An inspiring and magical place, The Monastery has over a century of colourful history that has seen it swing back and forth between a family home to a retreat for wellness and reflection.
Set within stunning 12 acre grounds speckled with private gardens, river access, a large organic garden and orchard, inside, The Monastery epitomises heritage architecture and old world charm with modern day luxury.
Five cosy and private guest rooms, each with their own ensuite bathroom lead to grand public spaces, guest lounges and a series of sun filled porches.
We care about our land and local community. We use rain water collection for our garden and grounds, tend a large organic vegetable garden, only use local and seasonal products in our kitchen and house an organic orchard, free-range chickens and pigs. We use solar panels for heating water, EcoStore products in all bathrooms and use a wood-pellet heating system in winter which is fueled by 100% renewable resources.
A five to 10 minute drive to Cambridge or Hamilton, a close walk to the famous 'Punnet' cafe and a mere 2 hours from central Auckland, The Monastery offers the perfect retreat to rest and unwind in the heart of the mighty Waikato.
212B Newell Rd
Originally built in 1906 for the Primrose family - the house was named ‘Dalmeny' after a Scottish manor house of the same name.
Built by Frederick Mulcokk, Dalmeny house was originally set on a 27-acre property in Insoll Avenue, Peachgrove in Hamilton and it is believed that the original fireplaces and archways came from the Old Government House having been gifted to the Primrose family by Sir George Gray.
From 1946 to 1952, the property was owned by Fred and Janet Mason and was renamed Peace Haven. Already at retirement age when they purchased the property, the Masons ran Peace Haven as a wellness retreat in the years after World War Two.
In 1952 the Catholic Church brought the house from the Masons. It was renamed Retreat House and was used as a boarding hostel for boys attending Marist Brothers High School in Firth Street. Around 30-35 boys were there each year during this period. In 1960 priests from the Passionist Order in Australia came to Hamilton and created a tranquil place for retreats. It is at this point that the house became known as The Monastery and it is believed that alterations took place to construct a chapel and confessionals.
When the Passionists returned to Australia, in 1988, the Catholic Church sold the building to an Auckland developer who, in 1990, sold it to Hamilton couple, Dr Ross Lawrenson and Beverley Sweetman.
At this point the building was very run down, and was rescued from demolition. That same year, the couple moved the house in five parts to its current site - a 12 acre section on Newell Rd overlooking the Waikato River.
In 1993 Robert and Dianne Scott bought The Monastery and extensively developed the grounds. Like many before them, the Scotts ran the property as a well-known and highly regarded country retreat for over 10 years.
In 2003 the Wise Trust, a charitable organisation, bought The Monastery and ran it as a private and discreet wellness retreat for women experiencing trauma or depression. The Wise Trust extensively renovated and redecorated the house taking great care to remain true to the early style of the building.
After the devastating Christchurch earthquake on Febraury 22, 2011, The Monastery dedicated its services solely to Cantabrians in need of respite and more than 700 southerners directly affected by the earthquake were offered a place to stay free of charge.
In 2016, The Monastery was purchased by Shane and Paula Walsh, enabling the couple to fulfil their lifetime dream of running a boutique bed and breakfast. They remain faithful to the preservation of The Monastery’s original intention by maintaining the property as a perfect place to relax, where you can enjoy the splendid house and garden and soak up the atmosphere of this historical home.