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Tucked away among the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, this is one of New Zealand’s finest lodges. It’s flung into the remote northern reaches of Lake Wakatipu, combining wild seclusion with easy access to Queenstown; the New Zealand adventure capital is just a 45 minutes’ drive away. Some of the country’s best hiking is found nearby on the Routeburn or Milford Tracks while flight-seeing over the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound offers a unique way of appreciating the country’s uniquely defined geography.
On arrival, you’ll meander along the lodge’s driveway to reach your elegant accommodation, passing green pastures dotted with sheep as you go. Natural materials are used throughout, almost integrating the architecture with its environment. In the Main Lodge, there are five lakeside Lodge Rooms, complete with balconies or terraces, king size beds and en suite, granite-topped bathrooms, There’s also three Lodge Suites where bedrooms and sitting areas both have their own stone fireplaces while 400 sq. ft. private terraces host giant views of the lake and mountains. Lastly, a selection of 700 sq. ft. Chalet Suites use schist stone and timber beams to recall typical New Zealand colonial architecture. Again arranged around a stone fireplace, they feature yet more of those pretty views. The charmingly rustic Owners Residence is particularly indulgent.
Whether you’re taking your meals in the sophisticated dining room, intimate wine cave or between fire and lake on the terrace, you’ll be assured a true fine dining experience. Menus change each night to constantly feature the best local meats and seasonal produce. Expect to dine on such delicacies as Canterbury Quail, Hawkes Bay lamb and Milford Sound Crayfish across five course menus. It’s all complemented by some of the country’s finest wines while creamy New Zealand cheeses make a nightly appearance on the dessert menu.
While Blanket Bay’s spa features everything from therapy suites and steam rooms to a gym, pool and a Jacuzzi with magnificent lake and mountain views, it’s the activities that really shine. Pioneer a private plane for stunning views of Milford Sound’s bright waters and carpet peaks, try out some of the world’s best fly-fishing or take a helicopter to off piste skiing locations. Back on land, there’s horseback riding, winery visits, golfing and walks that range from lakeside ambles to four-day national park hikes.
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