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“Splendid Isolation”
Review of Blanket Bay

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Blanket Bay
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Splendid Isolation”
Reviewed March 14, 2008

We drove (10 hours) from Christchurch and were totally blown away by the scenery. We thought we were nearly there at Queenstown but it was a further amazing drive along the lake, over 20 miles hardly seeing a building or other car, with the deep blue colour of the lake and the fantastic view to the mountains along the other side. We arrived and were warmly welcomed and shown about by the general manager.

The architecture of the building and furnishings are most impressive. There is a central lodge on three levels with bedrooms on the top, bar, lounges and restaurants in the middle and spa/games room at the bottom. There are also some suites in separate buildings. It is a most luxurious environment.

Our bedroom looked straight out across the lake. An unusual feature was a window that could be opened for ventilation but retaining an insect net. There were numerous lighting controls in the room which were good fun. The network was "free" and fast. The bathroom very very well appointed and spacious.

The main lodge, where our room was, is spaced about 100 yards from the lake. A Squirrel helicopter comes once or twice a day to collect people going to Milford Sound. The hotel also has a montrously powerful speedboat which does trips up the Dart River -it was the only boat we saw on the lake which must be about 40 square miles. There is a grass strip next to the hotel and we took a trip in a Cessna Caravan to Milford in order to go on a boat there. The flights both ways were absolutely magnificent.

The grounds are huge and there are so few guests that you never bump into anyone. If you want a swim, it is just you, if you want a walk along the lake likewise. If you go to Milford Sound it is just 4 of you in the plane and you can sit next to the pilot.

In the evenings, everyone would meet in the bar before dinner and socialise, which we found unusual but got used to and enjoyed it: everyone is extremely excited to tell all about the magnificent day they have had.

We do not know whether it has any awards, but we would guess the meals are at somewhere between one and two Michelin stars. The wine list has an enormous variety of NZ wines.

The staff are just brilliant. Very, very polite and helpful.

It is a pretty expensive place but special and you only live once.
It is worth going.

  • Liked — Unable to see anything but mountains and lake out of window - mind-blowing
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank millgent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2008

I am a bit late in writing this review I know. However, I was posting others and realized I hadn't posted from my trip to New Zealand last year.

This is an extremely nice lodge. It is so comfortable and quiet and the views of Lake Wakatipu are stunning.

The staff is so friendly. The rooms are plush and luxurious.

This is a place to relax and get away. I really enjoyed my stay here - loved the food as well.

At night they have a cocktail hour so you can meet other guests if you desire. I was by myself but still had a lovely time.

I can understand what some of the other reviewers are saying that it can be like a ghost town. It isn't a bustling hotel that's for sure. However, if you are looking to get away from it all and relax and be quiet, this is an extremely good alternative.

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Southern_Gal_AL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level Contributor
47 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2007

My husband and I spent our Babymoon at Blanket Bay--and it exceeded our expectations-as did New Zealand!!! The drive to the lodge is scenic and pristine-about 40 minutes from the airport-you are in the middle of nowhere-just what we wanted!!! Upon our arrival we were greeted at our car by the general manager and requested to leave everything in the car--he gave us a thorough tour of the main lodge and made us feel like friends visiting. We booked one of the chalets which is up the hill from the main lodge-we were whisked over and our luggage was waiting for us-I wasn't sure if the chalet would be worth the extra money-I am so glad that we booked it--Incredible views, sumptuous bed and bathroom with steam shower and separate sunken tub--outdoor patio-fireplace, sitting area-it was perfect!!! Dinner was included as well as pre-dinner cocktails in the intimate bar as well as breakfast each morning. The food is delicious and very gourmet-fresh, local organic as well!! Judy, one of the hosts organized fly fishihing for us as well as a helicopter tour (well worth the expense-a highlight of our trip) and gave us a driving itinerary--this is a small lodge and dinner is early-we ate at 8pm each night and were by far the last diners---there is a game room with pool table, shuffle board, darts etc that is stocked with soda, beer etc avaialble all day--the hot tub is beautiful-the most incredible view I have ever seen from a hot tub!!!! We had a massage with the in house masseuse--nice way to recover from our 24 hour journey. Nightlife is non-existant-the local town pub in Glenorchy closed at 8pm on a Saturday night-- Blanket Bay is the perfect place to see true undisturbed New Zealand and to get away from it all while still being pampered!! Hope to return someday!!!

