10 Favourite Things: Luxuries of life

By Zoe Walker

For Jacqui Spice, providing the best of New Zealand to well-heeled clients has awoken a taste for the best

Director of A Touch Of Spice Jacqui Spice, shares some of her favourite things. Photo / Babiche Martens
Director of A Touch Of Spice Jacqui Spice, shares some of her favourite things. Photo / Babiche Martens

Jacqui Spice knows luxury, using her expertise to discreetly manage the holidays and adventures of the wealthy and connected, offering discerning clients access to private places. Her company, Touch of Spice, founded in 2005, offers bespoke New Zealand holidays, including access to luxurious private villas, personal and corporate concierge services, and event management, taking care of the smallest of details for those who appreciate the finer things in life - from something as simple as tracking down a special food item to arranging a gala dinner. This year she was named in Conde Nast Traveller's Little Black Book as a luxury travel expert "you need to know". "The girl is seriously plugged-in" they wrote of Spice, who is based in Queenstown but travels frequently. She shares some of her favourite luxuries and experiences.


1. Spa luxury

On my most recent trip to Treetops Lodge in Rotorua, I indulged in several hours of spa treatment with the gorgeous Marie Claire - it's a must-do on any travel itinerary to a) stay at Treetops and b) have a spa session with her.

2. Mountain Landing, Bay of Islands

This is my favourite place to get away to in New Zealand. Staying at The Boat House at Mountain Landing - designed by Pip Cheshire - with Chef Tobias cooking just-captured fresh crayfish on the barbecue while sipping on Taittinger Champagne, enjoying canapes and watching the water. You can do everything and nothing here. Take nature walks, swim, play basketball on the court, cook pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven. A very real experience I get to enjoy and which we promote often to our clients.

3. Membership at The Hills, Arrowtown

Though I am not yet a golfer - I have no time now, it's on the horizon - I love The Clubhouse and all its facilities. I use the gym there frequently and hardly anyone else is there when I go. I love the coffee, the friendly staff, and the food is beautiful, healthy and very fresh. The Clubhouse was designed by Andrew Patterson, who is one of my favourite architects, and it's breathtaking. You can see quite a bit of Andrew's work in and around Queenstown.

The Clubhouse is a great place to eat lunch or dinner and to watch the golfers as they near the end of their game. It boasts some incredible views of the Remarkables and Coronet Peak, as well as the Crown Range.

4. Blackberry Z10

It's very new so I'm still trying to learn the ropes, but it has some great features for a busy lady like me - in particular the screen sharing, which is great when you are travelling and need information quickly.

5. Orsini jewellery

Especially the Marco Bicego range - I find it so elegant and pretty yet it's affordable. Every time I am in Parnell I find myself gazing in the window or making up some excuse to stop in and see Sarah, the owner and jewellery maker.

6. Queenstown

Living in our home in Queenstown is a luxury all on its own. We have a great house with views out to Coronet Peak and every morning we watch the sun rise over the mountains. It's a hop, skip and a jump to Arrowtown to our favourite restaurants, Saffron, La Rumbla and The Blue Door. This all-season resort offers so much to visitors, tourists, residents and part-time residents.

We have fantastic skiing, hiking, mountain biking, food, wine, art and architecture.

I feel very spoiled living in such an amazing place, not only in New Zealand but in the world. We have world-class restaurants, artists, wine makers and scenery - what better place is there to live?

7. Cartier

I have always loved Cartier watches and had the traditional Tank watch - now I have my eye on something a bit more luxurious. It might be a few more years yet before I get the next one but I'm aiming a bit higher.

8. Nadene Milne Gallery

In Arrowtown, Nadene shows the best of New Zealand art. I have big plans to have some of her art adorn our walls at home as we are renovating this year.

9. Fashion

I love fashion, like any girl, and one of my favourite indulgences is buying Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar at the weekend. My favourite New Zealand designers are Trelise Cooper - her Boardroom collection for business attire - and at night I love to dress up in Yvonne Bennetti. In my new black jacket from her collection teamed with a pair of Gucci boots recently purchased on a trip to London, I am ready to hit the town.

10. Cavit & Co

I love walking around their showroom in Newmarket and slowly buying up pieces for our home.

I will probably wait until we renovate to really go for it, but I love the collections in [owner] Debbie's stores.

- NZ Herald

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