What a luxurious and relaxing way to start a holiday! As the first destination in our week-long trip to the South Island, Grasmere Lodge certainly set a very high standard. Yes it is quite isolated but this only adds to the feeling of total abandonment - leave every day stresses behind and step into a world where time slows, casual luxury abounds and service is discreetly impeccable.
Our (junior) suite in the Mountain View Chalet was tastefully decorated and exceptionally comfortable (with it's own gas fireplace) and was located not too far from the main facilities. As there were no other guests in the chalet that night we were offered the use of the adjoining living area (which wasn't part of our package) which is a stunning room with a majestic stone fireplace. The ambience we experienced that night, cuddled up on the comfy sofa in front of the fireplace, was beyond magic and truly unforgettable.
The only negative I can comment on was the dinner. Although it was a superbly prepared and presented meal, served in a private dining room, it left me with a serious dose of indigestion as it was simply too rich. Maybe the management of Grasmere could take note from another lovely lodge we stayed in, where, instead of being shown a set menu the chef offered to cook "whatever we wanted" . Still, most importantly my memory of Grasmere Lodge is a night of perfection - not the indigestion! I also want to thank Tom (??) for his recommendation of the Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir which we enjoyed with our meal, as this, along with their chardonnay (which I would usually NEVER touch), remain our favorite indulgence. NB: If you are planning a trip to the South Island be sure to take the time and stop at the Pegasus Bay winery - you won't be disappointed!
Our trip to the South Island wine region was my gift to my husband (a serious wino) for his 40th birthday and Grasmere Lodge was without any doubt the highlight of our trip. I would return in a heartbeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, Grasmere Lodge is at the heart of an operational 6,000 hectare grand pastoral station (ranch) surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. 100% purely Kiwi owned and operated Grasmere has been a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels since 1995. The 150 year old Homestead houses character rooms such as the library, lounge, bar and evening dining rooms. Thirteen guest rooms spread through the lodge, chalet and cottage boast panoramic views of lakes, rivers or rugged mountains. Meals feature the best of New Zealand produce and may include farm-raised venison, lamb or salmon or regional delicacies in season, such as whitebait from the West Coast. They are accompanied by an extensive wine list, which comprises award-winning New Zealand wines, including a number from the local Canterbury region. Carefully trained staff embody traditional southern hospitality, and are well-informed about the region and all it offers. From the lodge enjoy horseback riding, walking, kayaking, mountain biking, clay bird shooting or taking part in the daily 4WD station tour. Relax and rejuvenate in Mountain Spa or by the heated outdoor swimming pool. Gin-clear streams and lakes challenge the fly-fisherman while scenic flights from the airstrip entertain further afield. ... more less
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