The stunning Hauraki Gulf island of Waiheke makes an excellent destination for a gourmet getaway. When visiting the region, Waiheke Unlimited’s collection of five-star beach houses provide a luxurious accommodation alternative.
While New Zealand is home to some of the finest luxury lodge accommodation in the South Pacific, the five-star options are somewhat limited for those travelling in larger groups who desire exceptional facilities alongside complete privacy and flexibility. After returning to Waiheke Island in the mid-nineties Ed Coutts recognised this need and founded Waiheke Unlimited, a premium portfolio of private properties that strive to offer five-star lodgings in a self-contained setting.
Waiheke Unlimited’s vast portfolio of properties can be found scattered across Waiheke Island – a haven of vineyards, beaches and olive groves just a short seaplane or 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Among a selection of more than 60 properties, Waiheke’s handpicked collection of ten luxury beach houses offer all the facilities, comfort and glamour that can be found in any luxury lodge or hotel.
Panorama Bay in Oneroa is one home in the luxury beach house collection. With modern, expansive stone and glass architecture and tall ceilings, the house offers four bedrooms and three ensuite bathrooms in a contemporary open-plan living style. Floor to ceiling windows open on to a wide deck and 15-metre pool, with impressive views of the Gulf and surrounding islands. Facilities include a fully equipped designer kitchen, an Italian wood-fired pizza oven, library, helicopter pad, and direct access to a secluded bay. The houses are fully stocked with luxury linens, towels and amenities.
Daily cleaning services are included, and private chefs and catering services can be arranged on request. Additional services such as massage and babysitting are also available. For most of the luxury beachfront properties, vehicles such as a Range Rover and Vespa are provided for unlimited use around the island. These make for excellent day trips to the surrounding vineyards and gourmet restaurants — the local Te Mataku Bay oysters are very popular, along with the locally produced olive oil, wine, honey and cheeses.
The ten luxurious waterfront properties range from NZ$850 (A$810) to NZ$4500 (A$4280), and can accommodate six to 16 guests.