Helena Bay Luxury Lodge – Helena Bay, New Zealand 🇳🇿

 

In the northeast corner of New Zealand’s North Island lies Helena Bay Lodge. This luxury lodge features three kilometres of pristine coastline, four private beaches and many intimate coves.

The property offers a wide range of activities including kayaking, fishing, farm tours and bicycles. 800 acres combine a mix of forestry and open paddocks and with miles of tracks there is plenty to explore.

The inspiration for the architecture of the Lodge came from a desire to achieve timeless legitimacy in the region. For this reason styling ideas were taken from the early European buildings such as The Treaty House in Waitangi, Pompallier Mission House in Russell, Te Waimate Mission House in Kaikohe and the Stone Store in Kerikeri. Modern materials were used, but the appearance is of a building that could have been built a century ago. The base of the building is clad in Northland sedimentary schist, sourced from a nearby quarry, that formed part of the ocean floor 30 million years ago. Fragments of ancient coral, crustacean and mollusc shells have been captured within the stone. Construction of the Lodge began in 2010 and was completed in 2016.

Guests will enjoy exploring the individual rooms of the Main House decorated with its eclectic artwork and treasures, which have been collected by the owners during their travels around the globe.  These captivating and fascinating pieces complement opulent interior design.

Accommodation

Helena Bay hosts a maximum of five individual couples accommodated in five luxury Villa Suites, which are named after New Zealand native birds.

All the Villa Suites have extensive balconies with views overlooking Helena Bay beach and beyond to the South Pacific Ocean. Leica binoculars are provided for the opportunity to view bird life, visiting whales and dolphins, and vessels tracking across the bay out to sea.

Dining

Helena Bay has brought the celebrated Michelin starred Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890 of Southern Italy to New Zealand. Under the direction and the influence of Don Alfonso’s philosophy of respecting the local food culture while incorporating the age-old traditions of the Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast, fine dining will define the hospitality experience at Helena Bay.

Significant investment has been made at Helena Bay to offer guests ‘Estate to Plate’ cuisine. The menus, which change daily, are created following the Don Alfonso philosophy.

Head Chef Michele Martino was born in Southern Italy. He has trained in the culinary art of fine dining restaurants all around Italy and Europe. In 2009 he welcomed the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Iaccarino family at Don Alfonso 1890, sharing their concept of Mediterranean cuisine. After establishing himself as a trusted and respected Chef under the watchful eye of Ernesto Iaccarino, he was asked to Chef at the Don Alfonso 1890 Macau in the Grand Lisboa Hotel. After a very successful period in Macau, the Iaccarino family decided to utilise Michele’s exceptional culinary skills further and asked him to help implement and establish new ventures; first as Chef de Cuisine in Dubai and, more recently, on the romantic Island of Capri.

Ready for a new challenge, Michele has arrived on New Zealand’s beautiful shores with clear ideas: “I think Helena Bay Lodge is a unique and enchanting place where people can deeply enjoy all of life’s pleasures. The organic philosophy of Helena Bay Lodge meets the history of Mediterranean gastronomy with the Iaccarino family. For this reason I believe that guests who have the pleasure to enjoy our beautiful property will have an unforgettable experience.”

The Spa

Particular attention has been paid to the Gym and Spa wing which has been constructed to reflect the character of a traditional Russian Banya (bathhouse) but in a modern and functional way. Exquisitely decorated with more than a million intricate ceramic mosaic tiles imported from Italy, it has an authentic and welcoming feel. The wing contains a modern gym, massage room, changing rooms, dry sauna, steam room, and cool plunge pool.

The central courtyard of the lodge surrounds a spectacular 25-metre in-ground heated swimming pool. Exclusive to guests, the outdoor pool is ideal for gentle morning exercise or to unwind after a busy day. Afterwards, in the summer months, enjoy the opportunity to lounge on our poolside terrace soaking up the sun.

New Zealand 🇳🇿

As the planet heats up environmentally and politically, it’s good to know that New Zealand exists. This uncrowded, green, peaceful and accepting country is the ultimate escape.

Food, Wine & Beer

Kiwi food was once a bland echo of a boiled British Sunday roast – but these days NZ chefs find inspiration in new-world culinary oceans, especially the South Pacific with its abundant seafood and encircling cuisines. And don’t go home without seeking out some local faves: paua (abalone), kina (sea urchin) and kumara (sweet potato). For picnic fodder, head to NZ’s fab farmers markets. Thirsty? NZ’s cool-climate wineries have been filling trophy cabinets for decades (sublime pinot noir and sauvignon blanc), and the country’s craft-beer scene is exploding. Contemporary coffee culture is also firmly entrenched.

