Blanket Bay's villa is blanketed in beauty
It takes about five seconds flat to be smitten by the spectacular views that surround New Zealand’s pin-up property Blanket Bay Lodge (blanketbay.com), sitting snugly on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, a short drive from Queenstown. Make that three seconds, if you step through the front door of the newest addition, the Blanket Bay Villa, a glamorous bolthole that oozes country grandeur with cinematic scenery on tap.Just a short walk from the stately main lodge and charming chalets, the grand villa with four king suites sits on an elevated terrace with killer views across the lake’s blue-green, crystal-clear waters to the jagged Humboldt Mountains. Taking centre stage throughout the architecturally designed gem is the use of natural elements – think schist stone from the property, silvery-hewed timber trusses, cedar weatherboards and granite.The subtle décor reflects the soft hues of the outdoors, along with vibrant artworks by Queenstown artist Ivan Clarke, known for his quirky style, and Peter Beadle, who specialises in New Zealand landscapes.
There are impressive shared spaces including a sleek kitchen and dining area, as well as a grand lounge with cathedral ceilings and a bar. The crackling open fire is perfect for cosying up in front of with a book or magazine, day or evening.The spacious interconnecting suites named after local birds – Bellbird, Kiwi, Tui and Fantail – have private terraces, gas fireplaces, smart bathrooms and sitting areas with swivel chairs that are ideal for those expansive vistas.Two outdoor hot tubs are perfect for chilling out after a busy day, such as a helicopter trip to Milford Sound or snow-capped Mt Earnslaw Glacier, bushwalking, fly fishing in the trout-filled streams of Greenstone Valley or visiting nearby Glenorchy.The fire pit is another favourite haunt – it is magical watching a cerise-coloured sunset streak the sky with snow-capped peaks as the backdrop, with one of New Zealand’s best drops in hand and delicious canapes nearby.General manager Tom Butler says there’s been a great response to the new villa since it opened in December. “It’s ideal for multi-generational stays, groups of friends and those who want privacy in a glorious setting – the full service option that comes with a chef and dedicated services team is what sets it apart,” he says.“It is all about choice; guests can dine in the villa or venture to the main lodge – we can also organise a cooking class in the villa, plus there’s a room for security staff, a nanny or a pilot.”Blanket Bay caters for 42 guests in various accommodation options including lodge rooms and suites in the North-American designed lodge built in 1999. Chalet suites, an owner’s residence, spa, heated outdoor lap pool and gym have been added.Memorable moments include sipping a signature Dame Rosemary cocktail on the terrace, then dining on a five-course menu where local produce stars. A nightcap fireside in the Grand Room that lives up to its name in décor and design, completes a perfect day. Be prepared, however, for scenic overload to set in big time.