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Our Story


The Story of Elephant Hill and the Lodge


Nearly twenty years ago, my parents Reydan and the late Roger, fell in love with New Zealand and a piece of land on the beautiful coast of Te Awanga. Back then, it was merely a plot of bare land, quite an untidy deer farm that had been abandoned to the elements for decades.

Their vision for the land was simple: To create a world-class winery, restaurant and owners’ lodge of exceptional technical and artistic calibre, amidst the vines. The grapes would be the source of the best wines that Hawke’s Bay could produce, handcrafted and genuine.

Turning that vision into a reality required good advisors, talented architects – and friends. Most important was a desire to reflect the beauty of the location and to capture the spectacular views of Cape Kidnappers. This became the essence of the architectural concept, with the axis of both buildings positioned east-west to face the Cape – a symbolic signpost in the landscape.

At the lodge, maintaining a strong flow from the courtyard through the living and dining areas towards the sea was important – not only because of the views, but particularly to celebrate one of the most spectacular differences of this location compared to our family homes in Europe: the incredible beauty of the New Zealand light.

The lodge was designed to host friends during my parents’ regular extended stays in New Zealand. Their hope was to create enough privacy for everyone, but also enough open spaces to gather and enjoy shared time, both indoors and outdoors. The lodge space also enabled Reydan to deploy her know-how for timeless interior architecture and to display select pieces from her global art collection. For Roger, one of the central features was surely the spacious wine fridge!

By making the lodge available to select guests, I hope you experience the same fascination for this unique location and treasure in Hawke´s Bay as my parents have.

Enjoy your stay.

Andreas Weiss
CEO of Elephant Hill