If I were to be asked to list my most lucky moments in life, I’d probably start with the fact that I was able to get pregnant on the first try and then second would be that we had gorgeous weather on our wedding day (despite horizontal rain the night before, over fifty guests that had flown in internationally, and an outdoor ceremony site most unforgiving in bad weather). Also on the list, not too far down from the top, would be that we stumbled across Antria on an otherwise precisely planned itinerary to New Zealand and now consider it to be one of the best luxury and most enjoyable accommodations we have ever visited. Lesson learned of course is to not plan everything and let magical places like Antria find their way into your itinerary. Let’s just say that I’ve never provided feedback on a travel website or a hotel review prior to this and I still feel compelled to do so even 6 months after returning from our trip.
Back in March, we enjoyed a 10 day adventure by car around the South Island, starting in Queenstown and then driving south west to continue around the island’s perimeter. While we knew we wanted to spend our final full evening and day in the Marlborough area, we had not booked any accommodations since we knew we may need some flexibility along the way as the weather is known for being temperamental in its transition to fall. After an enjoyable night in Kaiteriteri, and feeling remorseful that our incredible trip was drawing to a close, we started the drive towards Nelson and I began my search for accommodations in Blenheim for the following night. Using our trusty Lonely Planet as a starting point, I foolishly thought I’d be able to secure a room at one of the accommodations most appealing in review and meeting our selection criteria. After calling 2-3 establishments, I soon learned that it was the weekend of the Grape Ride where cyclists from around the country were in town and also needed lodging in the area. As a result, most places where full. Luckily, this forced me to look at a higher price range of accommodations. The first few I called where far beyond what we wanted to spend (>$500/night). However, I then read about Antria and was immediately enchanted by the description of its architecture and amenities. I called the number listed and was fearful I’d receive the same answer about the rooms being entirely booked. However, I was then greeted on the phone by the loveliest woman named Kathryne who let me know she did have availability in one last room for the one night we needed. She was intelligent, witty, and so refreshing compared to the other contacts I had spoken with in my search. Her demeanor and further description of the accommodation only made us more excited for our arrival.
From the moment we were greeted at Antria to the moment we drove away, we felt embraced by luxury and the graciousness of our hosts, Kathryne and Phil. The Antria Boutique Lodge exceeded our expectations in every way possible, making a significant impression on us and our overall experience in New Zealand in the short <24 hours we were there. We can’t wait to get back…
The lodge is breathtaking, purpose built, and absolutely true to the photos and description you see of it on the website: http://www.antria.co.nz/. While this alone sets Antria apart, what truly distinguishes it from any other accommodation in our experience is the quality of care provided by Kathryne and Phil. They are present when you need them, yet offer you privacy in the lodge to fully appreciate its glorious offerings. Soon after our arrival, Kathryne deftly arranged the perfect afternoon wine tasting itinerary and dinner plans for us. We enjoyed all destinations she recommended. In between our excursions, we shared a lovely bottle of sauvignon blanc brought out by Phil to our comfortable table on the covered veranda where we had settled to write postcards. Beforehand, we had wandered the grounds, which felt like those of an Italian villa, and laughed heartily for a few rounds of jumping on the trampoline across from the tennis court and apple trees.
We were treated to lavender on our pillows, a delicious bottle of late harvest wine, and homemade fudge when we returned from dinner that evening. Each and every detail in between was equally perfect and helped to make our short visit especially sweet.
We were delighted by the sweet and savory homemade breakfast options, opting for one of each to fully sample the Antria experience. Again, we were not disappointed. We sought out time with Kathryne and Phil, intrigued by their creation and magnetism. We lingered over coffee, talking of the old book collection in the kitchen, the aerial photo of Antria on the wall, and tried to learn more about how Antria came to be. In such a short time, we felt surprisingly indebted to our hosts and were immensely sad to leave this fine destination. We promised to return and are confident we will uphold this.
Keep your plans flexible while visiting New Zealand, yet make sure you book at least one night at Antria; it’s a pleasure certainly not to be missed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Wanting something different then look no further,from the moment you walk through the Gothic front doors you will know you are in for a memorable stay.High end comfort awaits but you will truly be able to relax.With 40 vineyards within 10 mins and some of the finest resturants in Marlborough, come and enjoy a Gold Medal Savignon Blanc and relax. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Antria Boutique Hotel Blenheim
- Antria Boutique Lodge Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand