New Zealand’s Huka Lodge and The Lodge at Craggy Range of­fer sim­i­lar but dif­fer­ent lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ences.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Words HARRY ROBERTS

New Zealand rules in the lux­u­ry­lodge stakes, as these two stel­lar prop­er­ties at­test, with a win­ning com­bi­na­tion of re­mark­able nat­u­ral set­tings with lash­ings of style and re­fine­ment. While en­dur­ing leg­end Huka Lodge courts a global co­terie with its sump­tu­ous ap­point­ments and un­par­al­leled ser­vice, The Lodge at Craggy Range is a stylish new­comer poised to cul­ti­vate a fer­tile fol­low­ing.


SIT­U­ATED AT THE FOOT OF TE MATA PEAK, a soar­ing out­crop steeped in Maori leg­end, The Lodge at Craggy Range is a su­perb ad­di­tion to the bu­colic Giants Win­ery in Hawke’s Bay’s Have­lock North. Home to the Craggy Range cel­lar door and award-win­ning restau­rant Ter­rôir, the Pe­abody fam­ily-owned prop­erty welcomes a so­phis­ti­cated coun­try re­treat that rel­ishes its glo­ri­ous as­pect.

To har­monise with this pic­turesque set­ting and re‚ect Craggy Range’s in­ven­tive spirit, the state-of-the-art Giants Win­ery was con­ceived in the late 90s, draw­ing heav­ily on the area’s agri­cul­tural her­itage and lo­cally sourced ma­te­ri­als. Now, in what was once the the head viti­cul­tur­ist’s res­i­dence, a clas­sic low-slung build­ing ringed by vine­yards and en­joy­ing sweep­ing views of the Tuki Tuki Val­ley, has been deftly re­cast as a pre­mium win­ery stay.

Ar­chi­tect Si­mon Clark­son was called on to re­con‰gure in­te­ri­ors within the ex­ist­ing shell, open­ing up the cathe­dral ceil­ings to e‹ect a gen­er­ous sense of space. Piv­ot­ing around a cen­tral court­yard, the ex­pan­sive abode in­cludes for­mal lounge and din­ing rooms, as well as a more ca­sual open-plan liv­ing space and a kitchen stocked with pi­quant o‹er­ings. Four lav­ish bed­rooms all boast stone-clad en­suites re­sem­bling dis­crete sanc­tu­ar­ies un­der one roof. Rooms open onto the lush, man­i­cured gar­dens and swim­ming pool which pose a strik­ing jux­ta­po­si­tion against the rugged back­drop of Te Mata Peak.

Work­ing with in­te­rior de­signer An­drew Melville, Mary Pe­abody and daugh­ter Mary-Jeanne Hutchi­son de­vised a sub­tle but beau­ti­fully tex­tured scheme of tum­bled lime­stone, pewter, rus­tic tim­ber and soft linen to echo the land­scape’s nat­u­ral pal­ette. To in­stil the space with warmth and idio­syn­crasy, they de­ployed a thought­ful col­lec­tion of lo­cally sourced ob­jects and fur­ni­ture. “Hawke’s Bay o‹ers world-class art­works, an­tiques and fur­nish­ings and the lodge is an ideal lo­ca­tion to showcase the re­gion’s trea­sures,” says Mary-Jeanne.

Craggy Range wines are in­deed among these re­gional trea­sures, and a trip to The Lodge is an op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple some terri‰c limited edi­tions. Tak­ing in the re­gion by he­li­copter, in­clud­ing nearby Gim­blett Grav­els vine­yard where Craggy Range pro­duces most of its wines, is a chance for guests to im­bibe the breath­tak­ing scenery be­fore touch­ing down to en­joy the fruits of its soil with an earth-totable menu pre­pared by Ter­rôir. For more, visit crag­gy­range.com

Clock­wise from top le Aerial view of Craggy Range’s Giants Win­ery with Te Mata Peak tow­er­ing above. The Lodge at Craggy Range. Open-plan kitchen for ca­sual im­bib­ing. One of the op­u­lent king-sized bed­rooms. An open  re­place is a fo­cal point in the liv­ing space, which opens to the garden.

