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“Shearers Cottage - amazingly relaxing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Magic Cottages at Takou River

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Magic Cottages at Takou River
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
“Shearers Cottage - amazingly relaxing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2011

My wife and I (both early 30's) stayed in the shearers cottage for a weekend, in need of some serious relaxation. The cottage itself is very well appointed, and the property overall is just so peaceful and relaxing!
I can't sit still for long at the best of times so after a morning reading a book I was off to explore the river by Kayak. This would usually be a bit of an undertaking but I just wandered down to the boatshed in boardies and a t-shirt, threw on a lifejacket and off I went.
My wife was quite content to sit on the sunny deck reading and relaxing with Tuis and Kingfishers for company.
We stayed for 3 nights and took plenty of nice food and wine with us so we had no need to go anywhere, and this is definitely the way to do it.
Highly recommended - we will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Magic Cottage itself is great having stayed there before, and Shearers Cottage is nice and secluded...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DSmistyflip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cooks Beach, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2011

Our son thoughtfully gave us a voucher for 3 nights with massages at this beautiful little cottage right on the edge of the Takou River about 20mins drive from Kerikeri township. Email contact was with "Anna" the owner but we did not meet Anna at all, even though we spoke on the phone one day. We were looked after by a very nice man who said he'd been their Caretaker for several years. Our stay there was during one of the coldest snaps in NZ's history and when he called in to say hello a few hours after our arrival, we were still wrapped up in our coats & scarves, as the little gas wall heater was hopelessly inadequate ! We were offered one of the larger houses as they had a fireplace but Magic Cottage was chosen for its unique position & is privacy so we chose to persevere with trying to heat up the cottage and make the best of what we had. The cottage power is run by battery and the hot water & heating by gas, so there is no main power supply to charge your cellphone or plug in any appliances eg hairdryer, laptop etc. That was OK though, we decided we could live without all that for 3 days. We came prepared to cook dinner ourselves in the cottage the first night as we were unsure of how accessible it was to town but we decided to have it cold when the light over the stove wasn't working and it became too dark to do any cooking as the rest of the lighting in the cottage is quite dim. Our lovely caretaker came back later in the evening with another blanket for the bed and a portable gas heater but unfortunately the gas ran out after 5 mins! There was nothing else for it, we filled up the hot water bottles & went to bed. We were laughing at ourselves lying in bed making "smoke signals" with our breath - it was freeeeezing!

The next day we were offered a power lead (plus an electric oil filled heater) that was run to the cottage that went in through a window. Yay, we were able to power up our cellphone, dry the hair & even watch a DVD on our laptop that night! The heater did the best job it could under extremely cold conditions........but heating up the cottage is always going to be a mission until you insulate the cottage and close up and seal the huge daylight gaps in the sliding door Anna!

Our massages were organised for us that afternoon & were absolute heaven. The outdoor bath was so lovely and the cottage was equipped well with nice touches, bathrobes, candles, incense and a comfortable window seat which we loved for late afternoon drinkies & reading. It just all would have been so much nicer for us if we had been warm! We also asked for new towels as it was impossible to dry them in the cold but never did find out what to do with our rubbish & empty bottles as the cottages aren't serviced ........no doubt about it, the location and ambience of Magic Cottage is special and a lovely spot in the summer I'm sure, but is it luxury (as the promotional material says)...........Mmmmmmm?

Room Tip: Magic Cottage is a lovely summer only retreat for couples.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ChrisWhitianga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2011

We found the Magic Cottages on Tripadvisor and we booked initially for 2 days in the Shearers Cottage but ended up staying here for 1 week! We had a more than wonderful time, also many thanks to Tadjoe and Ivette, the managers, who helped us out great and had many tips for us what to see and do! The stay was really great, the surroundings and the cottage made it complete!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gab1409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2011

The Takou River Lodge had been highly recommended and the website piqued our interest. Notwithstanding, we were absolutely delighted when we finally arrived. The lawns which ran to gorgeous gardens immediately captured us. Fortunately, the weather bordered on perfect; warm during the days and cool enough at night to light the fire (for which plenty of wood had been provided).
No television meant we talked and listened to music and played cards, which I hadn't done in years. One morning, we took the two man canoe and the two man kayak and paddled to the beach, where we just walked, collected shells and I went for a swim.
A game of golf at Kerikei was enjoyable (only just, but that was my fault!) plus a cruise on Whangaroa Harbour was an absolute treat. (Don't go without tying the freshest fish and chips in the world!)
Quite simply, we look forward to the next trip to Takou River.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank peter_gadsden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pacific NW
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2011

Amazing place if you are looking for something different and away from the big city. The owners, Ian and Anna were very helpful in making sure we had proper directions from Kerikeri airport and when we arrived the room was open, clean and ready for us to move in for the next 3 days just as promised. My wife and I tried to get the Magic Cottage but it was booked so we took the River Cottage. We never did see the inside of MC but I think it's alot smaller than the RC so we were just fine with our accommodations.
Next day we took the kayaks down river to the deserted beach and even though it was overcast and high tide we had a great time walking in the warm NZ water. At night, try the outside tub and a glass of wine. It's the perfect way to end the day!
Next day we did the hike around the property and went for a dip in the river swimming hole. The walk around the property is worth it. Bring your camera!
We live in a very rural part of Washington State and we were interested in learning more about their farm so Ian and Anna graciously invited us up to their home to show us how the place operates off the grid. Eye opening to say the least.
If you are looking for something amazing off the beaten path this is the place. If you're looking for pubs, clubs and room service probably not. Each lodge has a kitchen so it's important to drive into Kerikeri and get some supplies. It's not very far from the lodge so if you forget something it's not a big deal. All in all we had a great time and unforgettable memories. We highly recommend The Takou River Lodge... Thanks Ian ans Anna!!!

