Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand
Otahuna is an elegant, opulent lodge set at the heart of a rolling country estate. With commanding views of its landscaped gardens and far beyond to the surrounding plains, the views take you to the foot of New Zealand's Southern Alps.
At a Glance
Nowhere else will you get such a strong sense of history - Sir Heaton and Jessie Rhodes' memory is very much alive in the house that they built and the refined traditions that continue here
The menu celebrates fresh New Zealand produce with an emphasis on estate-grown offerings
Otahuna Lodge is the ideal place from which to explore Canterbury and the Banks Peninsula
Each of the Suites is individually designed with a distinct feel and personality
The gardens of Otahuna are a delight, particularly in spring when the millions of daffodils carpet the meadow
In September, the meadows at Otahuna are overrun with beautiful daffodils - the Verandah Suite is perfectly positioned to enjoy this floral flourish. For real country-side chic, try the Garrett Suite in the eaves of this stunning lodge, with quirky corners and a unique outdoorsy vibe.Scott Dunn team
Hop aboard and enjoy this incredibly famous train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. You will cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. You will traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular view will take your breath away.Scott Dunn team
For those chocoholics, if you are exploring Akaroa and the surrounding areas, make sure you call in on the She Cafe and chocolate shop, for their impressive selection of truffles and to die for hot chocolates, all created by their master chocolatiers!Sarah Rowan
Otahuna is the largest private historic residence in New Zealand and dating back to 1895, is regarded as the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Australasia. Distinctive features such as a hand-carved Kauri staircase, Rimu panelling, original lead lights and fifteen working wood-burning fireplaces have brought Otahuna Lodge the honour of a Category 1 listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and make this one of the most luxury homesteads there is.
Each guest suite retains architectural features from the nineteenth century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows whilst boasting modern décor that is sensitive to Otahuna's historic past. The suites all differ so much in style, size and shape but all are styled in character with their original use. It is easy to imagine the lady of the house, Jessie Rhodes, and other fine ladies of the Canterbury region taking their morning tea at 11 o'clock sharp in the Botanical Suite (originally the Morning Room) overlooking the manicured gardens. Similarly, the Veranda Suite epitomizes a 'room with a view' with a huge veranda with cane furniture provoking strong images of times past.
The 30 acres of manicured gardens and rambling, semi-wild woodlands include an orchard with a variety of fruit and nut trees, a one-acre vegetable garden, a mushroom garden, a rose garden and a field that blooms with millions of daffodils in the spring.
At dinner, you can eat communally in the formal dining room or alternatively, you may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret or another location of your choosing. Aside from formal dining, you can pursue many culinary experiences on the property, including cooking classes and even seasonal mushroom foraging.
Beyond Otahuna, hiking, cycling, horse riding, golf and fishing are all easily arranged and the vineyards and cellar doors of the Waipara wine region and the fascinating city of Christchurch are easily explored in a day trip.
Otahuna has five Suites and two Master Suites. Among them is the Polo Suite, decorated in leathers and houndstooth fabrics, the wood panelled Garret Suite perched at the top of house and tucked in the eaves and the classic English Clark Suite with stained glass windows and country estate ambience. The voluminous Master Suites both consist of a series of rooms and the Veranda Suite has four doors opening onto a huge arched veranda and the palatial Rhodes Suite embodies the building's gracious history. All suites feature: artwork from some of New Zealand's finest artists, super king beds, fine custom-made linens, deep soaking bathtubs and separate showers, and luxury toiletries by Pehanligon's.
Children under 13 not accepted at Otahuna. It is an historical and traditional property with a strong emphasis on fine dining and fine wines and families may find it a little 'grown up' and therefore restrictive for younger children.
Opulent dinners take place communally in Otahuna Lodge's dining room surrounded by original wallpaper, crackling fire and flickering candles and accompanied by the very best wines from the hotel wine cellar. Private dinners can also be arranged in a number of quiet locations around the hotel. There is also a gym, outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court, cycling, petanque and croquet available on site.
Otahuna organizes cooking classes to enable guests to learn first hand the techniques of the chef and croquet, petanque, tennis, cycling and woodland walks are all activities on site. Nearby, horse riding, fly fishing and golf can be arranged as can wine tours in the Waipara district, visits to the harbor town of Akaroa, Christchurch and even a heli-flight over the Southern Alps.
Location & Directions
Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand
Otahuna Lodge is located on Rhodes Road in the secluded Port Hills valley in Tai Tapu, just twenty minutes drive from Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand.
When to go
The climate in New Zealand is incredibly pleasant, with warm and balmy summers and cold crisp winter months with wonderful clear, blue skies. The warmer high-season months of November to April are perfect for outdoor exploration. The colder months of June to August are the best time to ski.
Both North and South Islands are drier on the east coast, rather than on the west, where mountain ranges act as a trap for the moisture-rich winds from the Tasman Sea. It is also worth remembering that it is usually a few degrees cooler on the South Island than the North Island and as New Zealand has a maritime climate, the weather can change rapidly.