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The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Opua
Certificate of Excellence
France
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wanted to stay”
Reviewed October 16, 2010

Having read some negative views on TA I was wondering whether our first NZ lodge experience would live up to our hopeful expectations. Well, it did (in a big way) and I would recommend the lodge to all. We found Peter & Glennis to be just great! As has been said on other reviews, Peter's cooking is fantastic and Glennis is just a born host and they really made our stay worthwhile. Peter even drove us into town one evening but my tip is, don't eat in town, it's crap, espically compared to Peter's cooking. Mind you if green lipped mussels in a thai green curry sauce is your thing, go for it!! The wine list is very good indeed and freely offered and get Peter to turn the music volume up, his choice of music perfectly matches the surroundings.The lodge is stunning and the rooms are an excellent size and well kitted out. Yes, there are little ants in the bathroom but don't worry, they don't make any noise :) This is not a location if you want to have a boisterous night that goes on to the wee small hours but thats the fantastic thing about it, it's just so, so peaceful. We would go back there without hesitation, frankly we would have stayed longer. We were sad to leave, our hosts had treated us with genuine care and a real desire to see us enjoy our time. We've stayed in a lot of hotels etc in many countries but none has ever given us gifts when we were leaving, which is exactly what Perter & Glennis did. Long may they prosper, they work hard and deserve all the praise given.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank irishexileBahrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2010

We stayed here two nights at the end of a wonderful three week trip to Australia and New Zealand. It was a little longer drive form Auckland than we had anticipated, but it was worth it. A very cool place. The owners were wonderful hosts and we met some nice, fun people in the communal setting. A very interesting area, too.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AW51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnstaple, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2010

This was our first experience of a New Zealand lodge (we don't really have anything comparable in the UK) but it was very enjoyable.

We were met on arrival by the owner, Peter, who is friendly but not the warmest of people (I think this has been mentioned in an earlier review). However, once you've got your head around his very dry humour, he's fine and is certainly very efficient!

We were offered the fifth bedroom (formerly used by a live-in manager) on the ground floor which had a stunning view and air-conditioning which, given the very hot weather, was very welcome. It was nicely furnished and well equipped. However, some fellow guests commented that the view from their bedrooms on the lower floor was partly obstructed by a tree that had grown substantially since they were last there two years before, so we were obviously lucky.

Next door to our bedroom was a large open-plan area for all the guests which included a big deck, sitting room, dining area and a large open-plan kitchen which Peter and Glennis use to prepare the superb breakfasts and dinner.

We were there for three nights and dined in twice - dining with the other guests was a great experience and made our stay particularly fun. Peter is a superb cook and made a wonderful pavlova for a friend of ours who was also staying and whose birthday it was. Thanks Peter!

By UK standards (which is renowned for the high cost of its hotels) it's not cheap. However the lodge offers an exceptional package that includes a very personal service and I'd definitely go there again.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Empireboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juneau, Alaska
Level Contributor
68 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2010

