Braemar House has had an interesting history. It was constructed in 1895 by Mr "Hope" Gibbons. Hopeful Gibbons was named after the character in John Bunyan's "Pilgrims Progress". He went on to become the mayor of Whanganui in 1924 and was the founder of one of New Zealand's largest family businesses.He sold the building in 1911 to Misses Alice and Kit Gordon, who converted it into Braemar Hospital for private, surgical, and maternity care.
In 1927 the property passed to a Mrs Christie who firstly continued the private hospital and then converted it to an older persons home.
By 1976 the home closed as a private institution. It was renamed the "Riverside Inn" by the new owner, Clayton Crowe, and had a chequered history with several owners until 1987 when Don and Marree Adams bought the property. They were energetic enthusiasts for the potential of the fine house. They started the YHA hostel, ran 4 and 5 day canoe trips on the river and then coach tours in the area. They also did the rural mail run up the Whanganui River Road to Pipiriki and took passengers. To this day guests can still book to go on the mail run and get an insight to the unique communites it serves. In 1991 the "Riverside Inn" passed to the Gedye family, who after nearly a 100 years of an eventful life, began extensive renovations on the old lady. In 2001, the property was renamed "Braemar House" but by that time had absentee owners until new owners, Clive Rivers and Rob Gooch, took over the YHA hostel and BnB in 2002.
Clive and Rob restyled and continued the renovation of the house over the next 14 years and saw thousands of visitors from every corner of the world through the doors. They have now retired to the good life in the country nearby.
The current owners, Calvyn and Alice Jonker, and their daughter Claire, took over the Bed and Breakfast and YHA Hostel in January 2017. You will find that they are delightful hosts who will do their utmost to make you welcome. We do hope that you will enjoy Braemar House and Whanganui. Both are rich in history, culture and the arts.