Waipoua Lodge 2018-01-21T03:25:10Z https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/feed/atom/ Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[400 Tripadvisor Excellent Guest Reviews]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7348 2017-05-02T03:15:35Z 2017-05-02T02:29:40Z Waipoua Lodge achieves 400 Tripadvisor Excellent Guest Reviews

Waipoua Lodge reaches 400 Tripadvisor Excellent Guest Reviews

All thanks to our lovely past guests

In today’s online world, reviews are becoming more and more relevant to help travellers decide where to go, what to do and of course where to stay. Tripadvisor is ranked as one of the top sources of reviews and more and more guests have said they either found us on Tripadvisor, or looked at our reviews and decided they wanted to stay at Waipoua Lodge.

We are absolutely delighted to say that today, Sybille a lovely guest from Germany, became the 400th person to write us a Tripadvisor Excellent Guest Review – thank you Sybille!

We believe that a positive Tripadvisor review is not something to be expected or asked for. It is something very special which can happen at the end of a guest’s stay if we have done our job properly in creating that memorable guest experience. Getting it right and totally focusing on how we can deliver a personalised life time memory for every guest is truly the key to our success.

Read our Tripadvisor reviews

Experiences last but a brief time – special memories can last a lifetime
WAIPOUA LODGE | creating a memorable guest experience

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Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Tree loving people make the BEST guests!]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7323 2017-03-31T02:59:41Z 2017-03-31T02:30:06Z Awesome 5 Star Guest creates Waipoua Lodge Kunekune Holly Picture

Waipoua Lodge has the BEST guests!

Our Tripadvisor Travellers Choice status is all down to our wonderful guest reviews but we have now come to realise that tree loving people make the BEST guests! After all if you care enough to come and visit some incredible ancient and mighty kauri trees then it follows that you will also probably value an historic homestead and all it has to offer.

Our guests regularly tell us what an amazing time they have had staying at Waipoua Lodge, but we have to say that EVERYONE who stays is truly awesome and the BEST guests.

We wanted to share a couple of specific examples of just how awesome guests are at Waipoua Lodge.

We welcomed in the 2017 New Year with a group of lovely tree loving guests, two of whom were Rob & Sue Eyre from the UK.

Well our pedigree kunekune Holly obviously worked her magic and won over artist Sue’s heart (after all who can resist that cute hairy face that only a mother would love!).

The result is a special gift from Sue for us (and Holly) with this fabulous character drawing of our Holls.

Thank you so much Sue … you are definitely an awesome guest!

Awesome 5 Star Guest creates Waipoua Lodge Kunekune Holly Picture

The next really fun example to share is from breakfast last week when Ken and Martha Neville from Washington County, USA, delighted us with several fiddle tunes! They have both only taken up the fiddle seriously in recent years and love it so much that they travel with their fiddles! Ian happened to hear music coming from the suite which he didn’t recognise as one of our DVDs so asked. The result was an amazing foot tapping musical breakfast interlude!

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Amazingly Beautiful Bug at Waipoua Lodge]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7305 2017-04-22T04:10:14Z 2017-03-24T02:46:36Z Amazing Beautiful Bug at Waipoua Lodge

What is this amazingly beautiful bug?

Amazing Beautiful Bug at Waipoua LodgeWe could not believe our eyes when we found this amazingly beautiful bug on a rhododendron bush outside the front door of Waipoua Lodge.

We were just saying goodbye to some more of our lovely guests when we spotted a brightly coloured dot on the underneath of a leaf. It was not very big (about 1cm across) and with our bare eyes it looked rather special so we took a photograph. We were not expecting what came next, but when we downloaded the photograph and saw it blown up … wow it truly was an amazingly beautiful bug!

We are intrigued to find out what this bug is, but have also been thinking that if our 5 star vision is ‘creating a memorable guest experience’ then what better way than to have memorable, amazingly beautiful bugs for guests to admire as we bid them farewell!

Our combined thoughts are that it looks like a cross between maybe a colourful Peruvian and a cute cat!

If anyone knows what this bug is then do please let us know and in the meantime we will keep our fingers crossed that it is not some deadly species which is doomed to threaten the whole kiwi eco-system and is on the MPI Bio-security hit list!

Alternatively, does anyone have contact details for Ruud Kleinpaste – The Bugman  as he might be the only person to identify our little critter?

Problem solved thanks to Shar Carlini (our daughter’s future mother in law!) … it is a two spined spider!

What a miserable name for such an awesome creature!

