Jack Nicklaus helped put New Zealand on golfers’ play lists when he completed the Kinloch Club on the misty shores of Lake Taupo in 2007. This January, the highly acclaimed club became more accessible to golfers—and more appealing to those who don’t play—with the debut of the Lodge at Kinloch. The Kiwi architect Andrew Patterson looked to Scotland’s Kinloch Castle when designing the 10-villa property, using local schist stone for the facade of the main lodge. Interiors, however, are all modern, with a mix of rich velvets, leather, and brass in the Great Room, and chic marble and floor-to-ceiling windows in the villas. After (or in lieu of) 18 holes, guests can mellow out with a Maori wellness treatment at the spa, sip Sauvignon Blanc over lake views at the bar, or explore nearly 5,000 acres of private wilderness on the resort’s grounds.
WHAT: A 10-villa retreat built around one of New Zealand’s top golf courses. WHERE: Overlooking the North Island’s turquoise Lake Taupo, roughly 170 miles south of Auckland.
WHY: A stunning natural setting with something for golfers and nongolfers alike. The Lodge at Kinloch, thekinlochclub.com ($1,910–$4,170)