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Discover a selection of our favourite luxury lodges in New Zealand, from charming homesteads to hyper-modern villas.
If you really want to escape, then New Zealand is about as far from the UK as it’s possible to get. The unique Maori heritage, charming cities, outdoor pursuits and world-class food make it well worth the journey. Discover towering mountains, formidable coastlines, volcanoes, fjords and beaches. Or for adrenalin junkies, there are myriad outdoor pursuits, from heli-skiing to swimming with dolphin.
New Zealand delivers on its promise of adventure, and – broadly the size of the UK – it’s also very navigable. Experience the country up close and personal by staying at the stunning luxury lodges here. Our private client manager Paul Taylor hopped between New Zealand properties to discover these 11 lodging highlights.
Eichardt’s Private Hotel
Eichardt's provides five luxurious hotel suites and four lake-front apartment suites a very short walk from the main hotel. Located in central Queenstown, there are breath-taking views over Lake Wakatipu, and all that the friendly town has to offer is easily accessible. This is a great destination and a three-night stay will let you experience most of Queenstown’s highlights. More boutique than big brand, the hotel is furnished in a mix of modern and classic. Families benefit from large, interconnecting rooms which are available in both the Lake View and Mountain Suites. Dine overlooking the lake at the hotel’s restaurant, or select from the large choice of restaurants in the town. Eichardt’s is ideal for travellers seeking luxury, but willing to step outside the hotel to explore the surroundings and experience the nightlife. For a larger group, the Penthouse Suite promises an amazing start or end to your New Zealand trip.
Nestled among remote bush on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge offers absolute comfort only a ten-minute drive from Queenstown. The property commands stunning views from every angle of the Remarkable, Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges. A member of the Relais and Chateaux fellowship, the lodge encompasses more than three hectares of land, with rolling lawns, a meandering stream, native New Zealand plants and surrounding pine forest to enjoy. The main lodge consists of spacious lounge, dining and living areas, all with views of Lake Wakatipu. A luxury spa facility, infinity swimming pool, sauna with fitness centre as well as a library are on-site to help you unwind. During meal times, experience exemplary cuisine and attentive service at the hotel’s restaurant. Matakauri Lodge is an ideal retreat for those who expect the best in service and standards.
Minaret Station is an opportunity to enjoy authentic high-country New Zealand. The hotel’s remote location at the head of a glacial valley in South Island’s Southern Alps guarantees breath-taking panoramas. If you’re seeking luxury alongside adventure, this is the perfect place. Most activities can be done by helicopter (generally piloted by one of the four brothers who own the hotel) including hiking, skiing, fishing, hunting and even picnicking. The hotel is on a working farm, so guests are encouraged to help with the animals. Explore the great outdoors with a tour of Fiordland and the West Coast, before returning to one of only four chalets on the property. Communal dining makes every meal a sociable occasion, and the chefs will happily cook any of the spoils from your outdoor adventures.
Previously owned by Shania Twain and her former husband Robert Lange, Mahu Whenua is set in the hills about 20 minutes’ drive from Wanaka. Now run by Lange, this is an extensive property, spanning more than 55,000 hectares. The area is so important environmentally that more than 90 per cent of the land has been protected by covenants (Queen Elizabeth II National Trust), making it the largest conservation undertaking on private land in New Zealand's history. Stay here amidst the majestic beauty of towering mountains, lush valleys, native bush and meandering rivers.
With more of a homestead feel, Mahu Whenua is ideal for exclusive hire. Service is fantastic, and the facilities are excellent for large groups including children. Horse riding is a particularly popular activity here, and suitable for all abilities. With so much to see in Wanaka, it’s worth settling in for a few nights at this wonderful lodge.
Annandale whisks you away from the everyday. A working coastal farm on the scenic Banks Peninsula of South Island, this captivating place has only four private villas. Inside, every comfort and luxury await, but it's the outside that sets Annandale apart – the sparkling waters for kayaking and boating, the verdant farmland for hiking and biking, and the magnificent gardens for romantic walks. This is an opportunity to enjoy Christchurch’s day and night life before making the most of the hotel’s facilities. In the Homestead which sleeps up to 12 people, take advantage of the swimming pool, hot tub, small gym and tennis court. The Scrubby Bay villa also boasts a pool and hot tub. For romance and remoteness, choose to stay in Seascape which will leave you cocooned in personal luxury and comfort. Annandale Is ideal for a family escape, or a romantic yet adventurous honeymoon full of fresh sea air. Plan on at least a two-night break here to make the most of this stunning location.
