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Top ten luxury lodges of New Zealand

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19 February 2014 by Tim Tan

Experience the breathtaking nature of New Zealand without compromising on style

From the beautiful Bay of Islands to the mountains, lakes and forests of the Southern Alps, we look at the very best luxury lodge accommodation in some of New Zealand's most spectacular locations.

New Zealand's impressive collection of luxury lodges take exceptional hospitality, world-class facilities and gourmet cuisine and bring them to the most exclusive locations in the most beautiful and remote regions of this incredible country.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs - Bay of Islands

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Waiheke Island

The first of our North Island properties, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs enjoys a truly remarkable location in the Bay of Islands, 160 miles north of Auckland. Surrounded by no less than 6,000 acres of stunning coastal landscape on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, this Relais & Chateau lodge has 22 stylish suites and a spacious Owner's Cottage, all of which enjoy jaw-dropping views of the ocean and award-winning 18-hole golf course. Facilities include the idyllic Kauri Cliffs Spa, set along the banks of a fern-fringed stream that runs through the nearby totara forest, as well as a sauna, lap pool and small fitness centre. Guests can also choose from the lodge's vast and varied array of activities and excursions, which include private beach barbecues, guided bird watching, mountain biking, horse riding, nature walks and fishing among others.

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The Boatshed - Waiheke Island

The Boatshed, Waiheke Island

The shabby-chic, beach hut stylings of The Boatshed on beautiful Waiheke Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland, make it one of our favourite New Zealand luxury lodges. Set above the sweeping sands of Oneroa Bay, this intimate island hideaway comprises just five guest suites and two bungalows - known in New Zealand as baches - furnished in a eclectic mix of styles and with all manner of amenities, including Bose sound systems, iPod docks and complimentary beach gear. The food's not bad either, with the lodge's talented kitchen team taking the best local produce - some of which is grown in the lodge's own, on-site gardens - cooking it to perfection and matching it with some of New Zealand's finest wines, creating an unforgettable all-round dining experience.

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Delamore Lodge - Waiheke Island

Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island

Also on Waiheke Island, Delamore Lodge offers intimacy, privacy and a large dollop of luxury in one of the North Island's most beautiful settings, set high on a cliff overlooking the golden sands and deep blue waters of Owhanake Bay. Totally different in style to The Boatshed, Delamore Lodge features just four, north facing suites and a two-bedroom apartment, all of which more than make the most of the lodge's spectacular natural surroundings with unparalleled views across the waters and islands of the sparkling Hauraki Gulf. In the day, guests can enjoy five acres of pristine gardens, borrow a bike and head off to explore the island, enjoy a relaxing treatment at the lodge's spa or chill out in the jacuzzi, sauna or infinity pool, before tucking into a sumptuous five-course dinner featuring the freshest local produce and accompanied by a selection of fine New Zealand wines.

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Solitaire Lodge - Rotorua

Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua

In the centre of the North Island, near the picturesque lakeside town of Rotorua, Solitaire Lodge occupies an enviable position. Set on a picture-perfect peninsula overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Tarawera, this luxurious escape combines the classic ingredients of scenic beauty, stylish accommodation, unforgettable dining and a plethora of exciting experiences and enticing facilities to create a perfect holiday package in one of New Zealand's most popular destinations. Spend your days kayaking on the lake; relaxing on one of several private beaches; lazing in one of the nearby thermal pools; fishing for trout from the lodge's jetty; or indulging in an in-room spa treatment, before settling down to a delicious five-course dinner celebrating the best of New Zealand food and wine. 

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Treetops Lodge & Estate - Rotorua

Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua

Treetops Lodge and Estate, also located near Rotorua in the volcanic heart of New Zealand's North Island, is a haven of peace and tranquility, set in an 800 year old forest with the soothing sounds of babbling streams and waterfalls providing the soundtrack. Accommodations here range from romantic villas - perfect for couples - to the aptly named Family Retreat, a spacious, self-contained home from home with a huge lounge, kitchen facilities and four luxurious en-suite bedrooms. Days here are meant for relaxing, and the lodge's one million-dollar spa, where guests can experience a range of treatments and therapies that take their inspiration from local Maori culture and traditions, is the perfect place to do just that.

