What We Love
- Pre-dinner drinks, a five-course dinner and full country-style breakfast are included in the Jetsetter rate
- Spacious Suites feature glass door walls that open onto terraces overlooking the roaring Waikato River
- Over twenty possible dining venues, including an Africa room dotted with taxidermy from the owners’ collection
What To Know
- Despite the “Lodge” in the name, the Suites are housed in outbuildings; bundle up to go to dinner in winter
- The ambience is more formal than at some other New Zealand luxury lodges
- With just 25 rooms and no bar per se, there's not much of a party scene
- The North Island’s Lake Taupo region is known for trout fishing and adventure sports
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Built in 1924 by an Irishman who came to the area for its superlative fly fishing, and operated as a guest lodge for more than 25 years, Huka Lodge has a pleasingly comfortable worn-in look. Old World ambience pervades New Zealand’s original “superlodge,” where much of the decor, not to mention the staff, seems to have been airlifted straight from Scotland. The interior is made up of fireplaces, dark paneling, stately furnishings, taxidermy and tartan. But the reason you come is to fish. Trout-rich Lake Taupo is nearby, and the Waikato River roars right past the lodge. Catch your breakfast and they’ll cook it up for you. Just get cleaned up before heading to the dining room.
Bed and Bath
The Junior Suites and cottages are spacious and quiet, as they occupy separate buildings; the only sound is the surging river. The decor is simple and more contemporary than that of the main lodge, mostly shades of white and cream, with soft gray plaid throws to break things up. The monogrammed bed linens are luxurious, and fresh biscuits provide a nice touch. Bathrooms are spacious and light-filled, with bathtubs set next to large windows.
The lodge offers an impressive array of activities for a 25-room property: an outdoor swimming pool, two hot tubs, tennis courts, croquet, petanque, mountain bikes and in-room massages and facials. But as is the case at many New Zealand lodges, the primary activity is dining. Dutch-born executive chef Michel Louws brings continental flair to the five-course dinners (a standout during my visit was a deconstructed carrot cake with cake crumbles and cream cheese frosting wrapped in a carrot slice) and hearty breakfasts.
How to Get There
We had a fabulous stay at this extraordinary lodge. The entire staff from Reception to Kitchen, Front of house and Housekeeping were friendly and thoroughly professional.
We shall remember these past 2 days fondly as one of the highlights of our travels!
D & P
Everything about our stay at the lodge was perfect. The rooms, grouds and views are all beautiful. I'd recommend planning one day with no activities so you can enjoy the grounds - walk to Huka Falls, tennis, pool, etc.
The food was incredible. They hold a pre-dinner drinks and canapes which you should definitely take advantage of followed by a delicious 5-course meal where they adjust to your preferences. Most luxurious two days of my life!
The setting, staff and facilities were commensurate with the price. The chef was an incredible disappointment. Read other reviews for the wonders of this place and we endorse these positives, particularly in regard to the excellent staff. If food matters to you, you need to reconsider staying here. There was nothing special about the breakfast offerings and the dinners we uneven and unpredictable. A property of this reputation cannot maintain the reputation unless it improves its kitchen.
We had heard much about Huka Lodge from friends, but seeing the actual facility and the physical setting exceeded our expectations to say the least. My wife and I stayed in a beautiful suite with a beautiful elevated deck and a direct view of the river. Service was impeccable and the food quality amazing. All of the staff and yes, even the guests were friendly. If you are looking for a once of a lifetime luxury stay, this is the place.
Huka Lodge continues to be one of the finest small luxury lodges in the world. We were lucky enough to try it out recently.
Where does one start? The arrival - Staff appear from everywhere and greet you like a long lost friend(in the nicest possible way). The car disappears and you are shown round. A coffee is provided while your gear is dropped into your room. Later a short stroll to the room with one of the staff (they come across like old friends) and we are ensconced.
As one person put it, the attention to detail is exquisite. Nothing is too much trouble. Drinks are at 6.30 and you can meet all the people there. They can range from a car dealer blowing his redundancy to a Hollywood actor or royalty. The meal was a 5 course degustation menu - absolutely exquisite!
Afterward everyone retires to the Lodge Room for petit fours and cheese. Finally you make your way to your room, which has been turned down and repaired, prepared for your arrival. The next morning we had breakfast on the terrace looking down toward Huka falls. Finally - we were provided with a packed lunch to go home with, presumably on the basis we might expire for lack of sustenance - i don't think so!!
This place deserves all its accolades.It is expensive. It is for celebrations. However, despite the price it is a place you want to go back to again. Frankly - treat yourself. Save a couple of years of coffees and blow it on a night at Huka Lodge. You won't regret it.