- Otahuna is an elegant, opulent lodge set at the heart of a rolling country estate. With commanding views of its landscaped gardens and far beyond to the surrounding plains, the views take you to the foot of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
- Otahuna is the largest private historic residence in New Zealand and dating back to 1895, is regarded as the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Australasia.
- Nowhere else will you get such a strong sense of history – Sir Heaton and Jessie Rhodes’ memory is very much alive in the house that they built and the refined traditions that continue here.
- The menu celebrates fresh New Zealand produce with an emphasis on estate-grown offerings.
- Otahuna Lodge is the ideal place from which to explore Canterbury and the Banks Peninsula.
- Each of the Suites is individually designed with a distinct feel and personality.
- The gardens of Otahuna are a delight, particularly in spring when the millions of daffodils carpet the meadow.
EXCLUSIVE LUXE VOYAGER VIP BENEFITS & BEST PRICE
We negotiate rates & benefits for our clients directly with the hotels’ senior management. Our rates match or in many cases are lower than the best online rate for the property. Our clients also enjoy a suite of extra VIP privileges and recognition while staying at a partner hotel.
- Complimentary room upgrade on arrival.
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two.
- Up to $100 dining or spa credit per stay, and or in-house dining / spa discounts.
- Welcome amenities (wine/chocolates/fruit) and card from the GM.
- Complimentary private airport transfers.
- Complimentary roll-away bed if required.
- Early check-in and late check-out.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points in the guest experience.
A complete or partial suite of VIP benefits will be offered, subject to the property T&C, including availability, category of room & length of stay.
No stay at Otahuna Lodge is complete without a tour of the estate’s own century-old garden. The tour provides insight into the history of Otahuna, explaining why and how Victorians grew certain kinds of plants, as well as the many ways in which the current garden team restores and maintains Heaton Rhodes’ greatest legacy.
Originally settled by French immigrants, Akaroa is a picturesque seaside town that has retained many of its 19th century public buildings and cottages. The one-hour drive from Otahuna’s gates takes guests over the crater rim of an extinct volcano, with stunning views of the harbour and the patchwork of farms and forests below. For the active guest, Akaroa offers the opportunity to swim with the world’s rarest and smallest dolphins, the Hector’s Dolphins. Other excursions might include forest and hillside walks, a two hour cruise on a classic 1940’s sailing yacht or an excursion to sea caves via kayak. Within the village guests can enjoy charming shops and restaurants as well as the “Giant’s Garden” – a horticultural and artistic statement bedecked in mosaic tiles and sculpture.
One hour north of Otahuna Lodge lies the Waipara wine district, New Zealand’s hottest wine region and home to some excellent boutique vineyards. Waipara translates from the Maori language as “muddy water” due to the braided rivers that carry glacial silt from the mountains to the sea. Waipara vineyards are perhaps best known for excellent Pinot Noirs—often sought after for their rich notes of licorice caused by the high amount of limestone in the soil. Zingy Rieslings are also popular in Waipara, with many winning national awards. Cellar doors are open for tasting at Muddy Water, Waipara Springs, Fiddler’s Green, Torlesse and a range of others including Pegasus Bay which also boasts one of New Zealand’s finest winery restaurants. Visits to other boutique vineyards such as Pyramid Valley and Mountford are available by advance arrangement.
Canterbury’s rivers provide excellent chances for both the novice and expert fly-fisherman to test their skills. Guests benefit from the knowledge of a local guide who will choose a location to ensure the best chances of making a successful catch. Brown and rainbow trout can be caught in both the high country as well as lowland streams from October through April. It is also possible during these months to catch Chinook salmon. Guides provide licenses, tackle equipment, waders, instruction and transport in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Access to remote mountain streams via helicopter provides an alternative option.
A scenic flight by helicopter is the ultimate way to see the natural beauty of New Zealand. The convenience of these tours is unsurpassed as helicopters depart and land directly from the Lodge’s Great Lawn.
Heliskiing takes you into the mountains away form the ski resorts where fresh tracks are followed by a gourmet picnic lunch. A full range of winter sports is on offer including glacier hikes, cross country skiing, ice skating, snow mobiles and snow shoe hiking. New Zealand ski resorts are located in and around Wanaka, Queenstown and Christchurch in South Island and near Lake Taupo in North Island.
Otahuna is an elegant, opulent lodge set at the heart of a rolling country estate. With commanding views of its landscaped gardens and far beyond to the surrounding plains, the views take you to the foot of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Otahuna is the largest private historic residence in New Zealand and dating back to 1895, is regarded as the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Australasia. At dinner, you can eat communally in the formal dining room or alternatively, you may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret or another location of your choosing.
The suites all differ so much in style, size and shape but all are styled in character with their original use. It is easy to imagine the lady of the house, Jessie Rhodes, and other fine ladies of the Canterbury region taking their morning tea at 11 o’clock sharp in the Botanical Suite (originally the Morning Room) overlooking the manicured gardens. Similarly, the Veranda Suite epitomises a ‘room with a view’ with a huge veranda with cane furniture provoking strong images of times past.
