If there’s one style of accommodation that sets New Zealand on the very highest plateau of comfort, it’s its famous lodges, invariably owner-run and often found in stunning hideaway locations. Many have a historic pedigree, others having a more contemporary flair, but all offer ideal roosts for those planning to explore the country. Bridge & Wickers features several. Our ‘six of the best’ would include:
970 Lonely Bay
A luxury lodge located on the delightful Coromandel peninsula, an area known for its pristine beaches and wide range of sporting activities. Lodge facilities include a library, sitting and dining rooms, a snug with Bang & Olufsen plasma television/sound system, indoor/outdoor solarium with opening roof and multiple fireplaces. Accommodation includes three, one bedroom suites and a premier two bedroom suite, each with a spacious terrace. In-house dining is available on request – including picnic hampers- alternatively, fine dining is available in Whitianga and wine tasting at local vineyards.
The five star Lodge is situated in a private native bush reserve with uninterrupted panoramic views of the Bay of Islands. The contemporary design is enriched by the extensive use of native timber and a natural, earthy colour scheme designed to blend harmoniously with the surrounding environment. The upper floor of the lodge features an expansive open-plan lounge, highly reputed kitchen and (communal) dining areas, floor-to-ceiling windows and large decks to showcase the views. The Lodge has just four guest rooms with an infinity plunge pool and surrounding sun deck in the centre of the two wings.
Wharekauhau Country Estate
Situated on a 5,000 acre working farm in the Wairarapa wine region, and surrounded by private native forest, spectacular beaches, rivers, lakes and wetlands, this exclusive retreat is built along the lines of an Edwardian country mansion with antique furniture and oversized fireplaces throughout.
Guests sleep in cottages dotted around the estate with spectacular ocean and mountain views. Each cottage features three individual suites with verandas, open gas fireplaces, double spa baths and rich New Zealand wool carpeting. Dining in the main lodge at Wharekauhau is tailored around just what the guests would like and includes such classics as beef, crayfish, duck and the famous Texel lamb.
A boutique lodge situated on fifty acres of private grounds in the picturesque, quiet Orinoco valley in the Nelson region of South Island, close to the Abel Tasman National Park. The lodge is exquisitely designed and furnished to a very high standard with an emphasis on comfort and amazing views, including that of Mount Crusader, star of Lord of the Rings. There are never more than six guests, either in the main house or a separate cottage. Dinner includes pre-dinner drinks, canapes and fine local wines.
Located in the historic waterfront town on Russell in the heart of Bay of Islands, Flagstaff Lodge was built in 1912. It can accommodate eight people at any one time in four spacious, individually designed rooms. Communal areas include an elegant guest lounge, a courtyard, established gardens and a private spa offering massage and relaxation. Dinner is not available at the property but there’s a choice of cafes and restaurants only a short stroll away.
In the heart of the wine region of Hawke’s Bay, also known as the ‘fruit bowl of New Zealand’, just 15 minutes from the town of Hastings, Greenhill Lodge accommodates just one party at a time, whether a couple or a full house of eight. Four guests can be accommodated in rooms in the main building, including one where Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother stayed, four in a separate cottage which boasts and outside bath.
David Wickers is Director of Bridge & Wickers.
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