About our boutique bed and breakfast

Meet your hosts

Having travelled extensively ourselves, we think it is important to understand what people need when they travel. It is important to us that you enjoy your stay at Melrose and we look forward to sharing our home with you.

Elaine and David



As with many other character homes of its era, Melrose is rich in history.


Melrose is a significant building in the context of Arts and Crafts homes built in Christchurch at the turn of the 20th century. The house was designed in 1907 by the Christchurch architectural firm Collins and Harman for a wealthy English immigrant, Alfred Littleton Pratt (1868-1948). Pratt was a sheep farmer who regularly travelled to Hanmer Springs but required a town house for his family. Collins and Harman was well-known for designing picturesque English homes for well-to-do families throughout Canterbury.

The contract for constructon was signed with Stubberfield and Hall in December 1907. In the mid 1900s Holly Road was a well populated part of Merivale, built up with a mix of large two storied homes and small suburban villas. Holly Road was then about 30 feet wide and photographs of the house after its completion depict a spacious property beside the road, surrounded by relatively condensed structures.

As with many other character homes of its era, Melrose is rich in history. Melrose has served not only as a residential home over the decades but post World War I it became a hospital for a long period of time. We are unsure what type of hospital it was, but think it may have been for returned servicemen who were injured from the war. Melrose then became a commune for at least ten years and was later converted into four separate dwellings for a further period of time. 

In the 1960s the section was divided and sold as other residential properties. It is a miracle that many of the original features still remain intact.  

Elaine and David purchased the property in 2000 and set it up as a bed and breakfast. When the earthquakes struck in September 2010 and then again in 2011, the house was very badly damaged and the business was forced to shut down. The fate of Melrose was left hanging for four years until it was finally decided in 2014 that an extensive repair would proceed. The house was extensively earthquake strengthened to meet the new building codes and now has a new eco friendly roof replacing the original tiles that were destroyed. Eighteen months later a new/old Melrose emerged.
39 Holly Road from the northwest, photographed by Collins and Harman. Album 6, Box 103, Accession Number 1418, Macmillan Brown Library.
39 Holly Road from the southwest, photographed by Collins and Harman. Loose photograph, Box 86, Accession Number 1418, Macmillan Brown Library.
Original owner of Melrose, Alfred Littleton Pratt, Esq
Architectural drawings by Collins and Harman for Holly Road — click centre of image to enlarge


Melrose is a new house in its old skin. As you step inside Melrose you immediately notice the William Morris wallpaper that gracefully decorates the entrance hall and gives an air of old-world charm, setting the scene for the rest of the beautiful home.

Find Us

39 Holly Road
Merivale, Christchurch 8014


Ask a question

© 2018 Melrose Bed & Breakfast. All Rights Reserved.