Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
With a world-class golf course, incredible scenery, and luxurious cottage-style accommodation, Kauri Cliffs near Matauri Bay on New Zealand‘s North Island is among the world’s best destinations for a golf holiday.
Four hours by car or just a 45-minute flight from Auckland, the resort is nestled in 6,000 acres of sprawling hills and farmland with jaw-dropping vistas of the Pacific Ocean. This elegant, secluded resort is also home to a beautiful spa, excellent dining and a host of adventurous activities.
Renovated by renowned American designer Rees Jones in 2014, this dramatic course is situated on a ridge with views of the stunning islands of Matauri Bay. Comparable to the iconic Pebble Beach, the layout incorporates natural gorges and cliff faces. The front nine makes its way downhill to the shore through thick fescue, while the back nine starts at sea level and ascends through marsh, forest and farmland to the clubhouse.
15 holes have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs that plunge to the sea. The course also offers five sets of tees for every skill level. The golf complex includes a practice range, putting and chipping greens, a well stocked golf shop, and visitors can hire clubs.
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs offers several accommodation options. In all, there are 22 cottage-style opulent and elegant suites made up of standard suites, deluxe suites and deluxe family suites. All offer their own private patio with ocean views, a fireplace and en suite bathroom, and are nestled in native forest overlooking the golf course and the Pacific.
If you fancy more space and your own private infinity pool, book into the two-bedroom Owner’s Cottage. There’s also the three newly built four-bedroom villas, offering all the benefits and comfort of a luxury home along with a private pool.
The Lodge’s dining room has a warm, relaxed farmhouse feel and an open veranda with views of Cape Brett and the offshore Cavalli Islands. Chef Barry Frith serves a wide choice of international cuisines with an emphasis on local produce and providers, with fish often caught and cooked on the same day. Guests can choose from a variety of dining spaces, including the Main Dining Room, Tiger Room, Green Room and Verandas.
There’s an onsite sommelier, and while there’s no bar as such, complimentary cocktails, wine, beers and canapés are served on the veranda to piano and jazz music.
The tranquil and seductive Spa is nestled at the edge of a forest, overlooking a winding stream. Each of the four treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, has floor to ceiling views and opens onto a private outdoor patio. You can indulge in different styles of massage, luxurious facials, hydrotherapy and invigorating body treatments. There’s a sauna, Jacuzzi, an indoor heated pool and fitness centre.
The resort has an outdoor infinity swimming pool, hot tub and two astroturf tennis courts. The Lodge team can also organise all manner of activities from hikes to the local waterfall, to fishing, surfing, bush walks, mountain biking, quad biking and kayaking. You can also book a beach picnic on any of the three stunning private beaches that stretch the length of the property.
For the truly adventurous, you can discover the rich and diverse beauty of the Bay of Islands with a choice of helicopter tours.