Room Tip: Book early in the season!
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RickAni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2011

The Takou river majic cottages are truley a majic spot, the grounds are absolutley stunning, you could spend many hours exploring all the beautiful nooks and crannys of this property.
Kayaking along the river to the beach, swimming at the water hole, having a bath next to the river on our private deck - were just some of the highlights of the trip.
Highly reccoment to anyone who enjoys being emmersed in the beauty of nature.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NZMay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2011

Having read all the reviews, and once we arrived, to say we were both excited was an understatement. We had perfect weather and a perfect spot to start our honeymoon. Then the tractor started. No problem, we jumped into a kayak and paddled to Takou Beach for the afternoon, which was amazing. But when we returned at 5pm to fire up the BBQ and spend the evening on the decking, the tractor was still going. Non stop in the paddock right next door to our cottage, then every 15 minutes or so up the road behind the cottage to the farmhouse. Till 8:30pm. Then the next day from 10 till 8:30pm again. Groan. Well it was going to rain on Wednesday (it did), and the hay that had been cut needed to be picked up... well it probably did too... But I couldn't help feeling that in our case, the needs of the farm certainly outweighed the comfort of the guests in the cottages. Our room wasn't serviced the second day we were there (perhaps it wasn't meant to be), but there was no-one around... When it came time to pay, the owner wasn't available (up on the farm somewhere) so we had little option but to have a quiet grumble to the cleaner, pay the money and leave more than a little irritated. I'm sure had we been there on any other of the 363 days in the year, this review would be completely different. We'd still recommend going though, its a great spot.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank woz_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
takouriver, Owner at Magic Cottages at Takou River, responded to this review, 1 May 2011
We would just like to offer our sincere apologies to the couple who stayed on the 2 days that we made hay on the farm in March this year, and to assure future guests that this was very much a one off event, and to place tthis event in context.

We endeavoured to visit all our guests staying in the cottages in advance of the hay making to let everyone know that they might hear the tractor working slightly later in the evening, and to check that this would be ok. At the time we did all we could to make sure that everyone was happy with this, and didn't have any negative feedback, so we were very surprised and saddened to read this review, particularly as we pride ourselves on the peace and tranquility o of our location - reflected by the feedback we receive from 99.9% of guests staying with us.

We have owned our 150 acre certified organic farm for the past 7 years. The cottages are set in 5 acres of organic gardens, bordered by the Takou River, and guests have the beautiful 150 acres of famland to wander through, being able to enjoy the marked walkways through the pastures, alongside the river and through the native bush. The farm surroundings mean that the cottages are completely isolated from any other disturbances, such as road noise, traffic and other people and so it enhances the tranquility of the location. We would just like to assure future guests that in the past 7 years that we have owned and run the farm and cottages this is the first time we have ever made hay on the farm due to the exceptional weather, and it is extremely unlikely that we would do so again.

Just to finally clarify the point regarding the cottage being serviced. The cottages are self-catering holiday cottages (rather than serviced hotel or motel units) and while we will always of course provide fresh towels and linen should they be needed, we don't "service" the rooms on a daily basis. This is very much in line with holiday cottage accommodation (and in line with how we advertise the cottages), and ensures that guests' privacy is preserved and they can enjoy their stay undisturbed; which is very much their reason for coming to Takou River. We do apologise if this wasn't realised.

Once again, we're so sorry that these guests were disturbed, and they were absolutely correct in asserting that this was very much a one off event ( 2 days of haymaking in the past 2,555 days of operations!) and we're so pleased that they would still recommend staying at Takou River.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Magic Cottages at Takou River

Property: Magic Cottages at Takou River
Address: 660 Takou Bay Road | Northland, Kerikeri 0246, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Kerikeri
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Kerikeri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Magic Cottages at Takou River 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set a short distance from Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands and voted one of the Top Ten Luxury Lodges in New Zealand, Magic Cottages at Takou River are secluded and beautiful riverside retreats set on the banks of the picturesque Takou River. Within earshot of the sea at Takou Bay and surrounded by 150 acres of certified organic pasture, native bush and 5 acres of sub-tropical gardens, the 4 cottages and recently completed Lodge provide boutique self-catering accommodation that is eco-friendly yet still indulgent.Peace, seclusion and tranquility abound - a beautiful private river frontage; 150 acres of organic farmland with marked walks along the river bank, through native bush and pastures to secluded swimming and picnic spots; magical glow worms; 5 acres of beautiful sub-tropical gardens to wander and explore; our private jetty and boat house with free kayaks, canoes and fishing rods; and last but not least, access to the beautiful deserted sandy beaches at Takou Bay a short paddle or drive downstream. Once you've finished exploring, relax and unwind in the privacy of your cottage with a pampering massage or spa treatment. To complete your stay, gourmet meals are also available by prior arrangement. Magic Cottages are centrally located to explore the wider Bay of Islands and Far North, yet hidden away from the hustle and bustle amid 150 acres of organic pasture, native bush and river frontage. Enjoy the flourishing birdlife; wander enchanted gardens and riverside walks; paddle to Takou Bay; relax, refresh and romance in the claw foot bath – or bask in the bliss of doing absolutely nothing. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Magic Cottages At Takou River Hotel Kerikeri

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