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.
The 12 available guestrooms and suites at Blanket Bay bestow lucky guests with the same sense of refined rustic charm as the rest of the property, and they are all the better for it. So within each, though they vary in size you will find thick handmade rugs and quaint, stitched cushion covers, exposed wooden beams and a furnished balcony overlooking the lake. And, while retaining that authentic feel, a long list of creature comforts can also be found as standard such as super-king-size beds, a seating area, separate shower and deep soak bathtub, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth speakers and satellite TV – some also flaunting a stone fireplace and private courtyard. Finally, the standalone Blanket Bay Villa and Owner’s Residence are in a league of their own and perfect if travelling to New Zealand as a family, thanks to their fully-equipped kitchens, multiple rooms, private courtyard and gardens too.
Restaurants and Bars
Award-winning wine, locally sourced produce and a passion for showing off the best of New Zealand’s gastronomic heritage are all part of the food philosophy here, and the result is an inspired fine dining menu that changes with the seasons. From morning till night, the techniques used are cutting-edge and flavour combos perfectly delicate. Whether that’s your fresh seafood and scallops with glazed heritage tomatoes and a basil-infused reduction, lip-smacking seasonal veg tossed in soy and sesame or desserts so delicately presented some of them belong in an art gallery – a passion for great gastronomy is all part of the package here at Blanket Bay.
Activities and Entertainment
A world of outdoor activities and sightseeing tours around Lake Wakatipu and wider Glenorchy help make Blanket Bay the unforgettable New Zealand lodge it is. Sitting on the terrace after a wine tasting tour and admiring Wakatipu itself is enjoyable enough, though nearby you have everything from heli-skiing to jetboat and 4x4 off-road rides, sky-diving or hiking the trails of Routeburn, Milford, Greenstone and Hollyford, passing waterfalls, alpine forests and abundant wildlife along the way. The area has been an International Dark Sky Reserve since 2012 so it is an excellent place for stargazing. You can horse ride through the plains, visit Milford Sound and Fiordland by helicopter, play golf at the Jack’s Point championship course, go mountain biking, rafting or bungee jumping – if feeling brave enough!
Whether kayaking through an untouched gorge, hiking atop remote mountain passes or enjoying a round on one of the world’s most scenic golf courses – the excursions and experiences to be enjoyed at Blanket Bay lodge are some of the most memorable in all New Zealand.
Blanket Bay revels in its unbeatable setting, so the surrounding landscape is always a focus of any stay here, although you won’t be left short with what’s onsite either. For starters, there’s the spa, a soothing space of massage and traditional treatments, a steam room, gym and Jacuzzi overlooking the lake; plus an outdoor swimming pool and sun patio here too. Around the communal lounge areas, games room and self-service bar you’ll also find a pool table, cards, chess and a darts board; satellite TV and DVD player for fun evenings spent indoors, as well as Wi-Fi and a separate reading room complete with fireplace.
Glenorchy, Otago, New Zealand. Blanket Bay has great access to Milford Sound and Fiordland plus a host of nearby national parks, the wilderness surrounding Lake Wakatipu and small town of Glenorchy being a few minutes away. Queenstown – and Queenstown Airport – is roughly 40-50 minutes away by car.
1/12 - Aerial View of Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
2/12 - Lodge Room at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
3/12 - Swimming Pool at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
4/12 - The Den at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
5/12 - Jet Boating at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
6/12 - The Great Room at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
7/12 - Lodge Room at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
8/12 - Blanket Bay at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
9/12 - Spa at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
10/12 - Long Dining Room at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
11/12 - Aerial View of Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
12/12 - Lodge Suite Balcony in Winter at Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
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