Our stay at the luxurious eco-lodge Magic cottage was a long awaited for trip in our house. Finding a weekend that we were both available and the popular cottage was available had taken a while – and it almost all went pear shaped before it even started when I woke up with her own private version of Swine Flu on the Friday morning.
A packet of Codral, some Echinacea and two boxes of tissues later and I was almost back in tact, the three hour drive towards Keri Keri was over and we were at Magic Cottage.
To risk sounding corny and probably writing some very un-original words to open the review – Magic cottage truly lives up to its name.
Tucked away on a snug bend of the Takou River the cottage is private, luxurious and positioned to take full advantage of the river views.
The one room cottage opens onto a large deck that sits out over the river with a deep four clawed outdoor bath tucked away along the back wall to ensure privacy yet ultimate river view optimisation.
The bath is certainly a highlight, there is something quite magical (ok yes, we’re overdoing it now) about sinking into a steaming bath with a glass of champagne, a full flowing river at your feet and trees overhead.
I definitely took advantage of this feature a number of times despite the doctor’s advice about not being nude, out in the cold and in water all at the same time – my cold seemed to survive and even some what improve despite this.
The cottage is an eco-cottage with solar powered lights, gas stove and no electric sockets – a true modern day disconnection.
Never fear though, you will most definitely survive without your i-pad as there are a number of activities offered and in true Chelsey style we ensured we took advantage of all of them.
The first is an hours marked walk through the 150 acres of farm land which takes you up past a monument commemorating Maori Waka Mataatua and a somewhat small yet still worth the walk waterfall.
The next is a delightful boatshed filled with kayaks and canoes to which you can help yourself. On the Sunday morning we took a double kayak and paddled the cruisy 25 minutes down stream to the beach. The 25 minute paddle back did not feel so cruisy yet we had no-one to blame but ourselves, yes we are more used to clicking a mouse than paddling a kayak.
Labelling things ‘eco friendly’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ has become an industry in itself recently. Along with all the other eco products emerged eco tourism. Being truly (rather than token) environmentally friendly and luxurious at the same time is no easy task. Scrimping and protecting is a bit of an oxymoron alongside luxurious, lavishness.
Yet magic cottage blends the two together beautifully by using its natural surrounds to add to the luxury – so a truly guilt free stay.
For those looking for something slightly larger than the cottage, there is also the Summer and River Cottages with two bedrooms each or the largest offering is called The Lodge which boasts its own wood fire, romantic spa bath and river views from every room.
Voted one of the Top Ten Luxury Lodges in New Zealand we have to say we can’t disagree. Magic Cottage has certainly cast a spell on us.
Full details and booking information are available here:
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