Mass accommodation is becoming less popular as more visitors favour the personal touch of hosted luxury lodges, boutique hotels and villas. Boutique Hotels & Lodges New Zealand offers a diverse collection of unique accommodation owned and operated by locals passionate about showcasing the best of Aotearoa.
Guests receive a genuine warm Kiwi welcome. Hosts offer suggestions of walks, fishing, heli-hiking, visits to local art galleries or wineries. They find it takes a long time to drink a cup of tea or glass of wine beside the window and simply gaze at magnificent views.
Hosts love food and wine and enjoy chatting with guests – many leave as friends and stay in touch, returning again to repeat the experience. The feeling of coming home to authentic Kiwi hospitality impresses guests who experience a stay at a boutique hotel or lodge – it’s a balance of unique and comfortable.
Cuisine is a highlight – fresh, seasonal, local and sustainable could be the mantra for all chefs at these luxury lodges and hotels.
Imagine soaking in an outdoor bathtub – with a glass of champagne gazing at those divine views. Or maybe a stoked hot tub set in the heart of a beech forest. Jaw dropping views from your infinity pool or spa pool. Arrange a star gazing experience and be enthralled by the night skies. Watch little blue penguins return to their nests. Experience the wild ruggedness of the majestic West Coast.
Planning time away from friends or family why not choose a luxurious villa. Take the kids along too and lay down some memories exploring, or simply lazing beside a luxurious pool gazing at beautiful bays, a pristine lake with a backdrop of mountains. Source your ‘inner chef’ and craft a family dinner in the sumptuous kitchen, or relax outdoors enjoying a Kiwi barbecue.
As the Māori proverb says “He aha te mea nuiu ote ao? He tāngata he tāngata, he tāngata”. Which means; “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people. ”
Over the next few pages Verve showcases a selection of outstanding accommodation offerings, each with its own unique selling point, each so worth a visit.
“Cooking and hosting have to be my two favourite things to do,” says James Glucksman, owner of Pen-y-bryn lodge, nestled in the heart of Oamaru. “For me, there’s no other place I would rather be. We want our guests to feel both on holiday and at home, taken care of and relaxed.”
Both originally from the United States, James Glucksman, and James Boussy have travelled extensively, and wherever they visited, they carried a piece of each adventure with them. But in 2010, when they arrived in Oamaru and saw the lodge at the top of the hill, they knew this was home. Ever since, they have spent countless hours ensuring guests are well taken care of, restoring the heritage homestead and preparing exquisite evening meals. Today there’s no place else like Pen-y-bryn. Each room provides a space that is inimitable, comfortable, and inspirational, and a wide array of holiday packages provide guests with a customisable experience unlike any other.
At Pen-y-bryn they know your time off is valuable and understand that the small details make a big difference which is why Pen-y-bryn is the place from which to explore this incomparable corner of New Zealand throughout the year.
The Boatshed Hotel has quietly been looking after guests for almost 20 years. It is the sort of place that on arrival instantly feels like you might have just discovered a little secret that no one knows about.
Tucked up on a quiet hillside overlooking Little Oneroa, it’s a short stroll to the island village and close to local vineyards, eateries and relaxing beaches and coves.
A collection of buildings in nostalgic seaside forms from boatsheds and bungalows, to cottages and viewing towers all offer a different feel, like a good bach it shows its slow evolution – it feels thoroughly modern and still effortlessly timeless, where little details are highly considered.
Waiheke has always offered a relaxed pace, and once you get away from the bustling ferries and busy vineyards The Boatshed really feels like a place that it is okay to just do nothing and to take in a slow holiday vibe, wander around the garden, dive into the library of books, quietly enjoy a meal – just sit and be.
There can be no other location that feels so far away, and yet so close to home—relaxed, sophisticated “sand between your toes” luxury – what a sleepy little gem.
Luxury Lakeview Apartment is recognised as one of Tekapo’s best, the stunning 180 degree views of Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains provide a serene backdrop from the exquisite kitchen dining living space and master bedroom – all taking advantage of the world renowned views. The luxurious master bedroom with local stone walls comes with a spacious super king bed, walk-in wardrobe, TV and an ensuite with a large bathtub to immerse yourself in. With fireplaces inside and out picture yourself sitting around the fire after a day of activities. Outdoor entertaining can be enjoyed year-round with a sheltered private courtyard and the outdoor stone fireplace to take the edge off brisk nights.
