simple layout made settling in easy. There was a large TV on the wall, which offered a range of Sky channels. There was a small kitchenette, and a small bathroom, both big enough. The shower pressure was great. The decor was modern and inviting. Noise from outside was well shielded. The room had a heat pump which warmed it very quickly. Two small quibbles: the fridge noise was annoying at night (fixed by turning temperature up so it came on less); and the landline phone had a large bright display, which we covered with a towel when ready to sleep. We could probably have unplugged it.

Price: We paid $420 for three nights for two people — very good value for the quality of accommodation and location. Free Wi-Fi included.

What was so good: The location was excellent for our purposes. We were going to a show at Horncastle Arena and that, like the adjacent raceway, was a comfortable 25-minute walk away with a couple of nice eateries and bars on the way. Head in the other direction (right) out of the Golden Star gate and you are five-minutes walk from Riccarton Mall, the largest and newest in Canterbury. There are a number of excellent places to eat in this area including Rogues of Rotherham — we ate here for two breakfasts and a dinner and each experience was excellent. From the Riccarton shopping area it was about a 30-minute walk to Christchurch CBD, the most direct route taking you through beautiful Hagley Park.

What's not so good: If you want a nice view, or a garden area in which to lounge aroubd then you are out of luck here. There are no gym facilities.

Toiletries: Plenty supplied and good quality.

The bed: A queen size as the room name suggests. The bed was firm and comfortable, and the linen clean and of good quality.

Room service: We didn't use room service but we did request wine flutes and the office manager went out of her way to get a new set for us, delivering them to our room after washing them.

Contact: (03) 5955 077, 0800 467 827. info@goldenstar.co.nz.

Location: 128 Clarence Street, Riccarton.

Bottom line: Perfect for short leisure stays or for business trips. Excellent location and value. Recommended.