28th May 2020
As New Zealanders, we’re lucky in more ways than one - some of the world’s most acclaimed hotels, resorts and lodges are found right on our doorstep. Here’s our top 6 favourite luxury stays in Aotearoa.
Delamore Lodge, Waiheke
It feels like a world away, but Delamore Lodge is one of Auckland’s most accessible escapes. Less than 10 minutes’ drive from the Waiheke Ferry Terminal, the lodge’s four spacious suites and one two-bedroom apartment, all with private patios, offer complete privacy and superb, unimpeded views of Owhanake Bay. Enjoy the view from the heated infinity pool, chosen by CNN as one of the ‘14 most outrageous hotel pools in the world’, or enjoy a treatment at the luxurious day spa. The lodge itself is an ingenious mix of European and Māori design, with Mediterranean-style terracotta elements and architecture inspired by the shape of a matua, or fish hook.
You never need to find a reason to take a city break in Wellington! Spend your day hopping between cosy cafes, restaurants and bars, and your evening at QT Wellington – boutique accommodation that’s as unique as the city itself. This isn’t your typical beige hotel; the design here is bright, creative and lively, but never vulgar. It’s also the home of Hippopotamus, one of Wellington’s most unusual restaurants and a favourite destination for a fabulous Sunday high tea. Book an oceanfront room or suite for stunning views across the waterfront to the harbour beyond.
Blanket Bay, Queentown
Sunset over The Remarkables is…. well… remarkable at any time, but it’ll never look better than from the floor-to-ceiling windows of a suite at Blanket Bay. Located near the hamlet of Glenorchy, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, this is the sort of place that sets your soul soaring at every turn. Spend your day exploring the region – Queenstown is a half-hour drive away, and helicopter tours over Milford Sound take off from the lawn outside – then meet in the grand main lodge for a drink by the fire. Enjoy the world-renowned food and wine in the cosy dining room, or book a private dining experience inside the lodge’s wine cave.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay
New Zealand boasts many fantastic private lodge experiences, but few rival the one at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. Named the number one resort in Australasia by prestigious Travel & Leisure magazine, Cape Kidnappers has a focus on quality and attention to detail that is second to none. With its setting amid rolling farmland overlooking the southern edge of Hawke’s Bay, Cape Kidnappers has the feel of an ultra-luxurious hill station, with uniquely rural experiences on offer including shepherding, horse riding and heli fishing. This is also a bucket list golfing destination, its spectacular clifftop links like no other golf course on earth.
Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses, Kaikoura
As one of the few places in the world where sperm whales can be seen both year round and close to the shore, Kaikoura is a whale-watching-must no matter when you visit. To make your experience even more memorable, book a stay at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses – beautiful boutique accommodation set within a wooded grove in the middle of a deer farm. Nested in the canopy of a native Kanuka grove, the five luxurious tree houses, all with their own fireplaces, offer superb mountain and ocean views. End your day at the lodge restaurant, where the menu focuses on local ingredients including crayfish, venison, and cheeses.
Huka Lodge, Taupo
The legendary Huka Lodge, established in 1924, is widely regarded as one of the best lodge experiences anywhere in the world. Set in vast private grounds on the banks of the Waikato River near Taupo, the lodge prides itself on offering an unrivalled guest experience – as enjoyed by past guests including Kate Winslet and Bill Gates. While the level of luxury means you might never want to leave your room, the lodge makes the ideal base for winter sports – Turoa and Whakapapa ski fields are close by – but there’s also plenty to do in other seasons too of course, such as jet boating, trout fishing and golf.