Once a grand Victorian homestead, Otahuna Lodge is now a luxurious retreat surrounded by 12 hectares of its own botanic gardens. Here, the striking views over the Canterbury Plains and Banks Peninsula must be seen to be believed. This is one for the foodies – chefs will spoil you with gastronomic treats daily and an award-winning sommelier is on hand to advise you on wine choices. Choose to dine in the sunken wine cellar, library or the drawing room turret and be sure to enjoy the complimentary pre-dinner canapés.
Otahuna’s seven generous suites retain grand architectural features from the 19th century such as open fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained-glass windows. Situated at the base of the Banks Peninsula, Otahuna Lodge is only 20 minutes' drive from the city centre of Christchurch. Wineries, private gardens, championship golf, fine fishing and even the world's rarest dolphin are just a short drive - or helicopter ride - from the front door.
Hapuku Treehouse & Lodge
Situated at the base of the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range, Hapuku Treehouse & Lodge grants you views of the Kaikoura coast, Mangamaunu Bay and the surrounding fields where wild deer roam.
The Treehouses feature large spa baths and wood-burning fireplaces, while the Lodge Room and Suites have Japanese style soaking tubs. All boast breath-taking views of the snow-capped mountains and Pacific Coast. There is also a small pool, hot tub and sauna as well as an opportunity to revive tired limbs with a pre-ordered massage. The Hapuku Lodge experience is all about a passion for good food and wine. Produce is sourced from the Lodge’s own herb and vegetable gardens, free-range chickens and olive grove, as well as local market gardens. This fits firmly with the ethos of the husband and wife team who manage the property. Fiona is in charge of the kitchen – and rightly so, as she was a finalist on New Zealand’s Masterchef.
Bay of Many Coves
Take time to enjoy all that Bay of Many Coves has to offer. This slice of paradise is one of the best spots for exploring the Marlborough Sounds. Arriving at the hotel by water taxi, you’ll glide by picturesque ocean views and beautiful bush-clad hills. While away hours relaxing in the pool, hot tub and spa or head off for a spot of paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming with dolphin. The three restaurant options cover all your culinary desires – from a waterfront bistro, to all-day dining at the Kumatage restaurant and fine dining at the Foredeck. Toast the scenery with some of the best wines New Zealand has to offer. Outside, you can watch dolphin swim around the bay in front of the hotel, or – if you’re really lucky – orca, and spot glow worms on a hike in the hills. A stay at Bay of Many Coves will bring you closer to nature.
The Marlborough Lodge
At the other end of the spectrum, luxuriate in relaxed elegance at The Marlborough Lodge. Dating from 1901, this large estate was originally a convent for the Sisters of Mercy. It lies within six hectares of parkland, amongst the verdant Marlborough vineyards. Here the staff will spoil you – the on-site team of chefs prepare gourmet meals which showcase local produce, paired with excellent local wines. For any oenophile, this is an opportunity to appreciate the success of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and to meet the people who have made it what it is today. Be wowed by Marlborough in the day, then revel in the relaxing Marlborough Lodge environs at night.
Eagles Nest is a multi-award winning New Zealand hotel set within a 30-hectare estate. Atop its own private ridgeline, it affords spectacular views of the Bay of Islands and the famous Waitangi Treaty Ground. Your villa here is your home – and the facilities are exceptional. Each of the five luxury villas is furnished with high-specification mod cons, and the majority feature a private heated infinity pool. The Rahimoana villa even has its own private beach (one of two at Eagle’s Nest), as well as a golf buggy for guests and access to a Porsche SUV should you need transport. For an extra-special arrival, fly in by helicopter. Service here is understated but completely on point. Choose whether to cook your own meals from the prepared ingredients, or the resident chef will come and do it for you (at an extra cost). This estate offers a variety of luxury accommodation options for the most discerning of travellers.
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
If one of New Zealand’s attractions is perfecting your golfing prowess, then be sure to swing by the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. Set on 1,600 hectares of rolling coastal farmland near Matauri Bay, Northland, it features a magnificent par 72 championship golf course measuring 7,000 yards. Ranked 37 in the world, U.S. presidents have played on the course. Concentrate hard on the ball because the views here are stunning. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs was built in a plantation style like the Waitangi Treaty House, harmonising with its natural bush and ocean surroundings. Enjoy 180-degree vistas of the ocean, dotted with islands. As well as the golf course, facilities include a swimming pool; spa with an indoor pool, sauna and treatment rooms; as well as a Jacuzzi, tennis court, mountain bikes and clay pigeon shooting.