Just seven minutes by road from Queenstown—the youthful adrenaline centre of New Zealand—Matakauri Lodge is by contrast, a place of serene, luxurious pleasures. A member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group, this gorgeous lakeside property has both a decadent day spa with inspiring treatments and an indulgent restaurant, specialising in clean, fresh flavours created from the finest seasonal produce. Menus change daily, and dishes are paired with acclaimed New Zealand wines, all served atop crisp white linen and to jaw-dropping views of Lake Wakatipu and the snow-capped Remarkables Mountains beyond. Guest can choose from a variety of dining spaces including the library, dining room, patio, or lounge, making the most of the incredible vistas.
There are just twelve luxurious suites in total: four within the main lodge and eight nestled in outlying villas scattered beneath native trees. All have luxe double bathrooms, king-sized or twin beds, writing desks and sensational views from every window. There is also the very secluded four-bedroom Owner’s Cottage, whose huge bathrooms, expansive balconies and glamorous shared spaces all boast uninterrupted lake and mountain outlooks. This stylish standalone abode also features a spectacularly sited outdoor hot tub.
If you can be tempted to leave your room, there are numerous inviting spaces to relax including the fittingly named Remarkables Patio, a library and furnished courtyard. Décor is generally muted throughout the property, so as not to detract from nature, with vivid splashes of burnt orange, mustard and brick red. If the weather is warm enough, dive into the outdoor infinity pool. Otherwise, there’s a jacuzzi and fitness centre, complete with sauna.
Stay close to home walking or cycling around the lake. Alternatively, partake in some of the thrills and spills this picturesque region is famous for, from relatively sedate golf and flight-seeing, to more adventurous jet boating and heli-skiing. Romantics might enjoy private picnics at the edge of a secret waterfall, whilst gourmets can meet local winemakers and dine at a famous vineyard in the renowned Central Otago area.