The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. And although New Zealand is known for its natural beauty, the beauty of this hotel and its staff caught me by surprise.
I was in New Zealand on assignment and was booked at Raetihi Lodge. The lodge stands on the shore of Kenepuru Sound in New Zealand’s panoramic Marlborough Sounds region, on the South Island. I arrived from a wine region tour in Blenheim, then drove 45 minutes from Havelock to Te Mahia Jetty, where we parked our car. After that, we boarded our private ‘Miss Raetihi Lodge’ boat for a 10=minute scenic trip over to the lodge. As I was the only passenger on this particular run, the boat captain was nice enough to gave me a private tour of the bird sanctuaries along the coast and showed me his own mussel farm. Pretty amazing experience.
I was completely shocked at the accomodatons of this 14-room hotel. Raetihi Lodge, nestled in the stunning Marlborough Sounds, was recently extensively rebuilt, and the charming hotel is rated four-star plus by Boutique Qualmark, with luxury and comfort amidst the serenity and nature of the sounds.
The hotel is quaint and can only accommodate up to 30 guests – which is ideal for those travelers like me who want to escape the maddening crowds of big resorts. With eight Seaview rooms, each having their own deck, they are perfect for relaxing in the peaceful Sounds atmosphere. Raetihi’s Restaurant has fabulous views over the water, and offers quality meals using fresh local produce prepared by their chefs.
I took a hike around the hotel and discovered many flora and fauna I have never seen before. I also spent a lot of time watching the sunrise and the sunset from the coast. Because the hotel is so quaint, I took time getting to know the staff as well. They are so friendly and nice, I became friends with them. If you’re ever on South Island, do yourself a favor and give this amazing hotel a try.
Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.
Last modified: July 11, 2017