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“Love Letter to The Lodge”

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The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matauri Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Timaru
Level 6 Contributor
554 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 337 helpful votes
“Love Letter to The Lodge”
Reviewed 31 March 2014

There's this saying that people made a place. Then again, there's exception to the rule. Sometimes (and that's a very rare sometimes), a place can be unique because it's exactly just that. Being a hotelier and being a Kiwi for the past two decades, I was told about the pristine beauty of The Lodge. Being in the industry that I am in, it's not hard to be cynical about such a statement. However, the moment the front gates of The Lodge swung open, I was literally transported to another parallel universe, where everything seemed surreal. It does remind me again and again about TV episodes, Fantasy Island. It so happened that The Lodge also has a real life Guest Relation Manager (akin to Ricardo Montalban's character). The interior design of the main centre was exemplary, the view from all angles was achingly beautiful, the lunch menu was simple and yet, all food was well presented and freshly made. The dessert with the fondant was sheer perfection (melt in the mouth)! The staff was down-to-earth, attentive, personable and very friendly. On the day I was visiting, Karen and Karin were out front and they put me at ease. The head chef even took time out from his hectic schedule to have a mingle with the guests. There were many rooms in The Lodge with their own distinctive settings. In order to prevent guests from being stale and to keep things exciting and to personalise every and each guests' visits, they are allocated to the rooms that best fit their requirements. Whilst The Lodge does set up programs to encourage the guests to mingle and to socialise particularly during the canape hours, there are enough nooks and crannies in The Lodge for the guests to do their own things or they could simply hide in their own bungalows. Whilst The Lodge is well-known in the world for its golfing challenge, I was happy enough to get a cart and drove around the ground. It's very seldom that human-made greens and nature would co-exist so brilliantly together. It's truly a highlight to see golfers putting next to Angus cows, golfers endeavouring to put their balls from one cliff to the other, ancient beech forest nearby with nikau palms and gigantic kauri tree that is estimated to be between 700 to 900 years old, pink beach (due to sea shells), waterfall, Waiaua beach that is conducive for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and fishing, Takou which provides a perfect platform for surfing. Truth to be told, The Lodge is the most ideal to be used as a base to explore its offshore islands and nearby places of interest. The management can contact local fisherman, drivers and licensed helicopter navigator to guests out for daily excursions. I don't necessarily agree with some reviews that stated that The Lodge is for hardcore golfers. It goes without saying that Kauri Cliffs has all aspects that made golfing challenging but it still has a lot to offer. To conclude, Kauri Cliffs is simply a brand for excellence, for its attention to detail, for its relentless pursuit of perfection. As a child growing up, I learnt of Lexus, that symbolised of all these attributes in car and now, I have found a contender in the field of hospitality. Well-done to Kauri Cliffs. For once, I have reached Nirvana on Earth, albeit just for one brief day and that place is called Kauri Cliffs.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank wiredfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear wiredfrog,

Warm greetings from Kauri Cliffs!

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience from The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.

What lovely sentiment and eloquence in writing, you have truly shared not only your experience but the emotion that went with. I read your letter with such gratitude and pride. Your descriptions of the lodge and grounds were beyond fantastic, your comparison to the Lexus brand such a compliment. I am so very pleased that you enjoyed vistas, the facilities, and the cuisine and were further able to take a cart and experience the property. We really strive to be the best in what we do, and to read your review shows me we are on the correct path.

Thank you again for choosing The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and we hope you visit again soon!

Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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201 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
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Genesee, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014

We stayed here as the grand finale to a wonderful New Zealand vacation. I would give it 6+ stars if I could. We spent 4 nights here and it was superb! The accommodations were top notch. Tastefully and elegantly decorated, they were private, plush and perfect! Upon arrival we were led to the main lodge for a glass wine and then escorted to our ocean view suite. Housekeeping was excellent and kept the room refreshed and replenished without ever having to be asked. They efficiently seemed to sneak in and take care of everything and never intruded on our personal time in the suite. The food was fantastic! The breakfast selections were extensive and the cappuccinos delicious. Evening appetizers and drinks are served prior to dinner. They made excellent cocktails, had a great selection of wines, and the chef prepared decadent and delicious pre-appetizers appropriately sized so we could enjoy them and still have room for dinner. The dinner menu changed nightly and included wonderful fresh and creative selections...simply delicious (they have an awesome Chef!). The grounds are gorgeous and well maintained. I took several walks around the property and down to the beach...all were great! My husband played 72 holes over 4 days and was in golf heaven. The pro shop staff were wonderful and he could not say enough about the course. Fantastic golf with several holes providing incredible views of the ocean. He said it felt like he had this world class golf course to himself. All of the staff at the lodge were excellent....responsive, efficient, friendly and helpful. This was an over the top experience and certainly one of the best resorts we have ever experienced...highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank D T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Dear DT,

Warm greetings from Kauri Cliffs!

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience from The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.

What a pleasure it was to read how much you enjoyed your stay with us. Your rave reviews in regards to your accommodation, the property, and the cuisine are wonderful and much appreciated, but your fantastic comments in regards to the staff are amazing. We certainly strive to be the best in the experience we provide, and reading reviews such as yours shows that we are on the right path. I am so pleased that your stay with us was a highlight of your trip to New Zealand, and such a grand finale!

Thank you again for choosing The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs!

Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2014

We spent 4 nights with 5 other couples in this beautiful location located on the Pacific Ocean. It was once a sheep farm and still has thousands of sheep and cows. The main building houses a world class restaurant, reception area, and golf shop with a gorgeous view of the meticulous golf course and ocean. Cottages have been erected to house 22 guests, each having their own porch and fireplace. The spa is outstanding.
If you desire 5 star food and service, a beautiful golf and spa experience, and tranquility, this is the place to come. If you need exciting night life you will not find it here. The advertised beach barbecues, helicopter rides, etc. were exceedingly expensive. The walk uphill from the beach to the Lodge requires a degree of physical fitness.
A tour of their farm was a worthwhile experience. We witnessed the most impressive sheep herding by dogs that we saw in all of New Zealand.

Room Tip: They are all large and well appointed. All have a private porch with gorgeous view, and fireplace...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JuneDuke12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 16 March 2014
Dear JuneDuke12,

Warm greetings from Kauri Cliffs!

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience from The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.

It was a pleasure to read how you enjoyed your accommodation, the cuisine and the world class spa. The Pink Beach BBQ, which is included in our tariff, is a wonderful way to enjoy dinner in a stunning location. I am pleased you were able to experience this. I also am pleased you enjoyed the farm tour and the working dogs. The dogs are truly amazing and invaluable to our farm team and throughout other farms in New Zealand.

Thank you again for choosing The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs!

Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 February 2014 via mobile

We just left The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs after an amazing 3 nights. Our three year old son is traveling with us and while it is sometimes difficult to stay at lovely places with a little one, the staff put us at ease immediately and ensured that we all had a wonderful time. Everything about this resort is beautiful; from the interiors of the gorgeous cottages and those of the lodge itself, to the list of available activities, the stunning views and surrounding sights, and the staff members themselves.

John and Sebastian greeted us upon our arrival with grace and charm, and John showed us around the property and to our suite while our car was being unpacked. He returned a short while later with extra milk for our son and had a babysitter arranged for the following night within minutes. Thank you to Kay for being so good with our little guy and for helping us to have such a great date night! Take our advice and trust Valeria's wine suggestions; she is incredibly talented at finding the perfect wine for any and every palate without being pushy.

We are not golfers but had a fun time touring the course on a golf cart (teaching our son the importance of being quiet when a fellow guest is trying to tee off!), going to the beach, playing tennis, swimming in the pools, being "wined and dined," and generally lying in the lap of luxury.

Our thanks again to the incredible staff members at Kauri Cliffs: John, Sebastian, Laure, Valeria, Kay, Cindy, Alannah, Michael, Jeff, and others. We head to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers tomorrow for another three nights and are more than looking forward to our time there. This was a truly exceptional experience.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Iceinmywine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 26 February 2014
Dear Iceinmywine,

Warm greetings from Kauri Cliffs!

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at Kauri Cliffs.

I am truly pleased that you enjoyed so many aspects of your stay with us, from your accommodation and the lodge to exploring the golf course with your son. I must say though that I was most pleased by your kind words in regards to the staff. We truly strive to be the best in our industry, and reading reviews such as yours shows that we are on the correct path.

Thank you again for choosing The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and enjoy Cape Kidnappers!

Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ascona
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We spent 4 nights during Xmas at Kauri Cliffs and although we do not golf we had a great time. It was our last stop before ending our three week NZ tour in Auckland.The staff is more than efficient, they went out of their way to help us organize our stay and make it perfect. We visited both beaches, one on foot (we are 70-78 years old and managed the Pink Beach without any problem). Waiaua Beach is a little further away and more difficult, so we asked for a lift, but my husband came back walking. And both beaches are spectacular!! The lodge organized a 3 hour sailing trip on the Bay of Islands for us which included an hour drive to Paihia. The sailboat arranged by the lodge was not up to what we are used to, but our driver's extra tour of historical Kerikeri and his knowledge of the area compensated for the dissapointing sailing experience. The cottages are very comfortable with terrific views. As we did not have a car, we had all our meals at the lodge and were never disspointed. A special mention should be given to the Argentine sommelier who certainly knew her way around NZ wines. I highly recommend this lovely lodge.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank GranmaAlma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 3 February 2014
Dear GranmaAlma,

Warm greetings from Kauri Cliffs!

