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Luxury and lifestyle travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller predicts 2023 will be the year we travel for personal betterment with travellers opting for out-of-the-ordinary places, spaces and experiences.

Wellness tourism is expected to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute and vacations with the feel-good factor are a strong global trend as travel resets post-pandemic.

New Zealand is well-positioned to leverage this with its broad range of destinations and accommodation types that are more boutique than cookie cutter, and which offer opportunities for active or more mindful travel experiences according to Bayleys national director hotels, tourism & leisure (HTL) Wayne Keene.

“In both the main centres and the regions and across the budget spectrum, there’s real demand for accommodation with wow factor.

“We boast world-class boutique hotels and lodges in some of the most spectacular locations and with eco-tourism and wellness travel on the rise, there’s opportunity for accommodation owners and investors to explore these growing trends to tap into a willing market.”

Keene said commercial accommodation offerings in more remote locations are seeing strong occupancy and he suggests there’s room for investors to take advantage of growing demand.

“People are looking for chances to expand their travel horizons and activities, perhaps get back to nature and focus on their well-being.

“Recently, for example, Rachel Hunter hosted a sold-out bespoke yoga retreat on Kawau Island, proving that demand is there for niche markets.

“Additionally, as workplaces reset after extended periods of remote working, and with employee wellness important, properties that could potentially cater to the corporate retreat market could also gain traction as personal betterment and or reconnection becomes a focus.”

Bayleys’ HTL portfolio features two boutique properties that mesh with these trends – one, an established and awarded eco-lodge in a national park, the other, a luxury private residence with the credentials for conversion to a very special retreat.

Pocket of paradise

Recently named by National Geographic as one of the best remote getaways in the country, exclusive Awaroa Lodge in the Abel Tasman National Park at the top of the South Island is for sale as a freehold going concern.

As the only resort of any scale in the national park, Awaroa Lodge is accessed directly off Awaroa Beach and can only be reached by boat, on foot via the Abel Tasman Coast Track, or by air.

Keene says Awaroa Lodge was awarded Silver under the Sustainable Tourism Criteria by Qualmark and offers 26 guest rooms in various configurations, along with leisure and wellness activities and hospitality options for both in-house guests and day-trippers.

Significant capital expenditure and focused management see the lodge operate at almost full capacity from October through to May each year, as a favoured destination that has garnered international media accolades.

Occupying nearly 20 hectares, with original native bush and wetlands, the lodge is a short stroll from an enviable golden sand beach, and is a haven for those seeking tranquillity, birdsong, star-gazing and a back-to-nature experience with optional land and water-based recreational opportunities.

“As a television-free space with limited internet connectivity, Awaroa Lodge is a place to really unwind and experience what this unique part of the world has to offer,” says Keene.

“The facility is founded on sustainable values, has strong forward bookings and is under management by New Zealand-owned and operated Capstone Hotel Management, making the offering a compelling passive investment opportunity for a new owner.”

Awaroa Lodge’s now offshore-domiciled owners say they are yet to find a place so magical elsewhere in the world and believe the lodge and its surroundings need to be cherished and protected for future generations.

The land, buildings and business interests for Awaroa Lodge will be sold by private negotiation through Bayleys.

Rural Hawke’s Bay opportunity

For sale in Ongaonga, Central Hawke’s Bay is an aspirational private rural residence with outstanding design and lifestyle credentials with potential for conversion to an exclusive retreat to cater to the wellness or corporate market.

The property has exceptional pedigree, being designed by renowned architect, the late Paris Magdalinos, to a very exacting brief from the owners and comes to the market for the first time.

On 24.96 hectares (more or less, subject to survey), and unassuming from the road, the property’s sweeping drive takes you through park-like grounds to an impressive gated entrance where the commanding north-facing residence is impeccably set into the ridge.

There are 2,292sqm (more or less) of buildings comprising the lavish primary residence with six substantial living areas, six luxury privately-ensuited bedroom suites, a recreation wing including gymnasium with steam room, a library, a glass atrium pool pavilion, six-car garaging, and a separate fully self-contained two-bedroom cottage.

The main residence features an expertly appointed chef’s kitchen with large scullery and a separate servery room leading directly into the formal dining area, while the expansive living areas have vaulted cathedral ceilings, full-height glazing, and impressive stone fireplaces.

The well-established grounds include a Japanese Zen garden with bridges, waterfalls, a stream and a prolific fruit-tree orchard, while the integrated heated pool pavilion is planted with native ferns and begonias.

Bayleys Havelock North residential specialist Gretchen Paape says subject to approvals, the property could become a covetable boutique facility that would offer privacy, stillness, rejuvenation and inspiration.

“This beautifully unique residence has scale, yet could provide intimate and bespoke accommodation and recreational options for the growing retreat market in New Zealand.

“No expense has been spared, with every detail exquisitely considered and executed, and this luxury private masterpiece in the Hawke’s Bay countryside has the potential to cater to a discerning segment of the guest market.”

Located around one hour’s drive from Hawke’s Bay airport and 45 minutes’ drive from the village of Havelock North, the property is also accessible by helicopter.

“The privacy this property affords would also appeal to those travellers looking for an off-radar sanctuary where they can unwind and relax in sheer luxury,” says Paape.

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