Reviews

Mar 25 2018

My husband and I just stayed here for 5 nights and 4 days of fishing. We can only say: WOW, what a great fishing lodge!

From the absolutely amazing luxury cottage accommodation, to Chef Ryan’s incredible gourmet meals, and the super-friendly staff overseen by Felix and Kylie it was a brilliant experience. We loved the communal meals and the jollie company around the happy hour drinks and magnificent dinner table.

And then there is the fishing - the legendary brown trout here are large but darn tricksy, but thanks to our brilliant guide Pete even I landed some great fish (and lost an 8.5 lb one after a mega-race down the river too!). Pete’s strong arm helping me navigate the stony rivers was much appreciated too. Andrew (who actually knows how to fly fish) did even better. No doubt we will return to stay at this amazing lodge in this glorious countryside. Thanks guys!!

Gen & Andrew; Australia : TripAdvisor

Feb 14 2018

My first visit to NZ with my wife to fish and take a break. The rooms are impeccable, the food is 5 star, and the guides are world class.

You need to have an open mind about your approach to fly fishing because nothing will prepare you for the stealth and approach required to catch the big South Island Browns!

Special thanks to Chef Ryan and Jo for all of the special requests for my wife and her dietary needs. All of the coordination for 8-10 guests is handled by Felix the lodge owner. He will take good care of you during your stay.

John : Colorado USA : TripAdvisor

Feb 7 2018

My wife and I have just returned from a 3 day fishing trip at Owen River Lodge and superlatives cannot describe accurately enough the wonderful time we had.

The outstanding service from Felix and Kylie together with the meals, fishing, guiding and accommodation were second to none. We will definitely be returning in the near future and recommend to anyone either as a couple, group or individual to put the Lodge on their bucket list.

Mark & Michelle; USA : TripAdvisor

Jan 23 2018

It’s difficult to find enough positive superlatives to describe Owen River Lodge. The hospitality was, without exception, above and beyond in expectations: congenial, helpful, and exceptionally competent.

Chef Ryan would be difficult to top in any milieu. His creations were imaginative, delicious and well-presented.

The fishing experience was without equal: the guides were tops: knowledgeable, helpful and delightful company. The facilities were immaculate, well-cared for, and located in an absolutely gorgeous setting. I doubt that anyone, anywhere could find a better, more enjoyable fishing holiday.

Hunter USA; TripAdvisor

Jan 20 2018

My wife and I spent the final 5 nights of our three week trip around the South Island at Owen River. Truly the old adage of “saving the best for last” applies.

The lodge is glorious, with every room designed for privacy and with spectacular views.Chef Ryan is simply world class.We have never had better food anywhere, whether at a lodge or in the many fine restaurants we have been privileged to experience.The outdoor spa and the lovely massage my wife enjoyed only added to the ambiance.

We had wonderful, challenging fishing with our guide Anton. Good fish every day with the last day producing 6 and 7 pound browns, personal bests for each of us.We enjoyed the communal happy hour, breakfasts and dinner, getting to know our fellow travelers from all over the world.

Finally, loved the dogs, and will always remember Felix chasing Indigo around the yard trying to retrieve my wife’s socks which Indigo pilfered when I put them down for a second on the porch. Hilarious!

Owen River lodge has our highest recommendation.

Cort & Tammy; Florida USA : TripAdvisor

Dec 30 2017

Had an incredible stay at Owen River Lodge in December. I am a pretty serious flyfisherman so the fishing aspect was the most important part and it truly exceeded my expectations!

Felix did a great job matching us to a guide that was just as passionate about trout as I am. As for the room and amenities, the word that comes to mind is perfection. The attention to detail was amazing.

Great food and great company for dinners. The entire staff was awesome including the Labs! I tried to find something Felix got wrong but truly couldn’t think of anything. Overall, it was an incredible stay at an even more incredible place.

Brier USA; TripAdvisor

Apr 17 2017

A fishing Mecca with incredible hosts, 5 star accommodations and meals made to perfection. My husbands fishing guide Paul was a master both at fishing and making it a delightful day. The scenery was stunning and the 5lb brown trout was pretty nice too! We’ll be back!

Jonas & Cheryl USA TripAdvisor

Mar 29 2017

I spent the last week of March at Owen River Lodge and it exceeded my expectations. The grounds are beautiful, the location wonderful and relaxing, and the rooms are outstanding. They even provide fresh baked cookies in the rooms every day and the small refrigerator is well stocked. Felix and his staff are dedicated to providing a top notch experience. I have fished many places all over the world, but the food and service here are one of the top places I have been.

