If there’s one place in New Zealand that knows how to do boutique accommodation, it’s Taupo. The area is surrounded by wondrous retreats, set along the hillside, countryside and even in the midst of the township. Come take a look at some of the best hotels among them.
The Huka Lodge is a luxurious five-star retreat on the banks of the Waikato River. As you can infer by its name, mighty Huka Falls are just upstream from it. Guests can enjoy a selection 22 rooms: 18 river-facing Junior Cottage Suites, one spacious Double Lodge Suite, the self-contained Owner’s Cottage, and the private Alan Pye Cottage. The lodge was founded in the 1920s, and has since earned a strong reputation for its hospitable setting and all-round elegant facilities, winning numerous awards and welcoming some high-power guests along the years (think European royals, government officials and Hollywood celebrities).
Acacia Cliffs Lodge is a chic accommodation option that’s surrounded by stunning lake and mountain views. It is nestled on the hills above Acacia Bay, overlooking Lake Taupo, making this an ideal getaway for those seeking a bit of privacy. Four luxury ensuite rooms, designed to accommodate up to eight guests, create a sense of intimacy in this lavish setting. Those who are privileged enough to stay in Acacia Cliffs are treated with a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival, as well as chef-prepared breakfasts, and pre-dinner canapes and drinks. The hotel also offers an airport transfer service for those who need it.
If you want a first-class service without leaving town, look no further than the Wellesley Hotel on the Lake. This welcoming boutique accommodation is positioned right on the Taupo lakefront, providing its guests with a front-seat glimpse of the area’s famous volcanic cones: Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. A five-minute walk will get you to Taupo’s commercial centre, and the airport is quite handy too. The lakeside hotel offers six different room options, catering for all budgets and travel troupes – there’s even a family room for those spending quality time with their loved ones.
Chalet Eiger is a tranquil Acacia Bay retreat with an elegant European flair. A small selection of suites enable this boutique lodge to provide a much more intimate experience. Chalet Eiger is composed of four different rooms, with balconies, alcoves and an array of luxurious facilities. Guests can also enjoy a number of homely additions, including the spacious communal lounge area with a roaring Finnish soapstone fireplace, a library and the hotel’s fabulous home-cooked dinners.
Head along to the idyllic Mine Bay to find the indulgent Point Villas. Choose between one of two self-catering, lake-facing getaways: the sunny Tatamoana Villa or the soothing Ngahere Villa. Both have been fitted with original artworks, classic oak furnishings and stylish leather lounge suites. Each villa also opens up to its own terrace with a swimming pool and barbecue area.
The Pillars Retreat is a boutique bed and breakfast with a Mediterranean touch. A stunning country manor, surrounded by a lush garden setting, beckons its guests to relish the peace and tranquility of the four suites at their disposal. The luxurious rooms are all located on the upper floor, and provide excellent views of the countryside. The Pillars Retreat is also committed to being eco-friendly, sourcing eggs and produce from its own farm wherever possible and making practically all breakfast foods (jams and muesli included) from scratch.
The Lake is a retro-themed boutique motel right at the heart of the Taupo township. Six rooms, all located on the ground floor, invite the motel’s guests to relish the ‘good old days’ in style. There’s a ’60s Suite, two ’70s Suites, a Courtyard unit, as well as the Queen and Twin Studios. Artwork and modern furnishings come together in crafting each room’s comfortable and jovial ambiance. The Lake Motel offers such a unique, homely experience that it is the only New Zealand accommodation of its kind to have been featured in the Home and Styling magazine – one of the country’s leading design publications.
A quiet haven set in a wonderful, park-like setting. The Whakaipo Lodge features two guest suites, lined with New Zealand made art and fitted with modern furnishings and new bedding. Rooms are meant to accommodate up to two guests – but there is a spare bedroom for larger travelling parties. Warm hospitality adds to the lodge’s pampering, with gourmet breakfasts, complimentary drinks and airport drop-offs included in all guest packages.