Canterbury, New Zealand
Remote luxury in New Zealand can be found at Seascape, one of a collection of villas available at Annandale homestead, a 1,600-hectre farm in the South Island’s Canterbury region. Sleeping a maximum of two people and with dramatic views of its own bay, the villa is accessed either by helicopter or via a 40-minute transfer from the main Annandale property in a 4WD. The villa’s stunning and stylish modern design incorporates an outdoor fireplace, outdoor spa, wet room and studio kitchen. From inside, guests pass the days safe inside a glass cacoon watching the weather move across the sea and surrounding green hills with books, magazines, movies and each other as the only distractions.
Dining: Dining at Seascape is not a restaurant experience. For a start, there isn’t another human being for miles and miles. It’s just you, your travelling companion, hundreds of sheep dotting the hills surrounding the villa and occasional frolicking dolphins in the bay in front. The point of the place is to be alone and remote. For those who want to be entirely and absolutely alone, a cook- your-own meals arrangement can be organised with Annandale’s chef at the time of booking. Each component of each meal is pre-prepared and neatly labelled with detailed instructions and dropped at the property at the same time as the guests. Alternatively, the property’s hugely talented young chef will arrive discreetly an hour or so before dinner time and prepare a fabulous multi-course meal from a small kitchen built specifically for this purpose, and so as not to intrude on the guests’ space, hidden near the entrance to the villa. He’ll whisk each course to the table and clear everything away leaving no trace of his existence. Alternatively, he’ll answer questions about his extraordinary creations and the wonderful local produce and producers.
What to do: Seascape is best experienced by those who want to go off the grid and experience that slightly exciting sensation that comes from the combination of isolation, solitude, remoteness, silence and uncontactability. Picnic baskets can be prepared to take on strolls along the bay and into the hills. At night-time, guests can gaze at a sky full of stars with no light pollution to mask the view. This is especially fun from the outdoor spa or the open fire with a glass of the local red wine.
Rates: Daily rates at Seascape start at NZ$2,200, excluding taxes, in low season (May to September), with a minimum two-night stay. Catering packages can be worked on at the time of booking to match each guest’s individual tastes.