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Huka Lodge, Taupo, North Island 

See the New Zealand's North Island Guide ›
271 Huka Falls Road
Taupo , North Island
New Zealand
Tel: 64 7 378 5791
view web site ›'s insider take:

When the queen of England—yes, the real one—makes it to this most far-flung corner of her realm, the Huka Lodge is where she stays (reportedly, she prefers to dine in the library). She's not the only luminary who has discovered this luxury lodge near sparkling Lake Taupo in the North Island's center. Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Kate Winslet, and Barbra Streisand have also been guests. First established as a humble trout-fishing camp in the 1920s, the property now includes a grand main lodge—where guests can sip aperitifs before a blazing fire and dine in a candelabra-lit dining room. Twenty plush lodge rooms sit among trees along the banks of the rushing Waikato River, which feeds into the thundering Huka Falls. Fishing trips are still a major pastime here; if you bring your catch back, the house chefs will prepare it however you like. More leisurely activities include lazing in the heated outdoor pool (or your private oversize bathtub), croquet, and pétanque.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
This Waikato River property is "peaceful through and through." "Done in a low-key Kiwi style" and designed to blend into the surroundings, the main lodge and rooms have wood shingle roofs and stained-wood interiors. Perfect-scoring "rooms are gorgeous," and each has a terrace with river views. Perfect-scoring "staff could write the book on charm." And perfect-scoring "brilliant food single-handedly moves New Zealand restaurants up a notch."

(25 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 95.5
  • Activities: 81.8
  • Design: 100.0
  • Food: 100.0
  • Location: 90.9
  • Rooms: 100.0
  • Service: 100.0

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

Amenities: Pool, Spa, Tennis

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