Treetops Lodge & Estate: New Zealand's Ultimate Lodge & Wilderness Experience
Some families prefer the beach, some the ski slopes. But for those who find solace in the forest, it's hard to beat Treetops Lodge & Estate in New Zealand, a Luxist nominee for Best Luxury Family Winter Vacation.
Nestled in a rugged 2,500 acres of native forest on the edge of the Mamaku Plateau, Treetops boasts a game reserve, seven trout streams, four lakes, over 70 kilometers of hiking trails, plus mountain biking and horse riding opportunities. Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest, is less than an hour away by car; Cape Kidnappers, with its dramatic seaside golf course, is a three hour drive.
Located 140 miles southeast of Auckland, Treetops is the gem of greater Rotorua. The area is a trout-fishing mecca and is also home to some of the most colorful geothermal features in the world – bubbling mud pools, volcanic craters and geysers. Some of New Zealand's best vineyards – Craggy Range, Te Mata, Sileni – are a stone's throw from the lodge. The area is also a major hub of the Maori, New Zealand's aboriginal inhabitants, whose carefully carved meeting houses dot the landscape.
The Lodge Wing accommodates eight guests in four suites with ensuites, all sharing a "state of the art" kitchen. There are also eight privately situated villas complete with a bedroom, spacious bathroom with spa bath, lavish lounge with fireplace and a small kitchenette. Fine cuisine is an integral part of the Treetops experience with healthy dishes created by the lodge's talented chefs using locally grown produce, complemented by an array of fine New Zealand wines. Guests can choose to have an intimate dining experience in the library or with fellow guests in the main dining room.
Lodging can be had at Treetops starting at about $400 per night per person. Since New Zealand's summer coincides with North America's winter, peak season can drive rates up even further. For a family of adventurous foresters, it's worth it.
Vote now for what you believe is the best of breed for each of the Winter Travel categories. Readers' Choice Awards for the Best in Winter Travel will be announced on January 31st.
Gallery: More from Treetops