Blanket Bay lodge lives and breathes the wild New Zealand landscape in which it sits, perched on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with views of Mount Earnslaw on one side and the Humboldt Mountain Range the other. And though the small town of Glenorchy is just a few minutes away, your time at Blanket Bay feels as remote and intimate as any boutique South Island experience.
Away from the blissful luxury lodge itself for just a moment, the range of nature and adventure experiences is extraordinary. Nearby Milford Sound and Fiordland are two of the highlights of New Zealand and can be explored either on foot, horseback, bike, or from above in a private helicopter or hot air balloon ride. The hiking around Lake Wakatipu and Mount Aspiring National Park is then a spectacular jaunt of forested or open trails passing waterfalls, rivers, glacial lakes, abundant bird species and all sorts of native foliage – it’s also unlikely you’ll see another soul during your walks! Heli-skiing, a magnificent championship golf course within touching distance, wine tasting tours, rafting and kayaking down impossibly scenic river gorges, even bungee jumping or sky diving if you wish; Blanket Bay is a paradise for anyone visiting New Zealand who loves the great outdoors.
Back at home, the only thing that could possibly improve on these intoxicating South Island adventures, viewpoints and sights, is an eco-friendly luxury lodge clad in stone and exposed wooden beams, where cosy evenings are spent around the fireplace and nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Well that, and more is exactly what’s on offer while staying at Blanket Bay. Beginning with the service, it’s so seamless and natural that you may at times feel like you’re talking to an old friend while here. Then there’s the interior design – an unashamed nod towards the explorer cabins of old with antiques and ornaments, bare wood beams and exposed stone, vintage furnishings and cute, hand-embroidered cushions or locally-inspired artworks in both the communal spaces and guestrooms alike. This is the epitome of understated sophistication, and your sense of place is never lost as a result.
So the ceilings are high and floors polished, fireplaces lit and Blanket Bay’s lakeside patio seems just too go to resist each evening, yet the story doesn’t stop there. A farm-to-fork fine dining restaurant, spa with a steam room, gym and Jacuzzi overlooking the mountains, a games room, reading area and laidback self-service bar with pool table, an outdoor swimming pool and sun loungers only complement everything else on offer here. Blanket Bay, with its mountain and lake views, luxe facilities, fantastic staff and endless one-off experiences is a truly great, boutique adventure lodge in New Zealand.