Luxury Adventures are conducting a series of interviews with some of our key suppliers looking at the different aspects of their lives and how these influence the experiences they offer. Eagles Nests five luxurious villas are located in Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
In your opinion what sets Eagles Nest apart from other luxury accommodation in the Bay of Islands/Northland? What are your strong points? Eagles Nest is set a part from other luxury accommodation options both in Northland and New Zealand from the fact that each individual guest’s experience is truly tailor made, customized and delivered by highly trained New Zealand staff. Typically our guests are very well travelled and have experienced world class luxury properties and activities all over the globe. When visiting New Zealand our guests want to encapsulate a true New Zealand experience that is not available to the mass market and do things on their terms, not any set time table nor participate in group activity excursions. From the moment a guest arrives at Eagles Nest to the time they leave, they will be taken care of exclusively by our team of New Zealand sourced hospitality professionals. Guests are surrounded in their private villas by amazing New Zealand art work, spectacular ocean views of the Bay of Islands and treated to locally sourced produce and cuisine prepared by the Estate’s Personal Chef team. As each villa is its own private entity guests do not share communal facilities. Our villas range from 240 square meters to 1600 square meters in size and feature world class facilities such as heated horizon edged swimming pools, jacuzzis, advanced cinema systems and gourmet kitchens, so they have their own private world class residence with hotel style facilities backed up by a dedicated concierge who can arrange a seamless transition from Eagles Nest to their chosen activity. All of our activity providers are selected for them premier products, exclusivity and have worked with the property for a number of years so that we can ensure the “Eagles Nest Experience” continues and that guests are receiving New Zealand inspired experiences not necessarily available anywhere else in the country. Our service philosophy is to be attentive but unintrusive so that we can custom-tailor guests experiences on an a la cart basis.
Eagles Nest have won many travel awards, of which are you most proud of? Eagles Nest has won many awards but it is the accolades we receive from our guests that are the most rewarding. I am also very proud, that in 2010, we were named as the Global Winner for Coastal Hotel of the Year at the World Luxury Hotel Awards.
What do you consider a real “must do” activity in the region? A must do activity for our region is one of our exclusive helicopter adventures to Cape Reinga. We would prepare a personalized itinerary where we would suggest guests start out with a Personal Chef prepared breakfast prior to boarding their private helicopter for the day from one of property’s 3 helipads. The initial flight up to the Cape Reinga region is via Northland’s spectacular harbors such as the Whangaroa Harbour and the Rangunu Harbour. Guests will also pass across some beautiful beaches such as Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay and the famous Ninety Mile Beach where they have the option to land and explore by quad bike. From here guests are flown to Cape Reinga where they are met by an air conditioned vehicle for a private tour of the Cape Reinga Lighthouse, Tapotuptu Bay and the Te Paki stream with its giant sand dunes. A gourmet picnic lunch is served and for those guests that are feeling adventurous they can sled down the dunes. The flight back to Eagles Nest includes spectacular scenery such as the Parengarenga Harbour and Great Exhibition Bay. Guests have the option of landing on a private beach for a swim or just to take a stroll along the beach itself. This area is very remote and one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand with it s pure white silica sand and crystal clear water. The return flight also passes across the Harbour, Whangaroa Harbour and the Cavalli Islands before landing back at Eagles Nest. Other options forfor this unique experience can include landing near the Waipoua Forest and meeting up with one of the local Footprints Maori Guides. Footprints is operated by local Maori on Northlands rugged West Coast. Guests are met by Kupe’s (New Zealand’s first discoverer) descendants who take you on a guided walk of the largest Kauri Forrest in the world and introduce you to their relationship with Mother Nature, both spiritually and culturally. This ecologically significant environment is brought to life by not only the sounds an potential sightings of its inhabitants but by friendly experienced local Maori Guides who willingly share their knowledge, stories, and song to enlighten and enhance this tranquil location. A highlight of this experience with Footprints is an introduction to Tane Mahuta – God of the Forest.
