I was recently fortunate enough to visit The Sounds Retreat in The Marlborough Sounds. Wow! What an amazing place, from the stunning and totally breathtaking views over The Marlborough Sounds, to the luxurious private suite, and absolutely wonderful hosts Tony & Anne.
The Sounds Retreat is located at Anakiwa, on the doorstep of the Queen Charlotte Track and an easy 45 minutes from Blenheim Airport. You can choose to self drive or as part of your all inclusive tariff Tony will collect you from the airport, and during your stay you have full use of the BMW Mini Cooper S Convertible, to explore the area.
We self drove as we decided to spend our first morning kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds. We had arranged to meet with Aaron and Nat from Sea Kayak Adventures on the jetty at Anakiwa Bay, which is 5 minutes from The Sounds Retreat. After a safety briefing, we hopped into our kayaks and headed off for a gentle kayak along the Sounds, the weather was perfect and the water was flat and calm. We saw lots of seals, and blue penguins and Aaron talked about the geography and history of the area. We pulled up at secluded beaches where you have time to hop out of your kayak and take a walk, have a rest or stretch your legs. Aaron is a very experienced guide and passionate about his job and the Sounds, each guided trip is tailored to meet the fitness levels of the clients, and their expectations. Luxury Adventures can incorporate private or small group trips into your itinerary with Sea Kayaking Adventures Tours, for a half or full day.
After our kayaking we drove to the The Sounds Retreat and were greeted warmly by both Tony & Anne at the top of the drive way, then shown into the large open plan and spacious suite. The first thing you notice is the views, and what views! The entire length of the suite is glass which opens out onto your private deck boasting incredible views across the Marlborough Sounds, here you can watch the dolphins play, kayakers, paddle boarders and sail boats.
The suite has everything you will need for your stay with a large en-suite bathroom with rain shower and heated floor, fully equipped gym, fully stocked fridge with complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, iPod dock with iPod, Nespresso machine, coffee & tea making facilities, an expansive outdoor private deck with sun-lounges, heaters and a Cabana with stocked bar fridge, and best of all a hot tub. Waiting for us in the suite was a chilled bottle of bubbles from a local winery, we wasted no time changing into swimming togs and hopping into the hot tub, a perfectly relaxing way to end the day!
Dinner is included in the all inclusive tariff at The Sounds Retreat and Tony prepares a wonderful meal which you can enjoy in the heated Cabana whilst watching the sunset over the Marlborough Sounds. We feasted on a fantastic 3 course meal, with Aoroki freshwater salmon for entree, Wakanui Sirloin steak, and the most decadent chocolate fondant dessert. Wine is also included and Anne and Tony match the wines to dinner perfectly.
The Sounds Retreat is on the door step of the Queen Charlotte Track with 70km of trail for walking, running or mountain biking. On our second morning I headed off for a run on the track, with Bruce the retreats border collie dog to guide me. It took us only a few minutes to reach the start of the track from the retreat, or you can take an aqua taxi to various points along the track and walk back to Anakiwa Bay, there are also mountain bikes for your use at the lodge if you prefer to ride. Luxury Adventures or the hosts at The Sounds Retreat can arrange water taxi transfers on your behalf.
Tony & Anne are the owners and hosts of The Sounds Retreat
Kay Campbell is a luxury travel consultant for Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.