Where to Stay: Summerlee, Hawke's Bay

By Sarah Downs
Summerlee. Picture / Brian Culy

The next chapter in a historic homestead's life story has begun. Summerlee, located in the tiny coastal town of Te Awanga in Hawke's Bay, has been given an elegant makeover, and this weekend opens up to the public once again as a Black Barn Retreat.

The sun-filled estate, once the original homestead of Cape Kidnappers’ farm, recently changed hands and its new owners, who wish to remain private, have been busy sprucing the place up, making it one of the most luxurious properties available to rent in Hawke’s Bay.

The couple, friends of the previous owners, have been visiting the property for more than 20 years and their relationship with the historic building — and awareness of its heritage — was of great importance when it came to the renovations.

“It was critical that the elements of this almost 100-year-old home were respected and maintained,” they say. “The house still has the fabulous feel of the Summerlee of time gone by.”

Picture / Brian Culy
Picture / Brian Culy

The biggest change to the homestead involved moving the kitchen and adding a beautifully appointed loggia that makes the most of the afternoon sun.

There are many comfortable and welcoming areas to relax both inside the property and around its 4ha of grounds.

Premium facilities include a swimming pool, spa pool, cabana, tennis court and gym, and the area’s wineries, restaurants and the world-renowned Cape Kidnappers’ golf course are on its doorstep.

Guests must rent out the whole house, which has six bedrooms with connecting bathrooms, sleeping up to 12 people, and is priced from $2800 per night.

• 404 Clifton Rd, Te Awanga. Visit Blackbarn.com

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