After calling Eagle’s Nest home for the last decade, Sandra and Daniel Biskind leave behind their beloved resort in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand…. but not before Sandra reveals to OceanHome how she and her husband created the “World’s Ultimate Retreat“.
Far away in New Zealand’s majestic Bay of Islands, opportunity is knocking for anyone who has ever wanted to be part of the luxury hotel business. New to Sotheby’s ultra high-end listings, Eagles Nest is a multi-award winning hotel composed of five state of the art Villas which feature the ultimate in modern luxury. Listed at just over $12 million US Dollars combined, the Four Villas at Eagles Nest present a rare investment opportunity to build on Eagles Nest’s already acclaimed reputation– or just find yourself with one impressive family compound. Although there are great business and tax advantages to owning the best of the best in the luxury oceanfront hotel industry, if you prefer an exclusive multi-villa retreat for you and family, be our guest, we just hope you consider OceanHome staff part of your family. In addition to the four Villas if you choose to add the famed Villa Rahimoana to your checkout– named “House of the Year” upon completion in 2006 and described as Eagles Nest’s “Jewel in the Crown”– it will raise your total closer to $55 million, but who can put a price on owning the Jewel and the Crown?
When OceanHome Magazine heard that the hotel named the 2010 Best Coastal Hotel at the World Luxury Hotel Awards was listed for sale, we had to discover the secrets behind the oceanfront retreat currently unrivalled in the Luxury Hotel Industry. As the founders and current owners of Eagles Nest, Daniel and Sandra Biskind created Eagles Nest’s unbeatable reputation from the ground up. Before Daniel and Sandra reluctantly move on from the cliff top sanctuary that has been home for the last decade, OceanHome had to discover the success story behind the resort deemed the “World’s Ultimate Retreat.”
The stars were certainly aligned when fate brought American property developer Daniel and Australian fashion retailer Sandra together in 1998. After the cosmic gods proclaimed them destined for each other they surrendered to the prognosis and began to take on a life that joined their passions. The result brought a new love into their life; the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The feeling of destiny was instant and mutual for the duo when they drove through the quaint town of Russell and onto the property that would one day be home to Eagles Nest. “The land had a kind of power to it that you only find once in a lifetime, a place that took away your words and captured your soul,” described Sandra. “It was other worldly, like we had stepped into another dimension.”
The only Villa on the land, called Sacred Space, quickly turned into two as First Light Temple went up as Daniel and Sandra’s first “from scratch” project. Every friend or family member who came to visit the joyous couple in their new oasis never wanted to leave. “They begged us to open this place to the world,” explains Sandra. “Before long we felt we needed to share it so others could experience the beauty and nearly supernatural serenity of this location.”
The design of the five Villas now found at Eagles Nest enhances this serenity with inspiring architectural design that seamlessly blends the Villas into their surroundings. This perfect harmony embraces both the inspiring views and nature’s endless wonders, allowing the guests to absorb the natural radiance of the atmosphere. “Nothing distracts from the sapphire and emerald colors of the Bay, the sounds of the waves, or the stars and the sunsets.” Using simple but elegant design that features glass, steel and neutral palates, Eagles Nest creates a harmonious marriage between the views, land and architecture. Sandra describes every moment in every Villa as a “sensuous” experience. “People often cannot speak when they first come here. One friend, an Australian architect, even walked in and started to cry. It is truly another dimension of beauty.”
Beyond the infrastructure, every detail of the Eagles Nest experience is thought out to capitalize on understated but unsurpassed luxury. From a $10,000 custom made chair and original pieces of art to personal chefs and private beaches, Daniel and Sandra knew that the “best place on earth” demanded “the best place to stay.” When a guest stays at Eagles Nest Villa they wanted it to feel like a home away from home for them — except better. “We wanted the Villas to be better than the homes our guests live in,” Sandra reiterates. “Guests should never have to see a staff member unless they want to. Eagles Nest should be their dream home with full privacy, but with all the amenities and services of a five-star resort.”
Eagles Nest attains a rare combination of true exclusivity and a nearly unfathomable level of luxury and personal service. Essentially, Daniel and Sandra have created their own niche within the hospitality industry. At Eagles Nest, guests are able to “fully immerse” themselves in their temporary haven because of the privacy combined with the level of service. From having a personal chef or personal trainer at your disposal to choosing between your own private infinity pool and the private beaches, nothing interrupts the pursuit of relaxation but the sounds of the neighboring dolphins and whales. “Time stands still here,” Sandra explains. “We provide our guests with everything they need, and if we do not have it we get it.”
Sandra and Daniel feel that far too many people come to New Zealand overwhelmed with all it has to offer and end up jumping around from one place to the next and never fully absorbing a single spot. According to Daniel and Sandra, the Bay of Islands is the best of the best. “Here, guests can have the perfect vacation without ever leaving their Villa, but in addition – (As disconcerting as it may be to think of leaving the tranquility of an Eagle’s Nest Villa) — the world’s playground is right outside your door.”
The Bay of Islands is home to some of nature’s most remarkable terrain. From high peaks to secluded beaches, the 144 islands would take a lifetime to fully explore. Sandra describes that beyond the scenery there is miraculous marine wildlife, bushwhacking adventures and every water sport activity imaginable. Thanks to Eagles Nest’s ideal location and five-star service, all of the Bay of Island’s natural, as well as adrenaline driven wonders are, at most, a Porsche ride away—(that’s right, fees include access to the luxury brand’s Cayenne Turbo). The best part? —Once you get your fill of adrenaline rushes, you can return to Eagles Nest for some first class pampering from their in-room spa treatments available 24/7.
As unnerving as it is to leave such a paradise, Daniel and Sandra are “project people” and feel it is their time to pursue another project—likely one of equally epic proportions. In selling Eagles Nest however, they are confident they will find a buyer who sees the property with the same awe and appreciation they have for the last decade. “We feel so blessed every morning we wake up here. This is not the type of place you can buy without feeling like the luckiest person on earth,” explains Sandra.
So, who will fill Sandra and Daniel’s shoes as the next owner of this gold list retreat? It remains unclear, but the fate of this New Zealand gem will certainly remain on OceanHome’s radar and for now we just hope Sandra is right and that travelers from around the world will continue to be able to experience what many have called the “Best Place on Earth.”
Article By: Lindsay Gabrielski at OceanHome