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The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - SOUTH ISLAND -

It’s a dan­ger­ous prospect, stay­ing here. It can cause ex­treme cov­etous­ness and you may need to be shoe-horned from its plush, serene com­forts. It’s one of

New Zealand’s most fancy-pants lodges but not in a show-offy way – there’s an el­e­gant Ja­panese-meets-Scandi feel at play here. The only note of ex­cess is in the lo­ca­tion: the whole place gorges it­self silly on views of Lake Wanaka and the South­ern Alps. No win­dow is safe from all that epic moun­tain eye candy; Zen-ness is un­avoid­able. Whare Kea is a ser­viced lodge for groups of fam­ily mem­bers, friends or work col­leagues (two mas­ter suites and four deluxe rooms can hold up to 12 guests). Tell your boss that an ex­cur­sion here would im­prove the qual­ity of your team build­ing im­mea­sur­ably and yield sub­se­quent ex­ces­sive work­place loy­alty. It’s been gleam­ing on the edge of Lake Wanaka for al­most two decades now and for 12 years has been a mem­ber of the pres­ti­gious Re­lais & Châteaux (a Euro­pean as­so­ci­a­tion that salutes only ex­tra-spe­cial-ness among lodges and hotels). Own­ers Mar­tyn and Louise Myer built it orig­i­nally as their fam­ily hol­i­day lodge so that they could be on the doorstep of all that out­doorsy ex­cel­lence and lap up the moun­tains’ tonic. Prob­lem is, the in­doorsy ex­cel­lence com­petes stren­u­ously for your time: hot tub, mas­sage room, bil­liards and games room, win­ning lake-lean­ing chat nooks and blue-chip kitchen of­fer­ings.

494 Wanaka-Mt As­pir­ing Road, (03) 443 1400, wharekealodge.com

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