Play Lady of the Manor at Otahuna Lodge
“New Zealand’s luxury lodges each have their unique selling point,” Cleo Glyde writes for news.com.au, “and as you wend your way along the freshly raked gravel driveway of an 1895 mansion set in the extinct Lyttelton Volcano valley outside Christchurch, it’s clear what Otahuna Lodge has to offer: a chance to turn back the clock and play lord or lady of the manor.
“The Victorian romance of jewel-toned sunbeams streaming through stained-glass windows and an ornately carved grand staircase cast a welcoming spell. You had me at rimu wood panelling,” Glyde says.
“Carved inglenooks and a grand piano revive the idyll of a long-gone country squire – in this case politician Sir Heaton Rhodes. Guests can picnic on the lawns where Sir Rhodes once played polo (and horses mowed the grass in special shoes) and ensconce themselves in the vast master suite, formerly his private quarters, taking breakfast in the octagonal turret as he once did.
“You can curl up with a book and a bottle of Hawke’s Bay syrah by the library fireplace or stroll through the geometric parterre gardens, fragrant with lavender, pine and orange blossom. As you sink into Otahuna time, the crass vicissitudes of modern life subside.
“American owners Miles Refo and Hall Cannon were bonkers enough to pour heart and soul into their passion project, winning local respect for their exquisite remodelling and devotion to the community.
“Decompress, de-digitise and get your Downton Abbey on with the bygone-era delights that lie within the lodge gates.”
Original article by Cleo Glyde, news.com.au, July 17, 2016.