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The Sanctuary bedroom, New Zealand

The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands

Traditional Lodge – Typically up to £400 per room per night

Summary

Short description

Reclaimed design, locavore dining and stunning location make this the ideal eco-friendly option

Accommodation

Recommended for:
Eco-tourism | Natural world

Location

Set in a stand of native bush, The Sanctuary is home to one of the few remaining virgin rainforests in an area renowned for its supreme coastal and marine beauty. From its jutting decks, you can expect to be treated to raking views that soar over the dense canopy to reach the shimmering waters of the Bay of Islands beyond. It’s hard to imagine that it’s all just a five-minute drive away from Paihia, As the bay’s gateway, this small town is ideal for exploring with cruises, coastal walks and watersports all represented.

Accommodation

In keeping with its private reserve credentials, the lodge’s design uses only native timbers in its construction. The effect is at once traditional and forward thinking with floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive decking making the most of the stunning panoramas; every major room of the retreat offers views across the Veronica Channel towards the historic town of Russell. On a good day, the eye can see as far as Black Rocks and Motuora Island. The accommodation itself comes in the form of just four spacious bedrooms where soft earthy tones blend seamlessly into their spectacular natural setting, a position enhanced by the private balconies. King size beds and feather pillows provide the comfort while iPod docking stations, complimentary high speed WiFi and movies keep you connected.

Dining

But its green commitments don’t stop there; the lodge’s kitchen focuses on locally sourced organic produce, serving a range of hearty and healthy meals. For breakfast, think homemade toasted muesli, fresh juices and farm-sourced cooked options while dinner is equally considered. Perhaps start with home smoked salmon served on a bed of leaves before tucking into chicken stuffed with everything from buckwheat to pearl barley. Round off with an indulgent orange chocolate tart.

Facilities

While the lodge is arranged around an infinity plunge pool and a wraparound sun deck, it’s the activities that really stand out. Choose from the selection of therapists on offer with everything from massages and acupuncture to beauty treatments and craniosacral therapy. The in-house yoga is particularly good. If you’d rather explore further, there’s sailing, golf, winery visits, rainforest walks and nation-defining history on your doorstep  

Stay here on these holidays

Wilderness Highlights of New Zealand

23-day tailor-made self-drive from £6,355 pp incl. flights

Free car hire

Discover the Bay of Islands, Coromandel and Rotorua on the North Island and Kaikoura, Fox Glacier and Fiordland on the South Island at your own pace, with the chance to sample a full range of off-the-beaten track adventures and excursions.

Best of the North Island

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £4,330 pp incl. flights

Free car hire

Designed to showcase the best of New Zealand's North Island, this self-drive brings begins with Auckland and the Bay of Islands before dipping south past Coromandel's golden beaches and volcanic Rotorua. Then, via lakeside Taupo and the vineyards of Hawke's Bay, you'll end with a stay in Wellington.

Auckland, Bay of Islands & Thermal Springs

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £4,205 pp incl. flights

Free car hire

A year-round favourite, this tailor-made self-drive tour is a wonderful mix of coastal and forest scenery, wildlife encounters, Maori culture and geothermal power.

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