At the head of a secluded valley in the breathtaking Canterbury region lies one of New Zealand’s most important historic estate -- Otahuna Lodge. Otahuna is an intimate, exclusive retreat set in an 1895 manor house surrounded by 30 acres of original botanic gardens. The Lodge’s seven generous suites retain grand architectural features from the 19th century such as open fireplaces, exquisite timber paneling and stained glass windows.
Situated at the base of the Banks Peninsula, the Lodge is only 30 minutes’ drive from Christchurch airport, making it the ideal base from which to explore Canterbury. Wineries, private gardens, championship golf, the majestic Southern Alps and even the world’s rarest dolphins are all just a short drive – or helicopter ride – from the front door.
Otahuna has been featured in many of the world’s most celebrated publications including Architectural Digest, The Financial Times and Town & Country and has been named one of Andrew Harper’s Top 20 International Hideaways and the Best Hotel in Australia and New Zealand by Gallivanter’s Guide.
The Lodge is located in a secluded valley of the Port Hills outside of the village of Tai Tapu, 25 minutes' drive from Christchurch International Airport or 20 minutes' drive from Christchurch’s city center
Property IncludesOn-Site RestaurantsSwimming Facilities
The Lodge offers seven unique guest suites. Each retains architectural features from the nineteenth century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon’s of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.
The Botanical Suite
The Botanical Suite was formerly the Morning Room. A floor-to-ceiling mantle featuring gingerbread woodwork and a wood-burning fireplace anchors one corner of the room. In another, a large bay window faces east to the gardens. Located on the ground floor, this suite offers its guests access to the gardens through a private exterior door. The suite is handicap accessible.
The Butler Suite
This suite with separate bedroom and living room is characterized by original artwork featuring scenes of the Canterbury region. A Colefax & Fowler plaid is highlighted throughout the suite and a decorative scheme reminiscent of the Arts & Crafts period features dark wood and classic furniture. The Butler Suite offers two bathrooms and a wood-burning fireplace.
The Clark Suite
The Clark Suite features a soft yellow and blue design scheme that draws its inspiration from the expansive stained glass windows. A stunning Brunschwig & Fils fabric along with original oil paintings of the nearby seaside town of Akaroa distinguish this lovely space. A wood-burning fireplace and spa tub are also found in the suite.
The Garret Suite
Tucked away at the top of the house, the former attic reflects a passion for the great outdoors. Views from the sitting area extend all the way across the province to the mountains. Fishing and hunting memorabilia line the warm, wood-paneled walls. Eclectic antiques and mementos accent the Garret Suite which features a 1800s archival Swedish fish-patterned fabric.
The Polo Suite – The Polo Suite occupies a cozy position at the front of the house overlooking a courtyard on one side and the Great Lawn on the other. The room features classic leathers and houndstooth fabrics, oak furniture and such decorative accessories as polo mallets hung on the wall. A fireplace is found in both the living room and in the palatial bathroom.
The Rhodes Suite
The largest suite at the Lodge boasts four rooms, including a palatial bedroom with a magnificent Victorian fireplace, a separate octagonal sitting area situated in the turret, a well-lit separate office and a private outdoor terrace. The Rhodes Suite bathroom is luxuriously appointed with a double shower and separate spa tub.
The Verandah Suite
Featuring a thirty-foot long terrace that runs across the front of this lovely suite, the Verandah Suite is filled with light and offers striking views of the Canterbury plains. This lovely room is believed to have hosted HRH the Duke of York (later King George VI), a guest of the Lodge when he stayed in 1927. A wood-burning fireplace in both the bedroom and en suite bathroom add to its romantic nature.
Things To Do
Whether you wish to sail in an extinct volcanic harbour, take in the panoramas from one of the world’s greatest train journeys or charter a helicopter from Otahuna’s Great Lawn into the jaw-dropping scenery of the Southern Alps, there are numerous options to help craft your time at the Lodge and the areas around us. Working with a team of the region’s finest operators, we have selected our favorite excursions to help you become immersed in the sights, sounds and flavors of the amazing place we call home.
Experiences at Otahuna
Dining: The cuisine of the Lodge celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh estate-grown offerings. Dinner is a five-course chef’s degustation menu which changes daily, making use of the best fresh produce and guests’ dietary requirements.
Cooking Class: Culinary excellence is a cornerstone of the Otahuna experience. A hands-on cooking lesson with Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre provides an enjoyable overview of the philosophies behind the Lodge’s celebrated food and wine program. Classes incorporate a harvesting visit to Otahuna’s organic working gardens, provide an introduction to planning menus and offer a special chance to learn first-hand cooking techniques.
Garden Tour: Recognized as a Garden of National Significance, Otahuna’s 30 acres have been renowned in New Zealand for well over a century. A guided tour with Head Gardener Steve Marcham or a member of his team illuminates the stories behind the property’s rich history and its continued modern-day restoration.
Experiences Beyond Otahuna
High Country Experience: Discover the remarkable spirit of Canterbury with this “invitation only” excursion to a private, family-owned station set amidst some of New Zealand’s most dramatic alpine scenery.
Foothills Explorer: This unique experience highlights two favorite Kiwi pastimes: a jet boat ride and a hike into the bush.
Best of Canterbury: An amazing half-day introduction to many of the highlights of a stay in Canterbury. Depart from Otahuna and fly over dramatic Lyttelton Harbour and up the coast of the Pacific Ocean before landing in the Waipara wine region at multi-award wining Pegasus Bay Winery.
Otahuna Lodge can be included in any of our itineraries. Call a Swain Destinations Specialist today at 1-800-227-9246.