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Archive for the ‘New Zealand North Island’


Top Lakeside destinations 0

Posted on July 31, 2007 by dorisch

Need some cool suggestions for lakeside destinations? Here are the Top 10 for your pick. Though I do prefer oceans and beaches, some lakeside places can be charming and relaxing too. Among these Top 10 recommended lakeside destinations suggested by TripAdvisor, I am glad that I had been to Lake Taupo, New Zealand… it was truly a romantic and serene place to unwind and relax. So check them out!

lake-taupo.jpg

1.       Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
2.      Lake Placid, N.Y.
3.      Lake Windermere, United Kingdom
4.      Lake Huron, Mackinac Island, Mich.
5.      Lake Taupo, Taupo, New Zealand
6.      Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
7.      Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah
8.      Lake George, N.Y.
9.      Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
10.    Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

The Ascott Metropolis, Auckland 0

Posted on June 27, 2007 by dorisch

This is another top-class New Zealand hotel. Knowing that we don’t have a rental car in New Zealand this time around, it is only ideal to stay somewhere in the heart of the city. This is especially when I have saved all my shopping at my last destination. OK – here comes my favourite of the three New Zealand hotels! The Ascott Metropolis!

This is my preferred choice of luxury New Zealand accommodation. Why? Location, Location, Location! Right in the heart of the city yet not bothered by traffic noises. This New Zealand hotel, more known as a luxurious serviced apartment, is tucked at Courthouse Lane, near to the shopping district of High Street and Vulcan Lane. And if shopping is not your game, go for a gust of fresh air at Albert Park, which is just across the residence.

I like the elegance of The Ascott. The service is personalized and warm. I find the staff very helpful, attentive and friendly too (you can tell the minute you walk into the door). We booked a high floor studio apartment facing the harbour for our last two nights in Auckland, after returning from Christchurch. We enjoyed the views from our apartment. Our room is stylishly furnished, spacious, cosy and comfortable. With a fully-equipped designer kitchen, we could enjoy some home-cooked dinner too.

This New Zealand hotel is perfect for families (like us), business travelers and holiday makers. Travelling with little Clayton requires us to take short breaks in the room. The location makes it so convenient and easy. With Albert Park next door, Alex would sometimes take Clayton out for a stroll while mummy shops leisurely (a mum’s delight!) I must not forget to mention that The Ascott is near to many restaurants and cafes. With the Link Bus stop close by, you can visit many city attractions (hop up and down the bus, as often as you like) or just simply enjoy a city ride for free.

For those who like to do some grocery shopping in the city, Foodtown, a huge well-stocked supermarket is only 15mins walk away. This is great if you need to do some last minute shopping for families and friends back home. After a long day of shopping and sight-seeing, just head for the 22m indoor heated lap pool and simply watch the city lights at the balcony.

This is a wonderful place to have a vacation… relax and recharge in comfort and luxury.

The Sebel Suites, Auckland 0

Posted on June 24, 2007 by dorisch

I have been rather impressed with this suite-style hotel during my New Zealand hotel accommodation search. Other than the full kitchen, the main attraction for me is its location at the viaduct harbour. I have wanted to stay near the waterfront. The Sebel Suites is a new style of luxury New Zealand accommodation in the upmarket category.

Priced at $NZ200 onwards (depending on season and room choice), you can choose from the studio, executive or one bedroom suite, facing either the city or marina. Be prepared to pay more for marina views. We stayed in a one bedroom, marina view suite on the night returning from the Bay of Islands.

The room is spacious for the one bedroom suite. There is a designer kitchen, a cosy dining area and a comfortable living room that opens to the balcony. Our balcony overlooks a ‘partial’ marina view. If you like a superb view of the marina, you need to opt for the Deluxe Suite. This comes with a price too. If you are self-driving, there is no car-waiting area at The Sebel Suites. So you would need instructions from the reception to drive to the undercover parking.

The Duxton Hotel, Auckland 0

Posted on June 23, 2007 by dorisch

This is the first of New Zealand hotels we stayed in Auckland.

The unique feature about this small business hotel is that the rooms come with a fully-equipped kitchenette, which is why I am attracted to it. You can choose from a deluxe room to a two bedroom apartment. Rates for a Deluxe King Room is priced around $NZ150. The weekday rates is slightly cheaper than weekend rates.

Our room is cosy, nicely furnished with quality touches. It has a balcony that overlooks either the city or Myers Park. We were allotted a room at the second floor and unfortunately, it overlooks a public car park. I suppose that’s considered a ‘city’ view. So make sure you state your request clearly when checking in. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool and gymnasium which we did not have the time to utilize.

I managed to prepare some food for Clayton in the little kitchen. We had a good sleep on the comfortable king bed. On the overall, this is a good place to base yourself if you don’t like the hustle and bustle on city living. It’s about 5-10 minutes walk to Queen street though it is not close walking distance to the main attractions located in the city.

Bolton Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand 0

Posted on June 18, 2007 by dorisch

We are now at the southern end of the North Island. This is our last stop before moving on to the South Island. If you are a minimalist, you will fall in love with this New Zealand Hotel. This apartment-style hotel is elegant, contemporary, modern, stylish and professional. Read the rest of this entry →

Taupo – Home to New Zealand’s largest lake 0

Posted on June 01, 2007 by dorisch

On our way to Lake Taupo, we stop by at the Huka Falls. We were amazed at the speed on which the water move from the Waikato River to the drop!

This is sunset at Lake Taupo

It was raining during our two nights in Taupo. But then again, the poor weather didn’t spoil our fun in Taupo either. We had a great time in Baycrest Lodge. Our room came with a private courtyard and private thermal tub. We can then fill to our requirements with 50 degree C thermal water extracted from the ground. It is so relaxing soaking in the tub in the moonlight… yep! And you don’t even have to bother about swim gear. It is so private. I’m sure you can star gaze on a clear night.


Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in New Zealand.

Take a nice stroll and enjoy sunset by the calm lake. This town seems less busy than Rotorua. There are some nice shops to browse around so start shopping for a New Zealand gift. Don’t miss out on the many cafes if you like a lazy afternoon. Taupo in the North Island is serene and quiet during our time of travel but this lakeside town can get very busy during summer months.

For food in Taupo, you ought to check out Replete Café. For some reason, the queue is endless during lunch. The food is quite tasty with a touch of Asian but the menu selection may be a little limited. I like the quirky store next to the café. You can find lots of nice- looking kitchenware and selected gourmet condiments on the shelves. Few restaurants have opened up on the lakefront but unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to try any of them due to wet weathers on both the nights.



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