Eagles Nest in a Nutshell:
Eagles Nest on the North Island of New Zealand is a place one might stumble on in a good dream. Guests stay in one of five villas that look like Frank Lloyd Wright creations
with floor-to-ceiling windows, cathedral ceilings, and gigantic balconies. Each villa is nestled into the ridgeline of a peninsula and so high up that it feels as if you’re floating in a cloud amid blankets of ocean. Russell, the seaside town down the hill, is charming. But these villas that offer hotel services are so divine, many guests hole up and never want to leave.
Guest Rooms at Eagles Nest:
Each sunbathed villa has its own modernist vibe. They all contain a Jacuzzi and ample outdoor space for dolphin watching or stargazing. First Light Temple, popular with honeymoon couples, is a two-story love nest with 180-degree sea views, an electronic skylight above the bed, and an all-glass floor-to-ceiling shower. (All the other villas have private pools, but First Light has a huge hot tub instead.) Rahimoana, the grand dame villa, is suspended 200 feet above the sea and is a glass marvel containing a screening room, 82-foot heated pool, Italian white leather couches, and wide Bay of Islands views.
Dining at Eagles Nest:
While there’s no restaurant on site, each villa contains a kitchen stocked generously with breads, eggs, cheese, cereals, yogurts, tomatoes, milk, and soft drinks. For a fee, a talented private chef arrives to cook using locally sourced produce and the nation’s best ingredients. He’ll prepare anything you wish - fish that you’ve caught that day, filet mignon with shitake mushrooms,
rack of lamb Provençal
with a roasted eggplant and tomato tart with goat cheese. Craving a pizza or Thai? The staff will deliver it right to the villa so you can dine poolside beneath the stars.
Destination Weddings at Eagles Nest:
The staff at Eagles Nest has planned sit-down weddings for 80 people at Rahimoana with candles hanging from bare trees and dishes such as caprese salad and prawns with spinach in shrimp bisque. In the late night hours, the space can transform into a disco. The hillside beside Rahimoana is ideal for placing chairs on a lawn that leads to the ocean. Or staff can organize nuptials for two in the villa with champagne and canapés or arrange for a horse and carriage. When it comes to
and nearly anything else, the mantra is, if you can imagine it, we’ll make it happen.
Honeymoons and Romance at Eagles Nest:
The property oozes romance from nearly corner. Couples can work out their kinks with side-by-side massages on the balcony amid gentle breezes. Or what bliss to linger in the outdoor Jacuzzi with a bottle of chardonnay, syrah
, or chilled bubbly from the substantial wine cellar and a snack of New Zealand cheeses and olives. Marvel at the 144 islands in the distance and cobalt sea. Perhaps you’ll even spot a whale.
Activities at Eagles Nest:
Couples can take a leisurely walk along a lush pathway to one of two secluded beaches on the property. The staff will happily arrange a waterside picnic on the sand with shrimp, lobster or any other fare desired. (Guests can even take a chopper from the resort’s landing pad to a more remote picnic spot.) For fitness buffs, each villa contains weights. Or couples can go "om" and take private yoga
classes from their balcony.
Nearby Eagles Nest:
The region is known for award-winning vineyards, cheesemakers, and olive groves so guests are in food and wine paradise (the Farmers Market in Kerikeri
is a delight as are winery visits). Russell, the romantic and historic coastal town, is just minutes away by car and was one of the first European settlements in New Zealand. Take a moonlight evening cruise to the peninsula, stroll along the pohutukawa-tree-lined waterfront main street called the Strand. Stop at the Duke of Marlborough for a glass of wine and people watch as the sea glistens.
Drawbacks at Eagles Nest:
While Eagles Nest offers the services a hotel would offer — housekeeping, an on-site staff on call and a concierge to arrange your every whim — there’s no main lobby or restaurant like couples would find at a typical hotel. Everything occurs at your villa. In essence, the hotel is brought to you. For those who want a hotel experience and need to interact with lots of people, this is not the place for you.
Is Eagles Nest Right for You?:
There’s nothing like entering you private villa for the first time and heading out to the balcony to look at the Bay of Islands and all the unspoiled bays, rugged cliffs, and water which seems painted a thousand shades of blue. If that’s not enough, spot the French Champagne chilling in a bucket of ice and turn on the Jacuzzi. Kayaking, golfing wine tasting, fishing all nearby make the experience even more alluring. At Eagles Nest, environment and architecture blend in true harmony. Between the majestic villa and the panoramic movie-like landscape, the experience is uncommonly transporting.
Eagles Nest Info and Reservations:
60 Tapeka Road
Russell, Bay of Islands
011 64 9 403 8333
Check Eagles Nest Rates Online
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy .