Historic lodge one of world's best

23:47, Jan 07 2013
Bishop's Suites for sale
MOVING ON: The Dallisons are considering relocating to a Fijian island.

A luxury Nelson lodge owned by a former Christchurch lawyer is up for sale.

Peter and Mary Dallison bought historic Victorian homestead Bishop's Suites, on a two-hectare property in Waimea Rd, from the Anglican Diocesan Trust Board in 2001.

They have spent more than $2 million on renovations at the lodge, which featured last year on Conde Nast Traveler list for the world's best new hotels.

Bishopdale suites
LAP OF LUXURY: The Bishop's Suites at Bishopdale have featured on Conde Nast Traveler list for the world's best new hotels.

Rates for the Bishop's Suites, which opened early last year, range from $1500 to $2850 (plus tax) a night.

Peter Dallison, a former Christchurch solicitor, was last year censured and barred from practising law without the permission of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal over a business loan deal where he failed to disclose a personal interest.

He said the case had nothing to do with the decision to sell the lodge and move.

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The couple wanted to take it easier after his wife, a former Air New Zealand flight attendant, had a health scare.

"There is a lot of stress at the high end where your guests are paying a very high tariff and have very high expectations,'' he said.

"We want to take it a bit slower."

They wanted to remain in the tourism sector but downsize, and were negotiating to buy a small resort on the Fijian island of Kadavu that catered for about 16 people, was popular with divers and offered a more relaxed lifestyle.

The Bishopdale property had a rateable value of about $3.8m, but they wanted considerably more than that, he said.

It was being marketed principally overseas as there was a "very limited niche market" for such properties, and the buyer was likely to be a wealthy foreigner, he said.

It had attracted some inquiries but no genuine interest in the three months it had been on the market.

The business had gone well and had gained from being the only accommodation in the region to cater for the very rich and well-travelled after the closure of the lodge at Paratiho Farms in Upper Moutere, Dallison said.

"We were very lucky there was a gap in the market," he said.

"We were told not to expect any business in our first year because we were simply unknown, but we made a lot of effort with our marketing and we did very well."

The recession had had little effect on business as their clients travelled no matter what the economic conditions were, he said.