With a 29th wedding anniversary to celebrate, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand was an extraordinary choice for Executive Edge Co-founder and Head of Leisure, Yvonne Verstandig and her husband Alan. Outstanding accommodation, an abundance of winter activities, pampering spa treatments, locally sourced gastronomy and a stunning view by the seaside provided the perfect escape. Here’s why.
FABULOUS KAURI CLIFFS
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is the first of three Robertson Lodges of New Zealand. (The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Matakauri Lodge claim the other two spots.) Originally a working sheep farm, Julian and Josie Robertson bought the property in 1995 and by 2001 the couple opened The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs can be discovered in the Bay of Islands in the northern part of New Zealand’s North Island. Set on 6000 acres in Matauri Bay, the lodge commands 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean.
The activities here are seemingly endless from the 18-hole golf course to hikes, tennis, gym, indoor and outdoor pools, picnics on a pink beach, waterfall nature walks, farm tours, honey tours, guided bird watching, fishing, surfing, horseback riding and heritage tours with local guides.
Our guide, Michael, was so knowledgeable and we even learnt about the medicinal qualities of some of the native flora along with the benefits of their local Kanuka honey.
My favourite was biking through that magnificent golf course on the venue’s fat wheel bikes. Seriously challenging with all those hills, but so rewarding. The Lodge also offers external options including helicopter tours, cultural town tours (to Waitange), kayaking, sailing, big game fishing and visiting local towns of the North.
DIVINE DINING OPTIONS
Let’s face it. The property is a Relais & Chateaux, so cuisine is very important. Chef Barry tries to source as much of the produce through local farmers, cheese makers and fisherman which takes the food quality to another level. You can choose from many private dining venues speckled throughout the lodge and several dining rooms.
The nightly rate includes a la carte breakfast, pre-dinner drinks and canapes along with a multi-course dinner so guests can indulge to the fullest. I found it quite easy to come away a few kilos heavier!
This charming boutique hotel consists of a mere 22 suites (and one owner’s cottage) contained within 12 cottages dotted along the golf course. The setting is pure tranquility overlooking the stunning sea, golf course and farmland vistas.
The décor and design is a mix of Hamptons and the grand plantations of South Carolina. The open-plan suites are elegantly designed with light colours, cosy fireplaces and large terraces overlooking panoramic views.
Each suite has a mini-bar like no other mini-bar I’ve experienced in all my travels (and that says a lot!).
WATCH THIS SPACE…
Adding to its repertoire of refined luxurious accommodation, Robertson Lodges has announced the creation of The Residences at Kauri Cliffs.
The three new private residences filled with high-end amenities and ultimate comfort are ideal for larger guest groups.
Opening in November 2019, each offers a stay comprising the very best in accommodations. Similar to the Owner’s Cottages, The Residences at Kauri Cliffs were developed for owner Julian Robertson’s children and their families. It’s an exciting addition to what already is a fabulous offering in New Zealand’s Kauri Cliffs region.
Read Yvonne’s hotel review at online travel and lifestyle magazine The Departure Lounge