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Fletcher Lodge

Fletcher Lodge, exterior

Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand has long been adrenaline-junkie heaven. But far from the madding crowds, we find a more refined way to get that 'fix' – without leaving the hotel.

first impressions
It's no surprise Fletcher Lodge is the hotel of choice for visiting diplomats - it's Double Oh Heaven. Set in secluded grounds just a few minutes' walk from the city centre, this luxury, award-winning guest house has been leaving guests shaken and stirred for years.

Built by Scottish industrialist and immigrant Sir James Fletcher in the 1920s, this grand mansion has been extensively refurbished, lovingly restored, and outfitted with all the mod cons of the 21st century. If you want to stay in the lap of luxury, go ahead - you're a free agent, after all.

Fletcher Lodge, bedroom

bedrooms
Fletcher Lodge has six light, elegant and spacious suites, each with stunning views, high ceilings and Sky TV. The Edinburgh boasts a king-sized bed - complete with designer sheets and linen - and has been decorated with imported, antique Scandinavian pine throughout. There's also a four-door wardrobe, cabinets, writing desk with stationary, armchair and 42-inch flatscreen TV.

The bedroom leads out onto a sun-drenched deck, with 180-degree views of the private garden, city and craggy peninsula. An en-suite bathroom features a cast-iron bath, power shower, and tiled underfloor heating. A range of complimentary toiletries come as standard.

The Craigard is elaborately furnished with hand-carved mahogany furniture (imported from Indonesia), including a super king four-poster bed, bedside cabinets, and an armoire - a special cabinet for clothes. There's also a 42-inch flatscreen TV, writing desk and armchairs, to boot. Its en-suite bathroom also includes underfloor heating, deep tub with shower, and a double sink vanity. French doors lead from the bedroom onto the terrace, where views of the garden await.

The romantic, carved oak interior of The Wickliffe makes this a honeymooner's favourite. Decorated in blues and greens, this lavish room was designed to reflect the sea voyages made by the early Scottish settlers in the 1840s sailing ship, The John Wickliffe. The super king-sized bed and matching armoire were carved by hand from French oak, while the rich upholstery on the grandfather chairs is also handmade. The plush en-suite features underfloor heating, and Italian fittings throughout.

The Cargill, with its ornate ceilings, has sweeping views of the garden and city. It's outfitted in maroon and white decor, and comes complete with mahogany chest, velvet sofa, super king-sized bed, and hand-carved Victorian dresser. The en-suite bathroom - decorated in maroon and cream - has underfloor heating and deep tub with shower.

The Bracken Room, decorated in terracotta, comes with an antique queen-sized bed, writing desk, and an en-suite bathroom with underfloor heating and complimentary toiletries.

The Arran Room completes the guest lodgings. This ground-floor room, with ornate high ceilings and original windows, is light spacious. It has a super king-sized bed, an antique armchair, cabinets, writing desk, and a large en-suite bathroom with underfloor heating.

Fletcher Lodge, dining room

food and drink
Breakfast is complimentary, and you'd be a fool to sleep through. Served in the ornate Wedgwood Room, there's an array of international cuisine to choose from, including English muffins, Continental-style fruit and cereals, or the house speciality, 'Jajecznica na boczku' - Polish scrambled eggs with bacon.

Dunedin itself is packed with cafes, bars and restaurants, and eating-out here is not something to be missed. Be sure to visit Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant for award-winning cuisine. Those with a sweet tooth might also try a selection of hand-made fudge at Guilty By Confection.

service with a smile?
Christened 'Dunedin' - 'Edinburgh of the South' - by the first Scottish settlers, its residents also inherited the charm and hospitality of their European namesakes - and the owners of Fletcher Lodge are no exception.

Guests receive a warm welcome from Polish-born Ewa Rozecka-Pollard and her husband Kieth, and are treated to a tour of the mansion, where an array of interesting artifacts from around the world are on display. Visitors are treated to a complimentary newspaper, free off-street parking, and the use of the luxury outdoor spa. Special requests are welcome, while early arrivals can make help themselves to tea and coffee in the sumptuous Oak Room.

local attractions
Dunedin is blessed with a rich and colourful history, resulting in a wealth of local attractions. Learn about the original Scottish settlers at the Otago Settlers Museum, before heading to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. A visit to the railway station and the centrepice of the centre, the Octagon.

But whatever you do, make sure you visit the beautiful Otago Peninsula, a short drive away - home of the world-famous albatross colony.

will it break the bank?
Perhaps - but you get what you pay for, and more. Rates for the Edinburgh Suite start at NZ$450; The Craigard at NZ$350; Wickliffe at NZ$310; and the Bracken and Arran from NZ$200. All rates include breakfast.

details
Fletcher Lodge
276 High Street
Dunedin
New Zealand
Web: www.fletcherlodge.co.nz

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