Bluewater Lodge hasn't yet made it into the American guidebooks, so it was merely by chance that we found it through an Internet search. But BWL won't remain an undiscovered treasure for long. We were in N.Z. for nearly a month, and although we stayed in more expensive places and also several that were highly touted by various experts, BLW was by far our best lodging experience during our entire visit. Tucked into a quiet residential neighborhood just a short drive from the center of town, the lodge sits just above Lake Wanaka, with easy access to a path that runs along the water's edge. We stayed in the main bedroom on the second floor, which overlooks the lake and offers spectacular views across the water during the day and unobstructed views of the sunset in the evening. Our room had a balcony that overlooked the water (as did the bed), and the balcony also had a hot tub offering the same vista. Just amazing. The room itself was remarkably comfortable and well conceived. In addition to a snuggly bed and reading chairs, there was a desk with a dial-up computer connection (the hosts gave me their local Internet access number and password so I could log in with my laptop). There was a huge closet with lots of hangers, shelves and mini-bar with free beer, wine and other drinks. And the large, well-lit bathroom had a huge shower with lots of hot water and plenty of pressure. I'm still not doing justice to the place. The house was recently constructed using local wood, stone and other natural materials. It feels fresh in a clean, contemporary but vaguely rustic kind of way. The owners have a flair for decorating, too, so there's lots of pleasing design touches about, as well as some intriguing art by local artists. There were freshly made brownies and tea awaiting us on arrival, as well as complimentary snacks and wine before dinner and a delicious healthy breakfast in the morning. And I'm still not doing justice to the place. With just a few rooms, BLW is closer to a luxury B&B than a commercial hostelry. To be honest, we're not wild about B&Bs, which often are operated by hosts who have grown exasperated with the parade of demanding guests. But Dianne and Doug were delightful company, as well as helpful, thoughtful and caring hosts. Here are few more examples. In addition to offering a basket of brochures for local attractions and book with menus from local restaurants, they happily called around to inquire about several possible activities for us that weren't standard tourist fare. They offered to drive us into to town for dinner and then come pick us up when we were done so we could have wine with dinner and not worry about violating N.Z.'s strict DUI laws. Dianne did our laundry for us (at no charge) and expressed disappointment that we collected it from the clothesline before she had a chance to iron it. And every night before dinner, we would sit in the communal living room, sip wine and nibble hors d'ouevres while chatting about our day, planning the next one and generally sharing our lives. By the time we left -- with a plate of home-baked goodies, of course -- we felt like members of the family. I expect that you will, too. When we travel, we're demanding customers when it comes to lodging. But as I said, I can't imagine anywhere better to stay in New Zealand.