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ARCHIVES: February 2022

In The Spotlight: Wanaka


Last week a couple of the team ventured over the hill from Queenstown to Wanaka to visit some of our favourite villas in the area from our Premium Residences & Mega Villa Collection. Only a 1-hour drive from Queenstown CBD, Wanaka is the quieter sister to the adventure capital in the south. With boutique stores, stunning wineries, some of our favourite and most exclusive experiences on offer, and let’s not forget the lake and mountain views, Wanaka offers a slice of lakeside luxury away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Whether you’re thinking about a fully family getaway, a romantic retreat for two, a celebration with friends, or simply for a dreamy spot to take some well-deserved R&R, Wanaka and our Premium Residences & Mega Villa Collection have something to suit your every need, want, and desire.

So here we have – Five of the most exclusive stays to find in your very own backyard.

1.      Mahu Whenua

2.      Whare Kea Lodge

3.      Mt Isthmus

4.      The Dacha

5.      Cardrona Terraces


Mahu Whenua

This luxurious high-country homestead offers a unique lodge-style accommodation just 20 minutes’ drive from Wanaka or 10 minutes by helicopter from Queenstown. From the moment you arrive at Mahu Whenua you’ll instantly know that you are somewhere special. In complete privacy, the Homestead boasts captivating views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. Behind the Homestead and stables extends an immense land of classic New Zealand scenery – grand mountains, alpine lakes, meandering rivers and winding valleys.

With five luxurious Ridgeline Suites that can sleep up to 12 guests, Mahu Whenua offers individual suites as well as being available for exclusive use. The outdoor terrace is the perfect spot for entertaining. The private pool and pool toys will be sure to keep the children entertained as the adult sit back for a long BBQ lunch served in the gardens.

If you’re looking for a romantic escape, the Tui Suite is a must at Mahu Whenua. A dreamy bathtub overlooking the mountains is the perfect spot to relax with a glass of bubbles after a day exploring Wanaka.

Whare Kea Lodge

Whare Kea is a timeless retreat, providing luxury accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps. Located only ten minutes’ drive from Wanaka’s town centre, time seems to slow and opportunities unfold.

The experience at Whare Kea is bespoke and versatile – on the one hand a base for adventure big or small in the wilds of Wanaka and the wider Central Otago region, on the other a safe and peaceful haven.

Nestled above Lake Wanaka and secluded from view, guests have exclusive access to this piece of paradise.

With timeless interior styling, the lodge is positioned to bask in the stunning vistas and the sun. Designed for relaxation, and with plenty of space, the lodge accommodates up to 12 guests. Features include a private hot tub, heli-pad, private access to Lake Wanaka, and a games room complete with pool table and mini bar.

Mt Isthmus

The newest addition to The Lindis Group, Mt Isthmus is one that has to been seen to be believed. Sitting on a 7000 acre station, the villa looks out over Lake Hawea — which is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. Rugged and steep mountain ranges climb straight out of the lake’s shores on all sides, and with some of the clearest waters in the country it really is a sight to be savoured.

As is typical with The Lindis Group properties, the villa leaves nothing to be desired. The four suites are the epitome of luxury with super king-size beds; each with an ensuite, the latest in interior furnishings and views that make waking up an unforgettable experience.

The dining facilities are of the highest standard with a state-of-the-art kitchen and with the luxury of having our chefs take care of your meals providing five-star service and creatively refined menus.

Sandwiched between two gorgeous glacial lakes, and with Mt Isthmus looming over our shoulders, it can be quite easy to forget the world exists outside our premium villa experience.

The Dacha

One of our favourites in our Collection must be The Dacha. Only 10 minutes’ drive from Wanaka, The Dacha gives a sense of living inside a watercolour painting. As you walk along the long corridor and turn into the lounge, the unforgettable views over Lake Wanaka really do hit you with a WOW.

With retractable doors stretching the length of the property, The Dacha has an effortless flow throughout. The open plan living, dining, kitchen, and ‘outdoor’ BBQ makes for a dream place to entertain guests.

Between the master, two queen suites, and two double bunk rooms (sleeping 8), The Dacha is the perfect spot for a multigenerational getaway. The separate living space also provides and extra space for the kids to relax as the adults enjoy a hosted dinner on the long terrace by the pool.

With the additional Banya only a stones throw from the main property, this separate unit offers a slice of privacy for guests to join your break away. With a small kitchenette, private bathroom, lounge and mini terrace, The Banya is available separately from The Dacha for a romantic weekend break.

Cardona Terraces

Last stop for the day was Cardrona Terraces. Only a ten-minute drive from Wanaka this exquisite hunting lodge oozes finesse and flair from the moment you enter the long driveway. Drawing inspiration from the early Spanish Missions of California, the property has an eclectic range of characteristics rarely found in New Zealand. The architecture is harmoniously paired with an ultra-premium, yet cozy interior design.

Positioned on 42 acres (17 hectares) of land, Cardona Terraces benefits from ultimate privacy within tranquil surrounds. The grandeur of the property starts from the moment of arrival, with large wooden doors providing entry to the dramatic central atrium.

