Hopewell Lodge: How to Stay in a Secluded Waterfront Retreat for Under $ 200 a Night


I have often flown over the Marlborough Sounds, high above in a jet, and wondered what secret places were below. After all, the elaborate maze of sunken valleys makes up about 20% of New Zealand’s coastline.

I recently started trying to find out a bit more about what I was missing out on by exploring the area for a few days, and came across one of its best hidden gems. It’s called Hopewell Lodge, and it’s a secluded paradise that you can experience for under $ 200 a night.

The easiest way to reach the lodge is by water taxi.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The easiest way to reach the lodge is by water taxi.

It wasn’t that long ago, before Covid-19 hit, it was a place mostly popular with foreign tourists. If there is one bright side to the pandemic, it’s that Kiwis are much more eager to find out what foreign tourists would travel around the world to experience. And this is one of those places.

The lodge is in a place called Double Bay in Kenepuru Strait and getting there is an adventure. The access road was badly damaged in a storm last July, and repairs (which could cost up to $ 90 million) are underway.

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The lodge has many beautiful places to swim.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The lodge has many beautiful places to swim.

In the meantime, as the road is closed, the local council is subsidizing water taxis and flights, including for those who wish to stay at the lodge.

The most affordable way is a water taxi from Havelock, which will transport you to an untouched paradise in just 20 minutes.

The lodge is self-catering but has regular pizza nights, where you can order some delicious options.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The lodge is self-catering but has regular pizza nights, where you can order some delicious options.

Upon arrival, hosts Mike and Lynley Clegg, along with their dog Tui, will greet you at the dock, followed by a session with cookies, tea and coffee to find out what kind of vacation you’re looking for – that’s the kind. hospitality that is difficult to live with. find today.

The hot tub by the water is popular year round.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The hot tub by the water is popular year round.

If you want to be alone, you can enjoy a hot tub by the water’s edge, next to hammocks in the bush and a private bay for swimming. If you’re looking for something a little more action-packed, there are plenty of options.

The lodge is connected to the Queen Charlotte Trail, with many day trips to choose from. You can pack a picnic and go on a kayaking adventure, try stand-up paddleboarding, go fishing, sailing, take a glowworm tour and even play golf. The nine-hole Nopera golf course is nearby; a local committee runs it and is fiercely proud of their scenic route.

The lodge has options to suit different budgets.  A king bedroom is shown.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

The lodge has options to suit different budgets. A king bedroom is shown.

A hotel room with an en-suite bathroom costs $ 175 a night – you’d be hard pressed to get a basic Auckland hotel room for that. But what’s even more remarkable is the hospitality – Mike and Lynley love to chat with each guest like they’re a long lost friend, and you’re treated like you’re the only ones there – even s ‘There are a lot of people.

Many of us travel to feel removed from our daily lives; that is why traveling abroad was such an attraction. Hopewell offers this without needing to leave the country – quite a valuable experience when borders remain closed.

On rainy days, Mike and Lynley often bake treats and deliver them to guests.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

On rainy days, Mike and Lynley often bake treats and deliver them to guests.

Essential:

Rooms start at $ 100 for two people for a room with bunk beds, $ 135 for a king room, and $ 175 for a room with an ensuite. See: Hopewell.co.nz

Getting There : The easiest way is a water taxi from Havelock ($ 25 per person), although you can also transfer from Picton ($ 55 each way, but that involves two boats and a road transfer). Contact the lodge directly to discuss the best way to get there. Grants from the Transportation Council are in place due to the road closure.

Hopewell Lodge has traditionally been occupied by foreign tourists.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

Hopewell Lodge has traditionally been occupied by foreign tourists.

Carbon footprint: Flying generates carbon emissions. To reduce your impact, consider other ways to travel, merge your trips, and when you have to fly, consider offsetting emissions. To offset your carbon emissions, head to airnewzealand.co.nz/sustainability-customer-carbon-offset

Stay Safe: New Zealand is currently subject to restrictions related to Covid-19. Face coverings are compulsory on all flights and public transport. A vaccination card is required to stay at Hopewell Lodge. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.

The Writer’s Journey was supported by Destination Marlborough.


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