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LondonMark_UK
Los Angeles, California

A disappointing review of Blanket Bay compared with Huka Lodge

Review of BLANKET BAY
3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 19 Dec 2023via mobile
I had my expectations set extremely high due to the positive reviews of the property and my previous experiences in New Zealand lodges and Relaix and Chateau properties. Unfortunately I was left feeling disappointed.

Positives:
1. The location of the lodge is breath-taking. Set on the shores of lake Wakatipu overlooking snow-capped Mount Bonpland your first impression is Wow! The beauty and serenity of the location is undoubtedly unique and impressive, and I couldn’t get enough of the view.

2. Arrival and check-in was seamless. In fact there was no formal check-in but rather just a tour of the property whilst they quickly placed our luggage in the room. No forms to complete or credit card exchange.

3. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, greeting you with smiling faces and eager to assist.

4. The beds, pillows and linens are incredibly soft and comfortable, and combined with the silence of the location you will have an amazing sleep.

5. Breakfast has a nice mix of cold buffet items (cold meats, cheese, pastries, yoghurt) and your choice of hot dish including a traditional full breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown and black pudding, eggs Benedict, omelette or really anything you choose. It’s relaxed and uncomplicated.

Negatives:
1. The lodge room is just that, a rather small, drab room with no living/sofa area, no desk, no fireplace. This compares unfavorably with the base category at Huka Lodge which is a junior suite almost 50% larger with sofa, fireplace and French doors which open on to the lawn and river.

2. Whilst the bedding is soft and enveloping the towels unfortunately are course and scratchy.

3. The lodge has an odd mix of woods which aesthetically don’t match. The floors and doors are a highly glossed orange color wood whilst the roof and timbers are a rustic unvarnished dark brown. They clash.

4. The main living room has high ceilings with amazing views and is beautiful. However the bar is unappealing and the games room in the basement has zero ambience or charm and feels drab.

5. There are very few areas to sit and relax outside despite there being vast lawns to utilize. In fact, it’s really only poolside that has loungers, and the cushions for these were away being cleaned during our stay. They should invest in comfortable loungers / steamer chairs placed in the gardens overlooking the lake.

6. Unlike Huka Lodge where there are at least 6 locations throughout the property where you can dine, Blanket Bay really only offer the indoor restaurant and patio outdoor area. That’s a shame given the size of the property.

7. Dinner at Blanket Bay is a 4-course set menu which changes every evening. Be prepared for complicated dishes which utilize anything and everything the chef was able to source that day. This means that sometimes the flavors become confused and what should be the star of each dish becomes overtaken by other elements.

If location is the deciding factor for your choice of lodge then it’s difficult to beat the location of Blanket Bay. However, in terms of accommodation, food and value for money I would recommend Huka Lodge over Blanket Bay. Huka Lodge feels smaller and more intimate. Its base category rooms are beautiful junior suites on the river with living areas and fireplaces to curl up in front of. It has multiple distinct dining areas dotted around the property to give you privacy and the dining is less complicated whilst retaining the high quality and flavors unique to New Zealand. When you consider the price point is similar for both properties the choice is clear.
Date of stay: December 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
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    5 - 10 of 305 reviews
    Reviewed 24 November 2023

    Exceptional and Magnificent in every way. Excellent location, dreamy lake and mountain views, lots of pretty grounds to walk on, superb service, friendly and courteous staff, excellent food—breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the best massages I’ve ever had—ask for Pascale!! This resort was just EVERYTHING LUXURY… and they paid attention to every little detail. Thanks to Andrew, Steph, Nina, Pascale and all the other amazing Blanket Bay staff.
    My husband and I are very grateful to you for making our stay so delightful!!! We will be back!!

    Date of stay: October 2023
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    Thank iyab00
    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 19 November 2023 via mobile

    This was the last lodge we stayed in on our two week tour of the South Island. We had previously just visited The Bay of Many Coves, The Lindis and Mahu Whenua, so had both been really spoiled and had our expectations ratcheted up.

