Huka Lodge acquired by Baillie Lodges

Another A-List Relais & Chateâux member joins the luxury lodge operator's stable

Baillie Lodges continues to spread its global footprint with the purchase of the Huka Lodge in New Zealand.

Huka Lodge, on the outskirts of Taupo, will join Baillie Lodges’ stable of growing luxury accommodation on 4 February, 2021.

The transaction comes after successful negotiations between the Huka Retreats’ parent company and Baillie Lodges. The acquisition has been reviewed and approved by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office.

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The addition of Huka Lodge to the Baillie Lodges collection is the second international lodge for the Australia-based company, after Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge on Canada’s Vancouver Island joined the brand in late 2020.

Both Huka Lodge and Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge are members of the distinctive Relais & Chateâux collection.

“Huka Lodge has long set the standard for excellence in luxury lodging, and we’re honoured that Baillie Lodges will serve as its new steward,” Baillie Lodges Founder, James Baillie said.

“We recognise the incredible opportunity we now have to lead the award-winning lodge into a new era and take very seriously our role in maintaining the property’s fine heritage and global reputation.”

Alan Pye Cottage, Huka Lodge

In 2019, Baillie Lodges was acquired by an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners, LLC, a leading US investment firm focused solely on investments in travel and leisure businesses.

KSL Principal Kirk Adamson said Huka Lodge was an important next step in the evolution of Baillie Lodges.

“We are excited to continue building our portfolio of exceptional boutique luxury lodges both within Australia and New Zealand, and also being selective and thoughtful in pursuing additional opportunities on a more global basis,” Adamson said.

“For our guests, the continued expansion of Baillie Lodges opens up new, exciting itinerary options across Australia, New Zealand, and beyond.”

Junior Lodge Suite, Huka Lodge

Guests and staff of Huka Lodge can expect the transfer of ownership “to preserve the unique boutique luxury experience at Huka Lodge”. 

All staff will be retained and continue to provide the lodge’s trademark exceptional service, led by highly regarded General Manager, Kerry Molloy.

Partnerships with local suppliers and operators will remain unchanged and Baillie Lodges intends to expand these relationships in line with its philosophy of promoting local produce, experiences and culture as an essential part of the guest experience.

Outdoor dining on the main terrace

Huka Lodge has a rich history spanning almost a century. Irishman Alan Pye established a high-end camp on the shores of the Waikato River, famous for its trout and offering excellent fly-fishing, in 1924. In 1984, Huka Retreats founder Alex van Heeren saw the potential for a world-class property and his vision is regarded as the genesis of luxury lodging, a phenomenon now leading tourism trends around the world.

Baillie Lodges’ growing portfolio of upscale lodges also includes Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island and Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree, which is currently under renovation ahead of reopening in October 2021. The company’s flagship property, Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, was destroyed in bushfires in 2020 with its rebuild now in planning.

Lead image: Bedroom at Huka Lodge

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