You feel like you are staying in a spa. The mountainside location has a beautiful view, and it isn't all that far to town/shopping/sightseeing. Here are the pros and cons. It is a beautiful setting with a nice great room and wonderful view. There is a nice library and lots of movies to choose from. There is a lovely deck in the shared areas, and both breakfast and dinner dining settings are nice. The hosts don't live there so you don't feel like you are intruding. The rooms are very lovely, and the room decks are nice. The beds are very comfortable and the rooms are roomy, with all kinds of nice ammenities. They also feel very private. The food for dinner is very good, Peter is an amazing chef. It is fun to dine with other travelers and hear their stories. There is an open bar but we were told not to "over indulge" when we were told we could use it. Cons: I did not find Peter and Glennis all that warm. I found Peter a bit grumpy. Breakfast was fine but you had to request anything warm although I noticed Peter offering that to some guests. Dinner was pretty pricey, but it was certainly worth it. I felt like it was a politically incorrect decision the one night we didn't stay for dinner because we wanted to go to town. That shouldn't happen., it should be a choice! The bathrooms have ants. They are very teeny tiny ants, but there was no forwarning of that except you can't so much as have a snack in your room according to the rules, and there is bug spray in the room. I really didn't care for the ants, which I suppose are unavoidable in that location. The infinity pool is very pretty but the photos are misleading - it is fully covered by a deck and is very small, so if it was sunny you would be totally in the shade. The pool deck adjoins the room decks so not much privacy there. Overall I thought it was very lovely and MIGHT stay there again, but I found it awfully expensive.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Akgambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peter m, Owner at The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands, responded to this review, July 29, 2012
Dear guests from Alaska,
[under the rules of Trip advisor we are unable to address you by name]
please accept an almost ancient reply to your review of march 2010, Belonging to an older generation I am still coming to terms with social media and the importance of addressing any feedback, be it in the positive or the opposite.
I appreciate your kind remarks, in that you enjoyed the dinners, the Lodge, our Guest bedrooms etc as well as your frank comments about the" not so good"
Please let me respond. I totally agree with you that I come at times across as being grumpy.
I am a bit surprised about Glennis as she very much is the opposite being warm and outgoing.
My only explanation, not to be meant as an excuse is that March, getting towards the end of what was a very busy season does take its toll.. My / our apologies!
With the problem of ants, and as you mentioned yourself, in our bush location it is virtually impossible to get rid of them, it is their natural environment.
We have tried almost everything but we are occasionally fighting a losing battle.
If I gave you the impression that it was politically incorrect not to dine in on one of the nights of your stay please forgive me, we appreciate if guests dine in on the nights we cook, but certainly don't mind if you dine out.
I am also sorry that you had to ask for a cooked breakfast, it may have been that it was very busy, it was an oversight but certainly not my intention to overlook you.
The photograph on our website of the infinity plunge pool not showing that there is a deck above the pool was not meant to be devious, the height from the pool to the deck is almost 3.5 mtrs, and to do justice to the image was either to crop the pool or the top.
The pooldeck does get sun, how long for depends on the time of the year, weather permitting always in the morning but gradually dissapearing in the afternoon towards the end of our summer season. You are correct in that it is a rather small pool, its size very much dictated by its location and the available land to built on, hence why we call it a plunge pool.
The same with the close proximity of the adjoining 2 guest balconies. It was an architectural challenge to come up with a functionable building design for the land available.
We charge $ 95.00 pp for dinner with wine, or $ 75.00 without, We do not restrict the amount of wine our guests consume, the only thing we ask that they drink responsibly, which comes under "responsible alcohol service"" For the benefit of peoble who read this review, the dinner consists of an entree, plus usually a couple of other dishes served in the centre of the table, followed by the maincourse, dessert, and cheese if wanted. it isn't cheap but as you stated yourself it is good value for money.
May I thank you for your review, we will take your comments to hard
Hopefully on your next visit you may give us another chance, we certainly would welcome your return.
kind regards
and our apologies for all the negatives
Peter & Glennis MeierMeier
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2010

I was fortunate enough to hosted with my partner at this location by Peter and Glennis.
The location of this Lodge was absolutely incredible as it was positioned just out of both Paihia and Opua, but close enough to feel fully emerged within the beauty of the Bay of Islands.
The Lodge itself is beautiful and the rooms are of a very high quality. The sensations of this Lodge are the incredible uninterrupted views from the many perspectives of the building and the exquisite quality of the Hosts. Peter and Glennis prepare high quality cuisine at this Lodge using the vest best local products from which Peter uses his exceptional gifts to make meals that would be very worthy of most high class restaurants around the world. The philosophy of putting everyone staying at the Lodge around one table for all meals causes everyone to share the space and to share accounts of their lives/travels/impressions of NZ and other countries which significantly adds to the pleasure of the fantastic foods that pass one's lips. Peter and Glennis use an "open bar" approach that incorporates quality wine and fine beverages that is an approach that respects the elegance of the environment created.
My partner and I only stayed one night, but would have liked to stay for many many more.

I wish peter

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Copperduke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ireland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 22, 2010

Made most welcome by the hosts Peter & Glennis. Lovely private lodge with stunning views of the bay. Large open plan living area, kitchen & veranda. AC & WiFi in the rooms with large wet room. Fabulous breakfast every day with the other guests - approx 6 other rooms. Evening dinner is a delight & includes pre dinner drinks & wine throughout meal, in fact there is an open bar throughout the day. Hosts are great at advising & arranging local activities. Didn't want to leave & would definitely return.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank corkfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2010

If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine being in a treehouse - except this treehouse is tucked away on a mountainside, in the middle of a forest, with expansive water views. Add to that a small infinity pool, a marvelous deck, and cozy quarters with high-class touches, and you've got a wonderful place to stay. The views are dramatic, to say the least. Peter and Glennis were gracious hosts. Sure, Peter can be a bit snarky at times, but I found his dry humor quite funny, actually. And he's balanced out by Glennis, who is one of the nicest women I've met. They're both incredibly hardworking, and this lodge is truly a labor of love. I agree on some of the comments that the breakfast spread could be a little better, with some warm selections. HOWEVER, that's probably because Peter devotes a lot of energy towards dinner. An accomplished chef ("cook" as he likes to refer to himself), dinner is NOT to be missed. It's extra - about what you'd pay at a fine restaurant - but you get copious food and wine. We had some of our best meals in NZ here.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lemon_Sam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands

Property: The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands
Address: State Highway 11, Opua 0241, New Zealand (Formerly Bay of Islands Lodge)
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Northland Region > Bay of Islands > Opua
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Opua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sanctuary @ Bay of Islands 5*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Bay Of Islands Hotel Opua
The Sanctuary @ Bay Of Islands Opua, New Zealand

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