The Elms on Lake Hayes, New Zealand opens: Ultimate luxury adventure


Got at least $6000 a night to spare? The ultimate in luxury adventure awaits in New Zealand's Central Otago. There's a Land Rover at the ready on the drive, Coronet Peak on the doorstep, and inside, the kind of digs that attracted "Hollywood royalty" (as GM James Cavanagh says – no names given) as first guests. Welcome to The Elms on Lake Hayes, the new private villa accommodation from Imperium Collection, owners of Eichardt's Private Hotel, a property that had already set the high-end benchmark in nearby Queenstown.

Designed by Auckland's Patterson Architects, the firm behind NZ's first six-Green-Star project, the Geyser Building, Lake Hayes cleverly converts from two three-bedroom and one four-bedroom villas, each of  about 300 square metres, to one big pad.

Huge outdoor spaces with patio fireplaces, daybeds and hot tubs accompany beautiful interiors by Auckland's Virginia Fisher, who also fitted out Eichardt's Private Hotel as well as Huka Lodge.

Outdoors beckons, though, with helicopter touring at the ready for both sightseeing and skiing in areas often unavailable. And lovely Arrowtown is a 10-minute cycle away on mountain bikes found in each villa garage.

The golf courses, Millbrook and The Hills are also within striking distance, as is The Remarkables ski resort, and New Zealand's largest ski area, Cardrona, within a 45-minute drive along the stunning Crown Range Road.

With all that action nearby, the Land Rover is sure to get a workout.

The villas start at $5744 ($NZ6000) a night.

See imperiumvillacollection.com

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