Four private villas, including a historic homestead, are spread across a 4,000-acre coastal farm. The landscape undulates between bays and the Southern Alps an hour and a half from Christchurch on New Zealand’s majestic South Island. Each property showcases unique design elements: Scrubby Bay’s living room is outfitted in Missoni Home, while the 12-person Homestead has a bathroom decked out in Boffi. Other furniture pieces, crockery, and works of art were made by New Zealand craftspeople. Most rugs were spun from the property’s own sheep wool.
On top of the comforts and thoughtful aesthetic, the best part about Annandale is its remoteness. Guests are immersed in a farm experience that puts them in touch with the seasons, whether sheep and cows are lambing and calving in spring, or the surrounding mountains are glistening with winter snow. Accommodations come with ample verandas so guests can take in the scenery and slow down to appreciate the surprises hidden around every corner. The original stables have been converted into a beautiful loft, and a secret stairway in the Homestead travels between one of the bedrooms and the butler’s pantry.
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Anandale is roughly an hour and a half from Christchurch by car, unfolding along Pigeon Bay, which cuts into the sea-fan–shaped Banks Peninsula. Small communities of artisans and farmers have settled along the ridges and waterways, the closest being the historically French settlement of Akaroa, but most of the farmland remains undeveloped. That means outdoor opportunities galore, from hiking the nine-mile Pigeon Bay Walkway to fishing in one of the peninsula’s many rivers.
Need to Know
Rooms: Three villas, one 12-person homestead. From $430. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 10 a.m. Dining options: Kitchen staff pick from the property’s plentiful gardens as well as from the heirloom fruit trees. Angus beef and Romney sheep are all cultivated from the farm or nearby and transformed into custom meals delivered to guest accommodations. (Travelers send in their dietary preferences in advance.) Guests looking for a hands-on food experience can forage the surrounds for wild edibles and ripe fruit, or join a cooking class. Guests can also book a personal chef for a special meal or gourmet pampering throughout the duration of their stay. Spa and gym details: Annandale offers hiking and cycling trails, water adventures such as boating and kayaking, and on land four-wheel drive tours. The Homestead has a 25-meter private infinity pool along with a gymnasium where the equipment is connected to the Internet so guests can log their workouts or catch up on work while they sweat. Scrubby Bay has a 10-meter heated pool. Spa services can be booked in guest villas.
Who's it best for: History buffs, locavores, and nature-loving couples looking to escape city life. Our favorite rooms: The striking Seascape and Scrubby Bay villas were both finalists for the New Zealand Home of the Year award in 2014. Seascape is all stone and glass with a turf roof. The indoor tub has a keyhole-slit view of the bay, and the outdoor tub sits next to a gas fire pit. Shepherd’s Cottage is more rustic but equally romantic with sheepskin rugs, an open fireplace, and an outdoor tub. Time on the water: The turquoise waters of Pigeon Bay are home to seals and the endangered Hector’s dolphin. Guests can arrange fishing tours or kayak the placid waters at their own pace.