New Zealand’s super lodge, Helena Bay that’s nestled in the North Island’s north-east corner, took six years to complete but was well worth the wait. Surrounded by manicured lawns, five elegant villa suites overlook the blue waters where dolphins often gather to ride the gentle waves in the protected bay.
The suites feature mosaic-tiled bathrooms, spacious lounge rooms and waterfront balconies perfect for sunrise and sunset dreaming. The grand three-winged lodge is home to an eclectic art collection, sprawling dining and lounge areas, library, spa, gym and sauna, with a 25-metre outdoor heated infinity pool taking centre stage.
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Dining is an adventure with head chef, Michele Martino, who serves fabulous dishes in the dining room, library, or on the terrace, after sunset drinks around the outdoor fire pit.
The impressive cellar has more than 1000 bottles of rare and interesting wines including some of New Zealand’s best drops. Located on 323 hectares, guests can do a cultural tour and a farm tour to see the donkeys, alpacas and wagyu cattle and visit the vegetable gardens.
Water sports, hiking and mountain biking are offered and if you do land a fish – it will be on your plate at dinner.
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This article was first published in June, 2017 and updated in December, 2020.