Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger


As a lover of the outdoors and someone who holds a huge appreciation for the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, I have decided to step in and play my part as more than just a Makeup Artist. I have had the honor of being apart of hundreds of Wedding’s over the years, and have heard similar comments all to often. Lack of venues and just the desire to have something different, are the words I hear a lot especially over the last year or so.

With this I have taken it upon myself to discover unique and beautiful locations within New Zealand and the Islands, that are different from the norm but will guarantee to tick all the boxes if not more for the biggest day of your life. I recently had the honor of meeting Luke and Kaye, they are the owners of the absolutely breath taking luxury Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

Upon the moment we first walked through the doors into their beautiful home, we were greeted with the most incredible views of the iconic Lake Pukaki. For me instantly this was somewhere I knew would be a hit, and after exploring the property more I can guarantee you will be hard pressed to find a venue that can offer anything like this in New Zealand.

Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat was created entirely from the heart and soul of both Luke and Kaye. When they first brought this incredibly large property in 2010 it was mainly just pine trees,but after 18months of waiting they were given approval to start crafting what would soon become Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat. From walking around this property and seeing the hard work done to achieve their dream, you can see the amount of love and passion that has gone into every little detail.


Not only does this property provide you with an incredible back drop, including a clear as anything view of Mt Cook. But it also has onsite it’s very own observatory which is pretty unreal,but totally logic seeing as they sit perfectly under the famously known Dark Sky Reserve. Along with the above they also have on offer The Wine Cellar, Fantail Spa for the ultimate relaxation before your big day and the Ashley Mackenzie Villa.

Originally Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat has had a focus on smaller more intimate luxury Weddings, but to my absolute delight they have recently installed a Wedding Lawn called The Lavender Lawn on another part of the property. This still has incredible views of course, but can hold up to 200 people, allowing them to now cater to the wider bridal market.

This will be ready from mid 2018, and they have plans in the works to continue working towards making this a venue that’s totally unbeatable in every single way. Price wise Packages start from $5,200, which I personally think is amazing.

Not only are you guaranteed to have the absolute best day of your life, but your guests will be left with an unbeatable luxury experience that will stay with them for a lifetime. Close by to the popular Lake Tekapo and Twizel townships, accommodation and access for your guests is also made easy. For your Hair and Makeup needs myself and Monique Woods Hairstyling have you more than covered, and would absolutely love to be apart of your big day.

Overall this is a venue you cannot look past, Luke & Kaye are on hand to assist with your every need. When my time personally comes to tie the knot, this property will be at the top of my list.. that is if you guys don’t all get in there before me and create a wait list, which I’m sure is bound to happen haha!!

It has been an absolute honor being able to share Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat with you all, as mentioned above I know that after this property becomes more known it is going to become super in demand, so please don’t hesitate to contact Luke today with your queries. He can be reached via their Website or email

As a little extra for my followers, just mention my name and you will be gifted with a beautiful bottle of Champagne worth $180 on arrival. 


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