Monthly Archives: February 2010

Riverside Retreat – Martinborough, Wairarapa

Where: Riverside Retreat, Martinborough, New Zealand

When: 10 July 2007 to 14 July 2007

Who: My husband & I

Why: Our New Zealand winter honeymoon

Accommodation Details: Riverside Retreat is a self-contained circular arch house a little off the beaten (farm)track, though still convenient to Martinborough and all the Wairarapa region’s attractions. The property’s hillside site boasts the most amazing view of the South Wairarapa Valley and Plains, Ruamahunga River and Tararua Ranges. As far as romantic retreats and I go… if it don’t got a view, then it don’t get considered… and let me tell you, the view from Riverside Retreat rates way up there!

The kitchen (where I discovered the mighty Zyliss canopener and the joy of cooking on a gas hob) is fully equipped and stocked with continental breakfast supplies.

The upstairs’ bedroom has an ensuite bathroom (toilet, shower and bath); and I know I’m going on about the view, but the outlook from the shower is nothing short of spectacular. A comfortable bath pillow and scented bath gel were thoughtfully provided.

In the downstairs’ lounge there is a television and audio equipment, as well as an impressively furnished bookshelf. There is also a small upstairs’ living area and a downstairs’ queen bedroom with ensuite.

Things To Do: Well… the focus for us was eating, drinking and being merry; so if you are like-minded, then you’ve come to the right place.

Gallery: Click on a thumbnail to enlarge picture and view description.

The Verdict: Considering my overpowering need to hold the holiday-planning reins, so to speak, I think my husband did extremely well when he picked Martinborough as our New Zealand honeymoon destination. Likewise, I cannot fault Riverside Retreat as his choice of accommodation. I would love to come back here during summer to experience the food and wine festival atmosphere firsthand.

Helpful Links:; Riverside Retreat; Destination Wairarapa;


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Filed under North Island, Wairarapa

Telegraph Hill Villas – Havelock North, Hawkes Bay

Where: Telegraph Hill Villas, Te Mata Hill, Havelock North, New Zealand

When: 4 January 2007 to 7 January 2007

Who: My husband and I

Why: A short romantic escape

Accommodation Details: Malcolm and I stayed at Telegraph Hill – a 17 acre olivery on Te Mata Hill – only three kilometres outside of Havelock North. There are two villas on the property, which are private and completely separated from one another and the hosts’ residence by olive trees.

We stayed in Villa One – the smaller and more intimate of the two villas. It sleeps two in a large queen bedroom; however, a portacot is available at no charge and would fit comfortably in either the bedroom or the lounge area. The kitchen is well stocked with the fixings for your first morning’s breakfast and plenty of condiments and pantry staples, including some of Telegraph Hill’s very own gourmet food product range. Next to Villa One is a floodlit astroturf tennis court for the night-time/evening tennis enthusiast. The hosts’ residence, a little further up the hill, has an infinity swimming pool available for guests’ use.

Telegraph Hill is an experience for all the senses: the feeling of the sun and breeze on your skin, the sound of the resident tui singing, the aroma of rosemary thick on the air, and of course the taste of good food enjoyed alfresco style while admiring the fantastic view from your hillside vantage point. Absolutely magic!

Things To Do:

Gallery: Click on a thumbnail to enlarge picture and view description.

The Verdict: In my humble opinion, a romantic retreat should be just that: a retreat from day-to-day life in order to spend time with your partner… so the less time spent away from the villa, the better! Relax in the sunshine, dine outdoors, and enjoy the stunning vista together. If that’s all you do, then you will go home revitalised and with very fond memories of your stay at Telegraph Hill Villas.

On the other hand, those of you who like to get out and about will not be disappointed with the activities on offer in and around Havelock North: visit the wineries and beaches, enjoy the cuisine, stop by one of the local produce markets, go shopping in the village, or even take a ride in a hot air balloon! The sky is the limit (excuse the pun!)

Helpful Links: Havelock North Visitor Information; Havelock North Web; Hawkes Bay Tourism

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Filed under Hawkes Bay, North Island