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Owen River Lodge
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Reviews (267)
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All reviewschef ryanowen riverfly fishingbrown troutother guestshis teamworld classattention to detailfive starnew zealandsouth islandfishing experienceguided fishinggreat fishingbucket listdays fishingour honeymoon
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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
  • 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.
  • 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
Reviewed 2 February 2013

We have both stayed in great NZ fishing lodges and fished the South Island previously . Felix and Owen River Lodge exceeded our high expectations both on the quality of the Lodge and in the fishing experience . We found the accommodation to be excellent and the food and ambience in the main lodge to be of the highest quality . Felix has obviously imbued his team with a service culture designed to ensure a relaxed and enjoyable guest experience . Nothing is too much trouble and details are paid attention to with the minimum of fuss . Chef Ryan and the rest of the kitchen and table service team delivered meals of the highest quality with innovation and variety . Each evening, we felt like we were attending a dinner party at a friends house. The guided fishing was a classic South Island brown trout experience and we found our guide to be highly competent , friendly and tolerant . He was a pleasure to spend time with and successfully put us on many fish with Cathy landing a personal best .

Room Tip: All of the rooms are of equally high quality.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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