New Zealand’s boutique luxury gem, The Marlborough Lodge, recently completed the property’s third stage of a four-stage renovation. The new additions are slated to open in early November and feature a stand-alone spa, guest entertaining area with bar, retail store, wine shack and other enhancements. Just in time for New Zealand’s summer season, the new refurbishments and additions continue to add to the lodge’s unique appeal as a premier luxury lodge in the heart of the Marlborough wine region.
Located at the Top of the South Island, the province of Marlborough is known for its world-famous Sauvignon Blanc as New Zealand’s largest wine-growing region with over 110 wineries and 33 cellar doors in the area. Credited as having the most sunlight hours in all of New Zealand, Marlborough is one of the sunniest regions in the country with an enviable climate and diverse topography from valleys to vines to sheltered waterways and more. More than 70% of New Zealand’s Greenshell mussels are farmed in the Marlborough Sounds, as well as the region offering an abundance of King Salmon, clams and oysters. From hiking, biking and kayaking just minutes away throughout the Marlborough Sounds to exploring world-renowned vineyards to indulging in locally sourced produce and fresh seafood, exploration and discovery awaits travelers in Marlborough. One of New Zealand’s newest luxury lodges, The Marlborough Lodge, offers the perfect basecamp to discover the bounty of Marlborough, a region rich in culture, nature, soft adventure, food and wine and more.
The Marlborough Lodge’s third stage of renovation centered on converting the on-site 1913 chapel into a small spa, guest entertaining area with bar and retail shop. The renovated chapel measuring approximately 592 square feet opens on November 5th and the approximately 183 square foot spa opens on November 10th. Open seven days a week by appointment, the spa menu focuses on offering massage treatments initially with plans for adding additional wellness treatments including facials, hair masks and other rejuvenation and relaxation treatments based on guests’ needs. All lotions and essential oils are blended from John and Lyn Rainey, New Zealand’s oldest continuously operating essential oil production company. The lotions and oils include blends of rosemary, lavender, ginger and marjoram for muscle ease and a unique meditation blend of Frankincense, grapefruit, juniper and lemon for clarity. All the blends are hypoallergenic and are coordinated by The Marlborough Lodge’s in-house massage therapist.
With deep green walls, Moroccan-inspired lighting, candles from New Zealand artisan makers Ashley & Co., and more, the spa interior evokes calmness and relaxation from the moment upon entering the room. Angela Dillon, co-owner and managing director of The Marlborough Lodge spearheaded the design and interiors of all the new spaces, taking her inspiration from the variety of textures and colors throughout the main lodge. The refurbished structure has been designed to flow on from the main house and fit with the lodge’s overall aesthetic and theme. Natural tones mix with the original chapel Rimu wood and exposed beams made from 100-year old kauri wood. Dillon collaborated with lodge Auckland-based interior designer Peter Lloyd for the main chapel colors and furnishings. The high ceilings and pitched roof line remain from the original building as well as the arched windows and stained glass which have all been perfectly restored. An intimate and private en-suite completes the space with heated floors and heated towel rack for added pampering. The rooms are dotted with the history of the chapel including an old bible, marble signage, hymn book holders and even a collection plate all on display. Herbal teas and infused water greet guests upon arrival. All spa products are also available for purchase in the new lodge retail store.
The new guest area, bar and retail store all flow outdoors to a sunny outside deck adjacent to the stunning center stage outdoor fireplace. The guest area reflects the tone of the main house with its eclectic mix of textures and finishes while remaining focused on comfort and ease. The bar offers a full range of daily cocktails and drinks, fresh juice, coffee, teas and a light menu throughout the day and early evening. The bar menu includes salads, a great fish and chips, cheese plates, Harvest Restaurant charcuterie, smoked salmon, Rueben sandwich. seasonal fruits, ice-cream and more. Highlights include seasonal cocktails using summer fruits and berries from the lodge’s on-site gardens and orchards, as well as the classic cocktails including the best Negroni in the Marlborough region with Antico vermouth. Born and raised in New Zealand, Head Chef Sam Webb oversees the food and beverage offering at the lodge’s The Harvest Restaurant, open to lodge and non-lodge guests. Focusing on fresh, seasonal and locally-sourced produce, Head Chef Webb’s a la carte menus is complemented by a selection of wines with an emphasis on New Zealand while also including an international selection. Guests can enjoy dining at the Chef’s Bench or taking a tour with the Chef through the lodge’s extensive vegetable and fruit garden, cooking demonstrations and more.
The Marlborough Lodge retail store offers a versatile mix of local gifts, New Zealand classics and special pieces commissioned by the Marlborough region’s creative community especially for the lodge. Art, memorabilia, clothing, textiles, jewelry, wood, linen, books are all included in a carefully culled range. The lodge store carries products made from the Marlborough area working closely with local craftsmen and artisans with items such as bags, caps and clothing designed just for The Marlborough Lodge’s guests. The new wooden wine shack across the creek offers the perfect space to enjoy private wine tastings from the plethora of extraordinary winemakers in the region. Local winemakers will share their knowledge of winemaking in the privacy of the lodge’s beautiful gardens. Tastings are available twice a week from 4pm-5pm to all lodge guests.
To fully appreciate the beauty and serenity of the property’s natural surroundings, guests can take a tour of the grounds with the lodge’s very own head gardener and learn about the extensive gardens with over 239 types of trees, 154 native New Zealand trees and bushes and vineyards with four variances of grapes. Learn about all of the different varieties of trees and bushes (both native and non-native), orchard fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and flowers and even visit the chicken coop where eggs are used in the daily menu. With Spring Creek running through the property, guests can spot various birds and ducks and other wildlife while taking a leisurely stroll on the grounds. Other lodge amenities include: bicycles and maps to explore the area, freshwater pool, grass tennis courts next door, daily breakfast with freshly baked muffins, breads, granola, yogurt, fruit and eggs cooked to order, pre-dinner drinks and canapes and mini-bar. The lodge can organize with their local partners private wine tastings and tours, cultural tours including area museums (Marlborough’s Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is the world-renowned display of Sir Peter Jackson’s rare collection of WW1 aircraft and memorabilia), helicopter tours, kayaking/hiking/biking in Marlborough Sounds, fly-fishing tours on the Wairu River, whale watching and dolphin tours, cruises and boat tours and more.