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Chelsea Park Motor Lodge – Embracing the community spirit of Nelson

It is a family-run 10 room motor lodge, which means they are an ideal size to offer friendly and helpful service – Hospitality, the way it should be.

As soon as you meet the owners’ Dean and Tomoko, you instantly feel at home. Some people have that natural gift of making you feel at ease – even after a long journey, a bumpy flight or being away from your loved ones, Chelsea Park Motor Lodge is a local gem.

Dean and Tomoko were based in Auckland where they were Cabin Crew for Air New Zealand, both were Business Class Galley Specialists and running a team of 6 to 8 business class cabin crew. They looked after 56 passengers in Business Class. Dean smiles as he tells me a mutual friend matched them up and 11 years later, they are a great couple and love working together.

Dean is of Maori descent (Ngai Tahu) and Tomoko is from Japan. They have a 7-year-old daughter called Mia and loves looking after their neighbours youngest child.

“We could see the effect that Covid was going to have on the airline industry, so we decided to embrace a new challenge and purchase a Motel in Nelson. The sale went through a few weeks before the nationwide lockdown in 2021. “As you could imagine, it was a very stressful time for us. Had we done the right thing? We watched bookings cancel one by one, and after some sleepless nights, we decided to do something radical.”

There’s a saying: When the going gets tough – the tough get going.

Knowing that they weren’t the only ones affected by the lockdown situation, they made some calls and reached out to some local businesses and put together an essential worker accommodation package with donated gifts from the following local businesses:

• Atutahi – award winning native drinks
• Kiwi Kai – award winning Salmon pate, Kawhe, Kawakawa & mango chutney, cold vac packed smoked Hangi chicken, Horopito bruschetta & Pango crostini
• Penati Crackers – award winning crackers
Okiwi Bay Oysters – oysters
• Flaxmore Wine – local exquisite wine – award winner
• Heke Herbals – Native tea – award winner
• Pics Peanut Butter – global award winner
• Viavico – Italian cheese – award winner
• Hogarth Chocolate – Chocolate – global award winner
• Craft Pate – real French pate – award winner
• Millie Moo – scented candles – award winner
• Mountain Valley Honey – award winning Nelson honey

Word got out to media outlets who picked up the story and ran with it. The TVNZ Breakfast show did a featured interview with owners, Dean and Tomoko and arranged to pay for flights so essential workers could have a place to rest and recharge. They had over 300 nationwide entries into the draw when they drew the lucky winner – a charge nurse and midwife with four children from Dunedin).

They enjoyed dinner at New Street Steakhouse. (R.IP. Francis Monopoli, owner, who passed away in December 2021. Francis was a wonderful man and loved by many).

Then off to Workshop Brewery where they were given a guided tour by the owner and brewer. Steve Gardiner of Lone Star sorted the second meal voucher, and Renee Garguilo from Kiwi Kai.

“We would rather have someone, who needs a break, stay in our Motel room than have it empty”, says Dean.

That’s the Nelson spirit! Passion and a heart for hospitality is a natural gift that both Dean and Tomoko possess. You can see it in their Trip Advisor ratings and the reviews are amongst the top in Nelson.

“Lovely big spacious rooms. Only a short stroll to Nelson’s cafes and bars. Dean and Tomoko were the perfect hosts. Allowed us to book in with our old dog which was so kind of them. Have already stayed there twice.” Chris S

If you have friends or family coming to Nelson, make a booking with Chelsea Park. It’s a Qualmark 4-star rated service and comes with all the modern luxuries. Immaculately presented. It’s nice and close to town and you can know that they will receive ‘International Business class quality’ hospitality and be well looked after.

When asked what they like to do in their spare time, Dean and Tomoko love to explore our region. Mia loves riding her bike on the local trails and is quickly making friends at Hampden Street Primary school.

Tomoko and Dean wish for all their guests to get the most out of their stay. Whether you are visiting the Abel Tasman National Park or checking out the local Wine and Food scene, they are happy to assist with booking different attractions and activities for guests.

Chelsea Park Motor Lodge prides themselves in being one of the few pet-friendly accommodation providers in Nelson City and decided to run another exciting competition where you could be in to WIN the paw-fect getaway to Nelson.

Head to and take a Virtual Reality tour in the remarkable pet-friendly Chelsea Park Motor Lodge to find Fluffy, our furry friend. Simply click on him to enter and be in to WIN!

The prize includes a 2-night stay for two people at the remarkable pet-friendly Chelsea Park Motor Lodge, a bottle of bubbles, in-house continental breakfast, and a $100 hospitality voucher to be spent at any Nelson City restaurant, valued at $550.


Find them at 214 Rutherford Street, Nelson. Just opposite Nelson Girls College.

Trip Advisor link

Explore the Virtual Tour at Chelsea Park Motor Lodge

Click here to find out more…

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