    No fear - Blanket Bay did not disappoint, held its head up and in various respects poked it out of the top of the sunroof!

    The lodge is stunning. Think Old world charm with lots of reclaimed wood (I recommend flicking through the book on the history of the lodge in the sitting room). Our room - the smallest you can get - was lovely and more than large enough. The food was truly outstanding and the service was at another level. People you’d never met knew your name and what your food foibles were and everyone was both attentive and interesting. The Lodge has a number of chefs, which meant that even though we had 5 course dinners, they did not take 3 hours like at other lodges. I’m happy to linger, but by the time you’re on your 40th or so meal over a two week holiday, this was somewhat of a blessing.

    We only got to spend two days at Blanket Bay, but did get to hike for a couple of hours up the Routeburn Track. If you’re up to it, this is well worth it. The scenery is stunning.

    Due to jet lag, I’m typing this in the middle of the night having just got back to the UK. It is bringing a warm feeling of lovely memories that I will cherish. I don’t know when we’ll be back in the South Island, but I’m sure no trip will be complete without a stay at this fabulous lodge.

    Date of stay: November 2023
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    Thank Londontripadviser
    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 18 November 2023 via mobile

    Beautiful classic lodge in a wonderful private location. The rooms are very spacious and well taken care of. The service is very professional and extremely friendly. Nice set up for pre dinner drinks and the aus;it’s of the food is excellent. Only the gym could be upgraded. We will come back.

    Date of stay: November 2023
    Trip type: Travelled with family
    Thank TEU793
    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 12 June 2023 via mobile

    A magical place!

    We eloped to Blanket Bay in June 2022 and it was an unbelievable experience.

    Firstly, we can’t thank the staff enough for everything, what a fantastic, genuine group of people.

    The lodge and surrounds are spectacular. The nightly degustation dinner was some of the best food we have ever eaten. (Goats cheese tortellini with honeycomb, burnt butter & pine nuts was addictive, thanks chef for the extra portion)

    Other highlights, the room with mountain views, dinner by the outdoor fireplace, the lake for a cold plunge, cocktail hour & the overall interior & ambiance throughout the lodge.

    Oh, and we were lucky enough to wake up and see Blanket Bay covered in snow.

    Thanks again Blanket Bay!

    Katie + Lawrence

    Date of stay: July 2022
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    1  Thank Ellisthis
    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 21 March 2023

    We spent our honeymoon here in November - an absolutely amazing, fantastic, blissful week we haven't been able to stop reminiscing about since! Glenorchy is my new favourite place on earth, and so is Blanket Bay.

    Accommodation - can I give more than 5/5 stars??? Gorgeous, cozy rooms that aren't stuffy or trying too hard to be elegant or fancy - they just are, mind-blowing views, and discreet turn-down service that makes you feel really cared for.

    Service - thoughtful, fast, friendly, funny, brilliant. We had so much fun talking and laughing with the staff who were all an absolute delight (and put up very good-naturedly with our shenanigans). they took amazing care of us and everything was so personal. they had our preferred coffee and drink orders memorized by the second day!

    Food/Wine - to DIE for. how do they not have a Michelin star yet is beyond me. The wine was fantastic and Damien (the sommelier) gave amazing after amazing recommendations!

    Amenities - unfortunately the pool wasn't open yet for the season when we were there, but the hot tub was awesome and the massages were amazing.

    Activities - the staff were so great helping us plan our excursions, and when one of them got rained out they worked overtime to help us find something else to do! Great hiking recommendations as well; we're huge nerds and had a blast visiting different Lord of the Rings filming locations (we hadn't even realized booking the vacation that there were so many close by!) Lothlorien, Isengard, and (closer to the airport) the Warg Rider/Rohan locations! So cool.

    Room tip: Don't arrive after dark and the rain 😅 the entrance is a bit hard to find
    Date of stay: November 2022
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank Elizabeth H
    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.
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