Fancy a night under the stars without the hassle of getting dressed? House of Coco have found the perfect location in the form of New Zealand’s South Island which is now home to new sustainable Pure Pods in Little River, Canterbury. Made completely of glass from the roof to the floor, guests can sleep with the dazzling stars of the Southern Cross and awake to pure New Zealand native bush. With sliding glass sides for hot weather and bio-fuel fires for winter months, the Pure Pod offers unique year-round nature experiences, reached only by a walk through the bush land into a completely private haven on the Banks peninsula, with 360-degree views of the valley and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The Pure Pod facilities include a kitchen with facilities for self-catering, king size bed, separate bathroom and toilet, shower, slippers and tea and coffee.
How? One night costs from NZD$390/ £196 based on two sharing and part of the payment is dedicated to conservation work on the property and the area. For more information visit www.purepods.com/
ARRIVE IN STYLE BY STEAMSHIP OR HELICOPTER TO NEW LODGE AT WALTER PEAK STATION, QUEENSTOWN
The magic of The Lodge at Walter Peak Station starts with the journey, accessible by helicopter, water taxi or by the iconic Edwardian TSS Earnslaw steam ship that cruises Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island. Set in its own 24,000 hectares of high country that make up the historic Walter Peak Station, founded in 1860 and still a working farm today, the lodge sleeps up to 10 guests with a tailor-made approach that allows guests to create their own unique experience. Everything from high-country hiking, fishing, mountain biking and, in the winter, heli-skiing is on offer and facilities include a Jacuzzi for relaxation. The Lodge comes with its own kitchen for self-catering or guests can request to bring in a chef to serve up the finest local produce and Otago wines.
How? The Lodge is available for a minimum of three nights, at a rate of £872/NZD$1738 per night. For more information visit www.thelodge.net.nz
LUXURY VILLA HIDEAWAY BY LAKE PUKAKI, MOUNT COOK
The Mount Cook Lakeside Retreat recently opened in November 2014 the Ashley Mackenzie Retreat and private spa on the cliffs overlooking Lake Pukaki in the beautiful South Island. The luxury 165sqm villa has two bedrooms with French doors onto the lawn and panoramic views, as well as its own large lounge, dining and kitchen space complete with log fire. A private Fantail Spa with Sauna, hot tub, workout room and massage room offers treatments using indigenous Manuka and Kanuka oils, with views across the lakes and mountains. Set in a forest wilderness overlooking the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki (used as the location for Lake Town in the Hobbit Trilogy – the final of which premieres this December), it’s the perfect location to experience the beautiful night skies of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Guests receive a breakfast hamper of local produce, Champagne on arrival and wine and canapés every evening. Catered dining options are also available.
How? One night at the two-bedroom Ashley Mackenzie Retreat costs from NZD$1,095/£549 based on four sharing, with breakfast included.
For more information visit www.mtcookretreat.co.nz/the-retreat.html
AN ARCHITECT’S DREAM – THE NEW ZEALAND HOME OF THE YEAR NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE HIRE
In the beautiful South Island lakeside town of Wanaka, The Te Kahu Lodge is now open and available for exclusive hire. Set within 50 acres of tussock and natural bush on the edge of Lake Wanaka, the timber clad four-bedroom lodge is a contemporary gem designed by leading New Zealand architects – winning the New Zealand home of the year for architecture. The property comes complete with a collection of fine New Zealand art, its own helipad and clay bird shooting range as well as state-of-the-art dining room and kitchen, a media room and separate lounge and floor to ceiling sliding doors leading out onto spectacular outside areas. Everything from skydiving to trout fishing and kayaking can be arranged.
How? Te Kahu Lodge is available for a minimum of three nights at NZD$5,000/£2508 per night, based on up to eight sharing in four en-suite bedrooms. For more information visit www.tekahu.co.nz
NEW ZEALAND GOLF GETS ANOTHER LUXURY STRING TO ITS BOW – NEW KINLOCH CLUB VILLAS OPENING MID 2015
Set in over 600 acres on the shores of Lake Taupo, The Kinloch Club is expanding with The Kinloch Club Villas complementing a spectacular, on-site 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Created by the much-awarded Treetops Lodge and Estate, The Kinloch Club Villas feature a selection of 26 one-bedroom apartments and luxurious two or three-bedroom villas in an exclusive, landscaped setting on the shores of Lake Taupo, the iconic heart-shaped lake at the scenic hub of New Zealand’s North Island. Inspired to harmonise with the lakeside links course, the villas were designed by Andrew Patterson, perhaps New Zealand’s best internationally known and published architect. Interiors are by acclaimed New Zealand lodge designer Virginia Fisher and feature her signature expansive spaces, huge log fireplaces, vista windows, designer details, furnished terraces and sensational marble bathrooms. Villas include beautiful kitchens and in the Club Lodge there are also world-class restaurant and entertainment facilities. Complementing the golf course is a spa with infinity pool, a gym and tennis courts. The Kinloch Club Villas are the perfect base to discover the incredible scenic diversity of New Zealand, from water sports on the lake to winter skiing in Tongariro Park or walking the world-famed Tongariro Crossing. There’s seasonal fly-fishing in some of the world’s best trout streams – even adventurous wild game hunting. Gentle sightseeing includes the geysers and bubbling mud of Rotorua, heritage heartland of Maoridom.
