Because the nation lastly reopens to worldwide journey, I’ve had the privilege of revisiting the Aotearoa; the Land of the Lengthy White Cloud. Right here’s a roundup of my high tried-and-tested luxurious stays throughout New Zealand.
The Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Our journey begins in Auckland, the nation’s largest metropolis, the place the crown of all stays is the Sofitel Auckland. The lodge occupies a first-rate place alongside the Viaduct Harbour providing a scenic water location with beneficiant views of town skyline. Smooth glass-lined corridors join the areas, continually reflecting the adjoining harbour or courtyard ponds – with selective slivers of gold including to the lustre.
The wellness areas, together with health club, spa, pool and jacuzzi, proceed the stylish French aptitude with slick traces and fashionable tiled frescos. Come night, Sabrage Bar serves up attractive tipples, and La Maree delivers contemporary flavours with an undercurrent of French stylish. Their sustainably sourced New Zealand high quality cuts are mouth-watering – the Speckle Park Scotch Fillet was the spotlight dish of my whole journey. Should you’ve added entry to Membership Millésime benefit from the complimentary drinks and canapes. After all, chances are you’ll simply select to luxuriate away the day within the consolation of your room (be sure you go for the Luxurious Marina View Rooms), staring out over the harbour view.
In the case of exploring town, begin the day on the historic Pah Homestead and accompanying gardens, and ensure to pattern superstar chef Sam Mannering’s Eggs Benedict on the in-house café. Town and its suburbs are flanked by over 50 volcanoes – Mount Eden is one such, with a brief however rewarding stroll to the highest. Zingi restaurant is a swanky affair within the downtown Britomart Lodge.
Image waking up and swinging open the doorways in your luxe cottage to an azure ocean and virescent vines – and much more attractive that you simply’re on an island. Lower than 30-minutes on the ferry and also you’re at Waiheke – an island of boats, seashores, and Bordeaux blends. The hills are smothered in vineyards with round 20 estates of which Mudbrick is likely one of the most established.
The property affords quite a lot of lodging choices, with ‘Merlot’ being my alternative. The charming and luxe two-bedroom cottage occupies a personal nook of the property, and affords a continuing reminder of the distinctive location – from the bed room, lounge and even the recent tub – the views stretch out over the island and bay, with the skyline of Auckland simply seen within the distance.
After which, once you’re prepared, step by the hedge and a premium wine tasting and restaurant solely a minute’s stroll away. Put together to be transported to wine-heaven with the wine flight – together with Francesca – presumably probably the most delectable Chardonnay I’ve ever tasted.
The George Lodge
Having firmly recovered from the devastating quakes a century in the past, Christchurch has labored onerous at establishing itself as an welcoming location. Modelled on England’s Oxford you’ll doubtlessly discover the similarities between the cities. Probably the most scenic a part of the city is probably Hagley park providing 407 acres of inexperienced area – and sitting on the sting of the park is The George Lodge.
Named after Sir George Seymour, one of many first ships to reach in Canterbury in 1850, The George is Christchurch’s solely five-star boutique lodge. The on-site 50 Bistro affords an unforgettable eating expertise – in all probability town’s best delicacies – the place cautious consideration has gone into sourcing the best native elements. Strive the Lumina Lamb – a boutique New Zealand minimize of word. Your take-home ‘George Bear’ – gifted to all visitors on the primary evening’s turndown – will eternally remind you of your luxurious Christchurch residence base.
‘Punting On The Avon’ affords a relaxed and conventional strategy to discover the river – or use George’s complimentary bikes and peddle your means about. Head to The Lastword for a tasty dram after which ‘The Terrace’ for a string of stylish bars and eateries.
It’s an virtually Jurassic park expertise – sans killer dinosaurs after all – with the towering snow-capped mountains above, and under a lush forest dripping with ferns. That is the just about legendary setting of the West Coast’s Rainforest Retreat. The property is a one-minute stroll from the hamlet of Frans Joseph – named after the enduring Glacier that snakes up the close by valley and is the nation’s fourth-largest glacier.
Rain Forest Retreat affords lodging for all budgets, with the highest of the pops being the Deluxe Spa Treehouses. Two bedrooms flank the central lounge which is hooked up to a fully-stocked kitchen. When reserving your unit, quantity eleven is probably probably the most secluded so put in a request if attainable. As soon as settled in, absorb the panorama from the luxurious of your non-public sizzling tub. Oh, and did I point out the minibar is complimentary?
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Because the glacier is the true hero of the present, e book a helicopter flip up with The Helicopter Line – which features a scenic flight and glacier touchdown. There’s additionally a heli-hike for the extra adrenaline seekers. If the climate is evident, think about a drive to the close by hamlet of Fox Glacier and go to Lake. There are drool-worthy photographs available of the mountains mirrored within the lake.
With a beneficiant unfold of wine areas throughout each islands, why not head to certainly one of its most quaint. Martinborough sits within the Wairarapa, an hour away and separated from Wellington by the Rimutaka Mountain vary. The Martinborough Lodge is the nation’s oldest constantly working lodge, having welcomed visitors since 1882. The rooms have been tastefully renovated, with a number of opening onto the Victorian constructing’s higher wrap-around balcony – the right place to take pleasure in a sundowner whereas watching the solar make its night descent.
The decrease ground serves because the Union Sq. Bistro and Bar – providing stylish meals and beverage choices and breakfasts to jot down residence about. Wine lovers will enjoy the truth that lots of the boutique wineries are inside strolling distance of the lodge – or decide up a bicycle from Inexperienced Jersey and head out to discover. The dominant plantings are Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Moy Hill, Luna, and Palliser all provide informative tasting experiences.
Should you’re up for a romantic break and have the privateness of your personal rental, then Cottage 103 on the North Island’s Kapiti Coast may be what you’re on the lookout for. The home is spacious and stylishly outfitted for travellers with discerning tastes. Set in numerous acres of farmlands, the place the closest neighbours are donkeys, horses, and sheep. It’s pretty widespread for New Zealand residence leases – or bachs as they’re referred to regionally – to function out of doors sizzling tubs, and Cottage 103 lifts the bar with its pure wooden tub which stares out over the valley, with overhead string lights creating additional atmosphere.
Whilst you could wish to keep cocooned in your little nation haven, if you end up prepared to go out and discover, a go to to the Salt and Wooden BQ is a must-do. You’ll discover locals having fun with the institution’s craft beers – and the well-known soiled fries. Afterwards, stroll off the energy alongside the Waikanae seaside – simply bear in mind a heat jacket.