Accommodation as daring as its 19th century founders, the climbers that were among the first to conquer Mt. Cook
Mountains | Natural world
As one of the few accommodations brave enough to venture up into Mt. Cook’s heights, The Hermitage is one of the premier viewpoints of its giant peak. However, the region is much more than its headline-grabbing centrepiece – the tallest mountain in Australasia. The vast majority of New Zealand’s highest peaks are found in its range; it’s a national park where more than one third is covered in perma-snow and glacial ice. As such, there’s an excellent range of activities in the area from gentle walks and 4WD tours to mammoth climbs and helihikes.
The Hermitage, despite its century-long history of accommodating climbers, has been extensively modernised. Clean architectural lines match those of its hulking neighbour while giant windows sneak equally oversized views. All rooms are brightly contemporary with floor-to-ceiling vistas and either a balcony or patio for that fresh mountain air. Be sure to upgrade to a mountain view room with the Aoraki Wing particular impressive, looking up to hanging glaciers and the surrounding range. For self-contained accommodation, choose the A-frame chalets, set 200m from the main hotel.
Despite its seclusion, The Hermitage offers a range of dining options. Prime among them is the Panorama Room where truly gourmet food reflects the New Zealand seasons. There’s also the Alpine Restaurant and its views of Mt. Cook from every seat. Here, meals are a buffet affair with both continental and cooked options represented for breakfast and a whole range of soups, salads and seafood available at lunch and dinner. The slow roasted South Island rib eye is especially good. For more relaxed dining, the excellently named Sir Edmund Hillary Café dishes up classic ‘Kiwi fare’ from a self-service bar. Think fresh sandwiches and paninis, homemade pies and hearty warm dishes.
Return from your adventures to complimentary WiFi and the Snowline Lounge where you can warm up with a drink by its open log fire. Relax with a fine vintage, fire your coals with a classic whiskey or indulge with one of the bar’s signature cocktails. But what adventures they’ll be. Uniquely designed eight wheelers bring you on mountain adventures, giant telescopes make the most of one of the world’s brightest night skies and glacier tours bring you to otherworldly landscapes.
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