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“Pristine High Country”
Review of Grasmere Lodge

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Grasmere Lodge
Arlington, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Pristine High Country”
Reviewed October 5, 2011

We felt as if we were guests at a private house party while at the Grasmere Lodge. The property looks like the old TV show, "The Big Valley." Jo greeted us at the door, not letting us lift a finger. Tom hosted us for our all too short visit. The main house is so warm and comfortable, we almost wished it would rain so we could hunker down to spend a day by the fire. Rain it did not, so we were able to take advantage of hiking, shooting, and exploration of the working cattle/sheep farm in the shadow of snow-capped mountains. Meals, prepared with local, seasonal ingredients by the very capable Louise, equaled the quality one would find in high-end London/San Francisco restaurants. Add personal touches by the aptly named server, Heaven, and you have a perfect outdoor/indoor holiday.

Room Tip: Rooms are equally well-appointed and beaurifully located, but some have more sweeping view of the mo...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Holly K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 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 (22)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2011

We stayed at Grasmere Lodge over the Easter weekend and had a great lazy weekend. We went trout fishing for one day with a fantastic fishing guide, Nigel. Amazing scenery and great fishing. The lodge rooms are very comfortable with large bathrooms and overlook breathtaking scenery. All the meals were excellant, especially the breakfasts and the staff were most helpful and interesting. A great experience overall.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Louise1811027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2011

We were recommended to this lodge as it was ment to be one of the best in canterbury,
The location is absolutely amazing and the property and accommodation is flawless in presentation
However the food is tasteless bland and a real Disappointment! Regarding a shot glass of Sobert a dish ( one of the four included in the meal ) is a complete rip off
The bathroom did not have underfloor heating Or was broken the fan heater in the bathroom also did not work and this was disappointing as the 3 days we spent at Grasmere the weather was very cold.
The bed was comfortable and had beautiful linen.
Our sleep in was ruined at 7.45am with a helicopter landing not less then 25 meters from the front of all the lodge rooms and stayed running for about 15 mins while picking up a group of guest that had the whole lodge caring for them over the priority of other guest and this came up in conversation with other guest at breakfast and lunches as the were at time waiting periods for longer than 60-70 mins after being seated for food to come to the table!
When speeding $4000 in total for our stay at Grasmere we are sad to say and not alone as two other couples felt the same that we would not recommend or be returning which we feel really sorry as it truely is a magic setting to be if not the best but one of the best lodgesin NZ.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank teamtwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wanaka, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2011

Spent a couple of days here in a stunning suite.. 2 fireplaces in our unit which was heavenly while snowing outside. Our bed was exceptionally comfortable - had perfect sleep here! Our accommodation was flawless. Unfortunately, the dinners weren't of the same standard. I really appreciate great food and felt a little disappointed in this regard. Detracted from the overall experience and value for money.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank jcnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2011

Arrived early evening after flying into Christchurch from Melbourne (be forewarned, it's a hike from Christchurch airport...) and arrived just in time for dinner. My finicky daughters loved the food, the wines were excellent and the fireplace just perfect for unwinding after a long day of travel.

We had one of the cottages they offer and it was great for our family. Two bedrooms, so one for the two girls and one for mom and dad. Incredible view out of the picture window across the mountains...bathrooms more than ample with lots of hot water and good water pressure. A great kitchen we we did not use much as we were only there for two nights. My daughters particularly liked the electric blankets which were a novelty for them.

We rode horses, we walked around the premises, we (my daughters) rode their golf cart, we played pool in the evening, mingled with the other guests before and after dinner, around the well stocked bar...it truly was a lovely and relaxing way to start our trip to New Zealand, and the management and staff could not have been nicer.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pechdejammes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2011

We were greeted by Leticia and by magic our car was moved and luggage delivered to our room while we drank tea in the library and were showed round the farm.

Derek the chef is amazing- and cooked up some really magical meals for breakfast lunch and dinner- he does everything from scratch and prides himself in the quality and balance of food. He loves cooking but can also help out with anything as he has been there some years. Dinner is served with help of Heaven (who is heavenly with a warm smile>

The owners Tom and Jo are incredibly knowledgeable - do go on the farm tour with Tom to see the extent of the place and get Jo to massage you if you have time. Try and take the long walk to the top (there is a bench) and soak in this scenery......

This is a romantic perfect hideaway-- the only downside those pesky sandflies even find there way here so take some repellent with you.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CYtravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2011

My husband and I spent 2 nights at Grasmere in early December. We had high expectations, and Tom and the rest of his staff still managed to exceed them!

