The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Sitting comfortably on rolling hills 1000 feet above the Pacific, as one of three sister properties owned by Tiger Management founder Julian Robertson, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is as close to iconic Kiwi luxury as can be.

Captain James Cook, the famed British explorer, named this area after local Maori failed to 'kidnap' a member of his crew. Located in a gorgeous location high above Hawke’s Bay this 24 suite “farm” encompasses 6000+ acres and includes panoramic views of the Pacific. Luxurious rooms and a world-class golf course aside, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers remains a working farm with tours for guests as one of the many activities to do on property.

The decor of the property lends itself from the fact that indeed it is a working farm with both sheep and cattle raised nearby. In fact the sheep are used from time to time to tend to the rough on the course as done in some places within Ireland and Scotland. Perhaps best defined as a refined rustic style, the rooms and lodge combine materials like river stone and wood to create a cozy feel, while implements like vintage farm and other small reminders dot the walls and tables throughout.

Every suite opens to a private porch with panoramic views. Large rooms with high ceilings lend an air of space and have walk-in closets, double vanity sinks in the bathroom and Californian King beds.

Each suite has high-speed Wifi, flatscreen LCD TV, fully stocked complimentary mini-bar (domestic beers, excluding wine and liquor), walk-in closet and oversized bath with twin vanities. 180-degree panoramic views of the farm, golf course and Pacific Ocean are enjoyed from each suite's private balcony.

4 Lodge Suites, located in the lodge itself, are the largest at 708 square feet and offer the easiest access to the facilities.

8 Ridge Suites are situated above the skyline ridge and a short walk from the lodge. At 683 square feet, these suites are spacious with private fireplaces, full wet bar and large private balconies.

10 Hilltop Suites are located on the hill above the lodge and offer spectacular vistas. At 500 square feet these suites have the option of adding a connecting smaller bedroom for families.

An important aspect of The Farm is its predator fence which surrounds the entire property. This prevents pests like stoats and rats from entering (which are not native and were brought to New Zealand on ships). The result is that The Farm is also a conservation sanctuary for birds. 

Guests interested in observing the Kiwi in its natural habitat may book evening walks with an expert who will provide education and track the bird via wireless transmitter. During the day a variety of nature walks include trails from cliff side hikes above the sea to more moderate walks along the beach and forest walks among the native bush.

One does not need to be a bird lover to appreciate the beauty of the property's onsite gannet reserve. As the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world, these beautiful birds are designed for graceful dives from great heights into the seat to catch fish. The adults and their chicks can be observed from very close range.

In addition to relaxing with massive views overlooking Hawke's Bay, guests will enjoy luxury spas, pools and gym facilities. An infinity edge heated lap pool, jacuzzi and cabana overlook the farm, golf course and Pacific. Massage treatments and facials may be taken in one of three treatment rooms, including a couple's spa suite.

Arrangements can be made to wine taste throughout the nearby Hawk'es Bay area, or guests may simply opt to tour the wine cellar and receive a tasting on premises.

Dining can be enjoyed in many unique spaces throughout the property. Classical French and English techniques fuse with local flavors, and like many of the more upscale properties, The Farm includes a large breakfast spread of cereals, fruits and baked goods in addition to a fully cooked menu option.

A full three-course lunch is available, however this is not included with the tariff. A variety of coups, sandwiches, salads and desserts are available, however many will opt for a light lunch in the clubhouse.

At the end of the day pre-dinner glasses of wine and light canapés are taken with other guests in the main lodge at cocktail hour. An a la carte dinner menu changes nightly and features local produce, seafood and New Zealand lamb and beef. Dinner is included with your stay and you may chose from a few shared dining locations. 

If dining or taking canapés in the lodge, jackets are required for men (one will be provided if you did not pack one). Private dining is also always available.

Customer reviews

Highlights Of The Trip: Getting off the plane in Queenstown – overwhelmed with the beauty. The boat ride in Queenstown to experience the expansiveness.

The drive from Queenstown to Franz Joseph - the mountains and glacier lakes that went on forever. Our lunch spot that day at a campsite on a lake. Abel Tasman: this is where I want to return and spend a week to hike the entire trail. Spent the day biking in Napier to wineries.

—Mary Jean S., Chapel Hill, NC

I can’t thank you enough for your help planning a truly memorable vacation. Yuliya and I had an amazing time. Two definite highlights were the sailboat charter and the Marlborough Lodge. Nik and his girlfriend Natalie were such a pleasure to meet and spend a perfect day with. The Marlborough Lodge is one of the nicest places I have ever stayed. From the room, to the staff and the exquisite food it was top notch. I have referred you to a couple of my friends who are planning trips next year and when We make it back, you will be our first call. Thank you again for everything.

—Matt & Yuliya B., Long Beach, CA