We booked three nights at Villa Margarita through our New Zealand travel agency (Experience New Zealand Travel – terrific by the way) and were only disappointed that we had not stayed longer.
Situated outside of Wellington (in Pauatahanui) in a rural hilltop setting, the Villa should be considered in an upscale bed and breakfast class. The Villa is a one year old, modern design, separate and fully equipped apartment 50 or so meters from the main house with extensive views of the surrounding hills. The free Te Papa Museum in downtown Wellington is a must see and roughly a half an hour into depending on traffic. We worried about being so far out of town until we settled in and realized that the peace and quiet was what we really needed. It became a refuge from our busy schedule of site seeing.
We have traveled extensively prior to and after this visit and have never been greeted with such energy and enthusiasm by our hosts. Mark & Margarita Owen run the place and were good enough to pour us a welcoming namesake drink upon “check in”. We were treated as members of their family and quickly became acquainted with both of them as well as other friends and family members. It is no exaggeration to say that when we left we felt like we had made friends with them all. If you like mixing with people and are interested in seeing a unique New Zealand lifestyle, this place is a must. If you want to keep to yourselves and have more privacy, I am sure that would have worked as well here. For us, we mixed it up with them and enjoyed every moment.
One evening, when we had no energy to cook, we took part in a delicious home made gourmet meal at the main house that was done completely by our hosts. It was terrific and worth every penny. The next day, instead of going into the city again, we decided to hang out and BBQ there at the villa and just enjoy the views and the sunshine. As I said before, we were only sad to have to move on after three nights as we were booked elsewhere. If you have any question about this or about anywhere else in New Zealand we visited, please don’t hesitate to email.