Award-winning New Zealand – 2015 successes

New Zealand may be a small player but is consistently recognised with top honours from the global tourism Industry.

From spas to golf courses, hotels to luxury lodges, and simply as a holiday destination, New Zealand is consistently recognised with top honours from the global tourism industry. 

New Zealand may be a small player, but through a high level of service and that only-in-New-Zealand Kiwi hospitality style and finesse, this island nation somehow always manages to exceed expectations. 

With recognition from prestigious publications and industry peers alike, New Zealand stands out each year as a top travel destination, in Australasia, Oceania and the world. 

Destination New Zealand

  • New Zealand - #7 in Best Countries in the World
    2015 – Condé Nast Traveller UK
  • New Zealand - Favourite Country
    Telegraph Travel Awards 2014
  • New Zealand - runner-up, Favourite Emerging Overseas Destination
    Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Readers’ Travel Awards 2015
  • Waiheke Island #5 in Top Regions to visit
    Lonely Planet's Best In Travel 2016 

Waiheke Island is just a short and scenic 40-minute ferry ride from the centre of Auckland’s central business district. Surrounded by the waters of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, 

Waiheke Island is a favourite island get-away for Aucklanders and international travellers alike. 

Attracted by beautiful white sandy beaches, a thriving food scene, boutique and luxury accommodation, brazen architectural delights and some of New Zealand’s most coveted vineyards and wineries, this island paradise feels like a world away.

  • Lonely Planet’s Top 500 Places on the Planet

Nine New Zealand destinations  are named in Lonely Planet’s top 500 places on the planet. The book Ultimate Travelist highlights places the experts at Lonely Planet believe every traveller must experience. New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa  (Wellington) joins eight other destinations - all natural attractions:

  • Fiordland National Park #17
  • Abel Tasman National Park #35
  • Franz Josef & Fox Glacier #81
  • Lake Wanaka #94
  • Stewart Island #125
  • Bay of Islands #130
  • Whakarewarewa #276
  • Waitomo Caves #280
  • Te Papa Tongarewa #285


  • East Day Spa - Oceania’s Best Hotel Spa and New Zealand’s Best Hotel Spa
    World Spa Awards 2015

One of New Zealand’s largest premiere luxury day spas, East Day Spa opened 10 years ago in the five-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel.

East Day Spa’s haven of calm, wellness and beauty sits right in the heart of Auckland city offering a range of expertly crafted massages inspired by ancient Eastern healing traditions, alongside modern beauty therapies. With a philosophy centred on stimulating holistic well-being, the spa specialises in holistic Eastern-style massage and was designed to provide peace and relaxation in an ‘East meets West’ ambiance.

Votes in the World Spa Awards were cast by professionals working within the spa industry, senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and hundreds of thousands of spa consumers in more than 90 countries.

  • Split Apple Retreat - Best Destination Spa
    Condé Nast Johansen Award for Excellence 2015

Split Apple Retreat is an exclusive-use villa and lodge perched on the water's edge of Abel Tasman National Park, in New Zealand’s northern South Island. It features three luxurious suites, all with 180-degree ocean views and the Abel Tasman National Park.

Every aspect of the Retreat revolves around relaxation with access to two private beaches, an infinity pool overlooking the Tasman Sea and gourmet yet healthy food prepared by a trained chef. 

  • Aro Ha Wellness Retreat - #14, The Best Hotels in the World
    Readers' Choice Awards 2015 - Condé Nast Traveler (US)

Overlooking glacial-fed Lake Wakatipu and near the alpine resort town of Queenstown, in New Zealand's South Island, Aro Hā is a purpose-built wellness retreat that aims to refresh, rejuvenate and reignite all those who walk through its doors. The first of its kind in New Zealand, the wellness retreat sits in a spectacular pure alpine location.

Aro Hā is located on the Wyuna Preserve, a 40-minute drive from Queenstown, and five minutes from the small historic settlement of Glenorchy - on the way to another little place called Paradise and gateway to Fordland, Mt Aspiring National Park and some of the most spectacular scenery New Zealand has to offer. Surrounded by 21 acres of sub-alpine terrain, the 20-room retreat constructed in natural materials is pure minimalist.

Lodges & Hotels

  • Huka Lodge - winner Above and Beyond category
    Smith Hotel Awards 2015

Huka Lodge – New Zealand’s first and oldest luxury lodge – is almost one of the most celebrated. It is located in the heart of the North Island, on the outskirts of the geothermal oasis of Taupo. 

Set within 17 acres of a magnificent Garden of National Significance, on the banks of the teal-hued mighty Waikato River and just above the thundering Huka Falls, Huka Lodge offers a range of luxury accommodation options. There are 18 Jnr Lodge Suites, one Lodge Suite and two exclusive cottages - The Owner’s Cottage and the Alan Pye Cottage - both designed and decorated to reflect the outdoor lovers' paradise of the Taupo region.

  • Huka Lodge - runner up, Best Hotel in Australasia & the South Pacific
    Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards 2015

Three other New Zealand luxury lodges featured in this list:

  • Otahuna Lodge - #3 Best Hotel in Australasia & the South Pacific
  • Blanket Bay - #14 Best Hotel in Australasia & the South Pacific
  • Eagles Nest - #18 Best Hotel in Australasia & the South Pacific
  • Annandale - Australasia’s and the World's Leading Experiential Luxury Property
    World Travel Awards 2015

Annandale is rural New Zealand at its best: in one of the world’s most spectacular coastal locations, it is a 4000-acre sheep and cattle farm that offers exclusive use of four distinctive luxury villas with relaxed Kiwi-style informality.

