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"This interesting Herr Waeckerle of the Grand Hotel" Top 5 Page for this destination Akaroa Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2

Akaroa Things to Do: 93 reviews and 230 photos

  The Grand Hotel is famous for its Sunday roasts.
by Kakapo2

Although I have researched quite a while and on site, I have not succeeded (yet) to find out from which place in Germany the first owner of the Grand Hotel in Akaroa came from. His name was Christian Waeckerle, then surely spelled Wäckerle, and this sounds very Swabian (Schwäbisch), and sure, most of the Germans who arrived with the first French settlers on the Comte de Paris, were from the South, and Alsace that changed nationality several times in the past.

So: This Christian Wäckerle arrived in Akaroa in 1840, and built Akaroa’s first hotel at the site of the present Grand Hotel in 1860. The first hotel was known as Wäckerle’s Hotel from 1865. Ok, perhaps Waeckerle’s… as nobody would have understood our German umlaut ;-)))

As Christian Wäckerle was a busy man – he was also mail contractor and town mayor – he sold the hotel to his son-in-law, Robert Bayley, in 1876. In an arson attack it burnt down in 1882. To avoid another attack, the new hotel was built of brick, with plaster finish, in the Italianate design. Typical features of this style are rusticated pilasters and segment- and round-headed windows.

The new hotel was opened in May 1883 and named “Waeckerle’s New Grand Commercial Hotel”. Since 1918 it has been known as the Grand. Some of its extensions have been criticised as not very sympathetic but it still is a good example of New Zealand’s Victorian architecture.

When you come into Akaroa you have to make a sharp right turn to get into the town centre. Right there after this corner, on the righthand side, is the Grand Hotel.

If you want to stay at the Grand – all rooms have balconies and harbour views. Rates are from $ 85 to 120.

They also offer budget accommodation in apartments and a holiday home from $ 75.

I can recommend the Grand as a good value for money restaurant. We have eaten there more often than in any other restaurant in Akaroa, as we often made weekend trips with my late mother-in-law, and went to the Grand for lunch because she loved their roast meals. They BTW are really cheap. I tested many seafood dishes and was always pleased, especially with the seafood chowder (costs only $ 8.50). They also offer whitebait fritters and, of course, fresh Akaroa salmon. The fish and seafood choices are incredible, and that is for what the restaurant is famous for. Price-wise, you get some mains under $ 20 but if you want salmon or a good steak you look at about $ 28/29.

Open daily 12noon – 2.30pm and from 6pm.

Address: 6 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
Phone: (03) 304 7011

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 14, 2008
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