Walk on the Wild Side

There are just 4.6 million New Zealanders, scattered across 268,021 sq km: bigger than the UK with one-fourteenth the population. Filling in the gaps are the sublime forests, mountains, lakes, beaches and fiords that have made NZ one of the best hiking (locals call it ‘tramping’) destinations on earth. Tackle one of nine epic ‘Great Walks’ – you’ve probably heard of the Heaphy and Milford Tracks – or just spend a few hours wandering along a beach, paddling a canoe or mountain biking through some easily accessible wilderness.

The Real ‘Big Easy’

Forget New Orleans… NZ can rightly claim the ‘Big Easy’ crown for the sheer ease of travel here. This isn’t a place where you encounter many on-the-road frustrations: buses and trains run on time; roads are in good nick; ATMs proliferate; pickpockets, scam merchants and bedbug-ridden hostels are few and far between; and the food is unlikely to send you running for the nearest public toilets (usually clean and stocked with the requisite paper). And there are no snakes, and only one poisonous spider – the rare katipo, sightings of which are considered lucky. This decent nation is a place where you can relax and enjoy (rather than endure) your holiday.

Māori Culture

If you’re even remotely interested in rugby, you’ll have heard of NZ’s all-conquering All Blacks, who would never have become back-to-back world champions without their unstoppable Māori players. But this is just one example of how Māori culture impresses itself on contemporary Kiwi life: across NZ you can hear Māori language, watch Māori TV, see main-street marae (meeting houses), join in a hangi (Māori feast) or catch a cultural performance with traditional Māori song, dance and usually a blood-curdling haka (war dance). You might draw the line at contemplating ta moko, traditional Māori tattooing (often applied to the face).

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Credits:

Helena Bay

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/new-zealand/introduction

 

 

Zorb & Luge – Solitaire Lodge – Rotorua, New Zealand 🇳🇿

 

The Zorb is a Kiwi inven­tion: the first zorbing site was established in Rotorua, New Zealand, by David and Andrew Akers.

Inside large inflat­able balls, it offers rides down­hill at speeds up to 30km/​h.

Zorbing is generally performed on a gentle slope, but can also be done on a level surface, permitting more rider control.

In the absence of hills some operators have constructed inflatable, wooden, or metal ramps.

Due to the buoyant nature of the orbs, Zorbing can also be carried out on water as a water ‘hydro” ride, provided the orb is inflated properly and sealed once the rider is inside.

The Luge, another kiwi inven­tion, involves steer­ing a 3 wheel sled down a wind­ing con­crete strip and test­ing tech­niques of speed and cornering.

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Credits:

http://www.solitairelodge.co.nz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorbing

 

 

Bungee Jumping – Solitaire Lodge – Rotorua, New Zealand 🇳🇿

 

This New Zealand inven­tion is probably the most famous thrill-seeking activity.

In Bungy jumping (also known as bungee jumping) a long elastic cord is attached to the ankles or harness, and the person jumps off a large height.

New Zealand was brought to the forefront of adventure sport when in 1888 AJ Hackett opened the first commercial bungy jump from the Kawarau Bridge, 43 metres (141 feet), over the Kawarau river.

Bungy jumping was inspired by David Attenborough’s 1950’s footage of the land divers of Pentecost Island Vanuatu, who tied vines to their ankles and jumped off tall platforms as a religious ceremony to bring a good harvest.

At Solitaire Lodge will be possible to live this incredible adventure, and combining it with a view of Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island.

 

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.solitairelodge.co.nz

http://www.queenstown.nz.com/bungy-jumping.aspx

 

 

Solitaire Lodge – Rotorua, New Zealand 🇳🇿

 

Overlooking Lake Tarawera, this all-suite, all-inclusive upscale hotel is 12 km from Whakarewarewa Forest and 23 km from the pools and therapies of Polynesian Spa: Soli­taire Lodge Rotorua is one of the finest exam­ples of Lux­ury Accom­mo­da­tion New Zealand has to offer.

Styled with com­fort in mind, all ten lux­ury accom­mo­da­tion suites fea­ture panoramic views of the glassy lake and mag­nif­i­cent vol­cano through grand pic­ture win­dows. The sub­tle design brings the out­doors in, invit­ing you to unwind and soak up the peace and quiet of this tran­quil set­ting.