If you would like to holiday with family or friends the adjoining fully self contained Lakeview Studios may also be booked. The studios share the same outstanding views of Lake Tekapo and allow you to holiday with up to two other couples or family members, with all guests having their own privacy and full luxury facilities. Everything has been thought of for your stay in this outstanding apartment even a drying room for your ski gear.
In the heart of Auckland, there lies a hidden oasis; a romantic, 5-star, eco luxury nature retreat that lives and breathes the art of the boutique hotel experience. Warblers Retreat is the perfect destination to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, wedding proposal, wedding anniversary, honeymoon, or to spend a romantic time away together. Here, you can truly experience that wonderful feeling of being pampered, while being immersed in nature. The retreat has been created with love and warmth, in harmony with nature, by its creators and caretakers, Dave and Barb Milina.
A soak in the outdoor forest bath, gazing at the stars enjoying the ambience of a mesmerising outdoor fire, exploring the forest tracks to find glowworms at night, feeding the eels and native fish, or simply sitting back and watching the wildlife – there are plenty of ways to relax at Warblers Retreat. A range of self-catering accommodation choices include staying in a romantic ‘Couples Cottage’, to glamping in a secluded 1970s retro caravan overlooking the forest. Whichever option you choose, you are bound to feel relaxed. Sustainability is at the core of what Barb and Dave do. A wide range of fruit and vegetables are grown organically, while the onsite hens lay eggs and perform their compost recycling duties with the utmost of ease!
Being an eco celebrant, Barb assists couples in having eco weddings at Warblers Retreat. Here, there is minimal or no waste, you can ‘feel’ the natural ambience that nature provides, and it’s the birds that provide the background harmony to each special day. The marrying couple gets to plant a kauri tree on their own love site, or a similar native tree is planted on their behalf. A great way to lower your carbon wedding footprint.
Considered one of the top nature retreats in New Zealand, Warblers Retreat is known for personalised care and service. Dave and Barb’s focus is to ensure every guest has a memorable experience. They are the recent recipients of the 2021 LUXlife award for client service excellence as an Eco Wedding Venue.
Nestled in a secluded valley with panoramic views of soaring mountains and the mighty Motueka River – Falcon Brae Villa is a one-of-a-kind property.
Book a stay here and you can expect the ultimate luxury experience, flawless service and even a private chef. The villa itself is a sight to behold with its architectural designed and unique elliptical falcon wing roofs. “There’s not a single person who doesn’t walk through the front door and say ‘wow’. It has 360-degree views over the mountains of Kahurangi National Park, and a quiet, calming atmosphere,” says managing director John Kerr.
Inside, there’s a central lounge with a 5m-high ceiling, sunken bar, grand piano, high-tech gym, media theatre, three dining areas and a games room. The lush outdoor area boasts views of the mountains and Motueka River and includes an outdoor pool, heated spa, outdoor dining area and even a helipad terrace.
Thanks to its location 50 minutes from Nelson and between three of New Zealand’s most scenic national parks, there’s no shortage of incredible things to do.
A short walk from the property, you’ll find some of New Zealand’s (and the world’s) best fly fishing in the Motueka River, known for its population of oversized wild brown trout.
Guests also have access to a helicopter for scenic heli-tours over the stunning Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi national parks or get amongst it with walking, hiking and cruising on the lakes.
Falcon Brae is less than an hour’s drive from 28 world-class wineries and has 24 boutique art and craft studios for guests to explore.
The villa is usually only available for exclusive use. For a limited time, individual suites can be booked at a fraction of the usual price and exclusive use is also available at a discounted rate. Large groups of up to 16 can book the villa and the adjacent Stonefly Lodge (owned and operated by John and Kate Kerr).
Get a taste of life by the water with a relaxing, romantic escape to Koura Lodge — a boutique bed and breakfast on the edge of Lake Rotorua. With only eight rooms – all with 180-degree lake views – an outdoor hot tub and kayaks available for guests, this intimate lodge transports you to the heart of a natural wonderland, yet it’s just a five-minute drive from the town centre.
Unwind in the peaceful surrounds or ignite your sense of curiosity and explore this idyllic destination. Rotorua is a place where fascinating Māori culture, geothermal activity, adrenaline-fuelled adventure, and wellness come together to create an experience to remember.
Lodge Rooms are the ideal couple’s retreat, this intimate yet generous lodge-style space is the perfect spot to admire Lake Rotorua without needing to leave your room.
Suite Rooms are beautifully positioned and offer exceptional views of the lake, and feature a separate lounge with a day bed, plush bedding and a private ensuite.
The Apartment is perfectly equipped for families and groups. Savour stunning views from your private balcony in this two-bedroom apartment with space for up to six. Enjoy the expansive lounge with pool table, full kitchen and dining area.
