A century-old villa with views of timeless beauty
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Beach | Natural world
Set on the fringes of Russell – a charming town at the centre of the Bay of Islands – Flagstaff Lodge is poised to explore one of New Zealand’s best-loved natural attractions. Watch as turquoise water stretches out to the horizon, interrupted only by cragged dots, themselves carpeted in undisturbed forests. Explore it all with world-class game fishing, sailing, diving, parasailing and dolphin cruises. Back on land there’s everything from golf and beaches to horse riding and wineries to keep you busy while Russell’s restaurants, art galleries and historic buildings are equally enticing. The lodge is even named for the Maori chief’s repeated cutting down of the British flag following the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
As is the style in this part of the country, accommodation is boutique and the service excellent. Limited to just four guest rooms, Flagstaff Lodge is perfectly relaxed and, in the rooms themselves, super-king pillowtop beds ensure that you will be too. Open your French windows to verandah views over the bay or make use of the mod cons; there’s everything from flatscreen TVs and free WiFi to iPhone docks and DVD players. In terms of aesthetic, whitewashed walls ensure colourful accents really pop while rich fabrics hint at the region’s Polynesian heritage.
At Flagstaff you’ll enjoy pre-dinner drinks with your hosts and a superb a la carte breakfast that includes excellent homemade muesli, yoghurt and a range of preservatives. Your effervescent hosts, Ruth and Jessie, are faultlessly welcoming and, just as importantly, excellent cooks, so you can expect your eggs done to the highest standards. They’re also more than able to advise on Russell’s superb range of eateries. Given its location, you won’t be surprised to find that there’s plenty of good seafood on offer.
Possibly the lodge’s most interesting feature is its pair of private outdoor baths – perfect for star gazing with a glass of bubbly. It’s a truly romantic experience. For more traditional relaxation, book into the day spa for a range of personalised treatments. Whether it’s aromatherapy, facials and deep tissue massages or hot stones, hydrotherapy baths and body scrubs, there’s something for everyone. Don’t get too settled, however, as you’ll want to take to the waters to explore the Bay of Islands’ immense natural beauty.
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