having recently made Conde Nast Traveller’s Hot List of the world’s best new hotels, Matakauri Lodge was at the top of my list of must-visits on this trip to NZ. located about 15 minutes south of Queenstown, owner Julian Robertson renovated the property using the talents of renowned interior designer Virginia Fisher. the results reflect a rustic-meets-modern sensibility that harmonizes with the outstanding mountain views. the photos of this serene escape speak for themselves. cozy indoor and outdoor lounges. gorgeous guest suites (there are only 11). spa treatments using top-end organic products. yes, i could easily make this a home away from home … if only i were making a celeb’s salary. no doubt the food (breaky and dinner are included), service, and privacy this Relais & Chateau retreat offers is worth every pretty penny. just ask recent guest Nicolas Cage.