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TravelPod Member ReviewsRatanui Lodge Pohara
Right from the very moment I read reviews on the usual travel sites I thought I had found a gem with Ratanui. When I finally e-mailed and booked with Steve, one of the owners, I had a reply back within minutes and that confirmed my thoughts. We were in touch via e-mail a few times during the ensuing months as I had enquiries that Steve always answered promptly. I was also told that due to the popularity of the restaurant, they would e-mail me the day prior to our arrival, with the menu and then if we could decide and book by midday if we wished to dine with them.
We had a reasonable journey to cover from our previous nights stay and arrived in Motueka, on the outskirts of the Abel Tasman National Park in good time to do the 30 - 40 miles to Pohara and Golden Bay. A journey of this length in England would be done easily, but having been touring South Island, New Zealand for 2 weeks we knew the differences.
The drive from Motueka to Pohara is stunning climbing higher and higher, with wonderful look-out places for us to park, click, walk, wander and click some more. By the time we had arrived at the Lodge it was much nearer 2 hours later and we were, by then, quite tired. We turned off the road into a parking area surrounded by a fabulous cottage garden, beyond which was the main building of Ratanui Logde flanked either side by rooms. The few, as yet unoccupied rooms, had their doors open displaying beautifully furnished spaces with antiques and lovely huge beds. On closer inspection after booking in with Marcus we found our room included a super large wet-room, with top class products for our use. Also a lovely hand written card from Steve and Peter wishing us a good stay
We had our own small bistro table and chairs just outside our room over looking the wide strip of cottage garden which seperates the walkway from the cars and within minutes our complimentary coffee and biscuits had arrived. What a wonderful thought after a long journey, also we were informed Cocktails and nibbles would be available on the terrace from 5pm until dinner is served at 7.30. So after a leisurely hour to prepare we joined some other visitors to try and work our way through the menu of concoctions Marcus is famous for making. Totally relaxed having enjoyed a couple of drinks in the lovely sunshine we then had to drag ourselves inside to the superb light and airy dining room.
We sat at our table for two amongst around 20 other guests, plenty of room for all without feeling too close, but friendly enough as some were chatting between tables. We ate heartily through-out. The homemade Roasted Aubergine and Tomato soup with freshly cooked sourdough bread, then the lavender rubbed pork and local vegetables followed by a superb Peach and Almond cake desert. This was all eaten with an accompanied wine from New Zealand, of course, suggested by the versatile Marcus who acts his part of Maitre D very well. Peter a fellow owner with Steve, is the Chef and their attention to detail show in every aspect of the meal.
After a well needed sleep and breakfast we headed out to explore the area, information on interesting places were described for us and marked on the local maps that are given to all visitors as they arrive. Our first breakfast was taken in the dining room but on our second morning we joined around a dozen fellow travellers in a lovely room with a huge dining table and very much like an intimate house party, we swopped stories, places of interest we had seen on our tours, whilst Steve continued filling the table with fresh fruit, juices, pots of coffee and pastries. It was fabulous and another reason we loved the place. Two days had passed all too quickly and it was time for us to head off on our travels once more.
Our only sadness is Ratanui Lodge is the other side of the world from us, or else we would be back tomorrow. A superbly managed establishment that makes travelling an absolute dream. Also, check it out, the prices are as reasonable as many lesser B&B's plus Ratanui have their own swimming pool.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
TripAdvisor Reviews Ratanui Lodge Pohara
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