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.
- 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