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The Farm at Cape Kidnappers - Hawkes Bay

The Farm at Cape Kidknappers, Hawke's Bay

Wow, is normally the reaction when guests arrive at The Farm at Cape Kidknappers. Set amid 6,000 acres of rolling countryside on a cliff top with dramatic sea views in the heart of Hawke's Bay - one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions - this Relais & Chateaux lodge boasts an indulgent spa, one of New Zealand's finest gourmet restaurants and a golf course that is consistently recognised as one of the best in the world. Combine all this with a series of luxurious guest suites and spectacular 180-degree ocean views and its clear to see why The Farm at Cape Kidnappers remains one of the most sought after luxury lodges anywhere in New Zealand.

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Stonefly Lodge - Nelson

Stonefly Lodge, Nelson

This luxury fly-fishing lodge, the first of our South Island properties, is situated in the beautiful Motueka Valley near some of New Zealand's most renowned trout rivers and streams, making it the perfect escape for anyone wishing to try their hand at the age-old traditions of fly-fishing. But if standing around in rivers isn't your thing, Stonefly Lodge still provides a wonderful base for exploring three of New Zealand's major national parks - Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi. If you plan to visit in peak season however, make sure you book well in advance as the lodge has just four luxury rooms, all of which boast stunning views across the Motueka River and Mt Arthur Range beyond.

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Otahuna Lodge - Christchurch

Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch

Style, elegance, history, character and some of New Zealand's most beautiful gardens all go towards giving Otahuna Lodge a well-deserved place on our list. Dating back to 1895, this Victorian mansion on the outskirts of Christchurch was originally built as the home of Sir Heaton Rhodes - a well-known New Zealand politician and lawyer. Today, the accommodation at Otahuna Lodge, which comprises seven guest suites and two master suites - including the extraordinarily spacious, four-room Rhodes Suite - still retains many of its original features and boasts a unique character and charm that only history can provide, and is often missing from New Zealand's more modern breed of luxury lodge accommodation. Along with its characterful suites, the lodge also boasts some of the country's finest gardens. With expansive lawns, a picturesque lake and a vast daffodil field, the Otahuna Lodge gardens, which date back 118 years, are recognised as a "Garden of National Significance" by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. The lodge also boasts a swimming pool, jacuzzi, tennis courts, a wine cellar and one of the best restaurants in the Canterbury region, which also offers guests the chance to indulge in a number of culinary experiences, including cooking classes and guided foraging excursions. 

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Matakauri Lodge - Queenstown

Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown

Matakauri lodge may be just seven short minutes by car from the centre of Queenstown, but this intimate hideaway on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is a world away from the hustle and bustle of New Zealand's adventure capital. Situated on the edge of a pristine pine forest and with jaw-dropping views across the lake to the jagged peaks of the Remarkables mountain range, Matakauri Lodge certainly makes the most of its incredible surroundings.  The accommodation, made up of 11 rooms and ten deluxe suites, feature private terraces with lake and mountain views, while the spa enjoys a magical setting on the edge of the forest, again with sweeping views towards the lake and beyond. And a first class setting is more than matched by the lodge's first class dining, with talented Head Chef Jonathan Rogers using the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients to create an ever-changing, seasonal menu that incorporates all that's good about modern New Zealand cuisine.   

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Fiordland Lodge - Te Anau

Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau

Last, but by no means least, on our top ten luxury lodges list is Fiordland Lodge on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the gateway to the World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park, home to both Milford and Doubtful Sounds. The lodge accommodates up to 29 guests in ten luxurious rooms and two stylish, self-contained log cabins, all of which have king-size beds, luxury bathrooms, contemporary furnishings and magical views across Lake Te Anau. A stay at Fiordland Lodge is all about celebrating the great outdoors and the lodge runs a number of unique activities - including guided nature walks, fly-fishing excursions, bird-watching trips and tours of Milford and Doubtful Sounds - with the help of the renowned company Fiordland Guides (also based at the lodge), to help guests make the most of their time in this spectacular region.

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