When we arrived, we were greeted by Laticia at the main house. She was in the middle of serving lunch to other guests but still seated us in the library, got us drinks, chatted with us for a few minutes, told us about the history of the property and asked about some of our preferences during our stay. She asked for our car keys so that our bags could be taken to our room and then took us on about a 30-minute tour of the property. On the tour, we went by the pool and mentioned that a swim would be nice--it was one of the first warm days of spring, so the pool had not been used in a while, so it had a few leaves in it, and Laticia warned us that it may not yet be properly chlorinated, but that she would check on it. By the time we got to our room (1 of 4 in the Chalet), our bags were inside, and our car was in the Chalet carport--nice! Laticia gave us a quick tour of the room and said that she'd check on the pool situation.

Once we were settled, we headed to the pool (maybe 20 minutes after Laticia left us), and by the time we got there, the pool had been completely cleared of leaves and was ready to go! The staff obviously didn't hesitate to accommodate us! My only complaint about our entire stay was the lack of lounge chairs at the pool--not sure if there are never any chairs there, or if it was temporary. There were towels and a changing area there, but we had to set up towels on the ground surrounding the pool to get comfortable.

We had hoped to go kayaking, but Tom was nice enough to warn us that the windy conditions on the lake would make kayaking pretty unpleasant. We were sorry to miss out on the experience but were so glad that Tom warned us about the windy conditions.

We went to cocktail hour and joined the group dinner both nights (the norm is for all guests to dine together, but there is a private room for 2 if you want to dine separately). Derek, the chef, made amazing canapes and 3-course meals (plus unique sorbets for palate cleansing) both nights--one night was beef and one duck for the main courses, we had west-coast whitebait one night as the appetizer (I don't remember the other night's appetizer), and desserts were a chocolate mousse cake and a fresh strawberry tart. We actually met Derek the day we checked in, and he was very careful to ask us if we had any dietary restrictions or taste preferences--we are pretty adventurous eaters, but I had two or three things that I had to stay away from for health reasons, and he accommodated those requests at all meals. House wines (which were very nice and usually from the South Island) were complimentary at cocktail hour and meals, but there was a separate charge for liquor cocktails, though pretty nominal (14 NZD for a nice scotch). My husband had scotch both nights, but there was never the annoying process of signing for it--the charges just showed up on our bill at the end.

Breakfasts were also delicious. They were served in the conservatory, which is part of the main lodge and overlooked the gardens. A few seats are in direct sunlight since the room is all windows, so get there early or bring sunglasses! There were about 7-8 options on the menu, plus a continental buffet with cereal and fruit. Derek was nice enough to modify one of the menu options for me both days (I wanted veggies in addition to my eggs and toast, so he threw in some excellent grilled mushrooms and stewed tomatoes--items that weren't even on the breakfast menu).

As far as meals, breakfast and dinner were included, but not lunch. We were there only one day for lunch, and Derek packed us a picnic lunch that we ate overlooking a creek on the property. It included sandwiches, dessert, granola bars, juice and water, Pringles and a bacon and egg pie, I believe for 25 NZD per person.

On our one full day there, we went horseback riding all around the property with Heather, who lives on the property and tends to the horses, and 3 other guests who we had dined with the night before. Heather was great with the horses (it was my first time riding, and she taught me everything that I needed to know in about 3 minutes), and the horses were very tame. We went on a 90 minute tour of the property, which was just stunning--you can cover a lot more ground and take advantage of some breathtaking views while on horseback. We also went clay-shooting with Tom, who was a great instructor. Both activities combined cost about 300 NZD (around 250 for the ride and 50 for the shooting, which is a nominal base charge but a charge for each shot). Tom also arranged for us to take Lass, one of the Golden Retrievers on the property, for a walk (we missed our dog at home!).

The room itself was plain but gorgeous (the interior can get away with being plain since the outside views are so amazing). There was a gas fireplace, a huge tub and shower and a very comfortable king-sized bed. There was nobody else staying in the Chalet while we were there, so we had access to the living area (with a TV, another fireplace, music and a decorated Christmas tree) as well for no extra charge. There was also a nice patio with Adirondack chairs and flowers--one night, Heather let two of the horses wander, and they came right over to our patio to graze and say hi--beautiful! The fridge was well-stocked with complimentary drinks and snacks, including bottled water, sodas, chocolates and even a carafe of wine--all were restocked during housekeeping service. Housekeeping service did a great job--they always came while we were at breakfast and dinner, so no interruptions from them.

Other random things: there was a well-equipped fitness center, but we didn't use it, preferring to go on walks around the beautiful property, free wireless in all rooms and a laptop in the lodge that was also no-charge and a store on the property that was based entirely on the honors system (i.e., it wasn't staffed, so if you wanted something, they trusted you to report it so that you could pay for it).

Overall, Tom, Tim, Derek and Laticia (and the rest of the behind-the-scenes staff) paid great attention to detail and ensured that we had a perfect stay. Grasmere is wonderfully relaxing and worth every penny.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wilson315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grasmere Lodge

Property: Grasmere Lodge
Address: State H'way 73 Near Arthur's Pass Canterbury | Private Bag 55009, Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Canterbury Region > Arthur's Pass National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Arthur's Pass National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grasmere Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 15
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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