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“This may be my favorite hotel that I have ever been to.”
Review of Blanket Bay

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Blanket Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 May 2010

This lodge felt like I was staying in a luxurious friend's home. The beds are comfortable with great sheets and pillows. The common areas are inviting. There is a big comfortable couch in front of the den’s huge window. I loved to lie there in the am, drink cappuccino and reflect. The views are awe- inspiring and peaceful. The staff is wonderful- especially Judy. They will help you organize many different excursions. We did a helicopter tour of the S. Island which was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. They dropped us off on the top of a mountain and we hiked for 2 hours with a guide and had lunch. (Easy hike- I am not a hiker) The helicopter picked us back up and dropped us in several beautiful places. This lodge it is perfect for a relaxing time away from it all. It is very secluded and far (1.5 hours) from any towns or restaurants. The food is great and the scenery was majestic. It is not the place to see and be seen. It is the place to retreat in luxury and privacy. You mingle with the other guests but there were only 4 – 6 other couples when we were there. That was one of the things I liked about it. We stayed 3 nights and I would have liked to have stayed 2 more. Besides the helicopter ride, hiking and the dart boats (which were great) there is not a lot to do on property. However, Queenstown is 1.5 hours away and it is the adventure capital of the world with parachuting, bungee jumping, and hang gliding. There are 4-6 golf courses close by. Blanket Bay is the perfect place to hide away and write a book. I live in a big city so I loved the seclusion and I was sorry to leave. I am certain that I will visit again. It is very expensive, about $1000 a night, which covered breakfast and dinner. It was worth every penny! I close my eyes and visualize this place when I want to relax. Go in autumn. The tree colors are picturesque. We were there in April and the weather was perfect (65-75 degrees).

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LeslieBaumann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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181 - 187 of 217 reviews

Reviewed 11 April 2010

This was my second visit to Blanket Bay after staying in 2000 when it was virtually brand new. Everything still looks as good as new and the atmosphere that has been created is still just as magical. Philip is a wonderful host with a fabulous knowledge of all the activity options. For us it was just great to get away and relax, soaking up the view and being pampered by the staff.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TheGeorgeGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2010

We were just stunned by the view from our room: and from the main lodge. Picture perfect, especially at sunset.
Food was excellent and the service very attentive, if a bit slow on occasions.
This is a world class hotel / lodge, and has a very well heeled clientele, (mainly American - as are the owners) with prices to match. But everything you could ask for is available: right down to the helicopter landing on the lawn, for a 'must-do' trip over the Fiordland National Park, and Milford Sound, or the Dart River Jet Boat stopping at their own jetty.
We loved our time here: but were happy to move on, as New Zealand has other beautiful lodges and views.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Andiman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2010

If you are a seasoned international traveler and a frequent visitor of exclusive small luxury hotels all over the world you will be disappointed with Blanket Bay. We stayed there 4 nights and there was no pampering, spoiling, attention to detail or any feel of being special. We got the “cookie cutters” service so boringly recognizably in standard international chains.

Yes, the hotel is in a very good location and the food is good (certainly not exquisite). Also the “meet and great staff” is very good but unfortunately that is where things stop.

The frontline staff in the bar and restaurant is disconnected and work like robots taking orders and delivering them. None have been trained in interpersonal skills (this has been delegated to the “meet and great” staff”). Some are blatantly rude not communicating at all and displaying annoyed and bored body language. All are on a tight schedule to “do their thing” within set time frames. Beyond this nothing is possible as serving personnel is simply not there and have gone home. A rude French speaking supervisor is “managing” the staff and it is clear he is the role model for employee behavior. Unbelievably, he apparently gets away with it as (in his own words) he knows the owners of the hotel very well….

Then there are the small irritants and mood swingers…The soaps and creams in the bathroom are cheap and seem to have been bought in the local supermarket. The pillows smell of human over-usage and have certainly reached their “use by date”. There is a very limited range of complementary wine during happy hour while the quality is so low that we took our own to the bar. (Apparently the owner of the hotel has his own vineyard and guests need to suffer his bad and cheap produce).

After four nights we were finally able to vent our disappointment to the General Manager who interestingly took me to the front door in the hall of the hotel after I asked him for a quiet place for some honest feedback... Obviously we were disturbed several times…Was he really interested??

If you like the “cookie cutters” approach of standard international hotels you will be OK in Blanket Bay. If you are looking for pampering, attention to detail and staff going the extra mile you will be disappointed at best and very irritated at worse.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank JohnBSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PJBlanketBay, Manager at Blanket Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2010

In response to JohnB’s review ‘disappointing’

It is also very disappointing for all of us at Blanket Bay to hear we have not delivered. We understand our guests pay a lot of money to stay with us and they have high levels of expectation. To JohnB I can only repeat what I said when I listened to his comments on his departure. (And, yes I was interested) I am dismayed he was not happy with our service levels, I apologise he found some of my staff members rude and I sincerely hope he will return to give us a second chance.

