The Boatshed, Waiheke Island28/02/2013
Luxury without Pretence
In life, the simple pleasures are often the greatest. When seeking out my preferred accommodation, I tend to veer towards those simple pleasures; something that offers the very best of all worlds in an understated, yet elegant manner. My ventures to Waiheke Island have always been filled with an abundance of simple pleasures, none more so perhaps than my visit to The Boatshed.
The first time I spied the property, we had moored our vessel rather casually in the bay at Oneroa, surrounded by a myriad of vessels. A short swim ashore in the warm waters that lapped at the shoreline of Little Oneroa beach, followed by a leisurely stroll up the hill, brought us to a property that set about romancing me from the word go.
Having started life as a small holiday cottage, the transformation has kept a glimmer of days gone by. White weatherboards, weathered sleeper steps, shell paths and courtyards, nautical tones of crisp red, white and blue, and brass ornaments are in keeping with the history of the building. But elegance, style and panache shine through from all directions.
The interior palette is clean, nautical and uncluttered, the Cape Cod style retreating shyly in? the presence of Mother Nature’s panoramic delights which beckon through enormous windows.?? The Boatshed offers luxury accommodation in designer suites, each one totally unique and totally private, and each one designed to pamper its occupants unashamedly.
Shades of pumice, white, pebble and stone enhance the sense of space, calm and light, to mix beautifully with a backdrop of aqua, turquoise and indigo beyond.?? The Bridge offers a private traditional porch that overlooks the Hauraki Gulf, soaring pitched ceiling and a well-apportioned space complete with super-king bed, open fire and lounge area.
The three Boatsheds, a sophisticated mix of classic and contemporary design, invite you to kick off your shoes, throw away the cell phone and shrug off any tension you may have brought over from the mainland. Throw open the louvre shutters and breathe in that sea air. Grab a book and relax on a classic teak steamer until the sun sinks out of sight.
Venture back indoors, light the fire, select a suitably unwinding track from the CD selection, run a deep bath and just … unwind. ??If you’ve ever wandered how lighthouse keepers lived, I can tell you that it’s nowhere near what’s on offer in The Lighthouse, a magnificent three-level retreat. Sure, this captures the romance and fantasy of a traditional lighthouse, but there’s no way those keepers enjoyed the finesse of fine cotton linen, luxurious feather pillows, heated bathroom floors, five star bathroom amenities or the fluffy bathrobes and scuffs. They may have enjoyed a glass of port, but they certainly wouldn’t have had access to a full mini-bar and private dining serviced by a dumb waiter! The Lighthouse is emphatically private and decidedly romantic, without the unnecessary frilly stuff.
At The Boatshed, you can indulge in delightful cuisine at any time of the day, whether you’re opting for a sumptuous seafood platter for two on your private balcony, a romantic gourmet picnic to take to the beach, tucking into some soul food in front of a roaring fire on a cooler evening, or joining other guests in the dining room.
The local cuisine on Waiheke Island is a gourmet’s delight, and Jonathan Scott’s team take full advantage of the local delicacies, many of which are organic. ??They say that breakfast is the most important part of your daily diet and you won’t be left wanting after this one – freshly roasted Waiheke coffee, fresh fruits, compotes, juices, yoghurts, bakery items that will have your mouth watering.
As for the hot selection, my mouth waters just running through the possible choices … smoked fish cakes with poached eggs and mustard hollandaise, ricotta hotcakes with maple poached figs, Spanish chorizo omelette … you’d have to stay quite a while to work your way through the selection which changes daily.
If you can drag yourself away from the pampering, there’s an entire island to investigate … wineries, eateries, beaches, walks, arts & crafts … explore on foot or take the resident Mini Moke. Load up the complimentary umbrella, sand mats, chairs and sunscreen, take a magazine or book and chilled mineral water, and head off for a day of sightseeing.
Then, just when you think you couldn’t possibly be pampered any more … along comes the menu from Anu Spa. No, you don’t have to traipse into town, or even down the road; you can enjoy all of the treatments in the privacy of your suite with just a few words to Jonathan.
A real treat for guests arriving on early flights is the Resthouse Arrival Lounge, an early bird welcome where you are treated to a lavish breakfast, and make use of changing quarters, luggage rooms, bathroom and showers. A spa or steam treatment or sauna can also be arranged while your room is freshened.
See, it’s definitely the simple pleasures in life that make all the difference. What a way to spend time in paradise!