The land on which Whare Kea is situated was originally a dairy farm belonging to the Norman family from the 1850’s, until the Myer purchased the land.
Martyn and Louise Myer, the current guardians of the property, transformed it by planting scores of native trees. More on that story at In Harmony with the Environment.
Simple lines and floor to ceiling glass characterise the building, and borrow principles from Japanese architecture (one of Martyn’s many passions). The window walls bring vast landscape inside the lodge, providing constantly changing views in each and every room.
The Myers decided they wanted to share the beauty and uniqueness of this retreat to themselves, so over the past two decades they have successfully operated Whare Kea as a family holiday escape and as a boutique hotel.
Over time, travellers have begun to crave individual and private experiences – a detachment from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In response, Whare Kea has become an exclusive retreat for use by groups in search of adventure or relaxation.
The walls of the property, its décor, its owners – are all steeped in stories that go back decades. Whare Kea is a truly unique establishment that guards the stories of the past, and opens its doors for new ones to be written.
FOR THE LOVE OF Wanaka
As often seems to be the case, Whare Kea’s guardians – Martyn and Louise Myer – began their soul-binding relationship with Wanaka as a holiday. They found the mountains provided them with both a physical and emotional renewal from the stresses of a hectic urban lifestyle – in a way that no other environment could.
An avid skier and hiker, Martyn found his way to Wānaka in search of the thrill of Heli-skiing. Thus, began his passion for Wānaka and the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Equal in her love for the great outdoors, Louise also has a great eye and flair for design and is passionate about the world class wine and food abundant throughout the region.
It was this combination that kept drawing them back to Wanaka. Inevitably, they began a search for land to build on. The result is the lodge you see today.
Wanaka, its big-hearted community and its spectacular environs have continued to bring enormous pleasure to the Myers. They themselves stay at Whare Kea whenever they can, but also delight in sharing their slice of heaven and fondness for outdoor pursuits with friends and travellers from all over the globe, passionately encouraging guests to truly experience all that Wanaka offers.
OUR LOVE OF ART
Window walls display the ever-changing beauty of Wanaka’s landscapes, but the solid walls of the lodge also act as a canvas to Martyn and Louise’s lifelong passion for art.
Decades spent collecting art works and sculptures by local New Zealand artists, have rendered Whare Kea as much a gallery space as it is a home.
In addition to celebrating artists by displaying their work, the Myers also donate Whare Kea in support of artists creating new work. As part of The Kenneth Myer Artist/Writer Retreat*, the retreat creates the opportunity for a talented writer, poet, visual artist, photographer or composer to step away from their day to day lives and experience the remoteness and magic of the Chalet.
* Established in 2012, to mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of Martyn’s father, Kenneth Myer. Kenneth was long involved in the visual and performing arts and had a great affinity with the mountains much like the present generation of his family.
We would love to welcome you to stay and enjoy the pieces yourself.