Age Article February 2009 - Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand


Published on

Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand situated at the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island.

Read about Otahuna Lodge in the February 2009 of the Age Article

Published in: Travel, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Age Article February 2009 - Otahuna Luxury Lodge New Zealand

  1. 1. Age Saturday 14/02/2009 Page: 8 Section: Travel Region: Melbourne, AU Circulation: 203800 Type: Capital City Daily Size: 847.65 sq.cms. press clip NDUL E Lodged in Kiwi opulence Sue Wallace is charmed by the attention to detail - and the bedtime stories - in a splendid New Zealand lodge. Stand on the veranda of Otahuna Lodge were overseeing a four-month restoration cost- in spring and you are treated to the ing more than sNZio million. sight of a sea of golden daffodils at the Heritage-listed Otahuna is considered one of bottom of the estates sweeping lawns. the nations best examples of Queen Anne archi- The display is thanks to the original owner, Sir tecture. Auckland interior designer Stephen Heaton Rhodes, a philanthropist, politician and Cashmore, known for his sophisticated treat- horticulturalist who was among the first to grow ment of historic properties, has worked his daffodils in New Zealands South Island. magic in the public rooms and seven luxury Every September thousands of the flowers suites with themes relating to Sir Heaton, wife carpet the private parkland. The owners, Hall Jessie and life in the early days. Cannon and Miles Refo, who reopened Otahuna Our veranda suite, with its views of the Can- Lodge in May 2007, share it with the public on terbury Plains, was where the Duke of York, later the first Sunday in September with the revival of King George VI, stayed in 1927. Sir Heatons traditional Daffodil Day. It has open fireplaces in the bathroom and Built in 1895, Otahuna, which in Maori means bedroom, original artworks and handmade fur- "little hill among the hills", sits atop a small rise niture echoing period pieces. Extra touches at the base of the Banks Peninsula with views to include a regularly replenished biscuit jar, a the distant Southern Alps. sheepskin rug placed by your bedside at turn- Today it is one of New Zealands most opulent down and a bedtime story sheet on your pillow and intimate small lodges. As you follow the each night with tales of Otahuna and Sir Heaton. winding drive lined with ioo-year-old oak trees The lodge is home to 28 commissioned and step through the heavy front doors, you artworks by the countrys artists including Peter know you are in for something special. Beadle, Anna Caselberg and Craig Primrose, as No one knows its charm better than Cannon, well as historic Otahuna photographs repro- a former property developer, and Refo, who has duced from the Canterbury Museum. a marketing background. Deciding to escape New Zealand kauri and rimu wood panelling their frenetic Manhattan lifestyle, they travelled feature in the interior design, a highlight being throughout British Columbia and New Zealand, the hand-carved kauri staircase. A regal painting searching for a place to create a retreat. of Rewi Maniapoto, a Maori warrior and former On their first visit to Otahuna they said no chief of Ngati Maniapoto, stares down at guests because of the expense and work required but as they enter the green-toned lobby with intricate something kept drawing them back. Soon they lead-glass windows and plaid chairs and sofas.Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy Page 1 of 31300 1 SLICE - E W Ref: 47301100
  2. 2. Age Saturday 14/02/2009 Page: 8 Section: Travel Region: Melbourne, AU Circulation: 203800 Type: Capital City Daily Size: 847.65 sq.cms. press clip The 12-hectare historic garden is being Dinner, a five-course degustation matched restored by head gardener Steve Marcham. with New Zealand wines, is served in the formal Sir Heaton, who was president of the dining room with its original gilded wallpaper, Canterbury Horticultural Society for more than floor-toceiling sideboard and crystal. 50 years, planted many exotic and native trees Its a communal table and we share stories and shrubs that have flourished over the years. with guests from Montreal and Vienna; Take a guided walk in the Dutch garden, named for its windmill shape, and discover six romantics can dine as a couple in the library, buxus-lined gravel lanes that radiate from a cen- veranda or wine cellar. tral circle under a canopy of exotic trees includ- Tonights menu has cauliflower soup with ing camellias, a loquat and weeping cherry. The salsa verde, salmon ceviche, beef fillet with kale, a heady perfume of lavender, bay leaves, orange broccoflower, potato gnocchi and beetroot, fol- blossom and boxwood hangs in the air. lowed by aged cheddar with nectarine chutney There are also woodlands with original rhodo- and chocolate gateaux with raspberries, cherries, vanilla mascarpone and rhubarb sorbet, all dendrons, where you might hear the call of bell- served with a flight of wines including Pegasus birds, fantails and rare New Zealand wood Bay and Tresillian Estate. pigeons. Otahuna has an impressive orchard and The next day we toss up whether to play ten- stone-walled organic vegetable garden with 95 nis, swim in the heated pool or grab the moun- vegetables, 25 types of fruit and 20 herbs - to the tain bikes - we choose the latter and we cycle delight of the lodges executive chef, Jimmy along quiet country roads. McIntyre. If you want to see the region by air, a helicop- I cross paths with McIntyre, his arms laden ter will collect you from the front lawn and take with leeks, artichokes, tomatoes and raspberries you to wineries, whale watching, trout fishing or that he will use in tonights dinner. "Fresh vege- to the Southern Alps. tables are the starting point for my menus and I Be warned, you may just want to stay, I also have a fabulous variety at my doorstep," he says. find it doesnt take long to fall under Otahunas Pre-dinner drinks and canapes are served each spell. night in the drawing room, alongside the lodges grand piano, which was owned by the Duke and Sue Wallace stayed courtesy of Otahuna Lodge. Duchess of York and left behind after their 1927 New Zealand visitCopyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy Page 2 of 31300 1 SLICE - E W Ref: 47301100
  3. 3. Age Saturday 14/02/2009 Page: 8 Section: Travel Region: Melbourne, AU Circulation: 203800 Type: Capital City Daily Size: 847.65 sq.cms. press clip Blooming marvel ... (from left) springtime daffodils in the grounds of Otahuna Lodge; works by New Zealand artists hang in the entry hall; the Clark suite. FAST FACTS Getting there Air New Zealand and Relais & Chateaux property, has Virgin Blue have regular non-stop doubles from $NZ700 ($550) to flights to Christchurch. Air NZ flies for $NZ1000 a person a night in peak $126 from Melbourne and Sydney while season, excluding tax. Low-season Virgin Blue charges $85 from rates from $NZ500 to $NZ800 a Melbourne and Sydney. Qantas flies person a night. The tariff includes non-stop from Sydney ($152) but breakfast, laundry service, pre-dinner Melbourne passengers have to change drinks, canapes and a five-course aircraft in Sydney and pay $247 for the degustation dinner with wine pairings. privilege. Jetstar charges $133 from Great Mushroom Hunt and Daffodil Day Melbourne and $119 from Sydney. Fares packages are available. 224 Rhodes are one way and do not include tax. Road, Tai Tapu, Christchurch, New Otahuna Lodge is 20 minutes by car Zealand. Phone +64 3329 6333 or see from Christchurch. Staying there Otahuna Lodge, aCopyright Agency Limited (CAL) licenced copy Page 3 of 31300 1 SLICE - E W Ref: 47301100