A Northland luxury lodge has been named Australasia's best villa resort in the 2013 World Travel Awards, described as "the Oscars of travel".
Eagles Nest in Russell took out the leading villa resort category at the awards night in Dubai, beating seven other finalists from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Tahiti and Australia. Millbrook, near Queenstown, was the category's only other New Zealand nominee.
Eagles Nest was also named New Zealand's leading resort while Paihia Beach Resort and Spa Hotel was named New Zealand's leading spa resort for the third time in the past four years.
Eagles Nest consists of five themed villas along a ridge between Russell and Tapeka Pt. The most exclusive villa, Rahimoana, is said to be the most expensive place to stay in New Zealand.
It can take up to eight people in four bedrooms and costs $19,995 a night in peak season. The other villas start from $2995 a night.
Rahimoana guests get the use of a Porsche Cayenne, a golf cart to access a private beach, and a selection of spirits, New Zealand wines and French champagne.
Past guests have included actors, rock stars and millionaires.
The Asia and Australasia Gala Awards Night was held at the Anantara, a spa resort in Dubai, on October 1.