Amid the rolling hills of New Zealand’s Northland, Tina-Louise Jackson finds a honey-infused retreat at the Spa at Kauri Cliffs.
Tucked away on the northwest corner of the North Island, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs serves up refined country-house charm, indulgent gourmet cuisine and a world-renowned golf course, all on a working farm with a mesmerising seascape beyond.
With so much to see and do on the property, from golfing to horse riding to beach picnics, it’s worth taking time to follow the winding path from the main lodge, and exploring what the spa has to offer.
It’s an almost magical journey as I meander through the lush greenery, with only the sound of native birdsong to accompany me, emerging in the oasis that is the Spa at Kauri Cliffs. Nestled at the edge of a totara forest, surrounded by verdant ferns and a stream, this is a place that understands what true relaxation means.
With a fully equipped fitness centre, lap pool, hot pool and sauna, you may choose to be as active as you wish, relax a while and soak up the surrounds, or, as I do this stunning Sunday afternoon, peruse the extensive spa menu and surrender to a well-deserved treatment.
While my (more active) partner hurries off to scope out the gym and pool, I agonise for a few moments between the Kiwi Mud Wrap and the Manuka Honey Healing Cocoon, two of the signature treatments on offer that utilise indigenous ingredients. After several months shrouded in winter clothes, I opt for the manuka honey treatment, an ingredient known for its restorative qualities, to soothe and smooth my parched skin.
Each of the four treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, has floor-to-ceiling views of the greenery beyond, opening onto an outdoor terrace that allows nature to become a part of the experience. My treatment includes a luxuriant body scrub, followed by a manuka honey mask that makes my skin feel amazing. I finally emerge, butterfly-like, from my winter cocoon.
When the treatment is over, my therapist guides me to a bed by the pool, and presents me with a pot of manuka honey-infused tea to make the experience last a little longer.