Clock­wise from top le The Owner’s Cot­tage, Huka Lodge’s most lav­ish ac­com­mo­da­tion, is perched above the Waikato River. Breath­tak­ing Huka Falls. The mas­ter suite at the Owner’s Cot­tage. The teal walls of the Alan Pye cot­tage lend a fresh vibe to the clas­sic fur­nish­ings and re­flect the river’s be­guil­ing hue.


HUKA LODGE RE­SIDES IN THE PAN­THEON of haute re­treats, count­ing Queen El­iz­a­beth II among its habitués. Founded in the 1920s by Ir­ish­man Alan Pye as a y shing out­post on the Waikato River, the lodge has be­come syn­ony­mous with the kind of un­der­stated lux­ury that es­chews os­ten­ta­tion in favour of dis­creet ser­vice, sump­tu­ous ap­point­ments and a chance to com­mune with na­ture. And while y shing re­mains one of the re­gion’s stel­lar at­trac­tions, it’s the sybaritic appeal of Huka Lodge that lures the in­ter­na­tional style set to­day.

Com­pris­ing 18 exclusive river­side suites and two grand res­i­dences, the lodge is set within seven hectares of spec­tac­u­lar gar­dens, which bal­ance the clipped per­fec­tion of a parterre es­tate with the lush sprawl of Taupo’s nat­u­ral sur­round­ings. Con­ceived by land­scape de­signer Suzanne Tur­ley, the grounds meld al­most seam­lessly with the iri­des­cent jade of the Waikato’s waters, lend­ing ev­ery room a ver­dant out­look. They also aŒord some splen­did spots to en­joy Bri­tish-born ex­ec­u­tive chef Paul Frog­gatt’s fare al­fresco – from hedged rooms and ter­races to a pavil­ion jut­ting out over the river.

Pri­vate din­ing can also be experienced inside the orig­i­nal lodge, where crack­ling res, leather club chairs and hand­some tar­tan wall­pa­per ex­ude the hearty am­bi­ence of an English coun­try manor. Mean­while, a seven-course de­gus­ta­tion din­ner within the lodge’s teem­ing subter­ranean wine cel­lar is a se­ri­ously deca­dent aŒair.

Paul’s daily menu is in­formed by a pas­sion for Taupo’s lo­cal pro­duce com­bined with his clas­sic train­ing at Miche­lin-starred in­sti­tu­tions abroad, and has helped a“rm Huka as an epi­curean des­ti­na­tion.

The clas­sic styling of the orig­i­nal lodge is car­ried through to the 18 Ju­nior Lodge Suites, though here the mood feels lighter, with a sooth­ing neutral pal­ette. Each fea­tures an in­dul­gent en­suite, re­plete with deep bath, and French doors open­ing to a pri­vate ter­race. At the other end of the prop­erty, the Owner’s Cot­tage is the larger of Huka’s two stun­ning self-con­tained res­i­dences, fur­nished with an ar­ray of el­e­gant an­tiques and art by New Zealand’s fore­most artists col­lected by Alex van Heeren, who pur­chased Huka Lodge in 1984. With views ex­tend­ing to Huka Falls, this grand abode boasts four large suites and an innity pool perched over the river, as well as a but­ler and per­sonal chef. More re­cently, Huka has added the Alan Pye Cot­tage to its sta­ble, where de­signer Vir­ginia Fisher chan­nelled the river’s turquoise hues for a space with more mod­ern – but no less rened – panache.

For a grow­ing breed of dis­cern­ing trav­ellers who en­joy restora­tive walks by day and con­vivial im­bib­ing by night, Huka is the ul­ti­mate es­cape. Gen­teel pur­suits on the prop­erty in­clude ten­nis, cro­quet and petanque, while the sub­lime for­ma­tions of Lake Taupo and Huka Falls are eas­ily within reach. Here, guests can have their nat­u­ral splen­dour and lux­u­ri­ate in style, too. For more, visit hukalodge.co.nz

Clock­wise from top le A view of the Tuki Tuki Val­ley ac­cessed via one of The Lodge at Craggy Range’s four gen­er­ous bed­rooms. The man­i­cured gar­dens and swim­ming pool are in strik­ing con­trast to the rugged land­scape of nearby Te Mata Peak. Belle...

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