By Nelson Groom and Ian Hinchliffe

We’ve all heard the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe – but not everyone knows about the guesthouse where it comes true.

Tucked away in the sleepy peak of New Zealand’s South Island sits a cosy, self-contained cottage with a kick – it’s shaped just like a boot


Aptly named The Boot, the hotel in Tasman Bay, Nelson, contains a spiral staircase winding from a lounge and bathroom at the bottom to a bedroom and balcony at the top.

The project is the brainchild of married couple Steve, 55, and Judy Richards, 56, who decided to bring something new to the B&B scene – for around £160 ($310 NZD).

Judy said: “We came up with the idea over a glass of wine.


“We decided it was a great way for people to connect and we always believed if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing humorously.

“As soon as you step inside, you know you’re somewhere different. It keeps you in touch with the child within.”


After deciding to make their dream a reality, the couple set to work on a year-long construction which they described as a ‘labour of love’.

Nestled within a hazelnut tree grove, the footprint-shaped courtyard overlooks a sprawling garden lined with a running creek.

It’s also adjacent to the couple’s award-winning Jester House café – but guests may prefer to enjoy their breakfast from the comfort of their own bedroom


Judy said: “Breakfast is part of the price, you can come to the café or have it delivered to your door.

“There’s no television, meaning it might not be ideal for families, but it’s the perfect place for couples to connect.

“We call it the boot of love. It’s mostly used for honeymoons or anniversaries, it has a good soul.”