West Haven Luxury Lodge, West Hell is more like it. In addition to meeting this lovely three generation family, you may stay in a well-appointed beautiful lodge, and yes, the views are quite pretty. What is not clear on the nicely produced website are a few important details.
The road to this place is a nightmare of hairpin turns, on gravel, sometimes with a single lane and oncoming cars. If you book this lodge, fly in, or forget it! Don’t be fooled by the professional photographs either, the beach is a very long hike down from the lodge.
When booking, there is a lower priced “cottage” option, which we thought was part of the lodge, but be forewarned, it is NOT! Really, it looks like a converted garage, or perhaps it was temporary housing for the family while they built the lodge. My husband booked us into the cottage and somehow the booking came through as only one guest. Monica was sweet enough to bring an extra set of threadbare towels and explained she’s adding my stay to the bill. Fair enough. This dated, musty cottage (complete with plastic plants and very dated decor) was SUCH a disappointment. We traveled extensively throughout the north and south Island and stayed in at least 10 different accommodations, all similarly priced. West Haven was the only one that was a disappointment.
It was not clear that once we arrived, food could not be ordered…and there is no place to buy food. Monica senior was kind enough to whip up an amazing, delicious meal for two, and we appreciated it but there was no option. We had to pay whatever they wanted to charge us, and both Monicas told us repeatedly what an inconvenience it was; wow, way to make your guests feel bad! Lastly, nowhere on the website did it say that we would not be allowed to go into the Lodge. The only time we were allowed to even enter the Lodge was to pay our bill. Monica wouldn’t even let us carry our dinner plates to the deck to enjoy the view. There were no other guests staying there, so what difference would it have made? Of course, we also were not allowed to step foot near the pool or hot tub, and by the look of all they toys scattered around, that was exclusively for the use of their children.
The property is pretty, but really it is a sheep ranch with few llamas thrown in. Monica’s husband works hard to maintain the animals and the property, but his early morning ride on tractor is rather a rude awakening. Oh, and the torn screens allow endless flies to come in, so perhaps they could provide guests with a fly swatter. Last but not least, Monica-used old shampoo bottles, really?
In summary, if you can afford the Lodge, fly in and out but above all, do not stay in the cottage.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relax and revive on an extraordinary beautiful coastal peninsular in luxury and style. The pure natural beauty and variety of scenery will leave you astounded. The Lodge itself is described as an architectural delight was hand built by its owners. All rooms perfectly appointed to enjoy the endless panoramic views over the Bay. The Lodge offers all facilities for your relaxation, from hydrotherapy spa, infrared sauna, 24 meter swimming indoor pool, massage and beauty treatments. To keep our guest entertained we have a big selection of outdoor activities. Hiking trails, Kayaking tours, Quad bike tours, Scenic helicopter Flights, Boat fishing charters, Maori flax weaving workshops and llama craft workshops. There is something here for everyone. From tidal bores, to dramatic cliffs, huge sea caves, offshore rocks and secluded beaches, Westhaven shows the best of New Zealand nature and wildlife. With the Westhaven Family as your hosts we offer intimate warm hospitality with our delicious cuisine. All your senses will be nurtured at Westhaven Retreat, ensuring that you will have a truly memorable stay with us. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Westhaven Luxury Lodge Collingwood, New Zealand - Golden Bay