There are many types of travellers and equally many types of accommodation options available to choose from, especially in Rotorua.
We’ve written about inner-city escapes for those wanting to be close to the action or within walking distance to many attractions and dining hot spots. We’ve written about budget-friendly beds that are great places to stay but allow you to spend more on doing more. And we’ve highlighted great places for families to stay, providing lots of space, cooking facilities, and outdoor recreation. This time we’re talking about three very special places you’ll never have to leave (but you’ll want to, to do all the fun things in Rotorua!).
These luxury lodges feel like home away from home – or even better than home! Fewer rooms means there will be no crowds to contend with; you might even have the staff mostly to yourself, all the better for making you feel welcomed and cared for. They offer services to pamper and spoil you. They’ll organise outstanding experiences offsite, and feed you straight from their own gardens onsite. And their luxurious suites will wrap you in comfort and style. Everything you need is right there, so why go anywhere else?
In the city but still secluded
Tucked away in the quiet Rotorua community of Kawaha Point you’ll find Peppers on the Point (above), a two-storey manor perched alongside Lake Rotorua. While you’re only 10 minutes from the Rotorua city centre, you’ll feel miles away.
Many of the suites at this Qualmarked boutique provide beautiful views of the lake and historic Mokoia Island, and every suite has its own lounge, perfect for enjoying that first cup of coffee each morning, and for winding down after a busy day exploring Rotorua. You’ll also enjoy underfloor heating on cooler days, as well as ensuite bathrooms and spa baths. The Lake Cottage Suites each have open-air hot tubs overlooking the lake. Bliss!
Peppers is a former family residence, and many of the homestead’s antiques remain, giving the formal spaces a timeless appeal with loads of character. Modern luxury furnishings create a lush and relaxing retreat that’s warm and welcoming.
If you’re in the mood for socialising, a large communal lounge with open fireplace, a timber-panelled dining room and an elegant billiard room are at your disposal. Speaking of dining, if you prefer to stay in, Peppers’ chef will prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner consisting of free range and organic produce, sourced locally as much as possible, combined with produce from the Peppers garden.
Out of town but still close to everything
Another lakeside escape is Solitaire Lodge (above), this one on a peninsula of another favourite lakes, Lake Tarawera. As with Peppers, this luxury lodge feels secluded but in less than 30 minutes, you’re back in the city centre.
Every suite at this Qualmarked property is designed to bring the outdoors in by providing beautiful views across the bay or over to Mount Tarawera through grand picture windows, balconies and even freestanding baths. Furnished with comfort in mind, you’ll love the lush super king beds (twin beds are also available), gorgeously homey décor, and little touches that feel like home. In no time at all, you’ll be able relax, unwind and soak it all in.
When it comes to satisfying appetites, how does a daily five-course dinner with wine-matching sound? Solitaire’s chefs enjoy creating daily changing menus that showcase fresh, seasonal, contemporary food. Pre-dinner drinks and canapés are served from 7pm and all of this, plus dinner, breakfast and lunch are included the full board tariff.
Well and truly in the country
Also less than 30 minutes from Rotorua’s city centre, and also Qualmarked, is Treetops Lodge & Estate (above and at top). As you’d guess by the name, there’s lots of space to roam here – 2,500 acres, to be exact, all yours for the exploring.
Upon arrival to this luxury countryside destination, you’ll notice the elegant architectural style: rustic yet modern timber and stone finishes echo the natural beauty and simplicity of the great outdoors, while paying homage to New Zealand’s pioneering past.
The remote bush-clad location provides a great place to escape to, disconnect from the everyday, and reconnect with yourself, loved ones and the outdoors. Active types need not go anywhere. Simply take advantage of four lakes, seven streams, trout fishing and hunting, as well as horse trekking, hiking and mountain biking along more than 35 miles of adventure trails.
The luxury lodge also has a dedicated spa, and provides all guests with access to The Kinloch Club, an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus at their sister lodge in Taupō.
One thing the lodge is known for is its estate-to-plate philosophy as the chef prepares delicious seasonal cuisine that's reared and produced, 100% pesticide free, and organic, whenever possible.
When you’re ready for more
When you do feel like getting out to enjoy more of Rotorua’s experiences, the options are vast, but your hosts are happy to personally help you choose the best options and take care of all the arrangements.
For example, Volcanic Air can access all three properties via helicopter or floatplane and whisk you away for breath-taking tours to soak in natural hot pools, or to the summit of Mount Tarawera followed by a visit to geothermal wonderland Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park.