Mana Lodge offers ‘the best of both worlds’

5:01 AM Saturday February 20, 2016 Colin Taylor

Exterior view of Mana Lodge in the Poukawa Valley, Hawkes Bay.

Tenders are to close soon for the purchase of Mana Lodge, the Hawkes Bay boutique hospitality and events venue, that was home to the late television and radio broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes.

Situated in the Poukawa Valley 15 minutes’ drive from Havelock North and Hasting, the property has offered luxury accommodation along with hosting weddings, corporate events, private and company functions.

Mana Lodge was the site of Sir Paul’s investiture two weeks before his death in February 2013. He and Lady Deborah Holmes were also married at the property.

The lodge was built in 1948 as a large country home on prime farmland and was once a noted horse stud.

The couple bought Mana Lodge in 2000 after visiting it with his children and transformed the property into its current grandeur over a 15 year period.

In 2013, Lady Deborah opened Mana Lodge’s doors to the public for use as a wedding venue and for private functions, including accommodation with a two-night stay requirement and clients sourcing furniture, lighting and catering.

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The conservatory within Mana Lodge, Hawkes Bay.

“Lady Deborah now feels it’s time for another family to enjoy it, or to give someone else the opportunity to add value to this wonderful lifestyle accommodation and function business,” says Vicki Wallace of Bayleys who is marketing the property for sale by tender closing on Thursday, March 3. 

The 440 square metre, six bedroom and three bathroom lodge sits in 18 hectares of rural land and comes with a 3000 tree olive grove that has produced award winning olive oil.

Wallace says the property has consent to host 15 events per year - six of up to 1000 people and nine of up to 200 guests.

Wallace says there is huge potential for the business. “A permanent marquee could be put up and a new owner could decide to offer full events packages by taking on the catering aspect.”

The lodge’s accommodation can currently host 10 adults, not including children under 12 years old.

Bedrooms are on the second level and the master bedroom has an American super king bed, with an ensuite bathroom.

“The open-plan country kitchen forms the hub of the house - connecting the conservatory and casual living space, with the study overlooking the terrace and gardens. The ground floor has an entrance hall, several living areas including a sitting room and formal lounge, and an expansive wine cellar.

“In addition to the lodge, the property has accommodation in the form of a two bedroom gate house with a sleep out and ensuite.”

The building’s foundations are made of continuous concrete foundation walls and concrete piles, with timber framing. The external cladding is stucco plaster, and joinery is metal.

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A feature of Mana Lodge, Hawkes Bay, is its landscaped gardens. 

Internal linings are predominantly plasterboard, with timber ceilings and polished timber and tile flooring. The conservatory extending off the kitchen dining room is metal and timber, framed with tile flooring over a concrete slab.

Wallace says Sir Paul and Mana Lodge farm manager Nigel Mackintosh started growing olives in 2000 and the first harvest was in 2006.

The first pressing produced 2862 bottles of 500 ml with only 1710 bottles retained in New Zealand for local oil aficionados and the remainder snapped up by international distributors.

“The two varieties produced under the Mana Lodge Extra Virgin Olive Oil brand and they are very different,” Wallace says. “Leccino is rich and golden, with a rounded taste while Frantoio is green, crisp and peppery.”

She says Sir Paul and Lady Deborah Holmes embarked on a major project to transform the grounds. “Sir Paul was an avid gardener and could regularly be found out painting bridges and planting the grounds, while Lady Holmes made the interior design decisions.”

A feature of the property is a 40 metre pergola extending out from the lodge conservatory into the gardens.

Wallace says Mana Lodge is large enough to accommodate several families simultaneously, and brings together the best of both worlds as a secluded sanctuary for the owner and an exclusive hospitality venue only 40 minutes’ drive from Napier airport.

“The lodge’s location puts it within easy access of Hawkes Bay’s most popular tourist attractions including many wineries and restaurants, and over 30 trout fishing rivers and streams.”