Renowned for its fine din­ing, Soli­taire lodge serves con­tem­po­rary New Zealand cui­sine pre­pared with fresh local pro­duce and com­ple­mented by superb New Zealand wines from selected vine­yards. Engage in lively con­ver­sa­tion with fel­low guests in the lodge’s din­ing room, or choose an inti­mate din­ner for two in your suite.

Vin­tage beams, pre­vi­ously used as bridge sup­ports in the Man­garoa Val­ley, frame the entrance to Soli­taire Lodge. Can­vas shade sails play above, like fan­tails, to help high­light the path­way and lead guests to the Lodge Recep­tion, Main Lounge and Restau­rant where expan­sive views of Lake Tarawera and moun­tain back­drop are a key fea­ture. Renowned for its fine din­ing, Soli­taire Lodge serves con­tem­po­rary New Zealand cui­sine pre­pared with fresh local pro­duce and com­ple­mented by superb wines from selected vine­yards. Engage in lively con­ver­sa­tion with fel­low guests in the Lodge’s din­ing room, or choose an inti­mate din­ner for two in your Suite.

Lodge ameni­ties include com­pli­men­tary use of the Lodge’s motorised dinghies and kayaks, lake walks along the shore­line of the Lodge grounds, trout fish­ing from the Lodge jetty and lake swim­ming from Solitaire’s pri­vate beach.

Alter­na­tively, enjoy expan­sive lake views from your Suite bal­cony or wan­der through the herb gar­dens over­look­ing the lagoon: the lodge is the per­fect place to sim­ply relax, indulge and reju­ve­nate, left in the able hands of your warm, friendly New Zealand hosts.

In case you’d enjoy new adventures and experiences there’s plenty of choices. Among them:

Rotorua, New Zealand 🇳🇿

Rotorua, the place of fas­ci­nat­ing Māori cul­ture, hot springs and boil­ing mud pools. No visit to New Zealand would be com­plete with­out stop­ping here.

The name Rotorua comes from Maori, the full name being Te Rotorua-​nui-​a-​Kahumatamomoe; roto means lake and rua two – Rotorua thus mean­ing ‘Sec­ond lake’. Kahu­mata­mo­moe was the uncle of the Maori chief Ihenga, the ances­tral explorer of the Te Arawa. It was the sec­ond major lake the chief dis­cov­ered, and he ded­i­cated it to his uncle. It is the largest of a mul­ti­tude found to the north­east of the city, all con­nected with the Rotorua Caldera and our neigh­bour Mount Tarawera. The name can also mean the equally appro­pri­ate ‘crater lake’.

Ther­mal activ­ity is at the heart of much of Rotorua’s tourist appeal. Gey­sers and bub­bling mud pools, hot ther­mal springs and the Buried Vil­lage —so named after it was buried by the 1886 Mount Tarawera erup­tion, are all within easy reach of the Lodge. If adven­ture is your thing, Rotorua has many attrac­tions to get the adren­a­lin flow­ing; every­thing from sky­div­ing and lug­ing to zorb­ing and one of New Zealand’s best moun­tain cir­cuits. It’s also a big trout fish­ing area with fish­ing on the lakes and trib­u­tary rivers.

The spirit of Man­aak­i­tange is alive and well in the geot­her­mal won­der­land of Rotorua. Places like Te Puia, Mitai Vil­lage and Tamaki Vil­lage offer cul­tural expe­ri­ences which com­bine dra­matic per­for­mances with deli­cious Maori food. At Whakare­warewa you can see how early Maori used the geot­her­mal waters of the area to cook, bathe and do wash­ing. Enjoy the inter­ac­tive Rotorua Museum, or visit Ohine­mutu Vil­lage and see beau­ti­ful carved meet­ing houses and a Tudor style church dec­o­rated with Maori art.

The Real ‘Big Easy’:

Forget New Orleans… NZ can rightly claim the ‘Big Easy’ crown for the sheer ease of travel here. This isn’t a place where you encounter many on-the-road frustrations: buses and trains run on time; roads are in good nick; ATMs proliferate; pickpockets, scam merchants and bedbug-ridden hostels are few and far between; and the food is unlikely to send you running for the nearest public toilets (usually clean and stocked with the requisite paper). And there are no snakes, and only one poisonous spider – the rare katipo, sightings of which are considered lucky. This decent nation is a place where you can relax and enjoy (rather than endure) your holiday.

Follow @blackplatinumgold on Instagram

Credits:

http://www.solitairelodge.co.nz

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/new-zealand

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/new-zealand/rotorua-and-the-bay-of-plenty/rotorua/introduction