With regret, I learned that two New Zealand properties long favored by Andrew Harper members are closing. Mollies, a lavish 12-suite hideaway set within a Victorian mansion with views of Auckland harbor, has been acquired by new owners and will revert to being a private residence. (Travelers are now bereft of boutique options in New Zealand’s largest city, and The Langham, with 411 rooms, is perhaps the best of what is available.)
Similarly, Grasmere Lodge, located 75 miles northwest of Christchurch near Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps, closed in April after its owner, financier and property developer John Copson, decided not to renew the lease and to turn the property into a private home. Grasmere had been delighting Hideaway Report readers since its debut in 1995.
Alas, these closures are beginning to become part of a pattern. The Lodge at Paratiho Farms, near Nelson, another Harper favorite, closed in 2009 to become the residence of the former chief executive of the HSBC banking and financial services organization. However, I understand that the 14-bedroom property, set on a 2,000-acre estate, is for sale at the time of writing, at an asking price of $13.6 million. Perhaps some public-spirited person would like to buy it and turn it back into a hotel.