Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses
- Style Architectural meets arboreal
- Setting Deer-dotted pastures and peaks
Climb to canopy level at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses hotel in Kaikoura, New Zealand, where treetop-high rooms overlook the mountains and sea. With wood-burning fireplaces, an outdoor pool and a private deer park, this idyllic retreat was made for R&R. Its prime South Island location also means it’s an excellent spot for whale-watching.
Need to know
- Rooms 12, including four suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $788.29 (NZD951), excluding tax at 15 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast.
- Facilities DVD library, free WiFi throughout, guest Mac computer, hot tub, sauna, gardens. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD and CD players, iPod dock, minibar, Evolu, Living Nature
and Lavish toiletries.
- Poolside An outdoor swimming 25-metre lap pool with poolside seating. Hot tub, sauna and pool house (with showers and a changing room) are due to be completed in the near future.
- Check–out 11am, but flexible subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.
Children Welcome in the Family Tree Houses and Olive House Apartment; only those over 12 in the main lodge rooms. Baby cots available for NZ$50 a night; extra beds NZ$115, including breakfast.
- Eco‐friendly The lodge uses solar power, sources its food from local farmers, rangers and fishermen with sustainable practices, and has an ongoing campaign to restore the natural habitat (1,400 new native trees have been planted on the grounds to date).
- Also The lodge’s knockout 600-hectare grounds, between the towering Kaikoura Seaward Mountains and surf-lashed Mangamaunu Bay, include the family farm’s oil-producing olive grove and deer stud.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms For a cool canopy experience, the modern, wood-clad Tree House Rooms, set in a manuka grove remote from the main lodge, are a must. The five one-bedroom Upper Branch Rooms, perched 10 metres up in the treetops, are the most romantic and private with wraparound windows ensuring neck-swivelling views of mountains, sea and roaming deer from the spa bath, seating nook (complete with wood fire) and deck. Smaller, more affordable Lower Branch Rooms sit below, or book into one of the Family Tree Houses, an interconnected hybrid of the two.
- Packing tips Binoculars for deer spotting and whale watching; a head for heights if you're staying in a Tree House room.
- Also In-room spa treatments are also available if all that monumental nature gets the better of you.
Food and drink at Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses
- Hotel restaurant The lodge’s open-plan dining room has a relaxed alpine feel, with simple wood furniture, timber floors and a double-sided fireplace (in summer, eat in the garden). Chef Fiona Read was a finalist on MasterChef 2011: expect ambitious dishes, featuring Hapuku Farm organic greens and oven-roasted Kaikoura crayfish plucked live from the hotel’s own tank.
- Dress code Refined yet relaxed – natural tones chime in with the surf and turf setting.
- Top table There are a couple of window tables with easy-on-the-eye views of the deer paddock and mountains; or grab a pew at the chefs’ work counter beside the open kitchen to watch them whip up your meal.
- Last orders The bar is open 8am–1am, with cocktail shaking bustle from 6pm–7.30pm; dinner is served 6.30pm–9.30pm.
- Room service Available 11am–9.30pm in Lodge Suites only, with a menu mirroring the restaurant’s lunch and dinner offerings. You can also pre-order picnics.
- Hotel bar Make yourself a martini or a Manhattan and then relax on couches by a circular stone fireplace in the lodge’s spacious lounge and dining area. Open 8am–1am.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details