How amazing was the Bach of the Year Awards 2017?
We received over 13,000 votes for the 40 different finalists. These finalists ranged from totally off-the-grid eco retreats to incredible architecturally designed homes, from baches with stunning natural surroundings to places perfect for the whole family, dogs included. Here are the winners for 2017, as decided by you.
Supreme Bach of the Year and Gold Winner for Setting – On the Beach - Whangamata
This beautiful Coromandel bach, the Supreme Bach of the Year for 2017, makes it feel like you are literally right on the beach. Just two steps from the front door will have you on the soft white sand of Whangamata beach. Keep the French doors to the deck open to take in the world class view. The loungers are a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and relax, or if you fancy dinner by candlelight on the deck, with the sea lapping the front lawn, the fabulous hosts can organise a ‘romance package’ for a romantic treat with your partner.
Setting Silver Winner – Gibbston Valley Boasthouse – Arrowtown, Queestown-Lakes
Situated in the Valley of the Wines, this darling property is quiet and restful, and is positioned to maximise appreciation of the stunning surrounding landscapes. Admire the 360 degree views of the mountains and local vineyards, with the sound of the Kawarau River in the distance. Pleasantly decorated with French-styled flair, the bach is both cosy and comfortable and makes for an excellent base to explore the nearby lakes, rivers and gold-mining history of Arrowtown.
Setting Bronze Winner – Matapouri Views Forever – Matapouri, Northland
Set high above Northland’s Staffa Bay, this incredible bach sits, and fits, into the environment seamlessly, with an emphasis on maximising indoor/outdoor flow. Take in the stunning vista from the massive deck, perfectly positioned to soak in all day sun, or consider a relaxing bath in front of the bathroom’s massive picture window. When it’s time to head out and explore, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. Matapouri, Woolleys By and Whale Bay, as well as the idyllic Mermaid Pools, are just a stone’s throw away.
Design Gold Winner - Executive Retreat Te Kaha - Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty
Sitting right on the beautiful Te Kaha coastline, the Executive Retreat Te Kaha, with its sleek lines and inviting design, is stunning both inside and out. Wake up with gorgeous views straight out from one of the oversized-windows in the spacious bedrooms. Open up the large sliding doors and let the sea breeze makes its way indoors. Expansive decks and balconies make the most of the sun and views out to the turquoise sea.
Design Silver Winner - Waiheke Art House - Little Oneroa, Waiheke Island
With one of the most gorgeous window seats in the country, the Waiheke Art House’s design is simply breathtaking. Nestled amongst the sunny treetops of Little Oneroa, the house offers a light and airy interior and a peaceful, private exterior deck that will make you feel at one with nature. Enjoy the high ceilings and minimalistic styling inside. Outside, take full advantage of the bush walks that start straight from the front door.
Design Bronze Winner - Kauri Tree Retreat - Raglan, Waikato
This stylish, contemporary cottage is architecturally designed to create a peaceful sense of privacy while feeling connected to the lush greenery outside – as if you were in a treehouse. The open plan kitchen/living space opens up beautifully to the outdoor area, the perfect place for summer barbecues. Take note of all the little details – such as the exposed beams and the industrial lighting. Situated in the heart of wonderful Raglan, you’re close to all the important things like great coffee, sensational west coast surf breaks, and walking tracks.
Charm Gold Winner - The Love Shack - Lake Rotoiti, Bay of Plenty
If the words “lake-edge hideaway in a private garden setting” hold strong appeal, then The Love Shack is bach the for you. Set on stunning Lake Rotoiti, it is a must-do for a couple’s retreat. The design can be described as modern Scandinavian meets the traditional Kiwi bach. Putting the charm into charming, the plywood walls, mood lighting and soft, plush furnishings deliver a quirky yet romantic vibe. Complete with its own private jetty, guests can take advantage of the kayaks and SUPs in the warmer months.
Charm Silver Winner - Golden Bay River Retreat - Parapara Beach
Think “fairy tale cottage in the woods” and you’ll dream up this something just like this charming, riverside retreat. The artisan-built house, crafted from carefully selected stone from local Golden Bay rivers, is complete with oiled wooden floors, cosy fireplace and a loft bedroom. Treating guests to a unique and tranquil bush setting, the large windows showcase the lush surrounds and the glimpses of Parapara river, only a few meters away. Historic 19th century, gold workings along the river can also still be explored.
