Royals' NZ hideout busted

TONY WALL
Last updated 05:00 16/03/2014
Prince George
Reuters
HEADING THIS WAY: Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, with their son George.

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The British media has inadvertently identified the luxury lodge where Prince William and wife Kate will spend a romantic night away from royal obligations and babysitting duty during their New Zealand tour next month.

The Daily Mail has published pictures on its website of the "luxury Kiwi hideaway" where William and Kate will stay for one night during their nine-day tour, "minus Prince George".

The article says Kensington Palace declined to comment on the location of the couple's hotel for security reasons, but it is clear from the images and information supplied that it is a five-star luxury resort in Queenstown that normally costs $12,000 a night.

However, the website reports that "fortunately for New Zealand taxpayers, who are footing much of the bill for the tour, the lodge has been secured for a massively discounted rate of only a few hundred pounds for the night".

The entire resort has been booked out for the stay so the couple will not be bothered by other guests, the website reported.

It said the couple will arrive at the lodge after a day of engagements - including a wine-tasting at the Amisfield vineyard and white water rafting on the Shotover River - before flying to Christchurch the next day.

That evening they will be reunited with George at Government House in Wellington.

A spokesman for the lodge, which the Sunday Star-Times has chosen not to name, said nothing had been confirmed.

"It's all unsubstantiated at this time, any guests that we may or may not have in-house, but needless to say if something like that was to occur then security would be adequate."

Allen Walley, media manager for the 2014 Royal Visit Office, said media speculation on where the couple would stay was unhelpful because if it was wrong, "it inconveniences a lot of people".

The Daily Mail reported that William and Kate are expected to stay in the owner's cottage which has a private balcony for guests to admire the lake and mountain views from a jacuzzi.

The cottage has a spacious main lounge, study, kitchen and dining room, as well as four large bedrooms with walk-in closets and in-room bars. The lodge also has a luxury spa, infinity swimming pool and sauna and fitness centre.

The couple arrive in New Zealand on April 7.

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- Sunday Star Times

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