New Zealand’s newest luxury destination, Helena Bay has been named as the best new hotel in the world by luxury global research group Luxury Travel Intelligence.
The NZ$50 million-plus luxury lodge - opened for guests just two months ago on 1 November 2016 - and features three exclusive-use waterfront villas.
Helena Bay is one of the most beautiful bays along a coastline of breathtaking, sheltered sandy coves. The luxury development took many years to complete and the complex includes a Turkish hammam, a gym and a swimming pool – all designed to blend seamlessly with the scenic surrounds. The surrounding property includes a farm, 3km of pristine coastline with four private beaches, and extensive gardens and planting.
UK-based travel group Luxury Travel Intelligence specialises in assessing high-end accommodation and providing in depth and honest information to its member-only clientele.
Helena Bay is one of the countless inlets, coves and bays that form the unspoiled Tutukaka Coast, on the northeast perimeter of New Zealand’s North Island. Prestigious National Geographic Traveler magazine ranked this less well known New Zealand gem second-equal on a list of 99 of the world’s top rated islands, coastlines and beaches (published in 2010).
Private and secluded, the lodge has been designed to meet the highest expectations of comfort and style for those who seek peace, privacy and the opportunity to be close to the unspoiled beauty of nature, whilst enjoying a very sophisticated level of hospitality.
The lodge is easily accessible from Auckland and guests can choose to arrive by helicopter on a scenic 45-minute flight or by road with an easy two-and-a-half hour drive via Whangarei.
The surrounding Northland region was the first part of New Zealand to be settled, by both Maori and Europeans, and the lodge has been inspired by some of New Zealand’s earliest colonial buildings. The architect, Greg Jones, was asked to create a timeless and classic group of buildings that would readily blend, and become at one, with Helena Bay.
Helena Bay caters for a maximum of 10 guests accommodated in three villa suites.
Guest facilities are generous and include a gym, saunas – including a Turkish sauna, massage and treatment rooms, a 25-metre heated swimming pool, library, three lounge areas, both informal and formal dining areas and an outdoor fire pit. Gourmet cuisine is inspired by fresh produce gathered daily from the estate’s vegetable gardens and orchards, and meat supplied from the farm.
Major investment has also been made in many conservation initiatives at Helena Bay, with pest and predator management programmes to encourage the return of pateke, kiwi and mutton birds to the property and a massive re-planting of native trees and plants to enhance the local environment.