How? The Kinloch Club offers a Junior Suite at $478/£240 per person, per night with a maximum occupancy of two people. Inclusive of bed and breakfast, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, and use of the swimming pool and tennis court. For more information visit www.kinloch-golf.com
THE PERFECT PRIVATE HOUSE PARTY RETREAT? SPECTACULAR BEACHFRONT SCRUBBY BAY LAUNCHED JANUARY 2015
Amid a rugged landscape of hills and bays on the Banks Peninsula, only an hour’s drive from the city of Christchurch, Annandale is rural New Zealand at its best. The 4,000-acre sheep and cattle farm in Pigeon Bay lies in one of the world’s most spectacular coastal locations offering exclusive use of four distinctive luxury villas, the final of which opened this month in time for the New Zealand summer season. Private retreats don’t get much better than Scrubby Bay, a large cedar-clad beach house for gatherings of up to 14 people reached by a helicopter flight or 40 minute 4WD transfer across the cliff-top farm tracks. Once ensconced in your own piece of paradise there’s an outdoor spa, open fire and award-winning private chefs serving up home-grown produce and farm to table cooking lessons on tap. For adventurers, everything from 4WD farm tours, mountain biking and hiking, to guided kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing and fishing charters are available. The turquoise waters of the peninsula are also home to the famed Hectors dolphins, the smallest dolphin in the world.
How? Scrubby Bay rates start from NZ$3200/£1605 + 15% tax (NZ$3680/£1846 total) per night for exclusive use villa rental. Alternatively the ‘We cater, you cook’ package costs from NZ$770/£386 + 15% tax (NZ$885.50/£444 including tax) per person with a minimum of six guests sharing for two nights. Price includes exclusive use villa rental; three course chef prepared dinner ‘we cater you cook’, one complimentary evening with a private chef, gourmet breakfast, lunch and snack provisions. Minimum stay is two nights. For more information visit www.annandale.com/villas/scrubby-bay/
ROOM WITH A VIEW AT CRAB COVE – EXCLUSIVE NEW HIDEAWAY FOR TWO IN TROPICAL BAY OF ISLANDS
New Zealand’s tropical Bay of Islands region is home to some of the country’s most spectacular ocean view accommodation and the new Crab Cove does not disappoint. Designed just for two, the stand-alone luxury apartment with private garden, spacious outdoor chill out areas overlooking the sea and even its own Sauna is the perfect luxury hideaway with an easy walk down to its own private beach for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or simply watching for dolphins and orcas. Everything from a private chef and masseuse to game fishing, surfing or diving trips can be arranged upon request and the region is home to a wealth of activities both on sea – exploring the wildlife and hidden islands and beaches of Northland – and on land, with acclaimed golf courses such as Kauri Cliffs and the historic Waitangi Treaty grounds in easy reach.
How? One-night at Crab Cove costs from NZD$275/£138 per night, based on a minimum of two nights for a maximum of two guests. A discounted rate will be offered for stays over five nights. For more information visit www.crabcove.co.nz/
CHRISTCHURCH CITY CENTRE GOES BOUTIQUE WITH NEW HOTEL MONTREAL
Christchurch is now home to a new luxury boutique hotel, opened this autumn in the heart of the city centre on the edge of the tranquil Hagley Park. With just 25 rooms each with their own private balcony, the hotel’s unique design incorporates decadent furnishings with the latest in-room technology (think in-room ipads, iPod docks and plasmas), as well as its own gardens with open-air theatre and croquet lawn for summer evenings. The piece de resistance is the three-bed Penthouse with a full kitchen and balconies with BBQ, whilst food lovers can enjoy the new Polo Bar serving Argentine-sharing plates, with locally sourced meats, cocktails and award-winning wines.
How? One-night in a deluxe suite at Hotel Montreal costs from NZD$425/£213 per night based on two-three sharing. Rates for the three-bed penthouse start from NZD$1,600/£803 per night, based on six people sharing. For more information visit www.hotelmontreal.co.nz/
Just an hour from Auckland, the Kourawhero Estate has launched with 18 new luxury Suites set in 100-acres of grounds with views across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf and Matakana coast. Each comes complete with its own spa bath for two with a view across the grounds, outdoor seating area and large lounge, kitchen and bedroom, whilst all guests also have access to the main lodge for fine dining – think local shell fish, Bluff Oysters and New Zealand lamb served with award-winning wines. Spa lovers can relax in the stand-alone spa complete with outdoor pool with beautiful coastal views, Sauna and spa pool, whilst those looking to explore can enjoy horse riding, trekking and sightseeing trips around the local Matakana farmers markets, vineyards, artists studios, beaches and national parks.
How? One-night at Kourawhero Estate starts from NZD$460/£231 per night, including breakfast, with a minimum stay of two nights. The luxury experience option costs from NZD$899/£451 per night, with a minimum stay of two nights. Everything from rooms only, bed and breakfast and luxury dinner break options with a five-course gourmet meal and complimentary drinks are available. For more information visit www.kourawhero.co.nz