Windermere looks like a large residence, but is a commercial building.
It was built to accommodate visitors to Akaroa. John Sunckell bought the land on which it stands in 1876 and immediately had Windermere erected as a boarding house. The business opened on 1 June 1877.
It is a domestic-looking colonial building, with gable ends which are surmounted by finials and decorated with bargeboards, a roof of relatively steep pitch, and a bay window. Clay was rammed in behind the weatherboard walls for insulation. It was named Windermere because the Sunckells came from the English Lake District. At different times in the 20th century it was a boarding house for children, divided into two flats, a single family home and a bed and breakfast.
In 2001 it was bought by a descendant of John and Ann Sunckell, who, as John did, offers accommodation to visitors.