Having stayed at Eagles Nest I can imagine some clients never leave their villas, what additional services can you recommend we organise for our clients at the property? Additional services I recommend you organize for your clients is getting out on the water and exploring the 140 surrounding islands which make the Bay of Islands. Whether it be scenic cruising, sport or game fishing or island hopping being out on the water in the Bay is spectacular. I would also recommend booking at least one Personal Chef prepared meal whilst staying at Eagles Nest. Many guests choose to have their chef prepare a private gourmet bbq on their first night of stay which allows them to truly sit back relax, watch the spectacular sunset with a famous glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and not lift a finger.
Which type of client do you think would be more suited to Eagles Nest? Eagles Nest is unique in the fact that it is suited to both couples and families as each villa is its own private entity. So a honeymoon couple can enjoy a romantic private escape within the grounds of its own private villa whilst a family can truly kick back and relax. Parents really enjoy all of the facilities the villas offer which keep children entertained for hours on end. They can even call our concierge staff to arrange qualified child minding whilst they head out for a meal one evening or specific activities.
Tell us more about the lodge experience package at Eagles Nest? The Lodge Experience package has been designed to give guests a typical New Zealand Luxury Lodge experience. Guests are welcomed to the property with a bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne. One of the Estates Personal Chefs will prepared Champagne and canapés on a nightly basis followed by a sumptuous three or four course menu of choice matched with superb New Zealand wine. This package also includes two one hour spa therapy treatments on top of our standard rate inclusions.
Many of our clients have such a short time to see New Zealand, perhaps only 3 days in Northland, what would you suggest as an itinerary to achieve the most with their time in the Bay of Islands?
Suggested Itinerary for a 3 day stay in the Bay of Islands:
-Day 1 Day of arrival enjoy lunch or an afternoon drink on the deck over looking Russell harbour at the Duke of Marlborough (New Zealand Oldest licensed premises) For those that enjoy oysters, you can not go past the local Orongo Bay Oysters served at both the Duke of Marlborough and Eagles Nest. Check into your accommodations at Eagles Nest and enjoy your welcome bottle of champagne whilst overlooking your heated horizon edged lap pool to the spectacular Bay of Islands. Enjoy a spa treatment of choice prior to enjoying a sumptuous gourmet bbq cooked to perfection by your very own Personal Chef at a time of your choice.
-Day 2 Depart Eagles Nest for a day out on the water. Enjoy a choice of exclusive scenic cruising, sport or game fishing, diving or island hopping with an Eagles Nest prepared gourmet picnic hamper for lunch. Have your charter vessel return you to Waitangi and take a personalized tour of the Treaty Grounds by your own private Maori guide prior to returning to Eagles Nest. We would suggest dinner this evening at either The Gables Restaurant or The Duke of Marlborough on Russell’s Waterfront. Eagles Nest provides complimentary transfers to and from your restaurant of choice.
-Day 3 Enjoy a Personal Chef prepared breakfast prior to boarding your helicopter for a private 40 minute flight over the inner islands and land back at Eagles Nest or Kerikeri airport.
Eagles Nest would be a perfect wedding location, can you offer the whole wedding package? Tell us more about a wedding at Eagles Nest… Weddings at Eagles Nest are only limited by your imagination and budget. Kelly Barnett is our dedicated wedding concierge and property Assistant Manager. She can assist down to the smallest detail. Eagles Nest can cater for weddings from 2 – 80 persons. Kelly can assist with everything required from celebrants, flowers, theming, luxury transportation, cake and more.
In villa Private chefs are an excellent option at Eagles Nest and we’ve organised this for a few guests in the past however; if they wanted to dine locally what are a few places that you currently recommend? Best local waterfront restaurants for dinner are The Gables and The Duke of Marlborough.
Callum Farnell is the General Manager of Eagles Nest
Tony Townley is a luxury lifestyle specialist and owner of Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.