Despite its modern construction, the look and feel of the main lodge is delightfully traditional, with architectural influences taken from some of the region’s most notable buildings, including The Treaty House in Waitangi and the Stone Store in Kerikeri. And, inside, it’s a treasure trove artworks and curios, collected by the owners during their globetrotting adventures. Also in the main lodge, guests will find a lounge and library alongside a gym, sauna, massage room and a 25-metre heated swimming pool. There’s also a formal dining room and an outdoor fire pit, perfect for an after-dinner drink.
Perhaps the best feature of this lodge, however, is its feeling of exclusivity. Indeed, with space for just five couples, you’ll often feel as though you have the entire place to yourself. All suites come with private balconies with sweeping views across the bay, while inside, you’ll be treated to the likes of super-king beds, log-burning fires and luxurious hand-made linens. The bathrooms, too, are wonderfully stylish, with their exquisite mosaic tiling and accessories by Italian brand Labrazel.
Dining at Helena Bay is also a special experience, and the restaurant – a recreation of southern Italy’s Michelin-starred Restorante Don Alfonso 1890 – offers exceptional seasonal dining by celebrated head chef Michele Martino. Choose between a range of private dining options, or head to the dining room for a five-course degustation menu, which changes daily to reflect the region’s rich seasonal produce. There’s also a superb wine cellar with 240-strong selection of local and international vintages.
But it’s not all fine dining and relaxation. There’s also a choice of activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to hiking and cycling. Alternatively, enjoy a game of tennis, take a trip to the nearby glow-worm caves or head into the hills on a 4WD safari. And, don't miss the nearby Poor Knights Islands, home to dolphins and orcas.