If you are looking for an elegant place to stay in New Zealand and simply the most luxurious hotel in North Island, look no further. The Huka Lodge, New Zealand is quite simply an incredible place to stay.
After all, it is a favourite lodge of The Queen’s, who has visited several times. The generous hospitality awaits you, alongside sophistication and style. They have a programme of unique and exciting events and we found the experiences readily available to be perfect for intimate occasions.
Come and experience the Huka Lodge, one of the worlds very best hotels…
We rolled up after a rather exciting day at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Trail, covered in dust and whiffing of sulphur.
However, we were greeted like royalty ourselves (despite our rather dusty appearance) with charm and warmth.
We were led to the front terrace where perfectly manicured lawns swept down to the lively Waikato river shining in the late afternoon light.
Tables were set for dinner and romance. Lots of candles were at the ready, and blankets on each chair.
All are tucked into private areas for an exclusive experience.
A smartly dressed waiter poured us a very welcome glass of champagne and we felt we were somewhere very special indeed.
Inside the lodge the decor is warm, eclectic and deeply luxurious.
This is the room we met for a pre-dinner cocktail and got to peek at some of the other (wonderfully elusive) guests.
This is the Library and is used by our dear Queen when she stays. It’s cozy and secluded. You also get an elevated view of the river as you dine in front of a log fire.
Good choice Ma’am!
Set by the riverside is the enchanting Green Room looking as pretty as a fairy-tale.
The Wine Cellar was a brilliant space. Sunken, sumptuous and abundant in wine. A favourite of the men in the group.
The Trophy Room is magnificent. A few small tables over look the river…
But this is our table.
Tonight we have it all to ourselves. We can hardly contain our glee! Never have we eaten somewhere so private and so lush before.
This is very special indeed.
Heading outside, wearing giant grins and wide eyed wonder, we get a quick tour of the grounds.
There are 17 acres of perfectly neat and glorious parkland.
Bikes and fishing rods are there for guests to use.
I adore this croquet set, set up so beautifully. I feel a sense of calm serenity just looking at it.
Besides the croquet lawn there is also a tennis court if you were feeling more energetic.
Finally the turquoise swimming pool and spa pools (situated privately in their own pergolas).
It’s a wondrously tranquil and tempting space.
Tour over, we head for our lodge suite.
We were thrilled. Our bedrooms were enormously comfortable, stylish and luxuriant.
Having restrained myself and not jumped like a child on the bed, the bathrooms made me giggle out loud.
I couldn’t contain myself any more. ‘Andy! In our dream house we should do this…’ (a girl can dream).
A smart little kitchenette area for drinks and snacks.
Both rooms have foldaway, gliding doors that open wide to a private decking area, the river and a group of ducks which are ready to greet us.
More than satisfied with our lot, we excitedly showered and glammed up for dinner.
Rather than heading straight to The Trophy Room, we opted to have a cocktail and aperitifs along with the other guests.
It’s not that we mingled as such, rather we enjoyed the atmosphere and elegant hum of polite chatter and expensive perfume.
We spotted this rather fantastic setting by the outdoor fireplace (one of many). The lodge sure looks inviting this time of night.
After a couple of delicious cocktails we head for up for our private dinner.
Now, I’m aware that this is all very positive and glowing, we just haven’t yet found anything to criticise. I’m not getting paid for this blog post. They have numerous awards and we are finding the lodge and service truly outstanding.
On with the gushing…
Cocktails in hand we settle around the fireplace enjoying more refined nibbles and the African vibe.
Friendly staff offered to take family shots of our special evening.
All overlooked by this guy.
Our men always enjoy discussing wine with a sommelier. They learn a few things and their tastes continue to develop and change. I can’t keep up, so I get quiet just enjoying it all.
Charlotte enjoys a bit of bubbly so spends this time mesmerised by the burning log fire.
Seated. Bring it on.
By the way, have you ever seen more beautiful water glasses?!
First we were given a smooth, truffled, green garlicky amuse-bouche.
Next the most delicate fish course with slices of root vegetables, hazelnuts and a green sauce.
We were having a delightful time, relaxed and indulged.
The seats were so comfy my jet lag was nagging at me. Sleeeep.
Nooooo, not tonight!
Time for a little break and catching another family snap.
The decanted wine has opened up and is ready to pour.
I love when something so simple can feel like a spectacle.
We try to resist more of the flavoursome bread. It wasn’t easy.
Our fantastic dessert.
We left the table, happy to settle back by the well stoked fire where fine cheeses were placed alongside coffee and petit fours.
They were perfectly done and difficult to resist. So, we didn’t and tucked in with utter relish.
The evening came to a close and we lazily left The Trophy Room and took a stroll back to our rooms.
Tucking in to bed with the fireplace flickering away, we found that the ever thoughtful staff had placed soft, cozy hot water bottles in our beds (it is Autumn here). We just shaked our heads slowly with delighted surprise.
Waking slowly the next morning, stretching and talking about our plans for the day, it wasn’t easy leaving the snug beds.
However, when you have this happening outside your lodge, you just have to!
Our favourite duck couple are awake and ready to greet us.
And before you knew it, there was a quacking little queue.
The river mist was caught in the morning sun and the long shadows of the trees stretched across the damp lawn.
As we disturbed the complete peace two of the locals decided it was time to head off.
Finally, we make it to breakfast wondering how on earth we could be hungry after our feast last night.
But, we were and hungrily perused the breakfast menu.
I discovered this lovely pot of oats.
Charlotte enjoyed the delicious Huka Honey, smearing it over warm toast.
I must have been craving oats, because I also chose this traditional porridge with banana, brown sugar, cinnamon and hazelnut crumbs.
You can also cut a slice of honeycomb, which we all ate indulgently with tea spoons.
Full of energy and excitement we wanted to explore the gardens a little more.
As the last of the mist dissolves we could see how crystal clear the river was.
We found another private dining area. This jetty pavilion was gorgeous.
The Huka Falls are just down the road.
The river has changed in character and now all that smooth, powerful current bashes and crashes as it squeezes through the narrow gorge.
Then tumbles in a roar down the waterfall.
A rainbow arches delicately at the foot of the waterfall.
To really appreciate the unbelievable power of Huka Falls, play this video!
Before we left our now beloved Huka Lodge to other adventures, we just wanted to enjoy the peace for a little longer.
Doing nothing more than watching the locals swim against the current to the other bank.
With our favourite duck couple settled at our feet,
joining us for a little snooze.
There are so much to do from here. We spent a hilarious morning at Hobbiton and explored the Wai-O-Tapo Thermal Wonderland. Follow this link to see experiences organised by the Lodge, including helicopters and fishing.
I have to say the Huka Lodge has been the best place we have ever stayed at. Faultless actually. It is pricey, but our one night stay will be held up as one of our best memories.
It’s been magical and I dream of returning one day. If you possibly can you should make this happen. You will never forget it.
271 Huka Falls Road,
Taupo 3377, New Zealand
By the way, they also have a Lodge in Fiji and South Africa. Now there’s a thought.
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Another place to stay in New Zealand’s North Island, and well worth checking out, is Solitaire Lodge, New Zealand.