Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch, New Zealand
At the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island is a place of replenishment and refinement. It is a place where prestigious luxury accommodation meets exemplary service and cuisine in the context of an elegant, historic country estate. A place where guests receive the warmest welcome and indulge wholeheartedly in the sense of occasion presented by lavish surroundings.
This is Otahuna Lodge. This is New Zealand at its finest.
Location and Transfers
Otahuna is hidden away in Tai Tapu, just twenty minutes drive from Christchurch city in the glorious South Island of New Zealand.
Christchurch Airport is about a 30 minute drive from Otahuna Lodge.
Otahuna Lodge is an exclusive country estate offering 5 suites and 2 master suites. Each retains architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All luxury suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon’s of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.
Botanical Suite – this suite is situated in the original Morning Room of the house, where tea was served to Jessie Rhodes and other fine Canterbury ladies every day at 11 o’clock sharp. A floor-to-ceiling mantle featuring gingerbread woodwork and a wood-burning fireplace anchors one corner of the room. In another, an enormous bay window faces east to the gardens and receives bright sunlight through painted glass in the mornings. Located on the ground floor, the Botanical Suite offers its guests access to the gardens through a private exterior door ensuring that a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk is never more than a few steps away
Butler Suite – comprises a series of rooms looking over the terracotta roof of the sunken game house – now a wine cellar – to the woodland beyond. The bedroom, separate full sitting room and two bathrooms feature classic depictions of the evocative Canterbury landscape as well as Otahuna’s historic past. The decorative scheme reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts period features dark wood, original fireplace tiles and classic furniture. The butler never had it so good
Clark Suite – named after the Lady of the House, Jessie Clark, the Clark Suite looks east over the treetops to the Port Hills. The soft yellows and blues of this classic suite draw their inspiration from the expansive stained glass windows, tiled fireplace and traditional English country ambience of the estate. After a day of exploring Canterbury, the Clark suite is an ideal place to relax, either in front of the fire or in the spa tub. The paintings of nearby Akaroa harbour will inspire one to see what lies just beyond the hill outside the window
Garret Suite – perched at the top of the house, this eyrie invokes Heaton Rhodes’ passion for the great outdoors. Writers may draw inspiration from the desk which looks out across eaves and gables to the treetops, while the views from the sitting area extend all the way across the province to the mountains. Fishing and hunting memorabilia line the warm, wood-panelled walls and an eclectic collection of antiques and mementos will convince one that there is such a thing as a luxury attic
Polo Suite – so named after the tradition of the game at Otahuna, the Polo Suite occupies a sunny position at the front of the house overlooking a courtyard on one side and the great lawn on the other. Heaton played regularly on the lawn, which had to be mown by horses wearing special leather shoes. The classic leathers, houndstooth fabrics and oak furniture of the suite provide the perfect inspiration to plan one’s own horseback adventures from the comfort of a deep double-ended bathtub. Or settle in by one of the suite’s two fireplaces with a good book from the Otahuna library
Rhodes Suite – originally the master bedroom, the Rhodes Suite is actually a series of four rooms which embodies the gracious character of Sir Heaton and Jessie Rhodes. The palatial bedroom boasts a magnificent Victorian fireplace with inglenook seating and stained glass windows. A separate octagonal sitting room situated in the turret is the perfect spot to read a book, work a jigsaw puzzle, enjoy a quiet candlelit dinner or simply gaze out to the gardens. The ensuite bathroom is luxuriously appointed with a double shower and separate spa tub, ideal for soothing tired muscles at the close of an active day. Outside, the private balcony affords spectacular views across the Canterbury plains to the distant Southern Alps
Verandah Suite – epitomising the phrase “room with a view,” the Verandah Suite is the perfect base from which to start exploring Canterbury. Four doors open onto an enormous arched verandah, reserved exclusively for the suite. Here, guests may quietly contemplate the birdsong from the gardens, or toast with a glass of champagne as the sun sets across the Canterbury Plains behind the Southern Alps. Indoors, guests can lose themselves in the crackle of a fire – either from a deep armchair in the bedroom or from the freestanding bathtub in the spacious ensuite bathroom
The cuisine celebrates the best of seasonal New Zealand produce, with an emphasis on fresh Otahuna estate-grown offerings. Dinner is a five-course chef’s degustation menu which changes daily, making use of the fresh produce sourced from the property’s own potager garden and orchard. Honest, uncluttered flavours, the finest local ingredients and elegantly restrained presentation are the hallmarks of the Otahuna table.
Should this pique one’s taste buds, many culinary experiences may be pursued on the property including cooking classes and seasonal mushroom foraging. Private tours of local, artisanal food providers are arranged upon request.
Dining Room – at dinner, guests dine communally in the opulent formal dining room – ornate original wallpaper, a roaring fire and sparkling candlesticks exemplify the gracious living of the Victorian era. Alternatively, they may retreat to a private table for two in the sunken wine cellar, the intimate library, the drawing room turret, or a location of their choosing
Wine Cellar – the old game house – where game and fowl were hung to dry – now houses Otahuna Lodge’s wine cellar. Set into a hillside, the cellar maintains ideal temperature and humidity for the careful maturation of New Zealand wines.
Otahuna Lodge offers a different flight of complementary wine pairings with each dinner, emphasising Canterbury and New Zealand wines. Should guests wish to celebrate with a particular vintage, a list is always available
Facilities and Activities
Massages – in the Lodge’s treatment room
Outdoor Swimming Pool
Gardens & Woodlands
Golf – from the nearby nine-hole country course at Tai Tapu to the internationally acclaimed resort courses at Terrace Downs and Clearwater
Heli-Touring – a scenic flight by helicopter is the ultimate way to see the natural beauty of New Zealand. The convenience of these tours is unsurpassed as helicopters depart and land directly from the Lodge’s Great Lawn