Set on a 2,400-hectare working sheep and cattle station, The Farm isn’t yet 10 years old, but it feels like it’s been here forever. Perhaps the most beautiful of Julian Robertson’s stable of super-smart New Zealand lodges, it has 22 rustic-chic bedrooms and a wonderfully stylish private house, the Owner’s Cottage. All are dramatically positioned on a grassy ridge overlooking its superb 18-hole championship golf course and surrounding farmlands, with the orchards and celebrated winelands of Hawke’s Bay in the distance. On a clear day it’s possible to make out snow-capped Mount Ruapehu on the horizon. The main structures resemble a cluster of farm buildings, with a domed silo that houses a wine cellar in its basement and an intimate snug on the ground floor.
Throughout the property, wonderful farm-related objects – old tractor seats, metal cartwheels, wooden grain boxes – are deployed as artworks and the Colorado-based interior designer Linda Bedell has used plenty of tweed and leather to keep the rural dream topped up. Chef James Honore sources the best produce from this bountiful region – cheese from Havelock North, mushrooms from Napier, Hawke’s Bay lamb – and supplements them with his own home-grown sweetcorn, fennel, lettuce and tomatoes. From fresh laid eggs with crispy New Zealand bacon for breakfast in the farmhouse kitchen to pre-supper canapes by the open fire, The Farm really does deliver the whole New Zealand package – and on a wonderfully grand scale.