The Criterion Hotel

3 Tyne Street

The Criterion Hotel was built in 1877 to a design by Oamaru architects Forrester and Lemon.  It was built for its first proprietor William Gillespie and operated as a licensed hotel until prohibition came to Oamaru in 1905.  Without a liquor licence it continued in use as a private hotel until 1943 when it was bought by G T Gillies Ltd. and used for storage of light engineering foundry equipment.
The Criterion was purchased by the Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust in 1989 and underwent a full restoration of its exterior and interior in 1998/99.  Today it again operates as a fully licensed hotel serving a full range of traditional ales, wines and meals and guests can once again stay in one of New Zealand's most photographed hotels.

The Criterion Hotel Tenants

The Criterion Hotel is home to the Criterion Bar and Eatery, run by Katrina McLarin and Brenda Laverick, who reopened the bar in 2022.


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