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“See you next year”
Review of Owen River Lodge

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Owen River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Our decision to go fly-fishing in New Zealand was the easy part. Deciding on where to stay was a lot harder.

After a few months of research, we narrowed our selection down to three lodges in the South Island, and finally made the decision to stay at Owen River Lodge based on a gut feeling. The reviews sounded like the type of experiences we were after, the food reviews were outstanding and we could imagine ourselves in those pictures sitting out on the veranda drinking a nice cold beer after a long day of fishing. We have since stayed at the Lodge twice.

The first day of our (second) trip could have easily ended with the wife in tears. Due to Cyclone Evan, our flight was delayed and as a result we had a 30 hour stay over in Wellington. Having never been to Wellington before, we were flying blind a bit on where to stay and what to do. The missus rang Felix to let him know we had been delayed and to cancel the shuttle bus. Felix range back with a hotel reservation, names of restaurants, and a list of things to do in Wellington the next day. That gut feeling was working out just fine.

The lodge looks like a family home from the road, complete with lush gardens and a white Labrador. The accommodation cottages are separate from the main lodge, which gives you a sense of your own space and privacy and a sensational view of the valley.

The accommodation was perfect for the two of us. Comfortable chairs inside and outside, lots of flying fishing magazines to read before bed time, heated towel racks (luxury!), a big bed and a ‘three bears’ selection of pillows - soft, medium and firm.

The fishing experience is hard to put into words, but at the end of the day it has made us both better fly-fishers. We were fishing at the tail end of a cyclone so the fishing was difficult and the weather challenging. Our guide, Boris, was exceptional. His knowledge of the rivers and years of experience, combined with his great sense of humour made our fishing days memorable and invaluable. Whilst we didn’t catch a lot of fish on the trip, we have applied the lessons learnt and are catching more fish back home.

Believe what you read about the food. After the first night we planned to take photos of the three course dinners. We didn’t take one photo during our entire stay, because the food was so good we couldn’t stop eating it! The other guests provided another layer of enjoyment at dinner. I noticed the seating arrangements change each night, to stimulate new conversations and stories amongst the guests.

Felix and the staff at Owen River Lodge made our holiday effortless. There is only one thing left to say…see you next year Felix!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JohnDimitriou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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150 - 154 of 248 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2013

I am an avid fisherman, my newlywed wife... not so much. Needless to say NZ was on the top of my bucket list. I was shocked and excited when she suggested a trip to NZ for our honeymoon. Not trying to press my luck to much I told her to set up the trip however she wanted to avoid a lifetime of scorn because I suggested fishing on our honeymoon. After an extensive search on trip advisor she suggested ORL! In complete disbeleif now I picked my jaw up off the floor and told her I thought that was a great idea.

Come to find out ORL is becoming quite popular with honeymooners and I can see why. Felix runs a tight ship! The grounds are just as beautifull as the natural mountain setting sorounding the lodge. The staff went out of their way to attend to any request we might have. My wife thought the rooms could be a bit more spacious BUT they were VERY clean, comfortable, and well appointed.

The food was the exceptional. Im not sure whos luckier, felix for having chef ryan, or chef ryan for having felix who seems to give him some creative leeway. Most meals were prepared with Veg and herbs from the ORL garden which is a nice touch. The meat and fish were all very fresh and well prepared.

THE FISHING. WAS. EPIC! (*I say that with a word of caution)

New Zealand is truly a fly fishermans fantasy. Crystal clear water, picturesque scenery, and very large trout that are generally willing to eat a well presented dry fly or nymph. BUT, you had better bring your A-game. The fish are spooky, it tends to be windy, and in most scenarios you will be casting a 12'-15' leader. In my opinion this is not first time, beginner, or even intermediate water. If you are any of those you would be better off honing your skills somewhere easier and less expensive and coming to NZ when you are sharp.

Our guide John was knowledgable and had some great spotting eyes! He was resolute in his descision making and had a quirky sense of humor that we enjoyed! He was also a passionate fisherman that would keep us on fish right until the last minute of the day. I would say that he was one of the hardest working guides I've ever seen. As good as he was at dealing with me I have to say that he was also very patient and understanding in his instruction of my wife who is a novice fisherwoman.

We did a heli "fly out" trip our first day. It was expensive but it was also an unforgettable expirience that took us to a pristine mountain river that would have been a 2 DAY hike on foot.

All said we realy enjoyed ourselves at ORL and I hope we can get back there soon.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Donn V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

If you are looking for idyllic New Zealand lodging that is geared towards fly fishing but has something to offer anybody, not to mention world class cuisine, you are looking for the Owen River Lodge. We were greeted at our vehicle by lodge owner, Felix Bornstein, who invited us inside for conversation and drinks. I felt like we were visiting the home of an old friend from the very beginning. We were then escorted to our very clean and elegant room and settled in by Felix before returning to the lodge for one of Chef Ryan's gourmet meals, unbelievable.
The next day I awoke to a big breakfast, hooking up on big, wild brown trout on a local river with a great guide who was booked for me by Felix, and a delicious packed lunch provided by the lodge. Meanwhile, my wife was being pampered by an onsite masseuse, being shuttled to and from Murchison to a local salon, and being catered to by Felix and staff. Upon my return from an epic day of trout fishing, my wife and I renewed our wedding vows by the Owen River. Felix assisted with locating a celebrant to perform the ceremony, transportation for my wife for the day, booking the masseuse, choosing a site for the ceremony, and he even took photographs of our special event. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Felix not only feels like an old friend from arrival but is also the ultimate concierge and host.
My only regret of my trip to New Zealand is that I only spent a couple days at Owen River Lodge. I stayed at eight different locations while visiting New Zealand and I've stayed at many 5 star accommodations here in the States and none come close to Owen River Lodge. Thank you Felix for your hospitality and all of your hard work.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BrandonEdwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2013

The lodge was beautiful. The cuisine was excellent and the energy of the owner and staff was welcoming and calm. The trip was initially set up to be a "guys fishing trip" but from the minute we arrived Felix (the owner) made it clear he would do his best to accommodate any of our requests rafting, horseback riding, hiking ect . My only regret is that I didn't take a fly fishing lesson from one of the excellent guides. I highly recommend Owen River Lodge to anyone looking for a tranquil, relaxing,superior culinary experience.

Room Tip: All of the cabins are beautiful
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Thevatican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

We stayed for a few days in January. Everything about the experience was fantastic. The rooms are not only extremely comfortable but elegantly appointed and so clean that hospitals would be envious. The views from the room are nothing short of spectacular and rivalled only by the peace and quiet. Ryan's cuisine is not only Michelin exquisite but beautifully presented. No request was ever a problem and the owners -- Felix and his lovely lab Keeley -- were an absolute delight.

Room Tip: Any one of the rooms would be perfect.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wanderlust063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Owen River Lodge

Address: 173 Owen Valley East Road, Murchison 7077, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > South Island > Nelson-Tasman Region > Murchison
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Murchison
Price Range: $705 - $1,122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Owen River Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Owen River Lodge is New Zealand's finest 5 star rated fly fishing lodge. Luxurious, warm and inviting ambiance. Stylish, understated accommodation located right on the Owen River in the South Island of New Zealand. Come and enjoy the stunning food, superb service and outstanding fishing. ... more   less 

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