Susan Boehnstedt from Critics Choice Vacations recently visited New Zealand and Australia, and stayed with us during her travels. Here is an excerpt from her travel blog...
We flew to Blenheim where we once again rented a self-drive car and stayed at the charming Marlborough Lodge for 2 nights. This is a smaller boutique property in the heart of the Marlborough wine producing country. Fields are rich with vines and the landscape more of rolling fields and hills than cliffs and bays. We were met upon arrival by a lovely glass of local Sauvignon Blanc and our uber gracious host and GM, Mr. Peter White who was a wealth of knowledge about the area as well as the history of the property itself, which was once a convent.
This boutique and charming property is eclectic, historical, modern and relaxed all in one location. Lush gardens and ponds surround the property and are free to be explored on foot or by bike. A lavender path lines the entrance of the Marlborough Lodge where you are met by staff at the stain glassed entry doors as you are welcomed in. Given that the property is small, you really have a chance to mix and mingle with the other guests on site which was a real treat. Rooms were large and well-appointed with lovely fabrics, soft colors, dynamic smelling roses and flowers from their garden and interesting and diverse artwork dons all of the walls of the lodge. Dinner is more relaxed and family style without missing any touches of elegance. Bravo to Peter, Ben, Jessica and Marie for making our stay so memorable and making us feel like part of the family.
While in the area we opted to take in the famous local museum called Omaka Aviation Heritage Center a great collection of WWI and WWII history and artifacts with a very experiential component to the Museum. If in the Marlborough area, it should not be missed. A few highlights from our brief visit there.
While in the Marlborough region, on our final day we enjoyed a beautiful and educational Marlborough Tour Company Greenshell Mussel Cruise tour on Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound and learned all about the farming and harvesting of the famous NZ green mussels. We of course were able to enjoy them fresh out of the water, steamed and with a lovely glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc. The photos below highlight a few of the images we captured during our cruise and the waters are indeed as teal green as you see below. I must say this was one of the highlights of our trip, very relaxing and so different for an AZ girl. If you are in the area, don't miss this!