Lockdowns, puppies, teenagers and long working weeks as we grapple with a rapidly growing business are a bit of a death knell for the romantic weekend away. James and I created Getting Lost around our adventures and yet we had now found ourselves from our relative freedom two years ago to not a single weekend away together with just the two of us in two years. No wonder we were grumpy at each other!
So over Christmas we decided to go on an adventure just the two of us. In just 2 short weeks we’d have the puppy off with my sister, daughters with their grandparents, business ran by Jo and Alice and we would have 4 days of freedom. Now we just needed a plan, oh and to pull it off in less than 2 weeks.
Two years of missed holidays, punishing 60+ hour weeks and a real need to reconnect there was really only one theme – bougee AF!
So with this in mind there was one place that instantly came to mind – Paihia.
We have a long history with Paihia. We’ve taken the kids on holidays there and adored it. We’ve had teenage nights with friends there. And most importantly, James saw his Dad for the last time before he passed away when he was 12 there. It’s also one of the most stunning places we know.
I’ve written before about ways to save money in Paihia. If you want to see that then head over here because this on the other hand was about a weekend of absolute luxury.
So want to know our top 5 recommendations for the ultimate luxury weekend in Paihia?
1. Stay at Paihia Beach Resort and Spa Hotel
So for a bougee weekend away you need the perfect pad. For us that was the Paihia Beach Resort and Spa Hotel. The big draw card here was the swimming pools. A perfectly tepid deep pool, and 5 spa pools – all with an ocean side view. We stayed here for two nights and we swam in them 6 times so we definitely made the most of them. Add to that our balcony with sea views, our block out curtains in our quiet, cozy room, our comfy lounge, breakfast in the onsite restaurant and we were in heaven.
2. Create your own signature scent
It’s a short walk down to Paihia from to explore the shops or restaurants. You can spend hours wandering through the laneways (or check out the markets if they are on). For me the absolute highlight was finding Alix Apothecary and making my own perfume. I spent hours mixing and creating – you can read more about my experience at Alix Apothecary here.
3. Book in for a hot stone massage
Another benefit of staying at Paihia Beach Resort and Spa hotel is that they have an onsite spa. There is something so luxurious about being able to step out of your suite and walk for less than a minute in to the quiet tranquility that is La Spa Naturale. We went one after each other – me going first because I knew I’d want an hour just to sit there and feel utterly zen and relaxed before I talked to another human. Follow it up with a swim and a spa and it’s a super relaxing afternoon.
4. Indulge in an 8 course degustation at Terra
This was our super big splurge. An 8 course degustation dinner with wine matching! Up some steep stairs by the backpackers the entrance doesn’t give away any of the delights you will find inside Terra Restaurant.
From the stunning view out over Paihia, to the sun drenched deck, to the muffled chatter of people below and the amazing service of our waiters Sinead and Lindsay you will feel utterly spoilt from the moment you walk in.
The food was amazing, the wine sensational and it was a definite highlight of our time in Paihia.
5. Jump on a boat and watch the sun set in Russell
It was on our 5th wine / 1st gin that James came up with the idea that we should jump on a ferry to Russel and watch the sun set with a wine over there.
It sounded like a brilliant idea to me so in no time at all we were on a ferry with strict instructions not to miss the 10pm sailing back. James made friends with some locals, as he always does, as we sat in the misty summer drizzle on the top deck of the boat.
We explored all the corridors, bars and dance halls in the Duke of Marlborough in Russell. It’s a beautiful old hotel bursting with character and the tag line “Refreshing Rascals and Reprobates since 1827”.
And then went for a leisurely stroll down the promenade (that’s the fancy word right!) before making our ferry back and wandering (potentially not entirely in a straight line) back to our hotel for one last rum.