I am still humming from the most amazing weekend away at Huka Lodge.
I have been working with them on a project that involves me speaking there later in the year and decided that the best way to speak authoritatively was to spend the weekend there.
The Project (there are still some spaces available) is part of an ongoing series called The Art of Living - You can read all about it here.
My Birthday and an offer from Jaguar to finally take the F-TYPE for a decent drive manifested into a road trip to remember to a very special destination. The drive was exceptional, it’s hard for it not to be when you're driving a high-performance sports car through some of the best (and worst) roads in New Zealand.
Whatever tranquility the guests and local birdlife were experiencing as we rolled into the lodges private driveway was quickly spoilt by the throaty crackling goodness from the 5.0 V8 550PS Supercharged engine.
You step out of this thing feeling like a Spitfire Pilot must have felt after surviving a sortie over enemy territory; with 680Nm of torque. 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds (0-60mph in 3.9 seconds), best-in-class power and torque as well as an unchallenged power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratio, this car does literally feel like it could fly.
Back to the Tranquility:
Huka Lodge was founded in 1924 by an Irishman Alan Pye. Situated on the banks of the Waikato River aloft the Huka Falls this retreat is world renowned. New Zealand is a relatively young country and we lack the levels of service and luxury you see elsewhere in the world. This is our Claridges or Raffles.
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel exceptionally special with discrete and attentive service, an hour felt like a day and a weekend felt like a week. Every detail is managed, nothing is left to chance. We left the room and our beds were turned down, clothes tidied, water bottles restocked.
Dinner was an intimate 5-course meal, in front of an open fire that crackled and spat at the sub-zero night. Our spa was left on all night, just in case we wanted a late night last minute dip (we indulged) and the bed was big enough for three extra people ( we didn’t indulge). The mini bar was better stocked than most restaurants and my only concern was that if we stayed too long I wouldn't fit back in the F-TYPE so I was careful not to over do it.
There is something very magical about this 90-year-old lodge; the Queen has thought as much (4 times) and the guest book is littered with the famous and infamous. Saturday Nights are always full we were told, the perfect spot for that special celebration or milestone.
I never imagined myself here, with elderly millionaires who want to fish, but as I was reluctantly getting ready to leave I realised that a Huka Lodge experience is whatever you want it to be.
I will be back at some stage to be pampered and looked after, like never before, unless you count this time.