Furneaux Lodge has two amazing assets: the wonderful character-full old homestead where the bar and restaurant are, and it's location. If you're passing, a coffee or a beer here is mandatory! As winter accommodation though it's hard to recommend.
We stayed in one of the new Endeavour Suites, which are less than 10 years old and look lovely in the brochure. And I think in summertime they would be delightful. (although whether worth the high asking price is another matter).
On a cold winter day as when we were there though they are not a good option. The basic problem is they are cold and damp, exactly the opposite of what you want when it's, well, cold and damp outside! They seem to have been designed to be cool in summer but no thought given to keeping them warm in winter. The floors are tiled and with no underfloor heating are like walking on a block of ice. Even a cheap rug would make a huge difference. The windows are single glazed and occupy most of the walls, and in the mornings were streaming with condensation leaving puddles on the floor. The cedar louvres won't keep much heat in either. The curtains are thin. You get the idea. After keeping both the (inadequate) heaters on all the time when we stayed it wasn't more than a fraction warmer inside than out! All that damp inevitably leads to mould in the bathroom and on the tile grout etc.
The restaurant is grotty and badly in need of a redecorate. The food was fine but not great.
I wanted to like Furneaux. The setting is magic, the service was good, and it's good in parts but overall if you market yourself as a premium destination you have to deliver, and it's just too inconsistent to do that. The more I travel the more I am prepared to overlook quite a few idiosyncrasies but my bottom line is I want accommodation to be quiet, clean, and warm. I won't recommend anywhere that doesn't manage all three.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled at the head of Endeavour Inlet in heart of New Zealand’s stunning Marlborough Sounds, Furneaux Lodge is a boutique hotel in the outer Queen Charlotte Sound. It looks out over the calm, clear water of the bay, embraced by virgin native forest, unchanged since Captain Cooks first visit in the inlet in 1769. Here at the lodge, the pace is easy, comfortable and relaxed. Ideal for the complete retreat. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Furneaux Hotel Marlborough Region