T+L Reports: Escape to Middle Earth
As if the Lord of the Rings trilogy weren't enough, here are three more reasons to head to New Zealand. At the 2,500-acre Treetops Lodge & Estate (351 Kearoa Rd., Rotorua, North Island; 64-7/333-2066; www.treetops.co.nz; villas from $650, including meals), guests have total access to seven streams, four lakes, and three waterfalls. Or they can commune with nature from inside their villa while soaking in a spring-fed tub beside a picture window. Farther north, on Waiheke Island, is Delamore Lodge (83 Delamore Dr.; 64-9/372-7372; www.delamorelodge.com; doubles from $400), whose curvaceous exterior was inspired by a Maori bone fishhook. The gently sloping, all-white hideaway near Auckland has four suites, a grotto-like hot tub, and endless views of turquoise Owhanake Bay. In the nearby Glass House (33 Okoka Rd.; 64-9/372-3173; www.theglasshouse.co.nz; doubles from $218), clean design has been taken to the extreme. The all-glass retreat—with an infinity pool, kwila wood decks, and surrounding nature preserve—allows only six guests at a time.
Treetops Lodge & Wilderness Experience
This resort, located on New Zealand’s North Island, believes that luxury and ecology can mix. Guests enter by a timber walkway that crosses a spring-fed brook filled with rainbow trout. The brook winds through the grounds and even flows beneath the lodge itself. Buildings are constructed of local stone and fallen trees milled on-site; the lobby’s rimu-wood beams are carved with illustrations from Maori folklore. Room details include cast brass door pulls, copper light fixtures, fieldstone fireplaces, and well-broken-in leather sofas. There are many ways to explore the 2,500-acre estate: riding horseback through virgin rain forest, mountain biking miles of private trails, or fishing in the four lakes and seven streams.
Room to Book: A villa, for it's secluded, forest setting.