My first visit to Tauranga’s French Country House was as a bachelor who was about to have a eureka moment, the second was a year later for the marriage proposal and the third was another couple of years after that with a baby on the way. Now that’s clearly the short version of the story, but it should give a little sense of just why this truly stunning, luxury boutique hotel in New Zealand’s Bay Of Plenty is so special to me. To my wife too!
If you haven’t heard much about the French Country House before, click here to link to a Roxborogh Report article and photo essay from February 2016 based on that first of those three stays there. As I wrote at the time, the property should make people rethink that accommodation in this part of the country requires you to be immediately next to the beach:
“It’s all too easy to assume that a famous beach destination is only about sand and water when it comes to where to stay, but the French Country House paints a different picture. With it’s enormous suites (three in total), stand-alone bathtubs, chandeliers, huge floral displays, medieval-style chairs, spiral staircases, wooden beams from an old bridge, secret attics and uninterrupted views out towards The Mount, staying inland suddenly seemed to have a lot going for it.”
Just 20-minutes from Tauranga, aside from being as gorgeous as any boutique hotel I’ve written about, the manager Kay (and her dear little doggie Freddie) make guests feel like friends within minutes of the first meeting. And then as well as those views out to The Mount on the horizon, there are the gardens and all the animals. From chickens to horses, this is a 5-star rural experience that’s on the doorstep of one of the country’s fastest growing cities.
Please visit TheFrenchCountryHouse.co.nz for booking details, but first, check out some of my favourite photos below, including a close up of Freddie (awwwww). And huge thanks as always to Kay – we’ll come and see you with the baby!