The Marlborough Lodge recently completed the property’s third stage of a four-stage renovation. The new additions are slated to open in early November and feature a stand-alone spa, guest entertaining area with bar, retail store, wine shack and other enhancements. The lodge is a former Victorian convent from 1901 that now has 10 guestrooms, a farm-to-table dining concept and its own vineyards.
The third stage of the renovation was centered on converting the on-site 1913 chapel into a small spa, guest entertaining area with a bar and retail shop. Open seven days a week by appointment, the spa menu focuses on massage treatments but there are plans to offer additional wellness treatments, such as facials, hair masks and other rejuvenation and relaxation treatments based on guests’ needs. All lotions and essential oils are blended from John and Lyn Rainey, New Zealand’s oldest continuously operating essential oil production company. The lotions and oils include blends of rosemary, lavender, ginger and marjoram for muscle ease and a meditation blend of Frankincense, grapefruit, juniper and lemon for clarity. All the blends are hypoallergenic and are coordinated by The Marlborough Lodge’s in-house massage therapist.
The spa has deep green walls, Moroccan-inspired lighting and candles from New Zealand artisan makers Ashley & Co. Angela Dillon, co-owner and managing director of The Marlborough Lodge spearheaded the design and interiors of all the new spaces, taking her inspiration from the variety of textures and colors throughout the main lodge. The lodge says the refurbished structure has been designed to flow on from the main house and fit with the lodge’s overall aesthetic and theme. Natural tones mix with the original chapel Rimu wood and exposed beams made from 100-year-old kauri wood. Dillon collaborated with lodge Auckland-based interior designer Peter Lloyd for the main chapel colors and furnishings. The high ceilings and pitched roof line remain from the original building, as well as the arched windows and stained glass which have all been restored. The space has a private en-suite with heated floors and heated towel rack for added pampering. The rooms are dotted with the history of the chapel including an old bible, marble signage, hymn book holders and a collection plate all on display. Herbal teas and infused water are available to guests upon arrival. All spa products are also available for purchase in the new lodge retail store.
The new guest area, bar and retail store all flow outdoors to a sunny outside deck adjacent to the center stage outdoor fireplace. The lodge says the guest area reflects the tone of the main house with its eclectic mix of textures and finishes while remaining focused on comfort and ease. The bar offers a range of daily cocktails and drinks, fresh juice, coffee, teas and a light menu throughout the day and early evening. The bar menu includes salads, fish and chips, cheese plates, charcuterie, smoked salmon, sandwiches, seasonal fruits, ice cream and more. Highlights include seasonal cocktails using summer fruits and berries from the lodge’s on-site gardens and orchards, as well as classic cocktails. Born and raised in New Zealand, head chef Sam Webb oversees the food and beverage offering at the lodge’s The Harvest Restaurant, open to lodge and non-lodge guests. Focusing on fresh, seasonal and locally-sourced produce, chef Webb’s a la carte menus are complemented by a selection of wines with an emphasis on New Zealand while also including an international selection. Guests can dine at the Chef’s Bench or take a tour with the chef through the lodge’s vegetable and fruit garden, cooking demonstrations and more.
The Marlborough Lodge retail store offers a mix of local gifts, New Zealand classics and special pieces commissioned by the Marlborough region’s creative community especially for the lodge, including art, memorabilia, clothing, textiles, jewelry, wood, linen and books. The lodge store carries products made from the Marlborough area. There are items such as bags, caps and clothing designed just for The Marlborough Lodge’s guests. The new wooden wine shack across the creek offers a space for private wine tastings from the plethora of winemakers in the region. Local winemakers will share their knowledge of winemaking in the lodge’s gardens; tastings are available twice a week.