Amazing Views, Boutique Accommodation

About Us

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About the Owners of Awatea Tasman Bay’s Boutique Accommodation

Your Hosts are John & Scott

Awatea Tasman Bay is the name given to a boutique bed and breakfast and self-contained accommodation business which is owned and operated by John Hutton and Scott Starling (your hosts pictured below) who want to share a bit of New Zealand with their own friends around the world, as well as any other visitors who want a taste of luxury accommodation as they stay in comfortable, quality surroundings of a private, quiet, and relaxing nature, while surrounded by stunning natural beauty of mountain, river, bay, and forest.

  • About John Hutton

    John grew up in Nebraska and Arizona, USA, and attended university in Tucson. Politically active at an early age, he was elected as a State Senator in Arizona and worked in Phoenix.

    John’s interest in travel and other cultures prompted him to move for work to Australia where he later met Scott.

    John is an internationally experienced, Human Resources, Management & Consulting professional who has worked in the Manufacturing, Mining & Resources, Banking/Financial Services, Health Care, Energy, and Public Sectors.

  • About Scott Starling

    Scott grew up on a farm in Victoria, Australia. He studied at Ballarat University before moving to Melbourne where he met John.

    Scott is a skilled IT professional and has worked for a bunch of multi-national companies such as ANZ Bank, Merck, IBM in New Zealand & Canada, and AXA. He also developed (using Foundation by Zurb) and maintains this website.

  • More About John & Scott

    Since meeting, John and Scott have lived together in a number of cities and countries, including Melbourne & Sydney in Australia, Toronto in Canada, Auckland, Christchurch & Wellington in New Zealand – plus John has worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, Bangkok in Thailand, and Manila in The Philippines, on interesting (and sometimes challenging) projects!

    Together they have enjoyed holidays exploring countries of the world, including; UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Russia, Canada, USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Panama, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and of course, New Zealand!

    New Zealand holds a special place in their hearts and is where they dreamed of developing the boutique accommodation business they now run – having set that goal when they first travelled to the South Island for a holiday!

  • Other People You May Know

    Jim Kolbe and Hector Alfonso, who live in Washington DC, also have an interest in Awatea Tasman Bay.

  • Our Pet Molly

    molly the miniature fox terrier dogWe have one pet; a quiet & very friendly miniature fox terrier dog called Molly. Molly spends much of her day outside in Summer and at other times in the Guest House. She loves to play ball in the afternoon and you are most welcome to join in the fun!

    If you have any allergies to dogs please let us know when you book so that we can make sure our dog does not cause you any discomfort during your stay.


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  • awatea owners and hosts scott john and molly
    Scott Starling and John Hutton are the owners and hosts of Awatea Tasman Bay’s boutique Motueka accommodation
  • awatea amazing view motueka river sunrise
    A beautiful sunrise over Tasman Bay and the Motueka River in March 2013 as seen from Awatea Tasman Bay
  • about awatea owners scott john jim hector
    Scott Starling, John Hutton, Jim Kolbe, and Hector Alfonso all have an interest in Awatea Tasman Bay

What Does Awatea Mean?

We believe that Awatea (pronounced: ah wah tay ah) is Maori for daybreak, dawn, first light or sunrise. We chose this name because our boutique Motueka Bed & Breakfast and self contained luxury Cottage accommodation buildings’ site is located on a hilltop situated among 25 private, rural acres on the western side of Tasman Bay and thus attracts the first rays of the morning sun rising over Marlborough and Nelson ranges to the east – as you can see in one of the photographs above.

Our building site has commanding views of most of the Tasman Bay area, including Nelson to the east, and the Motueka River Valley. The Arthur mountain range, Heaphy (walking) Track in Kahurangi National Park and Mt Campbell are to our west, and the area is the gateway to the popular Abel Tasman National Park, beaches of Golden Bay and Kaiteriteri, orchards and vineyards of the Motueka River and Moutere Valleys, trout fishing on the world famous Motueka River, and a host of water activities (kayaking, canyoning, sailing, etc.).

Our Guests & Our Commitment to You

We want you, our guest, to enjoy a relaxing escape from your other worldly cares. By providing you with the opportunity to stay in a scenic, country/rural setting, although only a few minutes from the local township and many interesting, challenging, fun-filled activities. We hope to contribute to a memorable New Zealand holiday, which we hope you will recall fondly for years to come (and come back again).

Last but not least, Awatea Tasman Bay is a gay friendly accommodation establishment and we warmly welcome gay and lesbian (LGBT) guests.

Once you’ve experienced the amazing views from your own private deck overlooking the Motueka River Valley and Tasman Bay, we think you’re sure to come back again and again, and will recommend our boutique Motueka accommodation to your friends when they plan their next New Zealand holiday.


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  • awatea eco-friendly accommodation vegetable gardens
    At Awatea Tasman Bay we grow a variety of seasonal vegetables in our raised garden beds
  • awatea view motueka river rainbow
    If you’re lucky, you may see a rainbow like this when you stay at Awatea Tasman Bay’s boutique accommodation

Our Eco-Friendly Accommodation Principles

Eco-Friendly Everyday Things We Do

Awatea Tasman Bay was developed in an eco-friendly and sustainable way, and continues this achievement in the day-to-day operation of the accommodation business in the following ways:

  • We collect, sterilise, filter and use rain water for our domestic purposes.
  • We use our own stream water for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing.
  • We have a worm-based composting system for treatment of all our household grey and black water, which is then distributed on-site to help water our lawn.
  • We burn compressed wood sawdust pellets, made here in Nelson from local timber mills, in our highly efficient room heaters.
  • Our electricity supplier generates its power from 100% renewable resources (hydro & wind generation).
  • We employ the precept reduce, re-use, and recycle (all paper, plastic, cans, and glass we no longer need) and encourage our guests to participate.
  • We line-dry our washing outdoors in the sunshine.
  • We compost all of our kitchen vegetable scraps and garden waste.
  • Our guest toiletries and our cleaning products are selected for their minimal environmental impact and no animal testing.
  • We grow many of our own vegetables and choose locally grown Motueka & Nelson produce over imported options (reducing the carbon miles of our food).

Building Sustainable Accommodation

Awatea Tasman Bay was designed and developed to be a sustainable accommodation business, in the following ways:

  • Our solid timber buildings are made of plantation timbers grown in New Zealand, thus providing a natural carbon sink and reducing greenhouse gases.
  • We have used extra insulation (spun fibres made from 80% recycled glass) to reduce our power & heating requirements.
  • Our buildings are designed so that natural air flow is used to cool our rooms in summer.
  • Appliances and fittings were selected based on their energy efficiency and minimal water use – for example, we have dual flush toilets.
  • We chose low emission, highly efficient, wood pellet burners to heat our boutique Bed & Breakfast and Cottage accommodation.
  • Our buildings are designed to provide abundant natural light in every room, and our windows are double-glazed and laminated.
  • We have planted 100s of sequoias (redwoods) and douglas fir trees, as well as over 3,000 plants (mostly native species) in another attempt to do our share to green the planet and reduce greenhouse gases.
awatea moutere inlet tasman bay painting
Photographic painting: Late summer’s day view of the Moutere Inlet and Tasman Bay from Awatea Tasman Bay