Guides are excellent, quite patient, and really fun to spend the day with. They enjoy themselves as much as the guest. Fishing in New Zealand has been called the ‘top of the pyramid’ of fresh water fly fishing, and rightly so. I was humbled a couple of days, but every day was special; this is a place where you learn volumes about fly fishing. In addition, one gets to meet quite a variety of other guests from all over the world. You simply can’t go wrong spending time here.

David, Alaska USA TripAdvisor

Mar 27 2017

My wife and I recently returned from a spectacular 5 week visit to New Zealand capped off with a 3 night stay at Owen River Lodge. In planning our trip, my wife (a Trip Advisor review reading junkie) wanted to end our journey with a luxury resort accommodation experience. My agenda was to sneak in a little guided fishing for elusive NZ trophy brown trout I grew up reading and dreaming so much about. Based on the reviews, it was easy to steer her to Owen River Lodge.

No need to repeat all the positive reviews which helped me. Just read them yourself. Every superlative concerning the setting, amenities, facilities, gourmet cuisine, hospitality and attention to detail proved just as described. Surprisingly, what far exceeded my expectations, however, was our fishing experience.

When booking, I told Felix we would be travelling with no fishing gear and warned him that my wife had never fly fished and I had very limited experience. His response, “No problem, we will take care of everything!” Given our limitations, I was honestly skeptical and hoping just to enjoy some solitary river fishing with spectacular scenery and, with a little luck, perhaps hook up a nice fish or two.

Shortly after our arrival and settling in, Kylie had us outfitted with top line fishing gear followed by some patient fly fishing instruction on the front lawn. I fished the next two days, one of which accompanied by my wife. The net result… thanks basically to some impressive patience and the amazing knowledge, skills and expertise of our professional guides David and Paul, I managed to land and release eight beautiful brownies! More significant, however, my wife absolutely loved the experience and managed to catch & release a real beauty entirely on her own! With what I have been listening to ever since, you can no longer convince me that bragging and telling fish stories is just a “man” thing. Thanks Felix & company!

Kevin & Carol; Califorrnia USA TripAdvisor

Feb 25 2017

From the moment you arrive you know you are in a very special place. Having fished quite a bit in the US and staying at what I thought were nice places, this lodge is a whole new level.

Felix and his staff are nothing short of fabulous! The rooms are absolutely immaculate and beautiful with a view you have see to believe.The meals are off the chart good prepared by great chefs, Jo and Ryan wowed us each evening with wonderful food and wine.

Our guide David was not only a great guide but a joy to spend the day with. My wife had never been to a fishing lodge before and I will never be able to top this one. Thanks to everyone at Owen River Lodge for a memory to last a life time. We will be back again. Marshall and Cathy

Marshall and Cathy Texas USA TripAdvisor

Feb 11 2017

After travelling the world for over 40 years nothing comes close to “Owen River Lodge” Felix and his team delivered way above expectation on all fronts.

The food, accommodation, location and the warm environment provided a sensational holiday experience. Fishing the local waters provided trout over 5lbs regularly and even produced 11.25lb for one of the guests.
I cannot wait to get back and enjoy the family atmosphere of the lodge where nothing is a problem for the host.

Greg, Melbourne Australia TripAdvisor

Jan 29 2017

Returning for my fourth visit, the failure of arrival of summer did not diminish the experience. ORL continues to be welcoming, comfortable, and relaxing, helped in volumes by Felix Borenstein, the owner, assisted by his staff, including chef Ryan, the long suffering casting instructor Kylie, and Keely the resident golden Labrador. The fishing was awesome in spite of the weather. In search of the wilderness experience, I took two helicopter fishing trips to the Karamea river, in the heart of the Kahurangi National Park.

It always amazes me how overwhelming such trips are, with only the sound of the river and birdsong. The fish are tough and wild. I never have an expectation to catch a trophy, but if lucky 5 or 6 quality fish to the net ensues, only with the help of a good guide. Not cheap, but as an experience, I would not miss it. The skilful helicopter pilot picked us from the stony river bank up and home for cordon blue dinner. Will I travel all that way again - already started saving. Thank you Felix.

