Going from one wonder to another and discover Wonderland on our way.

Milady A - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Our 7 weeks vacation had almost come to an end as we were travelling up North again towards our final stay on our New Zealand holiday.

Huka Lodge, which has consistently been rated as one of the World’s Best, is nestled on the banks of the Waikato River and lies within a location of great natural beauty.

We had huge expectations of this lodge, because of its rating and excellent reviews by luxurious travellers around the world, however I must say when we arrived and saw the interior of the main entrance, we were a little disappointed.
Not that it was bad, of course not, the retreat is part of the Relais & Chateaux Group, however as with some other retreats belonging to this Group, we adore the location, we adore the exquisite food but the rooms and interior are mostly not exactly what we expect of such a luxurious place. We have had better on our trip, but I guess this all depends on personal taste as this lodge is frequented by many celebrities as well as kings and queens. The extensive guest list can be found on the website following this link: http://www.hukalodge.co.nz/the-lodge/guest-list/

When we entered the lodge, I had the feeling of entering a rather old lodge where an interior designer should come in and show his worth transforming the rather old fashioned interior into something fitting the needs of the modern and sophisticated traveller with high standards. I do love the cosy cottage style of English mansions and castle-like houses - I suppose you all know that by now - however this kind of English-style really meant the totally old style with dark blue carpets, dark green blankets and so on.

We were shown to our room and the manager told us that the Queen of England stayed in this room. You see, totally the style of the Queen of England. The room was spacious with an eye for detail, such as the finest monogrammed bed linen, feather pillows and freshly baked biscuits. Large French doors opened onto the wooden terrace facing the deep turquoise green waters of the Waikato river. Its long journey from Lake Taupo takes its flowing past the Huka Lodge to the full force of the famous well-known Huka Falls beyond the lodge, taking the water afterwards on to the sea. A splendid scenery I must admit!
The bathroom was truly the most indulgent spot in the room. It was very spacious which I like, offering a decadent deep bath, heated floors and twin basins with very exquisite details giving the bathroom a luxurious feel.

The Lodge has been further enhanced by 17-acres of park-like grounds and extensive manicured gardens and as I mentioned before, the location and surroundings of Relais & Chateaux hotels are always superb, just as here at the Huka Falls.

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Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Taupo Huka Lodge

Upon our arrival, we had a light lunch snack on the terrace, overlooking those breathtaking waterfalls, which gave us such a happy feeling. The dinners however were the best treat of our stay at Huka Lodge. We have eaten in many top restaurants and hotels on our journey, but honestly?
Huka Lodge served the best food of them all.
Each evening there was a 5 course dinner served and if there is something we didn’t like, we could just swap anything on the menu we wanted. Truly, this place deserves a few Michelin Stars on its name!

The lodge has a main dining room, but as I did not really like that English interior, and as I prefer “private” dining with my husband, we have had the opportunity to enjoy private dining every evening of our 4-nights stay. Miraculous places such as near the water of the Huka Falls, with a full moon on our sight and plenty of candles surrounding us, warmed up by cosy blankets and heaters.
My gosh, that was a miraculous experience!

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Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Taupo Huka Lodge

Throughout our stay, we tried to see as much as possible of the area around Taupo. I have dreamed of seeing Middle-Earth since I watched the Lord of the Rings movies, so a trip to Hobbiton was an easy choice. Look at our pictures to experience the peaceful, happy atmosphere of lovely Hobbiton yourself and in case you would like to visit it, here is the link with plenty of information: http://www.hobbitontours.com.

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Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Taupo Huka Lodge

The next day we drove up to Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland which is known as one of the most surreal places in the world.
We explored spectacular nature at New Zealand’s most colorful volcanic area which has been in the making for thousands of years. A true Wonderland of stunning geothermal activity. The only thing you need to be aware of is the strong smell of sulfur at some points in the park, but this is something you easily forget as you walk through the beautiful scenery of the place.

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Luxury Places - Luxury Hotels - NZ Taupo Huka Lodge

We had a wonderful time and celebrated my birthday “in style” at the Huka Lodge where my husband surprised me every hour again with Milady-like treats. My gosh, that man knows me well … It was heaven on earth!

Our wonderful time could have lasted much longer as far as we were concerned, but as my birthday date suddenly lay behind us, we knew our trip was about to end unfortunately ...

One thing we promised ourselves right away: “We will not be sad to leave this miraculous place on earth, because we will definitely come back!”

Our 7-weeks adventure in Japan and New Zealand was truly the best vacation of our life …
At least so far ;-) … !

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