The world's best new luxury hotel has just been named — and it's in God's Own.
New Zealand's most expensive new residential development has just been placed at the top of a list of top luxury accommodation around the globe.
Luxury Travel Intelligence picked Northland's Helena Bay Lodge ahead of hotels in Italy, France and the United States, saying it is in a league of its own.
"Expectations are high here when you consider the $5m per guest investment: this unique $50m property has just five suites, accommodating no more than ten guests," Luxury Travel Intelligence says in its list of the world's best and worst new hotels.
"And while financial investment doesn't guarantee luxury and service, we are pleased to report that it does here. Every conceivable luxury is to hand. The architecture and decor is intentionally on the bland side, so as not to distract from the beautiful surrounding landscape. This is destined to become one of the world's best hotels," it says.
The travel group specialises in assessing high-end accommodation, with a catch cry 'we deliver the truth behind the hype'.
Watch: New luxury lodge opens:
It says it is "independent and honest, detailed and up-to-date, experienced and professional" with a network of highly experienced writers and researchers who are some of the best in the industry.
"They have a meticulous eye for detail and are pros at delivering insider-style intelligence," LTI says.
Helena Bay was developed by interests associated with wealthy Russian businessman Alexander Abramov in a project headed by Auckland-based Chris Seel. The lodge was opened a few weeks ago.
Seel expressed delight at the news of the lodge's ranking.
"This is a credit to the general manager, Neil McFarlane, and the staff. It's good for Helena Bay and good for New Zealand. It's an absolute honour to be included on the list and it means a great deal to us," he said, referring to the assessment's independence and saying he had no idea the lodge had been visited by Luxury Travel Intelligence.
About 50 guests had stayed so far "but it's only been a month. It's looking very positive for Christmas. I think it's pretty much that way for every lodge in New Zealand," Seel said.
The best new luxury hotels for 2016:
10. Les Neiges, Courchevel, France
9. The Lodge Feline Fields, Kalahari, Botswana
8. Il Sereno, Lake Como, Italy
7. Fendi Private Suites, Rome, Italy
6. Ritz, Paris, France
5. Le Barthelemy, St Barth's, Caribbean
4. The Beekman, New York, USA
3. Soneva Jani, Maldives
2. Pink Sands Club, Canouan, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean
1. Helena Bay, Northland, New Zealand