With six-bedroom suits available, a large outdoor terrace, a separate whisky room, two lounges and a long dining table, Cardrona Terraces is the ultimate spot for those looking for active days out in the mountains, followed by a fully hosted lodge experience.

Tempted by wonderful Wanaka? Talk to Jacqui and the team today and let us show you something new in New Zealand.

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In the Spotlight: The Elms at Lake Hayes Collection


The luxury of traveling domestically means that a getaway is only a short flight or drive away. With Waitangi Day and the long weekend fast approaching (I can’t believe it’s February already!), it’s time to get planning - no matter how last minute it feels.

We're here to make things easy, booking everything from your luxury accommodation and exclusive experiences to your massage, dinner table, and even stocking your pantry pre-arrival – all you have to do is round up the family and book the flights.

Not sure where to start? We have a feeling The Elms at Lake Hayes Collection will inspire you to visit Queenstown this long weekend. With space to sleep 24 guests over three separate yet adjoining lakefront apartments, space is of no concern. What’s more, we are now offering up to 40% off on stays at The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa One and Villa Two from now through to the Easter Holidays (with flexible T&C's to cover your Covid-concerns).

It’s about making memories with the family, indulging in the endless summer sun, and taking back some of the time and money you lost in 2020.

So here we have it, a sneak peak at where you could be spending this Waitangi long weekend:

A Spotlight on The Elms at Lake Hayes Collection:


Only a seven-minute drive from Arrowtown, 10 minutes from Queenstown Airport, and 20 minutes from Queenstown CBD, The Elms at Lake Hayes Collections is in a truly prime location. Overlooking stunning Lake Hayes, Coronet Peak and Remarkable Ski Field, this collection of three separate yet adjoining apartments offer lake front luxury like no other. Whether you are a wine lover, active hiker, skier, foodie, or simply looking to take some R&R, The Elms at Lake Hayes is the perfect spot for it all.  

The Villas:

The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa One (ground floor) – 3x super king bedroom suites with ensuite bathrooms

The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa Two (middle floor) – 3x super king bedroom suites, 1x bunk room (2x doubles, 2x singles), all with ensuite bathrooms

The Elms at Lake Hayes Villa Three (top floor) – 3x super king bedroom suites with ensuite bathrooms

Villa One Living area

Meander through the gardens from the driveway to the shared foyer and retreat from your day as you gaze at the mountain scape.

Each apartment has its own unique qualities that seamlessly blend with the surrounding forestry and bushland – a real sense of living in a water colour painting. The apartments ooze finesse and flare, open living areas, multiple bedroom and bathroom suites, cinema rooms and hot tubs.

Villa one bedroom suite

With Villa One sleeping 8 guests, Villa Two sleeping 10, and Villa Three sleeping 8, space really is of no concern. Whether you’re looking for one, two or all three apartments, every guest will experience a luxurious bedroom suite, each complete with ensuite bathroom, stunning lake views they can’t wait to wake up to, and all the lotions and potions to make for an unforgettable stay.   

Villa Two balcony and private hot tub

Each apartment features an open plan living, dining and kitchen area – making hosting guests a breeze. With large retractable doors lining the living areas, guests can enjoy a real sense of ease with effortless inside to outside flow. From every living area are lies the crème de la crème in lakefront balconies. Stretching the full length of the properties, each floor has a private outdoor living area complete with outdoor fire, lounge, and dining space. Villa Two also features a private hot tub perfect for sinking into as the sun goes down.

Villa Three balcony & lounge

Experience The Elms at Lake Hayes:

With direct access to the Lake Hayes Loop Track straight from the property, take advantage of the quiet mornings with a light stroll starting your day just right. The Collection is also only a five-minute walk from the renowned Amisfield Vineyard and Bistro – perfect for a long lunch in the sun, as well as neighboring Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan being only a 10-minute walk from your front door. We have a feeling that between Arrowtown and Queenstown CBD, your taste buds will be truly spoiled.

*Touch of Spice' Tip: Wet Jacket Summer Sessions is a must!

One of our favorite spots only a short drive or 15-minute walk from The Elms at Lake Hayes must be Wet Jacket Winery – especially on a sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon. All throughout summer Wet Jacket Summer Sessions are delivering delicious wine, live music, fresh local food from A Divine Dish, lawn games to keep the kids (and adults) busy, and friendly staff who are there to really make it an easy, breezy day. (You’ll no doubt find one of the Touch of Spice team there most weekends!)

4 Day Wellness & Wine Short Break at The Elms

Looking for more inspiration? Our exclusive 4 Day Wellness & Wine Short Break includes a stay at The Elms at Lake Hayes, private yoga sessions on the balcony, exclusive access to some of Gibbston Valley’s secret cellar doors, private art gallery tours in Arrowtown, and delicious food and wine to really soothe the soul. Find out more here.

Tempted? Talk to the team today to find out more about exclusive summer specials and packages for this long weekend or any other.

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