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Ritu Dalmia

Ritu Dalmia
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Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand, is Chef Dalmia's most favourite hotel now

Kavita Devgan
November 10 , 2014

OT: Which is your favourite hotel in the world?
Ritu Dalmia:
I am a fickle-minded person, and my favourite hotel changes from year to year. I love fabulous hotels and some of my trips are made based on the hotel/lodge I want to experience. For a few years, there was no other hotel except the Royal Malewane in South Africa that did it for me; then it was the Haymarket Hotel in London. But at the moment, I have some amazing memories of Matakauri Lodge (from N$595; matakauri.co.nz), in Queenstown, New Zealand, from a couple of years ago.

OT: What makes it special?
Ritu Dalmia:
The hotel is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu on the South Island. The Remarkables mountains form a perfect backdrop to the hotel, and the pine forests around the property add that final magical touch.

OT: What was your room like?
Ritu Dalmia:
The rooms are super luxurious, with natural light spilling in through the large glass windows. My jaws just kept plummeting at the heart-stopping vistas. The interior colours are greys and peaches, luxurious without being intimidating.

OT: What did you eat there?
Ritu Dalmia:
The food is spectacular, starting from pre-dinner nibbles and the best bread basket I have ever eaten, accompanied by New Zealand oil and dukkah. The menu changes daily and I got a chance to taste the best of New Zealand here, be it the lamb, or the salmon, or the berries. My favourites were the grilled blue cod and the Hereford lamb. I would suggest requesting a table by the window, so you can get a 180-degree view of the sparkling lake and the sky loaded with stars.

OT: What does it get most right?
Ritu Dalmia:
The service was immaculate and friendly without being overbearing, and it broke my heart the day we were leaving.

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