This is how hotels should be run. It's centred on the extended main house of a working sheep station in an area, as the name implies, like the UK's Lake District.
Tom and the team upgraded us from a basic room to the owners's house where we were accommodated in the most luxurious surroundings with breathtaking views, particularly from the bath, and our own private golf buggy for getting around the station. "Help yourself to wines and spirits in the room" which we did, without taking the mickey.
Dinner menus are discussed at breakfast with the chef. Breakfast itself is very sustaining, so much so we ate only fruit for lunch. Lovely walks around the station and a nice sheltered private heated pool. Tom does a Land Rover mounted tour around Lake Grasmere and the station down to Cass and its rail head and back. Look out for the Rata trees that give the trees a red sugar icing look and are quite special.
Dinner (lamb available!) is like a private dinner party for eight in the lodge's dining room with lovely Kiwi wines and fascinating conversations with the mainly US guests. After dinner have few drams of single malt (from a really awesome collection that would not disgrace Speyside) in the tartan-carpeted bar and snug, just like a shooting lodge in the Scottish Highlands.
Our only regret, we only had two nights on our sixty day round the world stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, Grasmere Lodge is at the heart of an operational 6,000 hectare grand pastoral station (ranch) surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. 100% purely Kiwi owned and operated Grasmere has been a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels since 1995. The 150 year old Homestead houses character rooms such as the library, lounge, bar and evening dining rooms. Thirteen guest rooms spread through the lodge, chalet and cottage boast panoramic views of lakes, rivers or rugged mountains. Meals feature the best of New Zealand produce and may include farm-raised venison, lamb or salmon or regional delicacies in season, such as whitebait from the West Coast. They are accompanied by an extensive wine list, which comprises award-winning New Zealand wines, including a number from the local Canterbury region. Carefully trained staff embody traditional southern hospitality, and are well-informed about the region and all it offers. From the lodge enjoy horseback riding, walking, kayaking, mountain biking, clay bird shooting or taking part in the daily 4WD station tour. Relax and rejuvenate in Mountain Spa or by the heated outdoor swimming pool. Gin-clear streams and lakes challenge the fly-fisherman while scenic flights from the airstrip entertain further afield. ... more less
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