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Acacia Cliffs Lodge Study Honeymoon Idea Unique

This stunning four-bedroom lodge on the cliffs overlooking Lake Taupo boasts distinctive architecture, unrivalled views and – the best bit – the uniquely Kiwi, genuinely welcoming hospitality of owner-operators Linda and Rick.

Acacia Cliffs Lodge Bedroom Honeymoon Idea Unique

HERS: At first, I took some convincing about Acacia Cliffs because, let’s face it, home-style hotels can go either way. I feared it would be awkward, amateur, or near invasive – but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Linda and Rob have achieved perfection. Staying here is like a sleepover with your wealthy, distant relatives: friendly yet formal, gorgeous everything but so comfortable, and in a stunning home you hope someday to inherit. No detail is overlooked, from the effortless mingling with other guests over evening canapés to the cookies on your pillow at bedtime. I think the custom architecture tells the story best: Linda worked on every detail of the bright, open space with a New Zealand architect to blend clean lines with local materials. The foundation beams of the original pole house are visible throughout, and picture windows capture every bit of ever-changing light over the awesome landscape. Rob is a phenomenal chef, who dishes out local history alongside ridiculously gourmet meals; his lamb was the best of our trip, and that’s saying something! Avid travelers themselves, they truly enjoy meeting new people, learning about different corners of the world and sharing the best of their own – without any expectations. I doubt we could have spent such a relaxing, guilt-free day in bed, celebrating our conquest of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, drinking crisp white wine and watching the Lord of the Rings movies, really anywhere else. And isn’t doing whatever you really want to what a honeymoon is all about?

Acacia Cliffs Patio Honeymoon Idea Unique

Acacia Cliffs Lodge Honeymoon Idea Unique

HIS: Acacia Cliffs was exactly what I was looking for in Lake Taupo: lodge means luxury in this part of the world, but I wanted something a bit more modern and close to the activities we had planned, that wouldn’t blow our entire budget or require us to act, um, older than we are. (Sorry Huka Lodge, it’s a honeymoon after all!) This little gem is in a quiet neighbourhood about ten minutes outside of town, but down a deceptively wooded drive that provides privacy and a dramatic first impression of the killer view. Linda and Rob are genuinely interesting and interested people, who have the knack for setting their guests at ease. They had helped us plan ahead to arrange a visit to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with the most experienced guide in the neighbourhood, Stewart Barclay from Adrift Guided Outdoor Adventures.  I know, I know, a 19-kilometre, 8-hour hike up to 1,886 metres, past emerald lakes, red craters and Mt. Ngauruhoe (a.k.a. Mount Doom) isn’t everyone’s idea of romance, but there’s something to be said for experiencing that as a couple. I was pretty proud of my girl, and happy to spend the whole following day with her getting wrinkly in a traditional Maori hot spring. And, back at the lodge, we were rewarded with truly world-class food, amazing wine and excellent company eager to hear about our trek and share stories of their own. I wish we could have stayed much longer than we did – to mountain bike, kayak, golf, definitely eat some more or just watch the sun go down while the sheep graze the front-yard hill. Acacia Cliffs was exactly what I was looking for.

VISIT: Acacia Cliffs Lodge

Acacia Cliffs Kitchen (detail) Honeymoon Idea Unique Lake Taupo Honeymoon Idea Unique Acacia Cliffs Living Room Honeymoon Idea Unique

 

 

 

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