What is it? New Zealand is big on 'hosted accommodation': intimate four- or five-bedroom lodges run by 'hosts' who act as your butler, cleaner, chef and tourist board. Lime Tree Lodge in alpine Wanaka on New Zealand's South Island would be luxurious enough without hosts Rebecca Butts and Sally Cawardine. Add them and Lime Tree goes from being swanky lodge to home from home - or rather the home you wish you had. Who are they? Cawardine comes from an arty background, having worked in marketing for the Auckland Museum. Her style and attention to detail can be seen throughout Lime Tree in the monogrammed cotton sheets and artwork from the country's best. Butts worked on the gardens of Auckland's elite in her landscaping business and her talents are well utilised in the spectacular gardens of the lodge. She is also the foodie, obsessed with natural herbs and spices, and the queen of the mammoth kitchen. What about the ambience? There are four spacious rooms and two suites. Book into the Linden Suite for warmed tiles in the en suite bathroom, a super-king-sized bed, plasma television screen and open-plan lounge area opening onto the garden, swimming pool and hot tub. Turn-down time brings fresh sprigs of lavender or lime chocolates. The communal lounge is worthy of Vogue, with giant sofas and a schist stone open fireplace; canapes and wine are served every afternoon at five. What's on the menu? It's all about the food at Lime Tree. Breakfasts of your choosing are cooked before your eyes and might include freshly baked banana bread, macaroons, biscuits and, for the health-conscious, stone fruit picked in the property's orchard. Butts' olive grove and herb garden provide the basis for many meals and dinner is an event unto itself. Handmade pates, local cheeses and salmon canapes come first, perhaps followed by roast New Zealand lamb or beef, trout, duck casserole or the Lime Tree barbecue for an alfresco treat. Anything else we should know? Feel free to bring your chopper: there is a helipad on the property but be careful you don't spook Rosie, the domesticated sheep. Practise your swing on the five-hole pitch-and-putt golf course or drive to Treble Cone ski field, the town of Wanaka or Mount Aspiring National Park. The lodge sits on four hectares and is surrounded by alps. Lime trees stand side by side with roses, camellias, peonies and perennials and the lawn is dotted with firs, oaks and beech. What's the bottom line? The Linden Suite costs from NZ$450 (HK$2,400) a night, including breakfast, complimentary aperitifs, home baking, transfers and full use of all facilities. Lime Tree Lodge is at Ballantyne Road, Wanaka, New Zealand, tel: 64 3 443 7305; www.limetreelodge.co.nz .