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Delamore Lodge, Waiheke
Holiday like the rich and famous at Delamore on Waiheke, where Madonna, Justin Bieber and Alanis Morissette are all rumoured to have stayed, although probably not together. The glitz and glam of the guests belies the environment however – Delamore is a peaceful and private escape, atop a cliff overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, but only a five-minute drive from the ferry terminal.
Guests approach from the back of the property and are then led through to a wide deck and the hotel’s Instagram-famous pool – an infinity-style example on the edge of the property. Further down the hill are fruit trees and garden walks for exploring.
Each evening, guests gather on the balcony to enjoy canapes and pre-dinner drinks together.
Split Apple Retreat, Abel Tasman
In New Zealand’s sunniest region you’ll find Split Apple Retreat, which sits atop a peninsula overlooking Abel Tasman.
Run by a doctor and a chef, Split Apple’s focus is strongly on wellness – the lodge offers a saltwater infinity pool, private beaches and bush walks, as well as massages, acupuncture, yoga sessions and meditation. There is a Japanese Onsen hot bath, as well as saunas to enjoy. The Asian-Mediterranean menu is personalised for each guest according to their needs and goals, and cooking lessons are offered.
There are just three suites available, each quite different in design – facilities include Japanese granite baths, private decks and lounge areas, but children under 12 will have to stay at home.
Annandale, Banks Peninsula
At Annandale, they promise “gumboot luxury” (just make sure you bring your Hunters, or Red Bands at least). Here, guests have exclusive use of their villa, homestead or cottage (or the stables, which is a two-bedroom luxury loft apartment), so your retreat is entirely private.
Choose Scrubby Bay to enjoy a private bay surrounded by the hills of the Banks Peninsula, and space for a party of 14. At Seascape, there is room for just two – this is the romantic option, with an outdoor fireplace and spa, in a beautiful room set directly into the tussock hillside.
Minaret Station, Wanaka
You possibly can’t get further away from it all than at Minaret Station, New Zealand’s most remote hotel. There are no roads leading in – guests must take a helicopter from Queenstown or Wānaka, and fly over Otago at 3000m. The chopper will drop you just metres from your cabin.
In this remote glacial valley, 900m above Lake Wanaka, you’ll find four simple but luxurious cabins, appointed with sheepskins and private hot tubs, and a shared central dining room and lounge. The lodge is off-grid – the water comes from the alpine waterfall behind it, and power is hydroelectric. The bar is open – help yourself to a G&T or wine, then take a place on the sofa in front of the fire.