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Hotel Highlights

  • Luxe modern villas with breathtaking views.
  • Opportunity to see kiwis in their natural environment.
  • Driving (or being driven) around Russell in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

Overview

RUNNER-UP: BEST HOTEL POOL – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2014

With its five cool, contemporary villas situated amid the lush native bush, the Eagles Nest hotel sits on top of a private peninsula peering over the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Views are hypnotic at this North Island retreat where pampering equals private chefs, peaceful pools and a Porsche at your disposal. Explore beyond the property’s 75-acres to discover isolated beaches on one of the 144 nearby islands.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Eagles Nest with us:

Two half-hour massages per couple

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Eagles Nest

Exclusive offer: 5 nights for the price of 4

Facilities

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Eagles Nest - Bay of Islands - New Zealand

Need To Know

Rooms

Five villas, ranging from one to four bedrooms.

Check–out

11am. Check-in, 2pm. Earlier arrivals can be arranged for 50 per cent of your nightly tariff.

Rates

Double rooms from $1226.23 (NZD1,561), excluding tax at 15 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast, fruit, champagne and some minibar drinks.

Also

Charming touches at Eagles Nest include little teddy bears made by a local designer in each room to take home.

At the hotel

In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, home cinema including Sky satellite, free WiFi, kitchen, minibar, deck with barbecue, Jacuzzi.

Our favourite rooms

One-bedroom villa First Light is most intimate for couples, but for wow factor we love panoramic Rahimoana Villa, which has four ensuite bedrooms, a fireplace, home cinema, bar and a 25-metre heated lap pool, as well as a Jacuzzi, sauna, gym and private beach. Rates include a dedicated concierge, well-stocked fridge and loan of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The crisply contemporary blue and white interiors and modern art are gorgeous too.

Poolside

Each villa has its own heated infinity-edge lap pool (except First Light which just has a Jacuzzi), surrounded by sleek, white day-beds and romantic lanterns for the evenings. But all have use of the estate's private, secluded beaches.

Packing tips

Your best Audrey Hepburn-style scarf to keep your hair at bay while you zoom around in the Porsche, a huge pair of sunglasses permanantly to hand and a pair of binoculars for dolphin, whale and kiwi spotting.

Also

If you fancy getting fit after all that flopping around, you can bag some time with Eagles Nest's personal trainer, then relax with a beauty or massage treatment; extra charges apply for both. There are also free mountain bikes at your villa.

Children

All ages welcome. Infant cribs and highchairs are free if booked.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

Villas are serviced daily with eco-friendly products and the resort recycles all bottles and paper. Guests can opt into energy and water conservation schemes.

Food & Drink

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Eagles Nest - Bay of Islands - New Zealand

Hotel Restaurant

All villas are self-contained with a gourmet kitchen and each is provided daily with breakfast provisions. However, most guests forego DIY and make use of the resort's resident private chefs (even Jamie Oliver deserves a holiday), who will prepare anything you'd like. Freshly caught local fish, crayfish, lobster, venison and lamb are all on offer, so just sit back and enjoy. You can also bring in your own chefs if you wish (we're loving this lifestyle!). Eagles Nest has a comprehensive wine cellar with several thousand bottles of vino from around the globe to help wash it all down.

Hotel Bar

Rahimoana has its own bar – otherwise just dial the EN crew and drinks will be delivered; there’s no main bar.

Room service

Anything, any time. Chefs, butlers and shoppers are also on call.

Smith Insider

Dress code

You’re surrounded by sleek style, so why not look the part? We suggest an Audrey Hepburn-style scarf to keep your hair tamed while you zoom around in the Porsche and a huge pair of sunglasses.

Top table

It’s hard to beat eating outdoors on your own private deck, but Rahimoana’s sleek glass eight-seater dining table is our favourite indoors.

Local Guide

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Eagles Nest - Bay of Islands - New Zealand
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

If you need a change of pace after relaxing in your villa, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained: cruise around the area in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, take the retreat's chopper to see the magnificent views of the Bay of Islands and then on to Kauri Cliffs for a round of golf, or the Bay is renowned for its water pursuits. Staff can advise you on everything from sea kayaking to parasailing, waterskiing, scuba diving, snorkelling, world-class deep sea and big game fishing as well as sailing and cruising throughout the many picture-perfect islands, bays and coves. With over 150 islands to explore, we doubt you'll get bored. Back on terra firma, bush walking, mountain biking and romantic picnics on your own private island are all in the offing. For a hit of culture, head to Just Imagine (+64 9 403 8360; www.justimagine.co.nz), a gallery at 25 York Street, Russell, featuring local and international design and crafts, including art glass, wood sculpture, ceramics, paintings, jewellery, books on art and Maori culture and coffee.

 

Local restaurants

If you fancy a change from private dining in your villa, venture out to Omata Estate (+64 (0)9 403 8007) at Aucks Road in Russell. This winery restaurant has incredible views and offers rustic dining indoors and outside in a sheltered courtyard, including barbecue food. Alternatively, waterfront Kamakura Restaurant (+64 (0)9 403 7771) at 29 The Strand in Russell is a seductive spot to watch the sunset and enjoy modern Kiwi dishes with Asian influences, such as market fish with papaya and lime salsa.

+ Enlarge
Private peninsula paradise

Eagles Nest

PO Box 60, Russell, Russell, Bay Of Islands, 0202

Perched on the Tapeka tip of the Russell Peninsula, the spectacular Eagles Nest overlooks the pristine waters and forested islets of New Zealand’s breathe-taking Bay of Islands.

