Blanket Bay Lodge, Glenorchy, South Island
Tel: 64 3 442 9442
Concierge.com's insider take:
A 35-minute drive north from Queenstown along the coast of Lake Wakatipu—with stunning mountain and water views all the way—brings you to this dramatic-looking lakeside lodge. The solid-looking schist building with a multi-peaked roof and shimmering glass windows seems to blend right into the surrounding Humboldt Mountains; inside, soaring beamed ceilings, stone fireplaces, deer-antler chandeliers, and furniture upholstered in leather and duck prints give the feel of a grand, old-fashioned hunting lodge (in fact, the property was only built in 1999). The five guest rooms and three suites are outfitted similarly; all have king-size beds, balconies or terraces, and enormous windows for enjoying the drop-dead outdoor scenery. Suites, though, have their own hearths and comfy couches for fireside dozing—a big plus if you've spent the day indulging in the lodge's main activity: fly fishing. Brown and rainbow trout, as well as Quinnat salmon, are plentiful at the lake edge and in surrounding rivers and streams (fish weighing more than ten pounds have been caught here). Guided fishing trips bring anglers to all the prime spots, some only accessible by helicopter. The top-notch cuisine at the lodge restaurant naturally features fresh local catch, and the wine room and "wine cave" stock hundreds of vintages.