A member of Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, Helena Bay Lodge has just 5 exquisite suites; 2 Villa Suites and 3 Junior Suites, all named after native birds. Offering a secluded beachfront setting each suite features supremely comfortable beds fitted with handmade linens, walk-in wardrobes and a sitting area. Floor-to-ceiling windows that open completely give way to beautiful views of the bay, a terrace outfitted with chairs and a sun-lounger is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views. The two Villa Suites feature separate living rooms, with wood burning fireplaces that make it a cosy spot on cooler evenings to enjoy a hot coffee or tea.
Inspiration for the design and architecture of the main lodge came from the beautiful early European buildings in the region, such as The Treaty House in Waitangi and the Pompallier Mission House in Russell. Modern materials were used in the construction, but the appearance of the lodge is that of a building that may have been built a century earlier. The Main House features formal and informal dining areas, bar and lounge, that all overlook the large terrace complemented by an outdoor fire pit. Each of the rooms in the Main House are decorated with eclectic artwork and treasures from around the globe, complementing the opulent interiors. Lodge facilities include a gym, sauna and massage room, whilst a 25-metre heated swimming pool sits in the middle of a courtyard.
Experience the cooking styles of celebrated Michelin starred Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890 of Southern Italy. Born in Southern Italy, Head Chef Michele Marino worked at the restaurant and has worked at numerous fine-dining restaurants throughout Europe and was asked to help establish new ventures in Dubai and Capri. Menus at Helena Bay change daily and are created following Don Alfonso’s philosophy of respecting local food culture, offering guests ‘Estate to Plate’ cuisine. 5-course degustation menus and lighter 3-course options showcase chefs signature dishes. Private dining options are varied, but include The Formal Lounge and the outdoor patio, whilst The Den is the smallest, most intimate option. The property also boasts an impressive wine cellar, housing over 2,100 bottles of wine, while picnic lunches are available on request.
Various activities on the estate at Helena Bay Lodge are possible including mountain biking and tours of the farm and garden. There are a number of superb walking trails or mountain biking trails for all levels, whilst 4WD Polaris Rangers can also be used to explore the 800-acre property. The calm waters of the bay can be explored by kayak or stand-up paddle boards. The onsite tennis court is also a popular activity, the astroturf can also accomodate football, volleyball or badminton. For the ultimate private time, Mohei Pavilion on the shores of Mohei Bay can be booked for exclusive use. It holds a kitchenette, bathroom and shower with a lovely outdoor terrace; a picnic can also be arranged by staff at a pre-arranged time.
1-hour north of the lodge by car is the magical Bay of Islands – encompassing 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. The region boasts picturesque towns, quiet coves and sheltered beaches it is also renowned for its Maori culture. With plenty of seaside walking tracks and pristine subtropical forests it is a wonderful area to explore.