Located in Hokitika, Rimu Lodge Boutique Accommodation is the only 5-star luxury lodge/bed & breakfast in West Coast.
Imagine a place so pristine, beautiful and peaceful that you will be immediately struck by the absolute silence and the sheer majesty of your surroundings. Where you can truly relax and take in the splendour of native bush, snow clad mountains and the Hokitika River.
Rimu Lodge is a purpose built luxury boutique lodge accommodation situated just a 10-minute drive from Hokitika and its award-winning cafés and unique tourism attractions. Rooms are casually elegant, yet intimate, and tastefully decorated. Each guest room takes maximum advantage of the wonderful views of the Hokitika River Valley, and facing northeast to capture the sunrise. The two ground floor rooms open onto a large deck to enable the guests to enjoy the sunny outdoors and listen to the birdsong and in the evenings guests can enjoy star watching from the deck.
As the perfect retreat, you will be surrounded by warmth, beauty and in winter the ambience of a roaring open fire.
This luxurious villa offers dreamy sea views from every room. Wander out to spacious decks, the infinity pool and a bubbling spa overlooking the water.
Elegant and contemporary décor creates a feeling of sophisticated simplicity and spacious luxury. Open-plan living, dining and kitchen feature floor-to-ceiling windows opening to the deck and views.
Cloud 9 accommodates up to six guests in three bedrooms.
The luxurious master bedroomwith its private deck offers a haven – waking to those views. Indulge in the spacious ensuite with its walk-in shower and double basins.
Toiletries by L’Occitane, robes, slippers and delicious fluffy towels.
Surrounded on three sides by cedar decking and terracing you’ll enjoy sea and coastal views from sunrise to sunset. Outdoor sofas, a barbecue, dining table and chairs entice guests to dine outdoors on a starry evening.
Through winter, put your chef’s hat on and craft a gourmet dinner in the superb kitchen. Snuggle up by the fireplace with a background of soft music and simply relax.
Take a break away in Wānaka and indulge in a luxurious stay at Edgewater’s recently refurbished deluxe suites.
Over the past few months these rooms have enjoyed a makeover in a unique and gracious style. General manager, Catherine Bone has personally selected the finest furniture and fittings to give these suites a truly luxurious feel.
Bed throws and lounge cushions are made from authentic Southern Lakes Tartan.The occasional furniture was selected for both comfort and style, delivering a more lodge-style feel to each suite.
All suites feature lake views to admire and well-appointed bathrooms with twin tubs, twin shower and divine, deep bath.
The deluxe rooms are nestled within the hotel which offers guests resort-style amenities including Elements Day Spa and the Wineglass Café.
Guests can enjoy the vibrant autumn colours, so characteristic of Otago, while walking or biking along the lake-edge trail at the front of the hotel.Winter is just around the corner, with the promise of a pristine snow on the slopes for downhill, cross country or heli-skiing which are all within easy reach of Edgewater.
Flaxmere House – luxury family and large group accommodation with event spaces.
Flaxmere House is situated on a tranquil 10 acres in the Te Henga wetlands, of Bethell’s beach, Waitakere, 30-40 mins from the Auckland airport or CBD. The property consists of 8 bedrooms all sizes for group bookings of up to 20 guests. Three living spaces and open plan Butlers Kitchen and has a commercial kitchen for onsite catering if you choose to have catered meals.
Close to the Bethells beach and Lake Wainamu with its beautiful, serene bush walks and 180-degree views of the west coast beaches this is a place you need to put on your bucket list.
The extensive outdoor lounge area can hold events for 20 to 80 people. Flaxmere House has experience with weddings, birthdays, special occasions, anniversaries, retreats and conferences.
Vanessa the manager at Flaxmere House has more than eight years’ experience with events and accommodation. Her background means that she can help with styling and décor, giving her clients their dream day, weekend, or week away.
Vanessa also helps clients with booking extra activities in the area, including: golf, 4WD experiences, vineyard tours, shuttle services, horse riding, mountain biking, massage, facials, beauty, and nails.
Vanessa can also organise contractors to help with your event such as: photographers, celebrants, hair and makeup, florists, videography, musicians, entertainment, and nanny services.
Your time at Flaxmere House promises to be relaxing and stress-free.
500 metres from the heart of Queenstown, this intimate, luxury bed and breakfast offers magnificent uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu, homemade goodness, and unique Kiwi hospitality. A variety of rooms and apartments available. The perfect base for your Queenstown holiday.