Charm Bronze Winner - Lahar Alpine Retreat - Ohakune, Central Plateau
Totally gorgeous any time of year, but at its most adorable when the snow’s falling all around, this traditional log cabin is a cosy retreat after a day on the slopes. Nestled on a unique estate on the border of Tongariro National Park, it’s tranquil and romantic, surrounded by a pristine native bush setting. Relax by the fire in the lounge for a few apres-ski wines or brave the crisp air and enjoy a long soak in the outdoor tub and take in the alpine views of Mount Ruapehu.
Eco-Friendly Gold Winner - The Point Holmes Bay - Pigeon Bay, Canterbury
Sitting atop a scenic Pigeon Bay cliff, The Point Holmes Bay is an upscale, eco-friendly, holiday home. Designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects, the home is a stunning modern masterpiece yet totally off-the-grid and designed to capture light and thermal energy. A luxurious and comfortable retreat, guests will enjoy the fully equipped kitchen and the two massive fireplaces – one in the lounge and one in the sheltered outdoor area. Both bedrooms have the most amazing sea views which can be appreciated without even getting out of bed.
Eco-Friendly Silver Winner - The Bali Room - Coromandel Township, Coromandel
Switch off, disconnect, escape the daily grind, and get right back to nature in the peaceful and serene garden surrounds at The Bali Room, part of the Coromandel Eco Sanctuary. Consisting of three quarters of an acre of organic gardens and lush native bush, the property has been described as a “private, romantic piece of heaven on Earth”. The cabin, with a loft, sleeps up to 3 people, with Balinese style open-air showers and a shared kitchen area.
Eco-Friendly Bronze Winner - Pouakai Bush Retreat - Egmont National Park, Taranaki
Nestled at the base of Taranaki’s Pouakai Ranges, this bach is an eco-lover’s dream. Literally green, this amazing little cabin has been built out of numerous recycled and environmentally friendly products like Mod wood and Onduline. Only eco-friendly products are used for cleaning, there is even a “green” vacuum cleaner. Electricity is supplied by solar panels, and a wetback supplies the hot water, which is absolutely necessary to fill the lovely large bath with an outlook into the bush and above to the night sky.
Family Friendly Gold Winner - Uncle Bill’s Cottage - Ohakune, Central Plateau
This gorgeous country home on a sheep and beef farm in the Orautoha Valley is originally the home of one of the valley’s earliest pioneers. It has been beautifully restored while keeping its history and character. Uncle Bill’s is a great place for a family to experience a bit of rural Kiwi life. Kids can meet a range of farm animals and have a go feeding the lambs and chickens. There will be freshly laid eggs as a reward. Guests can spend time exploring the local river and make use of the kayaks or fishing gear. Once the kids are in bed, the grown-ups can enjoy a much-deserved wine in the outdoor bath under the stars.
Family Friendly Silver Winner - Peacock Lodge - Ngunguru, Northland
Set on sprawling grounds, Peacock Lodge has something for everyone. The fully-fenced, extremely spacious lawn is perfect for pitching tents if there are extra friends keen to join the holiday. There’s a games room with a pool table and dart board, and outside the sheltered trampoline and sandpit will provide hours of entertainment for the little ones. When you’re ready to head out and explore, a short drive will have you at beautiful beaches like Matapouri, Sandy Bay or Whale Bay.
Family Friendly Bronze Winner - Strathmore House - Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
With five bedrooms and enough beds for 12, Strathmore House is a great spot for a family reunion or a getaway for two families. There’s a nice big pool in the backyard as well as a tennis court where the whole family can get active together. Older kids can enjoy the pool table in the games room while the adults share a few wines over a game of pétanque.
Hospitality Gold Winner - Arkles Bay Apartment - Arkles Bay, Auckland
Not only is Arkles Bay Apartment in a beautiful part of Auckland yet still handy to the city, the care taken by the hosts to make sure you have a pleasant stay is second to none. Guests can expect little treats like fruit baskets and chocolates, as well as thoughtful touches like fresh milk in the fridge. In the bathroom, lovely soaps and luxuriously soft towels complete the experience. You’ll never want to leave!
