Luxury Hawkes Bay retreat for sale

5:00 AM Saturday February 14, 2015 Colin Taylor

Aerial view of the Summerlee retreat at 404 Clifton Rd, in Te Awanga near Napier.

Summerlee, one of the most luxurious and most expensive retreats in the Hawke’s Bay, has been placed on the market for sale publicly for the first time.

The property at 404 Clifton Rd, 30 minutes from Napier airport, is being marketed for sale as a going concern accommodation business or as a private residence by Bayleys Hawke’s Bay and will be sold by auction on March 27.

“The strategic location, character and style of the property make Summerlee exceptional,” says Glyn Rees-Jones director of Bayleys Hawke’s Bay who is marketing the property with colleague Fiona Mackenzie.

Rees-Jones says Summerlee homestead has functioned as a distinctive family home and a secluded rental retreat as part of the well-known Black Barn Vineyards’ collection of high-end accommodation, renting out from $1800 a night.

“This sprawling Mediterranean-style villa built on 4.4 hectares of landscaped grounds is only a 20 minute drive from the Napier CBD,” he says.  

“The retreat has an established reputation for quality accommodation with guests drawn to the property’s privacy, surrounding bush and spectacular ocean views. It is also located next to world-renowned Cape Kidnappers resort and golf course which was formerly part of the original Summerlee Station.

“From the moment guests arrive on Summerlee’s sweeping oak tree-lined driveway they experience a perfect place to get away from it all,” Rees-Jones says. “It combines the best of both worlds – a tranquil sanctuary with magnificent views yet easily accessible to everything that Hawke’s Bay has to offer.”

He says the property will appeal to an investor or owner operator wanting to continue it as a business, which pays for itself, or to a family wanting to buy a stunning family home.

Built in 1926, owners Robert and Charlotte Fisher bought the property in 1993 and have extensively restored it to the highest quality including fully landscaping the grounds. Everything has been designed in-era including the ornaments and furnishings, all of which are included with the sale.

“The 545 sq m two-storey homestead combines grandeur and comfort,” says Rees-Jones. Catering for groups of up to 12, it features seven bedrooms, four of which have king-sized beds, five bathrooms and three additional separate lavatories. 

The drawing room, formal dining room, family room and den all open onto a north-facing terrace via French doors, with an extendable awning to facilitate outdoor dining. Twin open fires in the drawing and dining rooms are popular with guests over the winter months. In addition, it has a well-equipped commercial kitchen and laundry, a scullery and several utility rooms.

Within the grounds are a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool and pavilion, a herb and vegetable garden and an orchard including fig, apricot, orange, tangelo, lemon, lime, persimmon and walnut trees. Two paddocks large enough to graze horses or sheep, a garage and a carport are also in the grounds. A large parking area can accommodate more than 10 cars.

“There is the opportunity to develop a separate entrance to the property from Clifton Road, which could also provide further access to the Maraetotora River that borders the eastern boundary,” says Rees-Jones.

Black Barn Vineyards is an exclusive tourism-orientated vineyard in the Hawke’s Bay. As part of its business it operates a collection of 16 high-end, independently owned retreats, which are rented as short-term accommodation. The retreats are known for their exceptional quality and privacy, prime locations, and original style, and all of them have been fitted out in the very best furnishings, bedding, fabrics, kitchenware and amenities.

“Since opening to guests in 1996 as one of the first properties within the Black Barn stable, Summerlee has built a strong reputation as highly sought-after boutique accommodation,” Rees-Jones says.

True Commercial - 404 Clifton Road in Te Awanga, HB- Summerlee - interior - lounge.jpg

View of the lounge within Summerlee retreat.

“Summerlee remains the jewel in Black Barn’s crown, as the only historic homestead it operates. Since it began operating as rental accommodation it has been the site of many special holidays and get-togethers for the families, friends and golf enthusiasts who have stayed there.”

Rates start from $1800 a night for the property. For the past three years the property has been fully booked through the summer with reservations often made a year or more in advance. It is also popular during the cooler months – often as a central meeting point for guests from Auckland, Wellington and other New Zealand regions.

“The property has been a hobby business for the current owners but there is significant potential for a new owner to advance the commercial side of the business,” says Rees-Jones.

“By obtaining a liquor license a new owner could add revenue streams through creating the ability to hold private functions such as family weddings, family reunions and corporate events.”

“The property has a capital valuation of $2,650,000 which the vendor is currently having reviewed but it is expected to sell well in excess of this figure,” Rees-Jones says.