Sep 19, 2022

Atahuri Lodge Featured in NZ Herlad

Finding the best accommodations in New Zealand is something our team strives to bring to our clients. Aside from playing great courses throughout the country, what we try to focus on is also creating lasting memories. This means enjoying beautiful accommodations hosted by those who understand the lost art of being a great host. Robyn at Atahuri certainly is one of these- located just north of the famed Paraparaumu GC, we love this luxurious stay for its location and hospitality.

Want to experience the best that New Zealand has to offer? Contact a team member today and we will make your holiday something special!


Original source click here. Author: David Haxton

A key point that distinguishes boutique luxury lodges from others is the attention to detail.

One of those that has excelled is Atahuri positioned perfectly among the sand dunes in a picturesque yet rugged part of Peka Peka Beach north of Wellington.

From the general layout and construction quality to the various artwork, this place is a true testament to the creative vision of owner Robyn Renouf and others who have helped her.

Robyn had a career in law — she ran a legal research company and was New Zealand's first woman conveyancer — which she loved, but her fondness for travel, meeting people, and cooking, saw her decide to change career and create a boutique lodge.

"I thought it would be a great idea."

First of all, she had to find her slice of paradise which led her to look extensively throughout Kāpiti.

The Wellingtonian had fond memories of family time on the coast but also knew it was popular with tourists, especially those going to the world-famous Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club as well as the nationally protected Kāpiti Island.

After a long fruitless search, spanning a few years, someone suggested she get in contact with development company Pritchard Group.

Soon she was walking around an area of Peka Peka Beach, where there was no other housing or infrastructure, with the late David Pritchard.

"Although he said he could only give me 10 minutes of his time, we ended up, all day, tramping around all these dunes and things."

The place where Atahuri would be built was found.

The next thing was to find the right company to turn her dream into reality, and she found it, by a stroke of luck.

While flicking through a magazine in a doctor's waiting room she saw a story featuring architect Ron Stevenson who had built Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island which was sympathetic to the environment.

"I rang him up and said, 'you don't know me from a bar of soap but do I have to be a millionaire or a billionaire to hire someone like you?' and, he said, 'neither what do you have in mind?'"

Her brief was the lodge had to be hunkered down in the dunes, exemplify New Zealand, and complement the area.

Construction of Atahuri, which was the first place to be built in the Tasman Lakes subdivision, started to be built at the end of 2009 before it was officially opened in early 2012.

Atahuri is largely made out of concrete, plastered inside and out, which gives it a soft look, and the colour scheme is in tune with the environment so much so that it's the same colour when the sun is setting on the distant Tararua Ranges.

Okay, time for a tour

Let's start in the expansive dining area which has commanding views of the sand dunes and sea.

Doors are normally open so guests can hear the sound of waves crashing in the distance.

Special mention should be made of the concrete floor which is a matching colour, and look, of the beach sand, creating a warm feel too.

"Although this is a luxury place I want people to be able to put on their old shorts and come in with sand all over their feet."

Above the long dining table is a pair of large flax-inspired lampshades, created by internationally renowned designer David Trubridge, which are spectacular at night.

The lighting is featured throughout the lodge including in the guest rooms.

Various artwork adorns the dining area but one, an eye-catching ocean-themed pottery three-piece, is extra special.

Robyn found the pottery when visiting a craft shop in Lindale with her sister Leigh Mosley years before the lodge idea germinated.

Leigh insisted Robyn have the pottery for any possible future venture so she bought it and put it in a box where it stayed for many years.

When Robyn was decorating her lodge, Leigh inquired where the pottery was.

The box was found, the pottery brought out, with Robyn knowing exactly where she would hang it.

"It's super."

A few metres away, on a mantelpiece overlooking the lounge, Robyn points out a small exquisite interlocking coloured glass piece created by artist Lisa Walsh whose glass grass skirt in the powder room is impressive too.

Lisa's husband Jimi Walsh also has artwork featured including corten steel Pasifika flower sculptures in the garden court.

A hand-woven Māori sail, on the wall beside the stairs to the dining room, has the wow factor.

Robyn purchased it at a Pacific/Māori exhibition in Porirua where she was told it was created by a local weaver.

A two-sided fire separates the relaxing lounge with an adjoining snug room which comprises some interesting bits and pieces from Robyn's travels including a didgeridoo.

There are four guest rooms — with names Spinifex, Kakaho, Oioi and Harakeke — two with dune views and two with sea views, all with outside areas.

Each room has a bathroom with Waiariki vanities made from black totara which has been recovered from under the gravels of the Manawatu where it has lain for up to 2000 years.

Bed runners, designed and hand-made by Shane Morris-Cootes, give a touch of class, and dried ornamental bunnytail grass in the headboards is a feature.

Each guest gets a piece of handmade polished greenstone, on their bed, to say thanks for staying.

Outside are some large metal sculptures, called Guardians, which were created by artist Collin Hope.

There's a barbecue in the courtyard, a swimming pool and spa, and a top deck with commanding views.

Fig and feijoa trees and other plants add to the relaxing atmosphere.

The tariff includes breakfast, which has a great selection to choose from and has become quite renowned, otherwise guests go out for lunch and dinner.

Robyn points out various restaurants especially 50-50 in Paraparaumu Beach which she encourages guests to make a booking.

Atahuri is an inviting luxury beachfront boutique lodge in a chilled-out environment.

Robyn could get the lodge officially rated but she prefers not to.

"I like it to be that nice little surprise — that hidden gem."

Author: Frank Krieger