Planes

Bay of Islands/ Kerikeri Airport (www.bayofislandsairport.co.nz) is the closest airport to the Eagles Nest. Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.com.au; 13 24 76) and Air Nelson (www.airnelson.co.nz; +64 3 547 8700) have daily flights from Auckland International Airport to Kerikeri.

Automobiles

The Eagles Nest is a one hour drive from Kerikeri Airport. You can rent a car at the airport but remember your hired Toyota Yaris might look a little lacklustre sitting next to the hotel’s Porsche Cayenne Turbo (which is available for guests’ use). An easier option might be to take a local taxi (Kaitaia Taxis; 09 408 1111) from the airport to the Nest. Another option is to fly into Auckland and then drive north to Russell. The journey is a manageable three and a half hours that takes in the natural grandeur of New Zealand’s North Island.

Reviews

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Eagles Nest - Bay of Islands - New Zealand

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

This review of Eagles Nest in Bay of Islands is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.   ‘The name’s Smith… Mr Smith.’ We’ve just been shown to our villa at Eagles Nest and memories of the three hours of travel from Auckland have magically dissipated. It’s not hard to imagine why Mr Smith has gone all 007 on me…
Read more

Eagles Nest

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

This review of Eagles Nest in Bay of Islands is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.  

‘The name’s Smith… Mr Smith.’ We’ve just been shown to our villa at Eagles Nest and memories of the three hours of travel from Auckland have magically dissipated. It’s not hard to imagine why Mr Smith has gone all 007 on me. For the next few days, the two of us are staying in the Eyrie, a super-luxe, ultra-contemporary three-bedroom bolthole. There’s a home theatre, magnificent all-white bathroom, paintings by New Zealand artists and, best of all, an enormous deck with private infinity pool and Jacuzzi. Up to six people could stay here, but having this sort of space and privacy – we can’t hear any other noise or see evidence of other guests – feels pretty rock star.

Already Kelly has given us a tour of our digs, including the fully equipped kitchen and, most importantly, the fridge stocked with all types of delectables. She’s barely out the door when I crack open the bottle of complimentary champagne and tuck into the chocolate treats from the larder. She’s also recommended a spot in nearby Russell where we might find ourselves some dinner before having an early night. An hour or so later, we’ve plonked ourselves in front of the television and are unwrapping the spoils of our food run: piles of hot fish and chips. The catch of the day, according to the man in the chippie. I don’t recall – did James Bond ever kickback with a takeaway?

Jet-lag has Mr Smith up the next morning way too early for my liking, but my disappointment doesn’t last long. He’s opened the shutters and within seconds I am literally drooling. The sun is beating down and beyond the deck is a view that you could stare at for days: boats zip across the bay that is itself dotted with islands. I’m reminded of scenes of Jamaica in Live and Let Die. Palm trees line the sides of the deck, stopping anyone from seeing into our pool. We dive in but it’s a little chillier than anticipated, so Mr Smith and I quickly duck into the steaming Jacuzzi and stare out at that water. We’ve heard you can spot dolphins out there, so, on a whim, Mr Smith pops inside to call the Eagles Nest office and see if they can organise for us to go on a tour of the Bay of Islands. Not only is it possible, they say, but we can go this morning.

Having already collected passengers at Pahia, the boat stops at Russell to get us. The crew is extremely knowledgeable about the sea life in the area, but after 40 minutes we’ve yet to see a dolphin. Then a call comes in from another vessel: there’s a big pod of the mammals having their morning feed not far away. Within minutes we’ve spotted them and they put on a show, swimming alongside the boat and leaping acrobatically into the air. Everyone on the boat is beside themselves with excitement.

Heading out to our next spot, the Hole in the Rock, the weather turns and the boat starts to bob. ‘I think I’d rather be having breakfast in bed right about now,’ says Mr Smith, as we both start to feel decidedly green around the gills. The seas soon calm and we keep the contents of our stomachs where they belong, our nausea eclipsed by the scenes we’re being treated to.

Back on shore, we head to one of Russell’s waterfront cafés and indulge in some real comfort food: nachos for Mr Smith and a bacon and cheese toastie for me. Back at the villa, we decide to make the most of our five-star surrounds. I send Mr Smith up to the office to collect a copy of The Spy Who Loved Me from the DVD library – it seems strangely appropriate, perhaps minus the Russian submarines and nuclear warheads.

Unlike many of New Zealand’s luxury accommodation options, Eagles Nest doesn’t have a central lodge where guests can gather or have meals. It can, however, organise for a chef to whip you up a fine spread to enjoy in your villa. To make sure we didn’t miss out, Mr Smith organised all of this before we arrived. At 7.45pm, our personal chef Michael knocks on the door – we’ve already opened a bottle of bubbly – and he starts preparing our feast. We sup on starters of tiger prawns with citrus and rocket salad, and lamb and feta with roasted capsicum on crostini, followed by filet mignon served with portobello mushrooms, pommes Anna, roasted garlic and red wine jus (for Mr), and duck breast wrapped in prosciutto with roasted vegetables, baby potatoes and anise demi-glaze (for Mrs). Not only is he a great cook, but Michael is an amazing host, too. If only we could eat like this every night.

Having not made use of the amazing gadget-packed kitchen ourselves, the next morning Mr Smith and I decide to prepare an enormous departure breakfast (anything to delay leaving). Big servings of bacon and eggs, toast and juice are the perfect prelude to our upcoming drive. We grudgingly wave goodbye to our beautiful villa and its stunning subtropical setting. From behind the wheel of our tiny hire car, Mr Smith stares back with regret on his face and starts humming ‘Nobody Does It Better’. He’s right; we’ve never before experienced anything like Eagles Nest, and for a few days at least we got to live out enough Bond fantasies to last a lifetime.

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Eagles Nest from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

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