The Landing Residences, on an award-winning vineyard in the north of New Zealand's North Island, has four modern villas of different shapes and sizes – two near the bay and two high up on the property. Each looks out over the bay, and each has its own private lawn and is kitted out with a lounge area and terrace. There's a barbecue and fully equipped kitchen, too, but if you'd rather not lift a finger, a private chef can whip up your meals while you spend your time exploring the Bay of Islands, traversing the Landing’s hiking trails and sampling grown-on-site wine.
Get this when you book through us:
One three-course dinner for two, prepared by the Landing’s chef
10am; earliest check-in, 2pm. There’s no reception – you’ll check in at your villa.
Double rooms from $2508.26 (NZ$3,913), excluding tax at 15 per cent.
Rates include a wine tasting, vineyard tour, kiwi-spotting guided evening walk and a boat sightseeing tour. Breakfast (and lunch and dinner) can be arranged at extra cost.
Pick up some culinary skills from the Landing chefs with a private cookery lesson. Achey? In-villa massages can be arranged on request.
At the hotel
Six private beaches, a vineyard, gym with hammam, tennis courts, basketball court, hiking trails, gear to borrow – mountain bikes (and helmets), snorkelling kit, fishing rods and paddleboards. In rooms: Sky TV, fully equipped kitchen, barbecue grill, free WiFi and daily housekeeping.
Our favourite rooms
You can’t go wrong with any of the four luxury residences, but we have a soft spot for the Boathouse, right by the edge of Wairoa Bay and geared towards enjoying the outdoors. If you’re after evenings by an alfresco fire, this is the residence for you; your chef can probably even gather up s’more-making goodies.
Bring your effortlessly elegant swimwear, boots made for long tramps around the grounds and an appreciation for New Zealand grapes.
The downstairs bedroom in the Boathouse is the best choice for less mobile guests, but the bathroom is not adapted for wheelchair users.
Welcome: each residence has a private lawn and terraces for little Smiths to run around. Need cots and beds for little Smiths? Request when booking (they're free, subject to availability). There’s also one resident pushchair and two car seats to borrow.
Construction materials were locally sourced, where possible, and all produce is grown in the onsite gardens and orchards or locally sourced. The hotel participates in native planting with Rangihoua Heritage Park and Marsden Trust and a Kiwi recovery program in conjunction with Department of Conservation.
There are no designated dining areas, so take your pick of outdoor terraces, gardens, your dining room and even the jetty – the world is (where you can eat) your oyster.
Make yourself at home (but leave the naked-chef antics to self-catered meals).
There’s no restaurant here; instead, you can choose from options ranging from self-catering to full-time private chef (for NZ$600 a person a day). Dream up your ideal holiday menu with the chef – all ingredients are grown onsite or locally sourced; in season, you can even catch your own fish or go diving for crayfish and scallops in the nearby coves. If you opt for the fully catered option, the Landing’s chef will whip up your breakfasts and dinners and leave a daily prepared lunch in your residence that you can tuck into whenever you’d like. If you go for the self-catering route, you’ll choose what you’d like to prepare, provisions will be provided and you can make up meals in your private kitchen or on your barbecue terrace whenever you’d like. Midnight macaroni? Check. Breakfast for dinner? No problem.
None, but with an onsite vineyard, there’s not much chance of you getting parched; you’ll even find a few gratis bottles of vino in your residence.
Fixed meal times? Bah! With a private chef on hand, a snack is just a chat away.
It doesn’t get more room-servicier than having meals whipped up in your villa by your private chef.
The Landing is at the southwestern tip of the Purerua Peninsula in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of New Zealand’s North Island.
Kerikeri airport is 35 minutes away by car; transfers are included with your stay. The closest major airport is in Auckland – four hours away by car or an hour-long flight to the Bay of Islands.
Free parking is available at each of the residences; if you plan to explore beyond the property, your own set of wheels will come in handy.
Popping over by chopper? It’s a 55-minute flight from Auckland to the onsite helipad; you’ll be greeted by a member of staff, who will drive them to their residence. Charter boat more your style? Dock at the Landing jetty, by prior arrangement.
Worth getting out of bed for
There are six private beaches onsite, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun and splash in the waves. Keen to glide over the water? Borrow the Landing’s paddleboards or kayaks and take to the waves. Walking and hiking tracks crisscross the property – there are some for mountain biking, too (and bikes to borrow if you’re up for it). And, horse riding is available year-round. See the sights, including ganet and seal colonies, by sea from the Landing’s luxury yacht Iti Rangi, which tours around the Bay of Islands (the joy ride is included with your stay). Parched after all that sea-based adventure? Ask for a show ‘round of the Landing’s vineyards. Some of New Zealand’s best golf is down the road at Waitangi Golf Club, a PGA-tournament–quality Carrington course, and the dramatic Kauri Cliffs Golf Course, which is just five minutes away by helicopter or 40 minutes by car. Chopper your way to glow-worm caves and ancient kauri forests in under an hour, or just buzz above the 144 islands on sight-seeing flight. If you prefer terra firma to the great blue yonder, set out on a leisurely hike on the Marsden Cross Track; suitable even for young Smiths, the track leads across farmland to the site of New Zealand’s first mission settlement. History buff? Check out the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a dose of Maori culture and history. In search of golden sands? The beaches of Otehei Bay and Urupukapuka Island are particularly pretty. The Bay of Islands is famous for its game fish, spectacular snorkelling and scuba diving and, between November and April, the chance to spot dolphins, whales and penguins.
With a private chef on hand and your own in-residence kitchen, there’s no need to venture beyond the Landing when hunger strikes. But if you’re itching to venture further afield, Marsden Estate in Kerikeri dishes out decadent breakfasts fluffy ciabatta topped with creamy mushrooms and poached eggs or streaky bacon and pesto. If you find yourself in Russell – perhaps after a visit to the nearby Waitangi Treaty Grounds – stop for lunch at Hone’s Garden and settle in for wood-fired pizzas, Orongo Bay oysters and pineapple-salsa-topped fish tacos. Book ahead for dinner at The Gables (also in Russell), where prettily plated dishes of whole snapper and smoked lamb rump take centre stage. Start with an order of olive oil-drizzled burrata and save room for decadent crème brulee and a liquor-laced affogato.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in New Zealand’s North Island and unpacked their bottles of the Landing rosé, syrah and chardonnay, a full account of their luxury break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Landing Residences in the Bay of Islands…
It’s all in the numbers at New Zealand’s the Landing Residences: 1,000 acres, six private beaches, four standalone villas and one sprawling vineyard. All it’s missing is the two of you (with or without a handful of your nearest and dearest – there’s plenty of room). Make yourself at home in your private residence – take your pick of the four designs – and have a chat with the Landing’s chef about your dream menu (it can be arranged, on request). By day? Hop on the hotel’s yacht for a water-based tour of the Bay of Islands, call into the vineyard for a guided tasting, or soak up the sun on any of the aforementioned private beaches. We think you're going to like it here. Go on, it's only a quick helicopter hop from Auckland.
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