Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023 reveals our readers’ picks of the best hotels, pools, spas and even general managers in New Zealand. Crisp air, great wines and big sky await.
FROM THE SNOW-CAPPED PEAKS and glacial lakes of the South Island to the beaches and vineyards of the North Island, there are few places in the world that satiate a love for nature like New Zealand. With its unassuming cities, outdoorsy culture and endless array of natural splendors, New Zealand offers a down-to-earth style of luxury that thoughtfully showcases it indigenous, Maori culture and local produce. Nature activities such as skiing, hiking, cycling, fishing and jet-boating are some of New Zealand’s biggest drawcards and it’s not hard to find an itinerary that involves some sort of adventure here.
Before the pandemic, tourism was New Zealand’s largest export earner and accounted for about 5.5 percent of GDP. According to data collected in September last year, restaurants and accommodation are thriving tourism sectors in New Zealand at the moment, up 10.3 percent on pre-pandemic levels. In July and August this year, New Zealand will co-host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Australia, which will not only boost arrivals but also put its low winter season on the map.
Despite having a population of just over 422,000 people, its capital Wellington has a cosmopolitan vibe, with a plethora of craft breweries, world-class restaurants and the Marlborough wine region on its doorstep. Road trips and campervans continue to be a popular mode of travel for many tourists, and its luxury sector is also well set up for exploration, with everything from heli-hiking and heli-fishing offered alongside upmarket stays in skiing or fishing lodges.
A central, harborside location, enormous rooms and refined service make Park Hyatt Auckland New Zealand’s Best City Hotel. The Rees Hotel on the South Island gets a mention in this category for its award-winning residences, and SO/Auckland for its views and interiors.
But New Zealand is all about the wide-open spaces, so Country Hotels + Lodges deserve extra love here, with your favorite being The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, an exquisite Hawkes Bay retreat offering a clifftop golf course, world-class food and wine, and unique wildlife experiences. Taupo’s Huka Lodge is set on 17 acres of countryside on the banks of the Waikato River, while Matakauri Lodge has spectacular visits of Queenstown’s mountain ranges.
Paihia Beach Resort & Spa tops the Best Hotel Spas ranking. This seaside escape in the Bay of Islands has private steam and sauna, indulgent massages and spa platters served with wine. A nod goes to The Spa at Milbrook Resort for its extensive massage list and men’s face treatments, as well as wee Earth Energies Sanctuary for its holistic therapies and bespoke wellness programs.
Best City Hotels in New Zealand
3. SO/ Auckland
10. The Rees Hotel
Best Country Hotels + Lodges in New Zealand
2. Huka Lodge
5. Blanket Bay
10. Millbrook Resort
Best Hotel Spas in New Zealand
Read on for the full lists of our readers’ picks of the Best Hotels, Lodges, Spas and more in New Zealand for 2023. And for all of this year’s Luxury Awards Asia-Pacific winners, click here.
Lede image courtesy of New Zealand Tourism.