The Lodge at the Kinloch Club, which opened last month (January) on the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus course at Taupo, is the first New Zealand super lodge of its calibre since Cape Kidnappers opened in 2004. It was designed by Andrew Patterson, perhaps New Zealand's best known architect – responsible for Cape Kidnappers and the Christchurch Botanic Garden Centre among other noteworthy projects. He was commissioned by investor John Sax, who also owns Treetops Lodge and Estate.
Built from local schist stone, the main building features dramatic framed vistas of Lake Taupo and the rolling fairways and greens of one of New Zealand's best golf courses. A commanding gangway entrance leads to a lush central courtyard with outdoor fireplace and reflecting pool.
Inside Virginia Fisher, renowned for her interiors at properties including Huka Lodge and Matakauri Lodge, has woven her trademark magic. The whitewashed dining room is bold yet calming, with banquettes and lush sofas, while the masculine bar has a clubby feel with cowhide, goat fur and burnt wood flooring.
The brief to Patterson and Fisher was to emulate a modern version of the Kinloch region's namesake Scottish castle on the Isle of Rum. "My vision was a baronial feel of lush textures – velvet, fox fur, brass and copper but upon a modern calm of whitewash, light and airy," said Fisher.
There are also separate luxury one-bedroom suites and one- and two-bedroom villas and an "estate to plate" restaurant.
From $NZ956 ($896) a couple a night including breakfast. See thekinlochclub.com.