Baillie Lodges acquires iconic New Zealand property

Baillie Lodges acquires iconic New Zealand property

New Zealand’s revered Huka Lodge has joined Baillie Lodges’ portfolio of luxury accommodation.

The landmark 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.

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

Baillie Lodges’ portfolio of upscale lodges also includes Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island and Silky Oaks Lodge in North Queensland, 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.

All staff at Huka Lodge will be retained and will continue to be led by general manager Kerry Molloy. The property’s partnerships with local suppliers and operators will also remain unchanged.

Huka Lodge has a rich history spanning almost a century, with Irishman Alan Pye first establishing 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.

Image source: Huka Lodge

Baillie Lodges founder James Baillie said he felt very privileged to have the opportunity to work with Huka Lodge.

“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,” he 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.”

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

KSL principal Kirk Adamson said: “We view the acquisition of Huka Lodge as 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.

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

Featured image source: Huka Lodge

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