Each of Otahuna’s seven suites is an enclave of refined comfort. Here, the classical ambience created by ornate fireplaces, carved inglenooks and flowers freshly picked from the Estate has been enhanced with luxurious fabrics and lavish bathrooms. Sir Heaton Rhodes’ former bedroom is the nucleus of a grand, four-room Master Suite incorporating an octagonal study. The other Master Suite has a private, fourteen-metre verandah with views across the Canterbury Plains. A further five Suites have their own individual charms, each located within a unique area of the original homestead. All of the Master Suites and Suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, deep soaking bathubs with separate showers and toiletries by Penhaligon’s.
Originally the master bedroom, the Rhodes Suite is a series of four rooms. The palatial bedroom boasts a magnificent Victorian fireplace with inglenook seating and stained glass windows. A separate octagonal sitting room situated in the turret, is the ideal spot to read a book, work a jigsaw puzzle, enjoy a quiet candlelit dinner or gaze out at the gardens. The en suite bathroom is luxuriously appointed with a double shower and separate spa tub, ideal for soothing tired muscles at the close of an active day. Outside, the private balcony affords spectacular views across the Canterbury plains to the distant Southern Alps.
The Verandah Suite is the ideal base from which to start exploring Canterbury. Four doors open onto an enormous arched veranda, reserved exclusively for the suite. Guests may quietly contemplate the birdsong from the gardens, or toast with a glass of champagne as the sun sets across the Canterbury Plains behind the Southern Alps. Indoors, guests can lose themselves in the crackle of a fire, either from a deep armchair in the bedroom or from the freestanding bathtub in the spacious en suite bathroom.
The Botanical Suite is situated in the original Morning Room of the house. A floor to ceiling mantle featuring gingerbread woodwork and a wood burning fireplace anchors one corner of the room. In another, an enormous bay window faces east to the gardens and receives bright sunlight through painted glass in the mornings. Located on the ground floor, the Botanical Suite offers guests access to the gardens through a private exterior door.
The Butler Suite comprises a series of rooms looking over the brick herb garden and the terracotta roof of the sunken game house to the woodland beyond. The bedroom, separate full sitting room and two bathrooms feature classic depictions of the evocative Canterbury landscape as well as Otahuna’s historic past. The decorative scheme, reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts period features dark wood, original fireplace tiles and classic furniture.
The Clark Suite looks east over the treetops to the Port Hills. The soft yellows and blues of the classic suite draw inspiration from the expansive stained glass windows, tiled fireplace and traditional English country ambiance of the estate. After a day of exploring Canterbury, the Clark Suite is an ideal place to relax, either in front of the fire or in the spa tub.
Perched at the top of the house, the Garret Suite invokes a passion for the outdoors. Writers may draw inspiration from the desk which looks out across eaves and gables to the treetops, while the views from the sitting area extend all the way across the province to the mountains. Fishing and hunting memorabilia line the warm, wood paneled walls, with an eclectic collection of antiques and mementos.
The Polo Suite occupies a sunny position at the front of the house, overlooking a courtyard on one side and the lawn on the other. The classic leathers, houndstooth fabrics and oak furniture of the suite provide the inspiration to plan one’s own horseback adventures from the comfort of a deep double ended bathtub. Or settled in by one of the suite’s two fireplaces with a good book from the Otahuna library.
At dinner, you can eat communally in the formal dining room or alternatively, you may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret or another location of your choosing. Aside from formal dining, you can pursue many culinary experiences on the property, including cooking classes and even seasonal mushroom foraging.
The old game house – where game and fowl were hung to dry – now houses Otahuna Lodge’s wine cellar. Set into a hillside, the cellar maintains ideal temperature and humidity for the careful maturation of New Zealand wines. Otahuna Lodge offers a different flight of complementary wine pairings with each dinner, emphasising Canterbury and New Zealand wines. Should guests wish to celebrate with a particular vintage, a list is always available.
The cuisine celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh Otahuna estate grown offerings. Dinner is a five course chef’s menu which changes daily, making use of the best fresh produce and guests’ dietary requirements. Honest, uncluttered flavors, the finest local ingredients and elegantly restrained presentation are the hallmarks of the Otahuna table. At dinner, guests dine communally in the opulent formal dining room, ornate original wallpaper, a roaring fire and sparkling candlesticks exemplify the gracious living of the Victorian era.
There is a gym, outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court, cycling, petanque and croquet available on site.
If the warm breezes of a Canterbury summer occasionally feel enervating, a refreshing dip in the swimming pool is the right tonic for a weary constitution. After dark, from a position in the outdoor jacuzzi, the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere seem just beyond arms’ reach. Energetic guests might strike up a match of tennis on the Lodge’s hard-surface court, with complimentary use of the Lodge’s racquets and balls.
After a busy day exploring Canterbury, guests might indulge in a relaxing massage. Therapists provide a range of treatments, styles and pressures to accommodate a wide variety of preferences. Guests can enjoy a 60- or 90-minute massage in the Woodland Massage Studio.
Excellent golfing is available throughout the region from the nearby nine-hole country course at Tai Tapu to the internationally acclaimed resort courses at Terrace Downs and Clearwater.