Buyer could reignite Napier’s art deco Master’s Lodge

5:00 AM Saturday February 13, 2016 Colin Taylor

The former Masters Lodge at 10 Elizabeth Rd, Napier, has spectacular views.

A property which traded as The Master’s Lodge, a boutique and award-winning accommodation facility situated on the peak of Napier’s prestigious Bluff Hill, is now for sale offering a new owner the chance to start up the tourism-related business again.

Recognised as one of the most outstanding travel residences in the world, The Master’s Lodge won the prestigious Art Deco Merit Award for its restoration; was named one of the Five Best Art Deco Hotels in the World by the Independent News UK; and One of New Zealand’s Top 10 Experiences by New Zealand Travel.

“While the business is currently dormant, everything is in place for it to be restarted by a new owner, with the name, reputation, website and booking system all in place,” says Rex Lorigan of Bayleys Napier who is marketing the property at 10 Elizabeth Rd for sale through a tender process closing on March 11.

The distinctive art deco property was the family home of former National Tobacco Company managing director Gerhard Husheer. Known as ‘The Master,’ Husheer became one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen.

Designed by noted architect Louis Hay, the property was created in the ‘Australasian villa’ style of the late 1800s. It was subsequently expanded and retro-fitted in the art deco and art nouveau styles by Husheer.

Husheer emigrated from Germany to New Zealand in 1911 to establish a tobacco industry here. He successfully grew experimental crops of tobacco before founding the National Tobacco Company in 1923 and, a year later, buying the home on Bluff Hill where he lived with his wife and three sons.

The company prospered and Husheer became a legendary figure in Hawke’s Bay, where he was known for his house on the hill, being chauffeured around in a limousine, a love of art, and his generosity to the community.

He extensively expanded and renovated the villa in 1930 and it was one of only a few homes to remain relatively unscathed when the earthquake hit the following year.

After the Husheers’ death the property was sold and functioned as a family home, before opening as boutique accommodation The Master’s Lodge in 1997 - remaining in operation until a year ago. Famous guests have included international politicians, Government officials and musicians.

“Now after 13 years, the current owners Joan and Larry Blume have decided to move onto new challenges so have placed the property on the market,” Lorigan says.

Built on 1515 sq m of landscaped grounds, the property has spectacular views out to the Pacific Ocean to the renowned Cape Kidnappers with its famous golf course and over Napier city.

A Category Two heritage building, the 432 sq m house features a west-facing formal lounge and a dining room leading to a drawing room enclosed by a sweeping veranda overlooking the ocean and city. Also on the ground floor are a well-equipped kitchen with pantry and utility rooms, separate billiards room, office, bedroom and ensuite.

A grand staircase leads upstairs to a solarium featuring extensive stained glass panelling which has functioned as library and TV room for guests; and to two ensuite bedrooms themed ‘Deco’ and ‘Kidnappers’.

“Every room in the house is immaculately presented and incorporates original details such as rose in-lays, cast iron bath tubs, porcelain fittings and a servant bell system,” Lorigan says.

The property also has a wine cellar with capacity for 1000 bottles, and several outbuildings. Mediterranean styled grounds have established native trees and flowers while a garage and off-street parking can accommodate up to three cars.

“The position, history, and architectural merit of the property make it ideally suited for a boutique accommodation business or a distinctive home,” Lorigan says. “It offers a secluded haven from which to enjoy the best that Hawke’s Bay has to offer.

“Located in one of the most sought-after addresses in Hawke’s Bay and presented to the highest quality, this property offers not only ultimate elegance it is also a slice of New Zealand history. It is the perfect tranquil sanctuary for guests or owners to get away from it all.”

Lorigan says the property will appeal to an owner operator wanting to reopen it as an accommodation business based on its established reputation and with the operating systems already in place to do so; or a family wanting to buy an impressive family home.

He says the property offers several opportunities for development including extending the building to increase guest capacity or subdividing the section.