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