Travel & Leisure USA 2008

The World's Greatest Hotels, Resorts + Spas

ABOUT AN HOURS DRIVE NORTH OF AUCKLAND, MATAKANA IS FAST becoming a favorite wine destination. Heather and John Forsman visited 23 inns across New Zealand and Australia before opening Takatu Lodge. A Maori word meaning “well-prepared”, Takatu has only four rooms, and you can't go wrong with any of them; each makes the most of the lodge's location, on a gorgeous vineyard. Bathtubs look out on the vines, and public spaces are uncluttered and serene.

In the glass-walled sitting and dining room, guests gather for three-course breakfasts that can include homemade muesli or ricotta pancakes with fruit. And just outside, a poured-concrete patio has furniture arranged around a huge hearth – perfect for an evening tasting of the estate's wine.

*Takatu Lodge was 1 of only 3 properties in NZ to be chosen to be featured in this ultimate book of travel. The editors have distilled this coverage into an indispensable guide to the year's most dazzling properties from around the globe. You'll find more than 200 images from Travel & Leisure's award-winning photographers in this book, as well as a guide to the winners of T & L's annual World's Best Awards, an extraordinary collection of hotels, resorts and spas selected by readers.