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Awards 2017]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7276 2017-01-24T23:28:45Z 2017-01-24T23:22:26Z

Waipoua Lodge is ranked New Zealand’s Number 1 Best Small Hotel

Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Awards 2017

Also ranked 2nd in the Top 25 in the South Pacific and 8th in the World

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Waipoua Lodge is delighted to announce that today, for the FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, it has been recognised with the 2017 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award

The rankings just released put Waipoua Lodge as the TOP NEW ZEALAND SMALL HOTEL, second in the South Pacific and for the first time also eighth in the World

Link to Tripadvisor 2017 Travellers Choice Results

“For the 15th year, TripAdvisor has highlighted the world’s top properties based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travellers around the globe. Winners were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Small Hotels, B&Bs and Inns, Luxury, Service and Bargain Hotels. The hallmarks of Travellers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value.” Tripadvisor Inc

Read Waipoua Lodge TripAdvisor Reviews

We are thrilled to have been recognized for the fifth year in a row and are now rated as the top small hotel in New Zealand. In addition to New Zealand and South Pacific rankings we also now feature in the Top 25 World Small Hotels which is an incredible status. We are very grateful to all our wonderful guests who have written such lovely reviews about their stay which have made this award possible. Our focus and vision is simple – creating a memorable guest experience – in every aspect of what we do. Delivered in an authentic and historic New Zealand homestead, it is a winning combination”

“We congratulate the properties that have won Travellers’ Choice Hotel awards”, said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “As travellers consider where to book their next trip, they should be sure to check out these award-winners that have already delighted millions of members of the TripAdvisor community.”

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Luxurious Food for Luxury guests]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7251 2016-12-03T21:10:03Z 2016-12-03T20:22:15Z

Food is not just about cooking and eating – it is about life and living!

Raymond BlancChef

Five Star Cuisine – Luxurious Food for Luxury Guests

Fran has always been inspired by the self-taught passion of the French born Raymond Blanc and in particular his view that food is about life and living and not just cooking and eating. When food is elevated from purely serving to address hunger to a level of respect, passion and enjoyment by all five senses then it can truly enhance our life.

At our five star, luxury accommodation Waipoua Lodge the cuisine our aim is to provide luxurious food for luxury guests. Food which has been prepared with the utmost care and attention and delivered in the same high level of luxury personal service.

Being self-taught herself, Fran is passionate about watching professional videos and television productions such as Great British Menu (and only the non-drama based UK Masterchef!) to inspire her to create the lodge cuisine. The recent discovery was how to blend two different types of ice cream using a blow torch and in this case homemade vanilla bean has been melted over the rich chocolate ice cream and topped with a beautifully thin almond tuille, chopped pistachio nuts and grated chocolate. The perfect luxurious dessert for a luxury five star guest.

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Happy Anniversary]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7223 2016-11-19T00:32:32Z 2016-11-18T23:40:51Z Happy Anniversary Waipoua Lodge Luxury Accommodation NZ

A Happy Anniversary at Waipoua Lodge

Luxury Accommodation Northland New Zealand

Exactly six years ago today on 19th November 2010 we became the proud owners and custodians of Waipoua Lodge. So today we are saying a Happy Anniversary at Waipoua Lodge!

We have been reflecting back of the past six years – all our wonderful guests – all our special memories and of course all the changes which we have done to the lodge and all the changes which have happened to us personally.

Here are just a few of the things which we have done to maintain and enhance Waipoua Lodge as luxury accommodation:

  • replaced windows
  • re-sheathed buildings
  • installed Smart Vent air systems and heatpumps/air con throughout the main lodge and suites
  • painted, painted and painted!
  • invested heaps in the kitchen including a highly efficient extraction system, new chiller, equipment, china & cutlery
  • converted all hot water to LPG gas
  • refurbished suites, especially bathrooms
  • installed full length mirrors
  • made blinds and curtains and upgraded curtain tracks
  • replaced furniture, whitewear, televisions and stereo systems
  • created artwork from amazing kauri photos
  • upgraded to luxury towels, manchester and bedding
  • developed the grounds (including flattening a marquee site for Matt & Julia’s wedding marquee and installing a new wastewater field)
  • built two maintenance sheds
  • installed garden lighting
  • purchased a John Deere Tractor (Fran gets the kitchen and Ian gets a tractor!)
  • replaced fences
  • the list goes on …..

Happy Anniversary Waipoua Lodge Luxury Accommodation NZ

We have been proud not only to sustain the Qualmark 5 star rating, but also to add the Enviro-Gold award, TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for both NZ & South Pacific for 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016, Northland Westpac Business Excellence Award in 2014, Fodor’s World Top 100 in 2014 and of course our latest and very special Hospitality NZ Awards for Excellence in Customer Service, Best Accommodation under 30 rooms and the Supreme Award …. truly wonderful.

Personally we have both grown in our own personal ways, Ian with a focus on front of house and Fran of course in her culinary journey of self-discovery. It seemed appropriate as we say Happy Anniversary Waipoua Lodge to perhaps look back at a couple of dishes from the early days and sit these alongside some of the latest creations! Bon Appetite!

Then and Now ….

Enormous thanks for support in developing Fran’s own personal cooking style goes to Martin Harrap, Anton Mosimann and Grant Kitchen

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Sky Disconnected by Morepork]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7210 2016-11-03T10:54:09Z 2016-11-03T01:38:13Z

Imagine Sky Disconnected during All Blacks vs Australia!

Ian’s worst dream came true when this happened, buttons were pressed, connections checked and some profound words stated.