Located on Banks Peninsula, south of Christchurch, Annandale was developed in 1843 and was one of the earliest and most renowned farms in the South Island. As one of New Zealand’s newest luxury accommodations (opened 2013), Annandale has been beautifully transformed into a secluded coastal escape. It is also won the ‘World’s Leading Experiential Luxury Property’.

  • SkyCity Auckland – Australasia’s leading Casino Resort
    World Travel Awards 2015

SkyCity Auckland gained this accolade for the second year in a row, and the third time in total.

  • Eagle's Nest - New Zealand’s Leading Resort, Australasia’s and the World's Leading Villa Resort 
    World Travel Awards 2015

Eagle's Nest is a luxurious multi-award-winning private retreat, styled as "somewhere between seven stars and heaven", and located within 27 hectares (75 acres) of lush estate near the historic seaside village of Russell, in the Bay of Islands.

The private haven has hosted many Hollywood celebrities - Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, and Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are rumoured to have stayed there. Most recently it was visited by Indian Bolloywood Mega Star Sidharth Malhotra. 

The resort consists of five luxury villas that are available fully-staffed with a personal chef, personal trainer, massage therapist and chauffeur. This is the third year in a row that Eagle's Nest has scooped this award.

  • Hotel DeBrett Auckland - #7, Top 15 Hotels in Australia & New Zealand
    Readers' Choice Awards 2015 - Condé Nast Traveler (US) 

Hotel DeBrett was the only New Zealand hotel, and the only boutique property to feature in this Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice list. In prime downtown Auckland, surrounded by business and fashion precincts, Hotel DeBrett pays particular attention to retaining its architectural Art Deco features, overlaid with modern comforts. Every room is individually designed and complemented with eclectic furniture, New Zealand art and photography.

  • Aro Ha Wellness Retreat - #1, Top 25 Resorts in Australia & the South Pacific
    Reader’s Choice Awards 2015 - Condé Nast Traveler (US)

Four other New Zealand luxury lodges featured in this list:

  • The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs - #2, Top 25 Resorts in Australia & the South Pacific
  • Matakauri Lodge - #8, Top 25 Resorts in Australia & the South Pacific
  • Huka Lodge - #9, Top 25 Resorts in Australia & the South Pacific
  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat - #20, Top 25 Resorts in Australia & the South Pacific
  • The Spire Hotel - Oceania and Australasia’s best luxury boutique hotel
    2015 World Luxury Hotel Awards.

Located within walking distance of Queenstown’s vibrant cultural scene, five-star hotel The Spire, offers award winning luxury accommodation combining genuine hospitality, serenity and style.

Ideal for a romantic getaway, or those seeking a rejuvenating and soulful experience, The Spire hotel inherits its name from a nearby church steeple and today is highly regarded for service excellence and indulgence.

  • Museum Art Hotel - Laurent Loudeac & Camille Furminieux
    Global winners - Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge

Executive Chef Laurent Loudeac and Assistant Maitre d’ Camille Furminieux of Hippopotamus restaurant, part of Wellington’s celebrated Museum Art Hotel establishment, competed with 21 teams from 14 countries to take out the international title. 

This first ever global tea challenge brought together the winners from a series of national competitions held over the previous eight years.

Museum Art Hotel Wellington is a 165-room boutique hotel located in central Wellington with harbour views.  It is a few steps from New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. The spacious lobby features opulent décor, walls adorned with original New Zealand art and a bar/café in which to relax. Hippopotamus Restaurant and Bar serves a fine French-inspired cuisine, under the direction of Executive Chef Laurent Loudeac, and is styled as “Over-the-top, vintage French, the best bar in New Zealand”.

Flying high

  • Queenstown Airport - ‘World’s Most Scenic Airport Landing’
    PrivateFly 2015

Queenstown Airport is one of Australasia’s fastest-growing airports and is New Zealand’s fourth busiest airport for passenger numbers, hosting 1.25 million passengers in the 2013-2014 financial year. It serves as a direct gateway to some of New Zealand’s most renowned scenery and visitor experiences. Total passenger movements through the airport have increased 12 per cent, setting a new record of 1.4 million passengers in the 12 months to June 2015.

Located in Frankton, 10 minutes from the internationally renowned four-season resort of Queenstown, the airport services the surrounding region with daily domestic flights and regular direct trans-Tasman flights.

  • Air New Zealand - Australasia’s Leading Airline (7th consecutive year)
    World Travel Awards 2015

Air New Zealand was named Australasia’s Leading Airline for the seventh consecutive year at the 2015 World Travel Awards. 

  • Air New Zealand - Longhaul Airline of the Year
    The Independent Travel Awards – inaugural year

Air New Zealand was voted the inaugural winner of The Independent’s Longhaul Airline of the Year. The finalists were decided by public vote, with thousands of readers of The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and i newspapers and websites in Britain having their say, before a panel of expert judges selected the winners. 

  • Air New Zealand - Airline of the year 2016 (3rd consecutive year)