Built in 1895 as a homestead for New Zealand parliamentarian and horticulturist Sir Heaton Rhodes, Otahuna Lodge is a striking property near Tai Tapu on the thinly-populated South Island. Modeled both in scale and design after traditional English country estates, the lodge is hailed as a pristine example of classic Australasian architecture. Otahuna is both cozy and luxurious, emulating Rhodes' penchant for effortless splendor and country charm.

Property Details

Perched among the rocky slopes of the Banks Peninsula, the lodge’s elevation offers stunning views of the Canterbury plains and Southern Alps. Appropriately, “Otahuna” translates as “little hill among the hills”. Sunny daffodils welcomes guests to the property – merely a preview of sprawling gardens, wooded paths and lawns found on the meticulously maintained grounds. A hard-surface tennis court, swimming pool, gym and massage therapy room are among property amenities, with games of croquet possible on the manicured lawns next to the large lake.

The lodge’s dinner menu is kept fresh in two senses: ever-changing selections and an emphasis on local, seasonal produce harvested on the grounds. Dine each evening on five exquisite courses in the lavish community dining room. Intimate meals in the historic library or drawing room can also be arranged. Vino aficionados can indulge in a day trip to the nearby Waipara vineyards to sample the finest Pinot Noirs of the region. Experience further gastronomical adventures by way of cooking classes in the lodge’s kitchen with Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre and seasonal mushroom foraging on the grounds.

Otahuna’s five suites and two master suites are each a detailed nook boasting a distinct shape and personality. Once the formal tea room, the Botanical Suite offers instant access to the gardens through a private entrance. Warm, wood-paneled walls of the Garret Suite evoke the feel of a hunting cabin. The wooded areas of Otahuna are on display through the windows of the Butler Suite. Wide stained-glass windows and a cool color palate in the Clark Suite invite relaxation. The Polo Suite is named for Rhodes’ favorite pastime on the lawn, which then was mowed by horses clad in leather shoes. Experience breathtaking views from the grand outdoor balcony off the Verandah Suite. The Rhodes Suite, formerly the master retreat, features a series of spacious sitting rooms, private terrace and en-suite bathroom with a soothing double shower and spa tub.

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