A Short History
Maison de la Mer was built in the "Arts & Crafts" style in 1910 by T.E. Taylor a local merchant and entrepreneur, on a private, elevated section of land on the waterfront in the middle of the old village of Akaroa, as his private home. The house features many period details of the era - intricate carved wooden details in the central hall, and many Art Nouveau stained glass windows - all of which have survived the years.
T.E Taylor owned Taylor's Emporium in the village, which survives today as the archetypal hardware store, known as the Supply Store. He was also responsible for bringing movies to Akaroa, when he restored the Oddfellows Hall on Rue Jolie into a cinema and renamed it Gaiety Hall - still a vibrant part of Akaroa community life. Taylor was a colourful character in the community, and we have some of his hand written accounts of sailing to New Zealand from England in the late 19th century.
Over the years, Maison de la Mer passed through several owners, and in the 1950's was owned by a Miss Opie, who ran the house as a Bed & Breakfast known as Miss Opie's Holiday Inn. From then until the present day, the house has been host to many guests from around the world.
In 2004, Bruce & Carol Hyland purchased the property intending to upgrade the building and furnishings to the very highest standards to market it as boutique "petite lodge" to visitors who were seeking luxury, comfort, fine food, and personal care. The house underwent renovations and was completely redecorated with a French Country theme in the main house, and nautical French theme in the self contained Boathouse.
Maison de la Mer reopened in January 2005 completely restored and ready to greet guests from around the world. We have been fortunate to receive many accolades and distinctions.
Qualmark, New Zealand's independent accommodation quality assessor awarded Maison de la Mer its highest award - Five Stars - "exceptional, amongst the very best in New Zealand."