Everywhere I stayed on my trip around New Zealand was outstanding, but I was still pretty excited about staying at Peppers Bluewater Resort. It sounded like such a relaxing place to stay, and it really helped that plenty of people had raved about it to me before I got there. I would tend to agree with those people — I really enjoyed my time at Peppers and would definitely recommend it to anyone staying in Tekapo.
First of all, the location is fantastic. It wasn’t right on the water as I thought it might be, but rather, on the other side of the main highway. However, the entire resort is elevated above the level of the highway, giving the rooms in the front block of units (and some of the higher ones in the back blocks) stunning views all across Lake Tekapo. At sunrise, I stood on the balcony and watched red and orange outline the silhouettes of the mountains then saw the golden tussock all around me light up in the golden early morning light. It was a great consolation for having to be up that early in the first place!
You could walk to many places in Tekapo from the hotel, as it is situated only a few hundred meters down the main road from the village centre. The Church of the Good Shepherd is a bit further but is still easily walkable.
The service was outstanding as well. When I arrived, I had a plate of chocolates and various other goodies waiting for me on the table, along with a note describing all the different amenities the room had to offer (like an espresso machine!). They even provided me with a pair of binoculars for looking out at the surrounding area! Also, importantly for me, I was able to call reception at about 5am to sort out a replacement internet card (mine had expired).
The room itself had everything I needed, plus much, much more. I didn’t use the included espresso machine (so I couldn’t test their claim that 40s would give you the perfect coffee), nor did I use the TV or various other assorted electronics. I did try to use the air conditioner, without a lot of success (although I’m sure if I called reception they would have explained it to me). I wanted to leave it on a low heat overnight because Tekapo was a lot colder than my other destinations; however, it seemed like even when I put it on 28 degrees, it was still pumping out cold air. Obviously, I didn’t know which combination of buttons to hit to make it work like I wanted!
Everything I did use was great though — there was a huge coffee table for spreading out my array of cameras, memory cards, and hard drives that I had to transfer between each night and the couch was comfy. The bed itself was incredibly comfortable and had enough soft sheets and blankets on it that I wasn’t cold despite not being able to work out the heating situation. The bathroom came complete with bathtub and shower, and I could have stood under the shower for hours (especially after coming in freezing from the hot springs!).
Each morning, I ate at the breakfast buffet in the main reception/dining area. It was a typical buffet with both continental and hot breakfast options. They also had a wide array of juices, including kiwifruit juice (which was good in small amounts). Even if you’re not eating breakfast at the hotel, you should go to the patio outside the dining room just to see the reflections in the pond.
Overall, even though I was quite busy in Tekapo and didn’t get to spend a lot of time at Peppers, I really enjoyed my stay there. In combination with Tekapo Springs, it would be a perfect relaxing retreat from the grind of daily life.
Peppers Bluewater Resort is located on State Highway 8 in Tekapo. Rooms can be booked through Wotif.com.