Mangawhai hideaway

Mangawhai has a new romantic accommodation option for honeymooners or others wanting to cosy up with each other and forget about the rest of the world.

Music store owner John Eady and his wife, photographer Kelley Eady Loveridge, have created the two private pods that are getting rave reviews on Airbnb for their unique and ‘zen-like’ style.

The property borders onto a wildlife reserve and the two designer pods – named Manuka and Kowhai – both have large bay windows that look out over a picturesque pond. Some guests have described it as ‘living inside a painting’.

“The window seat almost feels like you cantilever over the pond. There’s interesting birdlife and even a wild turtle, and we get some quite rare ducks coming in as well,” said John.

Most of the inside is clad with natural cork – a carbon-neutral product which the couple imported from Portugal – adding to the organic feel.

“The pods are very relaxing. One of the key comments we’ve had from people is that they all sleep very well,” said John.

Each pod will sleep up to four, and the property is within walking distance of the bustling Mangawhai village, including the popular Bennett's Chocolate Factory & Café.

“Our accommodation is perfect for couples who are honeymooning, as they’re very private units - designed in a way that you cannot see into one pod from the other,” says John.

Add a little more romance with some star gazing in comfort: a big sky light directly over the beds in each room opens them up to the night sky. 

“We took inspiration from a number of places that we stayed, in New Zealand and overseas, when putting together the design elements. We wanted the pods to rest lightly on the edge of the pond, so there’s no concrete,” says John.

“Mangawhai gets extremely hot in the summer so we have consciously faced the pods south, not just because it’s the best view but also to keep them cool. We insulated them well – four times what is necessary from council perspective – so that helps keep the place warm in winter and cool in summer,” he says.

The couple has been hands-on through the process – from project managing the build, to doing all the landscaping and even building the furniture.

“We did most things ourselves. There’s no need for a professional designer – we just do it because we enjoy it.”