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“A Benchmark?”
Review of Owen River Lodge

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Owen River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 23 December 2013

First a confession: I’m a long-time friend of Felix, the owner of ORL. Hopefully that doesn’t disqualify me from offering my two cents worth on his operation & more particularly the surrounding fishery, but you be the judge.
Anyway, I’ve stayed at ORL as a guest about a dozen times now. I love the lodge – it’s look, feel and especially the location. The food is of a class I only encounter once or twice a year if I’m lucky so I can’t offer any authoritative comparisons except to say that if meals get any better than this, I want to know!

But the main reason I keep coming back to ORL (and no offence to Felix and his beautifully-run establishment)is the fishing. I’ve never had a bad trip there – wet certainly, dry occasionally, yet the fishing has always varied between good and great. There are precious few places where you can walk out the door every morning with the near certainty that you will at least cast to a sighted trout over 4 pounds. Sometimes there might be dozens; sometimes, when conditions really conspire, just a couple. That is the lottery of premium wild trout fisheries the world over. The deal is, the weather effectively makes the fishery in the first place, so you have to wear it when it gets a bit difficult. You simply can’t have one without the other. I guide (not in NZ) )& write about flyfishing for a living and flyfish all over the world and I can safely say that a good chunk of my life’s fishing highlights happened while staying at ORL. Fantastic location, fishery and lodge Felix; can’t wait to get back!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Philip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 - 126 of 248 reviews

Reviewed 22 December 2013 via mobile

We spent seven days at Owen River Lodge and it was incredible. A beautiful setting, fabulous host, great guides and a real sense of bonhomie that adds something extra special to the trip. After a day's fishing we kicked back in the spa and enjoyed the beauty surrounding us. For foodies, the meals from chef Ryan are absolutely amazing! We had a wonderful stay - and Felix was only too happy to let us in on some of the secrets of the area - rivers and attraction-wise. I think all fishermen know that the weather is a changeable feast - indeed, in NZ, it's one of the reasons the fishing is world- class. There are no guarantees, but fishermen and women such as ourselves can come away with personal best fish - a real highlight. Thank you for a wonderful week.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Georgina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

This is a review quite different to the gushing ones - after two consecutive years ORL in my experience is not a dream, is not the best etc. etc. Felix may encourage these reviews but he would.
My wife and I have just returned from 5 days at ORL. Basically fishing was feasible for only 1 1/2 days due to bad weather etc. Felix's attitude was 'get over it' but at $2000 per day and the risk borne solely by the guest this situation is unacceptable to me. This is a fishing lodge i.e. a fishing base (not a hotel and not a resort). Whilst the lodge etc. is great we are there for the fishing - we won't be returning. Be careful when selecting ORL.

Room Tip: This is a fishing lodge.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Harry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Felix B, Owner at Owen River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2013

Dear Harry,
I’m terribly sorry to hear that our weather & the fishing did not meet up to your expectations. The rivers that surround Owen River Lodge are wild rivers that are inhabited by wild brown trout. It’s no coincidence that wild trout live in wild places and it doesn’t matter where you go in this world, if you fly fish for trout the weather can – and quite often does – play a significant role.

Indeed, the quality of the wild trout fishery in New Zealand is, in a large part, a result of the amount of rain New Zealand receives. The team at Owen River Lodge wish you a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to you returning for your 3rd stay with us.

Felix Borenstein
General Manager & Owner
Owen River Lodge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2013

My father an I just returned form 5 days at Owen river Lodge. In all respects I can give nothing but praise to Flex and his team. In concert with impeccable taste, service and gastronomical delights, the lodge also manages to serve up a daily menu of fishing that I suspect is unparalleled. Raging freestone rivers are carefully melded with days on spring creeks or high in mountain passes. The trout are big and plentiful, but the fishing is challenging enough to ensure that you need to bring your ' A' game on each and every cast. If only I could be back there now...

Do yourself a favour...Book now!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Bill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Felix and his team (including Keeley the dog), are providing the most wonderful New Zealand fly fishing experience here at Owen river. Even in tough conditions and bad weather there is always a smile and nothing is too much for them to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The beauty, peace and serenity of the location is enough even if you are not fishing and the satisfaction of landing some of the the most elusive brown trout is fantastic. This has to be the top spot all round and is a place I would be really happy to return to.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JetLaggedMaureen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

From all aspects the Owen River Lodge stands out as the BEST. Felix has put together a team of people who provide great and genuine hospitality, food and guiding. NOTHING was too much trouble and Felix, you deserve all the awards that the Lodge has received. I shall return.
Andrew Duncan

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Andrew D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

My friends and I just returned from 4 days stay at Owen River Lodge. The setting on the Owen River is spectacular, equalled by the wonderful food, friendly staff, excellent food & wine, and a great host in Felix. However it is the fishing that is the real hero. The Lodge provides the best guides in the area. I fished with Boris and we landed (and released) 13 fish between 4.5 - 6lb over the 4 days - and lost equally as many. Highly recommend. A great adventure among some of the most wonderful rivers in the world. Antony Lynch

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank AntonyLynch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Owen River Lodge

Address: 173 Owen Valley East Road, Murchison 7077, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Nelson-Tasman Region > Murchison
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Murchison
Price Range: £363 - £577 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Owen River Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Owen River Lodge is New Zealand's finest 5 star rated fly fishing lodge. Luxurious, warm and inviting ambiance. Stylish, understated accommodation located right on the Owen River in the South Island of New Zealand. Come and enjoy the stunning food, superb service and outstanding fishing. ... more   less 

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