One of New Zealand’s most prestigious luxury lodges has announced a renovation to coincide with its centenary year.
Set on the banks of the Waikato River in Taupō, Huka Lodge is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most discerning properties — beloved by luxury travellers for its serene natural surroundings, exceptional food and wine, and authentic guest experiences. To commemorate 100 years since Alan Pye opened the lodge as a trout-fishing camp in 1924, Baillie Lodges has announced plans to renovate Huka Lodge’s guest spaces.
The design concept will be led by Baillie Lodges Founder, James Baillie, in partnership with interior designer Virginia Fisher, who has some experience with the property after being appointed by the lodge’s previous owner, Alex van Heeren, in 1984. Auckland-based architect Christian Anderson, who worked with Fisher on the design of the lodge’s exclusive-use Alan Pye Cottage, will also be part of the redesign team.
Plans include a new entrance with a reception and adjoining boutique, with the main lodge undergoing a considered transformation to open up its interior spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows and wide doors will enhance the views of the Waikato River, which wends its way toward the rushing Huka Falls downstream from the lodge.
The River Room will offer a warm, communal space in which guests can converse over drinks and canapés, with a double-sided fireplace and luxury furnishings complemented by a ‘feel at home bar.’ The Dining Room will be extended, with a step-down along the lodge’s lawns providing more natural light. While original heritage elements will be retained, the room is set to have a more contemporary aesthetic, with high ceilings and windows again designed to make the most of the riverside setting.
The north-facing outdoor terrace will be expanded, with an outdoor fireplace and contemporary glass-roofed pergolas added, enhancing the outdoor dining space for guests.
The lodge’s 20 guest suites and two private residences are also set to undergo a refresh.
In addition, the Kiwi ‘bach’, or holiday home, forms the design inspiration for the lodge’s new spa huts, which will include a gym, two treatment rooms, a sauna, and a steaming plunge pool.
James Baillie said, “We’re very pleased to have worked on plans in such a way to embrace the heritage of the iconic luxury lodge while taking her carefully into the future.”
“This is a real opportunity for us all to act as custodians of the Huka legacy while taking the opportunity to enhance the intimate luxury and further embrace the riverside setting,” added Virginia Fisher.
Huka Lodge will farewell its final guests on 30 April 2024, reopening with its new look on 1 December.