Luckily at the same time our West Highland White Bonnie decided she would like to go outside for a you know what and in letting her out I happened to look up at the Sky dish and found that Sky had been Disconnected by a Morepork sitting on the antenna!

Our little feathered friend clearly likes this spot and it took a lot of frantic (but gentle) persuasion before it took off in pursuit of a puriri moth and Ian breathed a sigh of relief when the game resumed.

The Sky dish now appears to be the favourite late night perching position as it obviously provides a birds eye view of all the potential dinner choices!

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Vistaprint]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7186 2016-11-01T03:15:42Z 2016-10-31T22:54:54Z

Thank you Vistaprint!

How could we survive without Vistaprint!?

Ian jokes that he has taken out not one but two mortgages to fund my Vistaprint activity but in truth it is adding tremendous value to our luxury accommodation business.

It all started with a mug …………!

It all started last Christmas when I was thinking about a present for Ian having taken an image of him happily occupying himself with his tractor and a hired digger … the result was a Vistaprint mug! But wait there’s more … as you check out they overlay your image on all sorts of other wonderful things like mousepads and pens so yes you’re right Ian had a mug, a mousepad and a pen for Christmas.

Then followed more mugs with a Silly Sister theme for my sister, a Dr Who theme for my son and of course graduation mugs for him and his wife, together with Brachiosaurus dinosaur stamps for my children (their surname is Brachi) and magnetic Taurus Bull themed car signs for Ian’s son. My photoshop creativity knows no boundaries!

But amongst the frivolity came the business focused items from Vistaprint which have been amazing quality and absolute value for money. Business cards, magnetic souffle recipe giveaways, postcards, 1.8 metre wide posts which wowed agents at TRENZ, labels for sealing bags and our wrapped complimentary wine, staff T shirts, canvas artwork of the amazing trees for the suites and now the piece de resistance – our new Guest Suite Compendium Books.

Being luxury 5 star accommodation, we had been really struggling with how to present all the information about the lodge, the guests suites and all the things that we offer in a way that looked really professional. Bought folders with poly pockets were totally not appropriate and in the last couple of years we had laminated pages and used a spiral binder. Then Vistaprint came along with their quality photobooks and awesome templates which made these beautiful books easily possible and we now have something which truly reflects our luxury 5 star lodge status. The guests are already saying how beautiful and what excellent quality they are.

Plus (and this is another big PLUS), not only is the quality excellent, but the immediate telephone support with queries, design help etc., plus replacement without question makes this whole customer service and satisfaction what we are looking for to support our focus on creating a memorable guest experience.

Where to from here …. well watch this Vistaprint space!

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Silver Fern Farms Lamb]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7174 2016-10-17T05:23:40Z 2016-10-17T05:17:45Z

Waipoua Lodge uses Silver Fern Farms Lamb

The new season Silver Fern Farms Lamb Backstraps which we are getting through Bidvest Whangarei are just delicious, totally lean and so tender they melt in the mouth. Just rub with a little salt, allow to come to room temperature, sear and then in the oven for 3 minutes before resting in foil for about 8 minutes. Slice into 1.5 cms and serve with a rich red wine, orange and blackberry jus!

Delicious slow cooked pork belly with Asian spices

Slow cooked pork belly with Asian spices, roasted chilli apple and a rich buttery cider jus … the perfect dinner party solution because you are not spending heaps of time in the kitchen away from your guests! Waipoua Lodge is supplied with Pork Belly from the lovely butcher Dave at the Aussie Butchers in Whangarei.

The spring months, October to December, are such a beautiful season for fresh baby carrots and of course delicious asparagus. Not only do they taste fantastic, but with extreme care and attention produce the most beautiful presentation on the plate.

All Recipes available on the Waipoua Lodge Cooking School Website accessible to guests who stay at Waipoua Lodge

Fran https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz <![CDATA[Elation to Sadness]]> https://www.waipoualodge.co.nz/?p=7163 2016-10-16T05:02:48Z 2016-10-16T04:42:01Z

RIP Bessy

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we have gone from elation to sadness as yesterday one of our wonderful pedigree pet Kunekune pigs, Bessy, passed away. She and her sister Holly have delighted the 5 star guests at Waipoua Lodge for the past six years but Bessy did not cope well last winter and this winter it has been so cold and wet that obviously it all became too much for her. She did not suffer and Holly was standing vigil when Ian found them both. The distraction of some fresh fruitbread cheered Holly’s grief and we hope to continue to support her in this way (at least for a few more days).

Bessy was such a character – in this photo she has just consumed a couple of litres of whey from Fran’s ricotta cheese making … gulping straight from the bottle being held by us, we had to watch our fingers did not get in the way. No bath before bedtime to clean those milky chops!

Like her sister Holly, Bessy loved nothing better that to roll over in the sun (or mud if around) for Ian to give her a tummy rub or a good old fashioned scratch around the ears.

Thank you Bessy for nearly 8 wonderful years of special piggy memories and thank you for waiting until we got back to the lodge … you will be sorely missed xx

Milky faced Bessy loved her whey!

Hear no evil, See no evil, Smell ……. FOOD!