I was sold pretty much on the name alone: Matakana Castle. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a castle? And given I had a wedding to attend in Matakana (about an hour north of Auckland), the decision was made to turn this into a long weekend.
In an upcoming “Room Check” article for the New Zealand Herald I’ll explain more about what makes Matakana Castle so special, though these photos should give you a pretty good taster too. In short, this is a luxury boutique hotel run by a lovely English couple (Natalie and John Taylor) who moved out to New Zealand some years ago. I mentioned to them that their friends back in England must laugh about how they moved from the UK to the other side of the world and ended up living in a castle. “They do!” was the emphatic response.
In the photos you’ll see how Matakana Castle is in many ways a pre-87 stock-market crash vision of opulence – something very much intended as a compliment. Designed and built in the mid-80s, Matakana Castle also incorporates elements of Art Deco and stucco Greek architecture in its stylings and all told is a striking presence on the hillside. It’s from that hill that you get the views out to Kawau Bay with rolling farmland and trees in the foreground.
Matakana Castle has three suites, the top one being entirely circular. I’d never stayed in a round room before and with his and hers’ bathrooms off to either side and multi-million dollar views through the curved windows out the front, it was seriously cool.
As for the location, yes, it’s a castle on the hill, but Matakana Castle is still only five minutes by car to the Matakana township and the surrounding vineyards. The weekend farmers market is only getting more popular and the combination of wineries and beautiful beaches is making this a fast growing destination.
Visit matakanacastle.co.nz for more details and keep a look out for my full write-up in the Herald. Thanks again for a wonderful stay Natalie and John! Enjoy the photos – my top 40 from Matakana Castle and the nearby beaches, markets and forests.