Otahuna Lodge, New Zealand
What is it? This gloriously restored seven-suite country house just outside Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island was built in 1895 and recently bought and renovated by American couple Hall Cannon and Miles Refo.
So it's rustic? Far from it; Otahuna is a fusion of native hard woods and modern technology. The 'show' kitchen is replete with the latest appliances while suites boast spa baths, fireplaces and high-speed internet.
Why is it called a lodge? The word 'lodge' is used widely in New Zealand to mean a small, luxurious retreat. Otahuna fits the bill; with five suites and two master suites (above), there is plenty of space to lose yourself in, including a subterranean wine cellar as well as extensive gardens. There are fireside nooks, a reading room, elegant dining rooms and a book-lined study.
How about dining? Otahuna's chef champions local cuisine and whips up a mean Canterbury lamb. Also popular are shellfish from Kaikoura, oysters from Bluff and salmon from the Southern Alps. The lodge caters to all dietary needs and has different settings for different meals: breakfast is served in the kitchen; evening meals in the dining room; and tea in daffodil fields or by the side of the pool. Guests can indulge in wine-matched dinners in the wine cellar or one of the master suites.
What's the bottom line? Rates until March 31 are NZ$700 (HK$3,100) per suite and NZ$1,000 for a master suite, double occupancy, per night. The rate includes a five-course degustation dinner with wine, pre-dinner snacks, continental or cooked breakfast and full use of the facilities.
Otahuna Lodge is at 224 Rhodes Road, Tai Tapu, Christchurch, New Zealand, tel: 64 3 3296 333. Log on to www.otahuna.co.nz for more details.