  • Liked — understated luxury-location
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank kimbren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC-USA
Level Contributor
79 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2007

Blanket Bay is probably the most highly-touted very high-end luxury resort in New Zealand. Suites cost over $1,600US per night (rooms slightly less) For that you get a large living area, large sleeping area, sumptuous bathroom, outdoor seating area, spectacular views of Lake Wakitupu and the Southern Alps, burnished wood paneling, a built-in music system that plays five channels of Muzak, and an ELECTRIC fireplace. (Every other place we stayed in NZ had wood-burning fireplaces in the rooms).You also get extraordinarily ordinary food (ignore the framed and claimed awards, - they don't reflect the actual meals we were served which were far and away the least impressive we had anywhere in NZ) and a corporate service attitude more suited to a golf resort than an intimate (11 accommodations) wilderness retreat. The activities are relatively limited, unless you want to spend $2,500US for the helicopter tour that was offered us during the check-in orientation. The Dart River jet boat trip at approximately $250 per couple was very enjoyable, but still pricey. The highlight of the visit to Blanket Bay was the private charter flight we took from Blanket Bay to our next stop, Grasmere in the Central Highlands. The vistas of the Southern Alps were spectacular, and we were leaving Blanket Bay.

If you want great mountain views, save yourself 20+ hours of travel and tons of money and go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and if you want to have a great experience in NZ, by all means go there, but stay somewhere other than Blanket Bay.

  • Liked — Scenic Beauty
  • Disliked — Food, attitude, price
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Harrydog44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Free Union, Virginia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2007

Blanket Bay is absolute perfection. Our suite was amazing, the staff was just as attentive as we wanted- present when needed but not overbearing, the food was fantastic. My husband and I had our wedding in their Great Room overlooking the lake; Judy and the rest of the staff did so much for us in the details (at no cost). Blanket Bay is truly one of the best places in the world.

One note: Blanket Bay is a 40 minute drive from Queenstown. So this is not the place for you if you plan on spending a lot of time in town. The purpose of our trip with the lodge, not to explore the resort town, so it fit our needs exactly.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Kelly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviewed June 16, 2007

My wife and I stayed there in late 2002. Upon arrival, the view from the lodge's "great room" was stunning. Our room was large with lots of nice touches. The walk-out patio was a perfect place to have coffee and take in the view of the lake and mountains. We ate all breakfast and dinners at the lodge and the food was excellent. One night, they asked us if we'd like to dine in the wine cellar which was very romantic. Prior to dinner, they offer a free happy hour. The service at all levels was professional and smart. The lodge is located a few minutes outside of Glenorchy which is a small town at the head of the Dart river. If you do go, be sure to take one of the jet boats up the Dart river; you'll see recognizable terrain from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (and the boat picks you up from in front of the Blanket Bay lodge).

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Expensive but worth it
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bkingbking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2006

I've often wondered if there would be a property that could meet or exceed my high expectations. After spending two weeks in New Zealand and being disappointed with other luxury lodges, the perfection of Blanket Bay was a welcome surprise. The staff, accommodations, grounds, amenities, service, food, activites, etc... were all fabulous. Our suite in the main lodge was incredible. The furnishings, stone fireplace, expansive balcony and amazing views (even from the bathtub) created such a relaxing haven that it was often difficult to leave our room. The public spaces were equally as impressive and we enjoyed many of the activities offered on the property.
It is true that Blanket Bay is expensive, but after experiencing what was provided for the nightly rate, it was a great value as compared to other lodges in the area. I can't say enough wonderful things about this property and would recommend it without reservation to anyone who is considering a trip to the Queenstown/Glenorchy area.

  • Liked — Everything - food, views, amenities
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank 5*fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blanket Bay

Property: Blanket Bay
Address: Rapid 4191 Glenorchy Queenstown Road | PO Box 35, Glenorchy 9350, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Glenorchy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Glenorchy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Blanket Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This stunning backcountry retreat sits on the lakeshore 45 minutes outside Queenstown in the Southern Alps New Zealand. Lofty beamed ceilings, rock fireplaces and vast picture windows frame the heroic stone and timber lodge housing the Great Room, Den, Game Room, Gym, spa and several indoor/outdoor dining venues.Thirteen rooms offer every conceivable amenity. Activities include an outdoor lap pool, bush walks, fly-fishing, jet boating, horse riding and scenic heli-flights ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blanket Bay Hotel Queenstown

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