Best New Zealand Luxury Lodges

Best New Zealand Luxury Lodges

 

New Zealand's best luxury lodges are an incredible way to experience Godzone (or “God's Own Country”), as some Kiwis refer to their homeland. While New Zealand is known for its pristine and dramatic scenery, adventure sports and friendly, laid-back hospitality, these unique luxury lodges take your visit to the next level. I had a chance to meet some of the General Managers of these lodges during Virtuoso Week, and since all of these lodges except Minaret Station are Virtuoso members, I'll note the benefits you enjoy when booking as a TravelSort Client.

Best Food: Otahuna Lodge (Christchurch)

Just 20 minutes from Christchurch, Otahuna, which in Maori means “little hill among the hills.” is a beautifully restored lodge in a Victorian mansion originally built in 1895 for Sir Heaton Rhodes, a long-time member of the New Zealand's Parliament. Otahuna's historic significance is protected by a Category One listing from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Otahuna regularly is singled out as serving the finest cuisine of all New Zealand luxury lodges, a testament to Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre's talent and the fine produce grown in Otahuna's own organic garden. Each evening, savor a 5-course chef's tasting menu that changes daily, taken either with other guests in the formal dining room, or at a private table for two in the library, drawing room, or wine cellar.

It's tempting to stay close to Otahuna to enjoy the beautiful gardens and lake, the daffodil field, the more formal Dutch Garden, or the swimming pool. But for the active, Christchurch offers everything from horseback riding and hiking to fly-fishing, a visit to the vineyards of the Waipara wine region, or spectacular alpine scenery in Arthur's Pass, courtesy of the TranzAlpine train or helicopter flights, including heli-skiing.

Virtuoso Benefits include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • A complimentary lunch or picnic basket for up to two people per room once during stay, excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuities.
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Best New Zealand Luxury Lodges - Otahuna Lodge Christchurch

 

Best Views: Eagles Nest (Russell, by Bay of Islands)

Eagles Nest is actually 5 extraordinary private villas, four of them with their own private heated infinity pool, all of them with private jacuzzis and gorgeous views of the Bay of Islands and access to the estate's private beach. 

Additional amenities in each villa include a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, home theater system with CD and DVD library, full laundry facilities, WiFi, and mountain bikes for exploring. Bike or walk to Russell, New Zealand's first sea port and New Zealand's first capital city, which retains many of its historic buildings. Don't miss a private cruise on the Bay of Islands, which also offers some excellent scuba diving.

Don't feel like cooking? A private chef can be booked for an additional fee, so that you can savor a glass of wine and the views before enjoying a private dinner in your villa.

Virtuoso Benefits include:

  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Villas include:

  • First Light Temple: 1 Master Bedroom on the mezzanine level with skylight over the bed and stunning views; indoor and outdoor fireplaces. Perfect for a couple, for a honeymoon or anniversary stay
  • Eagle Spirit: 3 Bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, 18 meter infinity pool and jacuzzi, and superb views of the Bay of Islands
  • The Eyrie: 3 Bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, 18 meter infinity pool and jacuzzi, and superb views of the Bay of Islands
  • Sacred Space: 4 Bedrooms, three with ensuite bathrooms, fourth with guest bathroom, 20 meter infinity pool, jacuzzi and sauna
  • Rahimoana: 4 Bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, 25 meter infinity pool, jacuzzi and sauna, private gym, private beach, helipad

Best New Zealand Luxury Lodges - Rahimoana at Eagles Nest


Best Glamping: Minaret Station (Southern Alps)

Talk about remote: the only way to get to Minaret Station, in New Zealand's Southern Alps above Lake Wanaka, is by helicopter. There are just four luxury Tented Suites, each with an ensuite bathroom, heated floor, and soft sheepskin carpets. Each suite also enjoys its own private deck and hot tub.

As you'd imagine, in such a remote area, outdoor activities reign supreme. For the adventurous, there's heli skiing, heli mountain biking, jet boating, and guided hunting. But even if you'd rather stay close to your luxury tent, there's also wild game viewing, photography lessons, art lessons, a high country farm tour, and alpine picnics.

Best New Zealand Luxury Lodges - Minaret Station Skiing

 

Best Gateway to Adventure: Matakauri Lodge (Queenstown)

Matakauri is located on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, just a few minutes from Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand (this is where, after all, bungee jumping was pioneered). Matakauri is intimate, with just 11 suites, and serene, with dramatic lake and mountainside views. 

Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown is the perfect base for a Milford Sound helicopter excursion with glacier landing, dart river jet boat trip, fly fishing, a Lord of the Rings tour, and of course bungee jumping or ziplining.

Virtuoso benefits at Matakauri Lodge include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Best New Zealand Luxury Lodges - Matakauri Lodge
 

Which New Zealand luxury lodges are on your wish list?
 
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