Adrian, Warwick, United Kingdom TripAdvisor

Jan 11 2017

Felix and Kylie warmly welcome you into what feels like home, and offers top drawer accommodations from the early morning breakfasts to A+ evening meals! They work hard to help out everyone’s special needs, like my dietary restrictions. They made delicious meals without a problem! Fishing guides shepherd beginners to expert fishermen and women through very technical and athletic Brown Trout fishing on any number of the magnificent rivers close to the Lodge.

The guides are fun, competent and always challenging. The Lodge has everything for every need, so you do not have to fuss over packing. Just come and relax, take in the tranquility of this setting, trek through lush and rugged terrain, drink a variety of New Zealand wines, munch on home made cookies and sleep in the most comfortable bed ever! I will be a repeat customer!!! Thanks to Felix and Kylie and all of the staff at Owen River Lodge.

lcw98, Palo Alto USA TripAdvisor

Jan 9 2017

From the moment we entered the stunning beauty of the property, we knew this was going to be a special place. There are 3 cabins with 2 suites, each with their own entrance and porch where you can sit and enjoy the Owen River and mountains beyond. The rooms are spacious and impeccably clean with a large bathroom, great shower and towel warmer. Each room has its own minibar, french press coffee maker with daily fresh ground coffee & homemade cookies! A very well stocked bar and great NZ wines served in their lounge and all meals in the lodge.

The food is superb – so don’t expect or even try to diet. Upon arrival, a spread of appetizers and drinks were offered by the gracious and caring hosts, Felix & Kylie. They attend to your every needs and go out of their way to make sure the guest are comfortable, cared for and well fed. If you forget anything – Felix probably has something that will work. I can’t say enough to complement them on their wonderful lodge, attention to detail and warmth in making guest feel relaxed and ‘at home’.

As for fishing needs…. unless you’re emotionally attached to your boots, waders & rods, I wouldn’t bother to bring them. Felix’s fishing cabin is stocked with the latest Simms waders & boots and a variety of rods! Going through customs with used boots was a significant time delay and hassle – why go through that when he has it all! Fishing was as technical and challenging as we’ve heard but still able to catch some beautiful & large browns and you cannot match the splendor of the NZ landscape and wildflowers.

All in all, I trip that is forever etched into our memories and a place to return to hopefully in the near future!

Rirvan, Stanford USA TripAdvisor

Dec 30 2016

Owen River Lodge is truly a piece of paradise. My son, husband & I arrived a couple of days after Christmas(summertime here) and were welcomed very graciously by the owner, Felix, and his fabulous staff including the superb hostess, Kylie and the best golden retriever ever, Keeley. Chef Jo cooked an awesome 3 course dinner with accompanying wines for us and we were off to our super comfy cabin with uber comfortable beds for the evening. Early am, guys and I were up for a cooked to order breakfast by Chef Ryan and then they met their fishing guide, Pete.

Pete grew up 3min from the lodge so knows these waters inside and out. He took the guys on about a 45 min truck ride away and then they fished for giant, brown trout. They had a super successful day and loved fishing with Pete and his knowledge and expertise on the river. While the guys fished all day, I enjoyed myself by exploring the Owen River with Keeley, the golden retrevier. She took me on quite the adventure. It took me a while to navigate the rocks along the river but after finding a large walking stick, I was able to keep up and we hiked for about 2 hours along the river.

I was served a great late lunch at the lodge and then went back down by the water to some giant bean bags to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and a good book. The gardens on the property of Owen River Lodge are really unique and I filled my iPhone with beautiful pictures of the unique plants and can’t wait to frame some for some upcoming Bday and Christmas gifts. When the guys returned we had a toast and beer with Pete, the staff and met some of the other guests of the lodge. The guys showered and changed to super casual clothing and we went back to the lodge for an another awesome 3 course dinner prepared by Chef Ryan.

All of the other guests staying at the lodge were all brought to this special place by the love of fly fishing and it was really fun and interesting to meet everyone at dinner and learn their stories and experiences. We cannot wait to travel back to Owen River Lodge and fish and relax again. Thanks to Felix for such a wonderful week! Cheers!

Erin, Texas USA TripAdvisor

Awards & acknowledgements

Owen River Lodge NZ: “Fly fishing at its very best”

Ph: +64 3 523 9075 Address: Owen Valley East Road, Murchison, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Email: stay@owenriverlodge.co.nz