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at Kauri Cliffs.

I am pleased to read of your enjoyment of your accommodation, the cuisine, and your interactions with our staff. I am also thrilled that you were able to experience both beaches as they truly are remarkable. Your feedback in regards to the sailboat is also valued, and I am thankful that the driver was able to improve on the day trip experience.

Thank you again for choosing The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. We look forward to welcoming you back in future.

Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014

We decided to make the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs our New Zealand vacation destination after it tied with the Four Season's Bora Bora for Travel & Leisure's Top Resort in the World award in 2013. We were not disappointed. In fact, I nearly shed a tear when we had to leave after two days of peace, tranquility, excellent food, fine wine, spectacular views, new friendships, cultural immersion…the list goes on. The Lodge is a small property (22 room/suites + golf course) with a staff of 45. I can say that I have never experienced such service. From the moment we arrived, the staff went out of their way to engage us in conversation and make us feel at home. We're tennis fans (and were on our way to the Australian Tennis Open). We were immediately connected to John Lewis, Guest Relations Manager, and we had many a lively tennis conversation during our stay! We're not golfers but this is also a golf resort with a course that's considered one of the top 100 in the world. Breakfast, cocktail hour and dinner are included in the packaged cost; it's a pricey proposition to stay here but SO worth it. Really a once-in-a-lifetime experience. WIth no prompting, we were offered a golf cart so that we could see the scenic views from the back nine of the course. We were also offered a tour of the property (which totals 6,500 acres), and Boyce, on of their staffers, spent 1.5 hours giving us a personal tour of the landmarks. I was so impressed with the way they handled the dinner hour, tactfully seating guests so as to ensure personal space and privacy. This really was the ultimate vacation getaway, and I'd return in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Takemeaway1220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 3 February 2014
Dear Takemeaway1220,

Warm greetings from Kauri Cliffs!

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at Kauri Cliffs.

I am thrilled to hear how you enjoyed so many aspects of your visit, and am touched with the heartfelt emotion in your entry. We strive to be the best at what we do, and certainly to read something such as this, I know we are on the right path.

Thank you again for choosing The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. We look forward to welcoming you back in future.

Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Red Bank, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

Our travel consultant Donna Thomas from NZ Travel saved the best for last
We finished our glorious NZ vacation with a few days at Kauri Cliffs. From the warm welcome by the manager John to our last minute trip to the waterfalls before we left the staff were incredibly warm and acomodating. The Friday night we arrived they had a beach barbeque at Pink beach which could not have been any more of an amazing setting with great food and drink.
The golf pro shop went out of their way to set up my golf and then arrange for carts for my wife and daughter to tour the resort. The Robertson family have created quite a brand and the staff coud not have been better. They made us feel like family. We were there right before Christmas and the resort was just begining to fill up. if you don't want the crowd this was a great week to be there. The rooms and the lodge setting was tremendous. The waterfalls , beaches and golf course made for a magnificent setting. The food was the best we had in New Zealand. Loved everything about The Lodge and certainly hope life's travels bring us back.

Room Tip: all lodge villas are great lower numbers closer to clubhouse
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank bigjac15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertson J, Owner at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Dear bijac15
Warm greetings from New Zealand!
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback following your stay with us at Kauri Cliffs. By all accounts it sounds like you had a truly wonderful time, thank you for your very kind words about our team, the lodge and activities you experienced.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Lodge in the near future.
Warm regards
Jay Robertson
Managing Director/Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Property: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
Address: Matauri Bay Rd, Matauri Bay, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Matauri Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matauri Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs 5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the far north of New Zealand lies an unspoiled peninsula. High cliffs and a few ranches on this welcoming island which won the hearts of Julian and Josie Robertson. After designing a magnificent 18-hole golf course, the couple created a splendid colonial residence with outlying cottages. Space is the real luxury, the suite an apartment, the bathroom a spa. The epitome of refinement in a distant corner of the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kauri Cliffs Hotel Matauri Bay
Kauri Cliffs Hotel Kerikeri
Kauri Cliffs Kerikeri
The Lodge At Kauri Cliffs New Zealand/Matauri Bay

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