There are few countries I visit a handful of times and still feel like I have barely scratched the surface but New Zealand is one of them. No matter how many times I visit New Zealand, I always find a new angle: more mountains to climb, vineyards to visit, or cafes culture to explore in the likes of Auckland and Wellington. After my last visit to New Zealand I finally visited all three of the Robertson Lodges, commonly regarded as the best luxury lodges in New Zealand. For a full tour of the country in style, consider visiting the trifecta of properties in Queenstown, Napier and the Bay of Islands.
Let us begin with Matakauri Lodge, my personal favourite from the collection and ideally located just a short drive outside of Queenstown. This was the first Robertson Lodge I visited and I have since been back for a second visit. It was love at first site and after my second visit, I feel a really strong connection with this part of the South Island. The scenery feels as if you might have imagined it – dramatic snowcapped mountains, an idyllic lake and pink skies of the morning and night. If ever I have felt like I’ve stepped out of a movie scene, it is here.
The lodge has a few different suite options and all are offered full board. Rates include breakfast and an impressive degustation menu for dinner, with wines. The beauty of Matakauri really lies in its location – so be sure to make your way into Queenstown for lunch at one of the many fine dining restaurants, or travel in the opposite direction towards Paradise where scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed.
If money is no object, the Owner’s Cottage is every girl’s dream (pictured above). I learned during my stay that the future King of England has stayed here (Prince William) as well as many celebrity guests not to be named.
Read more: My stay at Matakauri Lodge New Zealand
The lodge occupying second place in my heart is the country themed Cape Kidnappers. Having lived on a farm myself, I have a real soft spot for farm experiences and the magic of waking up on the land. Cape Kidnappers offers just that – it is situated on a large parcel of land overlooking the beautiful coastline.
This lodge has a very different feel because it pays tribute to its farming surrounds. The vibe is laid back but with country style and if you ask me, there’s no better time to visit than in the colder months to make use of the cozy interiors with a glass of merlot in hand. I stayed two nights here and it wasn’t quite enough – give yourself three to really unwind.
Read more: My stay at Cape Kidnappers New Zealand
Last but not least, Kauri Cliffs was in fact the first lodge created by the Robertson family and caters more toward a golfing clientele. The lodge sits on an impressive 18-hole golf course that attracts countless visitors each year, especially those interested in the sport.
If you consider yourself more of a summer vacationer, this lodge is the best choice for the warmer months as it is situated on the idyllic Bay of Islands, one of New Zealand’s most underrated locations. With a location at the very North of the North Island, you can enjoy limited crowds and private beaches entirely to yourself, even during peak season.
Read more: My stay at Kauri Cliffs New Zealand