Hospitality Silver Winner - Kuku Cottage - Te Awanga, Hawkes Bay
This homely, quaint property offers both a beautifully relaxing stay thanks to the bach’s gorgeous interior, as well as the added comfort of knowing that you are being exceptionally catered for by great hosts. You can expect a beautiful clean home with comfy beds and luxurious bed linen. Feel free to use the bikes to explore the local area. Rob might have even picked some fresh lemons for evening cocktails.
Hospitality Bronze Winner - Kowhai Lodge - Tutukaka, Northland
Imagine feeling looked after from the moment you arrive. That’s what guests experience at the lovely Kowhai Lodge on the Tutukaka coast. The relaxed ambience and green bush surroundings invite a complete change of pace. Arrive to a fire already lit in winter time, or a generous harvest of vegetables from the hosts own garden, not to mention the hand-written welcome note and other treats.
Pet Friendly Gold Winner - Peace and Tranquillity - Kerikeri, Northland
Aptly named, this modern, cottage-style, rural retreat comes with park-like gardens, a private lake with a row boat, and even farm animals! With 12 acres of fenced grounds, there is more than enough room for doggie guests to run around and play. The Owners, Steve and Dot, love having dogs come to stay, and comment “the more the merrier”. The lovely new conservatory provides a comfortable haven for doggies to sleep inside at night, safe and secure. Doggie-sitting is even available for guests wanting to head out sailing or fishing for the day.
Pet Friendly Silver Winner - Mountain Views on Chalet - Hamner Springs, Canterbury
Set in one of the South Island’s most beautifully scenic towns, Mountain Views on Chalet in Hamner Springs is the ideal getaway for adventurous dogs and their owners. Once the fully fenced yard has been explored, guests and their four-legged friends have an abundance of tracks literally just out the back door - the Conical Hill track is a must! Return from your day’s adventures and relax on the sun-soaked deck. Kids will also be entertained for hours with the huge range of toys available, ready and waiting for loads of playtime!
Pet Friendly Bronze Winner - Waihi Beach North End - Waihi Beach, Bay of Plenty
The ultimate in family baches - including fur-babies of course! - this classic kiwi holiday home is kitted out for all occasions. Fully-fenced, it caters to doggies lucky enough to join their owners on a weekend escape, with Waihi beach just a short walk away and perfect for some off-leash adventures. Pups will happily spend their days snoozing in the sunshine on the deck while their people make the most of the supplied beach goodies like boogie boards, surfboards, buckets and spades.
Urban Gold Winner - Maison du Soleil - Christchurch City, Christchurch
With guests regularly commenting “thoroughly recommend” and “would love to stay again”, it’s clear that Maison du Soleil both surprises and delights travellers looking for quality city accommodation. Just on the outskirts of central Christchurch city, this unique and charming urban property is situated in a quiet location, yet only 5 minutes’ walk from shops, cafes and restaurants. In true Garden City style, the grounds have been beautifully landscaped, with expertly trimmed topiaries and even an Aphrodite fountain taking pride of place in the front garden.
Urban Silver Winner - Villa Apartment - Wellington CBD, Wellington
Originally owned by the Apostleship of the Sea, this stunning colonial villa once housed weary sailors who spent their time recuperating (much whiskey was drunk in this house!). These days it serves to accommodate weary travellers, exhausted from their days exploring all the wonderful sights Wellington has to offer. The waterfront, Oriental Bay and Te Papa among others that are only a five-minute walk away. Steeped in history and old-world charm, and colourfully decorated to a very high standard, the quality furnishings, gorgeous linens, and comfortable beds make Villa Apartment and must for a visit to the capital.
Urban Bronze Winner - The Eagle’s Nest - Dunedin City, Otago
The Eagle’s Nest isn’t your regular urban retreat. The design and spacious open plan layout feels more “coastal-beach-vibe” than “urban hub”. What’s so great though, is that as well as being central to Dunedin’s key attractions like the Octagon and Forsyth Barr Stadium, it’s also on the doorstep of one of New Zealand’s best surf beaches. Perfectly placed in the bustling beachside suburb of St Clair, with a top selection of restaurants and cafes, and only 10 minutes to the Dunedin city centre, it’s the best of both worlds.