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Thursday 23 January 2020

Is this the most beautiful place to stay in New Zealand?

Otahuna Lodge, New Zealand's most historic luxury lodge, is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2020 - and it remains a benchmark destination with its remarkable architecture, award-winning gardens and sophisticated cuisine.

The primary residence of noted New Zealand politician Sir Heaton Rhodes for over 60 years, the property was purchased in 2006 by Hall Cannon and Miles Refo, who, committed to maintaining its legacy, transformed the property into a seven-suite colonial-style lodge. 

It is, quite simply, a beautiful place to stay. Very grand, but with a relaxed vibe. 

The name Otahuna means 'little hill among the hills' in Maori. Perched on a hill, the lodge lies between the rocky outcrops of the Banks Peninsula with views of the Southern Alps and vast Canterbury Plains. It is just 30 minutes from Christchurch. 

The Relais & Chateaux property's distinctive features such as a hand-carved Kauri staircase, Rimu panelling, original lead lights and 15 working wood-burning fireplaces. 

Otahuna Lodge is a Category 1 icon listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

A decade ago the grounds of the property were recognised as “A Garden of National Significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. 

The 30 acres contain an orchard with peach, pear, plum, quince, walnut and hazelnut trees; a 1⁄2 acre potager, a mushroom garden; a windmill-shaped Dutch Garden and a field that blooms with millions of daffodils each September.

An equally significant feat to the estate's portfolio is the private art collection; including works by well-known artists such as Peter Beadle, Anna Caselberg and Craig Primrose.

The menu at Otahuna Lodge is a celebration of fresh, seasonal flavours inspired by the 120 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown organically in the lodge's garden and orchard. 

Each evening at the lodge sees the chefs orchestrate a five-course degustation menu paired with fine New Zealand wines.

Visit for more information.

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