Takatu Lodge & Vineyard Matakana, New Zealand
This architecturally designed luxury lodge is less than an hour by car north of Auckland yet it's another world away. Located at the entrance to the spectacular Takatu Peninsula, it is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and a string of magnificent beaches. Floor-to ceiling glass windows capture breathtaking views across well-manicured lawns to neatly tended vines, lush paddocks and the sea beyond. There are just four lodge suites β natural wood, stone and marble feature prominently in their contemporary design β offering spacious rooms and private terraces where guests can take advantage of those views. Auckland's equivalent of the Hamptons, Matakana abounds in quality local produce and is known for its Saturday morning farmers' market where the property's owner, Heather Forsman, often sources gourmet items for the restaurant table. Guests are encouraged to linger over breakfast and to join Heather and her husband, John, for wine tastings by a crackling open fire in the spacious loungeroom.