HAWKE'S BAY, New Zealand -- The Farm at Cape Kidnappers leaves a lasting impression simply by passing through the front gate.
It's an isolated nine-kilometer drive to reach The Farm, a luxury lodge built in 2007 atop the summit of the 6,000-acre working farm. The road winds through a dense forest, over a stream and past random encounters with goats and sheep. The ride leads to the ultimate panoramic views of Tom Doak's famed Cape Kidnappers golf course and the Pacific Ocean on the horizon.
The lodge looks like a cluster of farm buildings from the outside, including a silo that's actually a circular sitting room called the "snug." The main section houses a casual dining room and veranda, a library and business center. A wine room for fine dining and a fitness center reside downstairs. Grand cottage suites are all within walking distance.
It's a short shuttle ride to play Cape Kidnappers, ranked no. 33 in the world by Golf Magazine and no. 6 among the top courses outside the United States by Golf Digest. Hiking, relaxing at the spa, touring local wine vineyards and taking a gannet safari to see the cliff-top bird colonies are popular diversions as well.
This five-star destination is not like most farms. It's all play -- and no work -- for guests.