Two left turns from the city

This innovative and quirky accommodation features my favourite cornerstones of New Zealand culture: a DIY attitude, top notch Kiwi hospitality and an authentic focus on sustainability.

Silos against the evening sky.
View through wire staircase.
Bed and ensuite.
Interior ceiling.
Book exchange fridge.
Silos against blue sky.
Silo with bike suspended below.

Question: What’s a total escape from the ‘big smoke’ and only two left turns from the CBD?
Answer: SiloStay.

Located in Little River, just 58km from the centre of Christchurch, this innovative and quirky accommodation features my favourite cornerstones of New Zealand culture: a DIY attitude, top notch Kiwi hospitality and an authentic focus on sustainability.

In 2011, designer Stuart Wright-Stow, set out to turn nine grain silos into a functional and unique place of lodging. Building “outside the square” post-earthquake came with many obstacles, but you’d never guess that upon arrival.

SiloStay is as unconventional as it sounds but with a cosier, lusher feel than these metal cylinders imply. The construction is impressive. Somehow everything fits beautifully inside each round structure. A spiral staircase, warm natural wood, a wonderfully workable kitchenette and seamless craftsmanship gave me the sense that I was standing inside something that had been endlessly tinkered with until it was just right.

Even the tiny details are considered and intentional. Retro light switches, sturdy taps, colourful cutlery, LED lighting and a sleek yet spaceship-like shower all amplified my silo experience.
My silo’s balcony offered sweeping views of the valley and a perch for stargazing without the interference of urban lights. Fair Trade tea found in the kitchen made for a nice cuppa and I slept like a rock amid the countryside quiet.

This is the kind of place where you can finish three books in a weekend without interruption. But it’s also an excellent home base for a visit full of adventure. It’s located just a wee way from Akaroa and the many stunning bays on either side of Banks Peninsula. It is one part adult tree house, one part deluxe accommodation and one part ‘like nowhere else you’ve ever stayed’.

SiloStay clearly sets itself apart in terms of aesthetics and level of service, but they don’t stop there. There’s a clear emphasis on providing a comfortable stay while keeping environmental impact in mind. Eco-store shampoo and conditioner are provided. Recycling, rubbish and compost bins are located in the kitchen. A pellet boiler system heats each silo with forestry waste products. The silos are insulated with wool, and there’s even a Tesla charger out front if you’ve got one (I don’t, but maybe someday). This place is innovative in every sense of the word.

With a bit of past, present and future on display at SiloStay this is a hospitality experience you’re not likely to find anywhere else.

Features