Life's a beach at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand

NORTHLAND, New Zealand -- You could travel the world and not find another place as wonderful as The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs.

Golf Digest ranked The Lodge no. 1 among the "World's Best Golf Hotels" in the international category in 2009.

Golfers worship the sublime setting of Kauri Cliffs, where six holes hug the cliffs along Matauri Bay. Both Golf Digest (no. 25 in 2012) and Golf Magazine (no. 80 in 2011) consider the thrilling David Harman design one of the world's top 100 courses.

Luxury travelers, many of whom don't play golf, come for everything else the 6,000-acre working farm delivers, the pleasant hikes, the picnics on Pink Beach and the sumptuous spa. Trying your hand at tennis, bird watching, fishing, hunting, mountain biking and clay pigeon shooting provides more leisure pursuits.

However you spend your time, the fresh ocean air and the scenery involving the Bay of Islands tends to set the soul on fire. Gorgeous suites, and an owner's cottage, reside conveniently steps from the lodge, where wine tasting sets the mood for dinner.

"If you look at this place overall, the location, privacy and general hospitality, it's fabulous," said David Lamb, visiting from the United Kingdom in March. "It's hard to beat."

Mar 26, 2013

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.