The Farm at Cape Kidnappers: Old-Fashioned Elegance Meets Modern-Day Luxury in New Zealand

Circular Quay Sydney taken from the Sydney Harbour Bridge just after sunset showing the Sydney Opera House on the left.
Sydney Australia Getty Revised Photo by BWA_IMAGES/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

HAWKE'S BAY, New Zealand -- Luxury Travel Advisor recently had the privilege of staying at perhaps the finest luxury resort in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.

This Relais & Châteaux resort is the ultimate combination of old-fashioned, classic elegance and modern chic. The modern touches are very subtle and tasteful and in no way interfere with the classic vibe of the hotel. For example, all flat screen televisions in the rooms are hidden behind either paintings or colonial style cabinets with curtains. There are speakers in the ceilings of the living rooms and bathroom, iPod docking stations and free WiFi with no login or password required.

We stayed in room no. 13, a Hilltop Suite with a king bed and a small balcony with incredible views of the farm and the Pacific Ocean. The mini-bar is free with the exception of liquor. Beer, nonalcoholic drinks and snacks are all free. Nice Touch: Every night, the hotel refills a fresh pitcher of lemon water, located near the nightstand. The room also comes with a small walk in closet and old-fashioned locks. Nice Touch: To add to that old-fashioned feel, all rooms include pencils instead of pens. Tip: Two Hilltop Suites have the option to add an interconnecting second smaller bedroom.

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One of four bedrooms located in the Owner's Cottage

The best rooms here, however, are located in the Owner's Cottage, which is a four-bedroom cottage that can sleep as many as 12 people since extra beds can be added. Wine pairing dinners can also be arranged in the rooms. Hint: This cottage is ideal for a family or group of friends traveling together. Nice Touch: All four deluxe bedrooms come with fireplaces, large bathrooms, walk-in closets, mini-bars and private balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The large living room has a stone fireplace, generously-sized open-plan kitchen and dining area. The Owner's Cottage also comes with two smaller sitting rooms, each with fireplaces, televisions and comfortable seating. It also comes with an outdoor Jacuzzi and a stone terrace. Note: The Owner's Cottage can be rented as a two-bedroom or four-bedroom house.

The spa consists of three treatment rooms including one couples rooms. Tip: In-room massages can be arranged as well. The restaurant, located near the main lobby, changes it's wine-paring menus every day, but advisors should note that the resort always keep a supply of beef, venison, lamb and other meats in the back just in case your VIPs do not like anything on the menu for that night.

There is a small fitness center with everything a VIP needs to burn off a few glass of wine. Nice Touch: There are no water fountains here, just bottled water. The bathroom is located literally five feet from the gym as well. There is also a large flat screen television in the gym.

Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 7,119 yards and will challenge golfers of all skill levels.


VIPs can take part in the Kiwi Discovery Walk and hold these endangered birds

The property also offers an array of tours, but we highly suggest the once-of-a-lifetime Kiwi Discovery Walk, where VIPs are taken through the Cape Sanctuary to search for Kiwi, which are considered by many to be the world'd weirdest bird mainly because it doesn't fly. They lay eggs but are mammal-like in many respects. They are sometimes called New Zealand's "honorary mammal." Kiwi are endemic to New Zealand. There are five species, all of which are endangered. Note: Finding them is not terribly difficult since tracking devices are put on the birds' feet. No worries, animal lovers, the specialists on property check these devices often to make sure they are not hurting the bird or causing an infection. To book one of these tours in advance, advisors should contact John McLennan, Kiwi Discovery Walk owner at [email protected]

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is definitely a must for all foodies and wine enthusiasts. The service is impeccable and the staff can meet most requests. In fact, we were told the most over-the top-request the hotel received was from a VIP who wanted to propose to his girlfriend but gave the hotel just one day of notice. He wanted to play a round of golf with her and have the engament ring in the 18th hole. Luckily for the hotel and the guest, she said, "yes."


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