What We Love
Sonos entertainment systems in all guest rooms
Free personal training sessions at the state-of-the-art gym
Guests are encouraged to roam the resort’s 4,000-acre farm
Picnic basket lunches
What To Know
- The most convenient way to reach this remote property is by helicopter
- The one-bedroom Shepherd’s Cottage has its own outdoor bathtub
- Phone reception is limited
- In lieu of a restaurant, meals are served in guest villas
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Four secluded villas charm with dazzling home-away-from-home accents on a historic Banks Peninsula farm
The five-bedroom homestead at Annandale, a cloistered Kiwi escape, is arguably its most sought-after residence. Unlike the three other villa choices, which comprise an expansive family-friendly cottage (with space for 14 and its own pebble beach), a seductive ocean-side lair, and a more rustic cottage option, it’s the fully restored homestead that most expertly distills the farm’s turn-of-the-century origins. Here, you’ll catch glimpses of the 19th century across its heritage gardens, which include a Victorian fernery and a lemon orchard; the past also makes an appearance through the white wicker verandah furniture and the loft rooms, which are set inside the property’s original stables. The lounging options across the entire estate are seemingly endless, ranging from a sea-facing Jacuzzi to a balcony hot tub. Once you’ve had your fill of lazing and sea-gazing, kayak the sheltered waters of Pigeon Bay, hike along the area’s rolling hills, or hop aboard a nature cruise (you’ll likely spy dolphins and blue penguins). Then return to your pastoral villa, where a personal chef can whip up a farm-fueled, family-style feast that ends at your outdoor fire-pit with roasted marshmallows and a star-studded Southern Hemisphere sky.
In the Area
You’re in rural New Zealand, a rugged tableau of volcanic craters, stony outcrops, unpopulated farmland, and golden pastures. The nearest town of Akaroa, a former French colony known for its lively harbor-front promenade, is a 45-minute ride away. Four-wheel drives are strongly recommended, given the area’s rough and tumble terrain. Annandale prides itself on sustainable farming practices, sourcing all of its food, be it the shellfish for steamed lobster rolls or the cherries in their semi-freddos, from a 60-mile radius. Homestead tours remain one of the resort’s most popular onsite activities—if you’re especially lucky, you’ll score access to a sheep-shearing session.
How to Get There
Wow. Only really an hour out of Christchurch and a 30 min drive by 4x4 and we are greeted by a luxury lodge in the middle on a inlet amongst a working farm.
From the start it’s instant relaxation as we’re sipping local Pinot noir by the outdoor fire snacking on local cheeses.
Once the night comes, we move inside to the most comfy sofa I’ve been on, next to the inside fire...still with my Pinot.
The food is all prepared and it’s just a matter of heating up and eating. So much food that you’ll need the couch afterwards.
We went for some massive lunch walks around the farm. Greeting the locals and working off all the food. But just as fun is sitting in the spa, with a glass of bubbles and watching the local geese play in the water.
From the best nights sleep, watching the stars and admiring the view - it’s instant relaxation. But don’t panic, there is wifi if you really need it.
Make sure you have a bath while watching the view. Amazing.
We spent 3 nights at Shepherd’s Cottage. It was warm and cozy and had every comfort you’d need, no detail has been forgotten. The property is easy to walk or ride around with spectacular views from snow capped mountains and grassy hills to the sea in every direction. Meals are unobtrusively delivered each day and include plentiful fresh produce and it’s fun putting together the finishing touches to restaurant quality dishes that have been thoughtfully created. It’s a remote and quiet getaway with nothing but birdsong, a crackling fire and maybe a cow or sheep making their presence known, however if needed Sebastien who was the perfect host and Elena were there and went above and beyond to make our stay memorable.
Beautiful, private, reflective. Lovely people, great food, a quality of experience one rarely finds in the world these days. I have hundreds of photos from our trip to NZ. Most of the best come from Shepherd’s Cottage.
You want to stay in a James-Bond-Villa? Book the Seascape Villa!
Perfect view (if you're lucky: dolfins, seals...)
Nobody will disturb you except for room service and delivery of dinner and breakfast - perfectly precooked and first class!
Its the once-in-a-lifetime place!
Everyone of Annandale’s lodge has it own very distinct design and feel. Irregardless all of them comes with world class amenities and lavish furnishings. Get your own private chef to cool right within your accommodation at the modern kitchen while you relax with a glass of wine at hand soaking in the atmosphere that is one in a million