Absolutely beautiful buildings and garden with an easy relaxed atmosphere. Sue was delightful and provided all you could possibly need for comfortable stay. Will return again if possible as it’s well situated just outside Queenstown.
Nestled in mountains, with a privacy lacking in most of Queenstown, you feel a peace and delight that is so restorative and inspiring. Beautiful food, service that is passionate and attentive, and everything you could ask for in the rooms. All the fun and adventure of Queenstown is on your doorstep. One of those special places on this earth.
There are some places which are imbued with the passion of the people who built it and make you feel privileged to share in the fruits of their idea. Punatapu is such a place. Yes the property is idyllic, the accommodation comfortable and well equipped, the grounds beautiful and the views magnificent. But, more than all this, it feels good. The banks of lavender, the herb garden, the deer, Poppy the Jack Russell, the objects d'arte, the actual Art; all these and more combine to make a whole which is more than the sum of its marvellous parts.
Staying at Punatapu was a really breathtaking experience! The property is amazing with great views surrounded by mountains close by and far in the distance. The houses with their warm color are lovely and cosy. Sue is a great host with amazing cooking skills. We felt very welcome and stayed 2 times at her place for a total of one month - cause we simply love it there! There are really good walks close by. Perfect for mountain biking as well. A piece of paradise!
We spent 3 nights in Punatapu's 3-bed family wing, which has a large comfortable living room with a snooker table, a master bed downstairs and two more bedrooms for kids upstairs. It also (sort of) has a kitchen down the end of the corridor closer to the main house: we were slightly put out to find one of the owners son's using this at 11pm on our first night as we had thought it was part of the unit, but perhaps it isn't. The property itself is a slightly eccentric delight: it looks more like something out of Spain or Mexico, with pretty yellow paint, a belfry and a dovecote that you can climb up to using an outside staircase. The buildings are set around a central courtyard, and there's a pool behind the main house and a terrace where you can take pre-dinner drinks. The grounds are extensive and very beautiful: there are deer in a pen to one side and great views from the property itself. Also, just down the road is Bob's Cove - there's an interesting nature walk here with superb views from a lookout on top of a promontory and some industrial archeology in the shape of old lime kilns and a jetty used to serve them. Sue Farry and her family have lived in Punatapu forever, and are friendly and well-intentioned. Read the other reviews here and you can see most people love them but the odd one has had a really bad experience. My guess is that there is the occasional person Sue takes a dislike to, probably not without reason: this is just something that can happen with B&B/homestays, no matter how upmarket. When you're staying in someone's home, remember that they're human and it's probably not a good idea to wind them up. Sue was very helpful to us and even allowed a helicopter to land on her lawn for our trip to Milford Sound, as well as making restaurant recommendations and reservations for us, plus she allowed our daugher to fall in love with her dog. The only reason I'm not giving Punatapu the full 5 stars is the admin and the price. It took a lot of back and forth to confirm the booking, as Sue was away some of the time and not particularly responsive to e-mails. We were also surprised to be quoted $1953 for a rate including dinner and $1035 for a rate without. This equates to $918 for a dinner for 4, or for 4 people, including 2 kids, $230 per head. Although we sampled it one night (New Year's Eve), and although it WAS very good (Sue's dining room is gorgeously intimate too), it wasn't $230 a head good, even including champagne and canapes on the terrace. Finally, be aware this place is about 12k out of Queenstown, which is not clear from Google Maps: keep driving and you have only overshot if you reach Bob's Cove (about 1-2k beyond the entrance)…