Your Hosts | Rutland Arms Wanganui Accommodation
Tavis Small and Jennifer Gilbertson-Small have a passion for hospitality that extends throughout both of their careers. Their vision for the Rutland Arms is to continue its proud heritage of providing elegant accommodation for travellers and guests, and to be the first choice for dining out in Wanganui.
Built in 1849 at a time when Wanganui was a garrison town, and named after the town’s first stockade, the Rutland Arms was known as the finest hotel between Wellington and New Plymouth. Standing majestically on one of Wanganui’s finest street corners, Tavis and Jennifer are determined to build on the fine history of this hotel.
Tavis and Jennifer both have Bachelor degrees in Hospitality Management and have worked in the hospitality industry and related fields in England and throughout New Zealand. Both Wanganui born and bred, they returned home eleven years ago to open Espresso Garden Café at Gilbertson Mitre 10 MEGA which they owned for five years before looking around for a bigger challenge.
It was important to the couple that their next venture allow them to incorporate the lifestyle of their growing family. Their friends and previous Rutland Arms owners, Mike Hos & Brigid Crowley, convinced them that the Rutland already had a winning formula – perfect for Tavis and Jennifer to put their own spin on. Additionally, the quiet elegance of the Rutland is more like a café and restaurant than a bar, and it suited the couple who wanted their three young boys to be involved in the business.
The Rutland, known for its great food, friendly and welcoming staff, and luxurious accommodation upstairs makes it a destination of choice for both travellers and locals.