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Kevin K
New York City, New York

Splendid isolation

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 Jan 2020
Westhaven Lodge is a unique place. The small hotel (7 or 8 guest rooms) sits atop an elevated peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Whanganui Inlet, a tidal basin, with expansive, spectacular views of the inlet. The lodge has large, well-appointed guest rooms with luxurious bathrooms, and huge heated indoor pool. While there is no gym, the property features a half dozen hiking trails which will leave your leg muscles more sore than any stairmaster or treadmill. The property itself stretches over the entire peninsula, so guests can hike to both ocean beaches and the inlet. In addition to hiking, activities include surf fishing in the inlet, kayaking and, apparently for some parts of the year, hunting for wild pigs.

Monica and her family run the hotel, live onsite and make you feel like a treasured guest. The service is great and the food is spectacular. Meals can be made to order; my wife had her own custom meals prepared to her liking. We spent 2 weeks in NZ and all of our best meals were at Westhaven.

The plus and minus of the lodge is its isolated setting. The nearest commercial airport (Nelson) is ~3 hours away, with the last hour of the drive on a narrow, winding gravel road (4WD vehicles recommended). The nearest town of any size is at least an hour away. If you want to get away from it all, this is the place for you. If you want to go out to restaurants and bars, you are better off elsewhere. We were traveling with 3 teenage boys who loved the lodge for the 3 full days we spent there, but who would have been bored if we stayed a week.
Date of stay: December 2019
Room Tip: Some rooms have huge bathroom with a large jacuzzi, while other rooms have a private lanai
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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Monika V, Manager at Westhaven Luxury Lodge, responded to this review
Responded 10 Jan 2020
Thank you Kevin, for taking the time to make a review. It was a pleasure having you stay with your family. Wishing you a healthy and happy Year of 2020 Cheers Monika
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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    Reviews (64)
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    6 - 11 of 64 reviews
    Reviewed 19 April 2019

    I booked 3 nights at Westhaven late 2018 as a surprise for my wife on our honeymoon. I was a little worried that it might not be as amazing as the photos on their website made it look, but as soon as we arrived all of those thoughts disappeared. Every single detail of the resort itself is stunning, even more so when you learn that the entire place was built and hand crafted by the family that runs it! On top of this, the scenery is absolutely outstanding, even when overcast or rainy. The food and service was also stunning and made for an incredibly enjoyable and romantic experience! We loved our time at the lodge and would love to go again one day!

    Date of stay: October 2018
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Location
      • Rooms
      • Service
    1  Thank PearceBnL
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 14 March 2019

    Everything in this glorious place deserves a 5 stars rating. the location, the views, the hosts, the food, the options in the area and the rooms. we stayed two nights in one of the two suites. my only regret is that we did not stay longer. we loved the hikes from the lodge. we loved the food. we loved the owners and the story of how they found and built the place.
    Thanks for having us in your wonderful place. Noa & Nir

    Date of stay: February 2019
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Sleep Quality
      • Rooms
      • Service
    2  Thank nir n
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Monika V, Manager at Westhaven Luxury Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2019

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make a review. We really enjoyed being your host.
    Kind Regards Monika & Westhaven family

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 11 January 2019

    The wonderful journey began when Bruno picked us up at the Nelson airport in his Tesla Model X SUV, drove us an hour up the coast to Kaiteriteri where we transferred to a ship for a cruise along the coast calling into picturesque beaches and coves, finally to be met again by Bruno to drive the remaining 2 hours to the Lodge. The time spent with Bruno was a treasure as we learned all about Bruno and his family's dream to create a spectacular lodge which would be equal to the spectacular setting that surrounds it. It was built over a 9 year span by the loving hands of Bruno and his wife Monica, their daughter Monica, and son-in-law Tomas. The lodge itself has all the amenities one would expect in a luxury property, plus the family brings in up-and-coming chefs from around the world for the season to treat the guests to one fabulous meal after another. Kudos to Rosie in the kitchen! The views of the spectacular surroundings are everywhere throughout the lodge. And just outside the lodge are well-marked hiking trails, for the occasional hiker to seasoned veterans. And every outdoor activity imaginable is available for the asking. We met lots of friendly guests from all over the world, and shared gourmet meals with them at a large dining table. And there is a wide selection of great New Zealand wines available at the lodge. We began as strangers, but left 4 days later with new friends in Bruno, Monica, daughter Monica, Tomas, and their 2 sons. Great experience which we hope to repeat!

    Room tip: They are all great.
    Date of stay: December 2018
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Service
    1  Thank mjgkng
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 2 December 2018

    I am truly tempted to keep quiet so no-one else discovers this truly magnificent property. We stayed at the holiday cottage at Westhaven Lodge for 4 nights in November 2018 and loved every moment. The hosts are a delightful family and could not have been more welcoming or helpful from the moment we arrived. Whilst respecting our privacy, they were on hand whenever we wanted to chat or had a request. The cottage is warm, clean and comfortable with everything you need and enjoys restful views over farmland to the sea. The actual property is reached after a picturesque drive along the Coast (allow plenty of time so you can enjoy it). The destination is truly spectacular with various walks over farmland sprinkled with stunning rock formations, Nikau Palms, native bush and forests till you arrive at the sea. Be sure to charge your devices because there is a photo opportunity at every turn. The Lodge itself is a stunning building nestled discretely on top of a ridge looking out to sea and is a haven of luxury, tranquillity and peace. This is one destination you really should leave all technology behind and just "be in the moment". I cannot recommend it highly enough. Take a good look at the gallery page on the Westhaven Lodge website and you will understand, though nothing beats actually being there! Thanks for a wonderful holiday which we will treasure forever. We hope to return again soon.

    Date of stay: November 2018
    1  Thank Gardenkiwi
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

    Be prepared for the 20 km's of dirt road or take a helicopter to get here. This hotel was designed, built and run by Monica, Bruno (the parents) and Monica (the daughter) and her husband Tomas who also manages the large working farm. The two Monica's run the hotel, serve breakfast lunch and dinner and generally pamper their guests. We were spoiled and made to feel like family from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.
    There are some wonderful, well marked walking trails on the large, mountainous property. Thomas offers tours in his four wheel drive and can take you for an entertaining 2-3 hour adventure. If you're into dogs, Bear the hotel mascot comes too, he's beautiful and so friendly.
    The hotel has 7 large suites, a really large heated indoor pool, a jacuzzi and Monica junior is a certified masseuse. I highly recommend a treatment from Monica. Our room was well appointed with a large patio and magnificent views. Every window in the hotel has great views.
    The day after we arrived there was a storm that washed away the main road that takes people across the mountains the the NW corner of the South Island so thousands of people were stranded. We couldn't have been stranded in a nicer place. Some people arrived by helicopter the day after the storm and Monica ensured that it came with supplies for the restaurant. We were extremely well fed and nothing was too much trouble.
    The hotel filled while we were there and someone suggested eating together at the large dining table. Everyone agreed and we had a fun time with some really nice people.
    With help from Monica junior we eventually were able to leave the rental car in the local town and get a helicopter out sharing the cost with another couple in the same situation.
    I cannot say enough good things about this hotel and its proprietors, such wonderful people in a wonderful place. I recommend you spoil yourselves.

    Date of stay: February 2018
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    2  Thank Tony T
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Monika V, Manager at Westhaven Luxury Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

    Thank you so much for taking time to review your stay and we are thrilled you enjoyed your time with us! The Takaka Hill road is now finally open 24/7. They have certainly done an outstanding job to get traffic moving into Golden Bay again.
    We hope to see you again some day, warmest Regards from us all. Monika

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    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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