I must however take issue with some of the other comments JohnB made. At Blanket Bay the pre dinner drinks service is included in our tariff. In addition Moet Chandon and all the recognised labels of spirits, the five varieties of wine we serve are exceptional New Zealand wines. JohnB is quite correct pointing out three of the wines we offer, at no charge, are from our owner’s Amisfield Estate. Amisfield Estate has been recognised with Gold Medals at the Royal Easter Show in 2008, The International Wine Awards in Hong Kong in 2007 and has twice featured in The Wine Spectator top 100 wines in the USA in 2005 and 2007. Wine is all about personal taste. It is not correct to suggest these well respected Otago wines are bad or cheap.

Additionally, we do not buy our bathroom amenities from the supermarket. These products, using natural oils, are made especially made for us by The Aromatherapy Company of New Zealand which is also a well respected company in this country.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2009

Having picked NZ for our wedding, we looked everywhere to find the absolute perfect place to stay. We couldn't have found better! This lodge has completely earned it's #1 ranking from Conde Nast.
By far one of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen, out of this world staff and owners, and incredible food.
They went above and beyond to accommodate us and our special occasion, and we couldn't be more grateful!
Don't miss this lodge! I don't know if anything can top this special place!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank SWLfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2009

We arrived at Blanket Bay on the last leg of our honeymoon and immediately noticed we had saved the best for last. It is set in a beautiful location, in which it fits into perfectly. Blanket Bay is a cozy, yet luxurious, lodge where you can go to literally get away from it all. The excellent service, excellent rooms and beautiful views really set the hotel apart from others we had stayed at before, but all the other small things (including the dining...which was great), truly made this a 5 star experience. Although Blanket Bay is not cheap, it is worth every penny. If you can afford it, do not hold back. You will not be sorry.

Even though I noted the excellent service above, I have to give personal recognition to Judy, Eric, Owen, and Lauren who were so nice and attentive that it made our stay memorable.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Joey-Luly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2009

My husband and I stayed at Blanket Bay for 5 nights to celebrate his 30th birthday and our wedding anniversary. We were expecting our stay to be pretty fabulous based on the reviews, but even with such high expectations, we were still blown away.

The welcome we received from Judy at check-in was so gracious and warm, that we were put at ease immediately. There is no pretentiousness whatsoever at Blanket Bay, and formal dress is not required for dining, unlike places such as Kauri Cliffs where it is stipulated that jackets must be worn. You can be yourself, which means that you relax as soon as you walk in the entrance.

We were lucky enough to be upgrade to one of the lodge suites, which are simply fabulous. Absolutely breathtaking ceiling to floor views of Lake Wakatipu and the snow capped Humboldt Mountains, greeted us every morning. The suites are very roomy, with separate lounge area in front of the gas fireplace, enormous balcony, and huge bathroom with steamroom. Minibar provisions are included in the room rate with the exception of wine and spirits.

The facilities are great. Huge games room with pool table, shuffleboard, chess, darts, puzzles, enormous flat screen tv with dvd's and a 24 hour self-serve bar. The jacuzzi is fabulous with it's french doors that open to reveal more stunning scenery. The gym is well equipped and comes with a view. There are a number of walks around the property which are beautiful and help to burn off the calories consumed at dinner and breakfast!

Dining was a gastronomic delight! Starting with pre-dinner cocktails; every imaginable cocktail could be made if desired, or if Moet is more to your liking, then this is available. Pretty much anything that took your fancy was on offer. Then a 5 course dinner followed each night. The day's menu was presented over cocktails and after the soup of the day, you have the choice of 2 appetisers, 2 salads, 3 mains and 3 deserts. Everything was spectacular, and made using fresh local produce, including the icecreams and sorbets, which were to die for!!! An extensive breakfast menu was on offer the next morning to set you up for the day. And again, everything was fantastic. There is a lunch menu on offer if you feel hungry during the day, at additional cost.

The staff are amazing. Everyone is so warm and friendly and will go out of their way to ensure your stay is everything you imagined it to be. They were able to organise jetboating on the Dart River and a trip into Glenorchy for us. If you wanted o do a helitour or go skydiving, they'd organise it. Nothing was too much trouble. I had to be taken by ambulance to Queenstown hospital and Judy was so supportive and helpful, despite having to also cater to a wedding party that day. This sadly happened on the day of my husband's birthday, and despite the hospital trip and late return to the lodge, the staff still were able to accommodate us at dinner and presented him with a surprise birthday cake and sang happy birthday. We also found a plate of handmade chocolates and a card congratulating us on our anniversary, which was another really lovely touch.

Overall the stay was divine, and we'd love to go back next week! If you can manage to save some dollars and book a stay at Blanket Bay, you certainly won't regret it.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank BrissieKiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blanket Bay

Address: Rapid 4191 Glenorchy Queenstown Road | PO Box 35, Glenorchy 9350, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Glenorchy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Glenorchy
Price Range: £631 - £1,494 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Blanket Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This stunning backcountry retreat sits on the lakeshore 45 minutes outside Queenstown in the Southern Alps New Zealand. Lofty beamed ceilings, rock fireplaces and vast picture windows frame the heroic stone and timber lodge housing the Great Room, Den, Game Room, Gym, spa and several indoor/outdoor dining venues.Thirteen rooms offer every conceivable amenity. Activities include an outdoor lap pool, bush walks, fly-fishing, jet boating, horse riding and scenic heli-flights ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blanket Bay Hotel Queenstown

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