As part of our recent road trip around New Zealand’s North Island we spent two days in Rotorua. The first thing I tend to consider when I have decided on a destination is where I am going to stay. Even when your days are full with activities where you lay your head for the night can make or break your trip. Rotorua has no shortage of accommodation and we checked them all before deciding on The Regent of Rotorua, a multi-award winning boutique hotel right in the centre of town. Read on for all the details …
Regent Of Rotorua Overview
As you drive into the car park it is clear that the Regent Of Rotorua has embraced rather than fight the classic block style building that houses one of Rotorua’s newest boutique hotels. Step inside the monochrome reception area and you are transported back to a gentler time by the heritage touches throughout the space. The quality furnishings exude an understated elegance and impart a sense of luxury that is a promise of what is to come.
Regent Of Rotorua Rooms
The Regent Of Rotorua has six categories of rooms and suites and we chose the superior. We were allocated room eight on the second floor overlooking the pool. Step inside and the inviting custom king size bed dominates the room. The plush leather headboard against the dramatic feature wall is bold and a striking mixture of contemporary glamour and yesteryear charm. Luxury comforters and pillows are down filled to ensure a sound sleep. The Hubs and I have a little ritual in every place we stay. Almost as soon as we walk in he dives on the bed and tests all the pillows and selects his favourite. He is much fussier that I am and I’ve long since stopped protesting. He was able to find one among the variety on offer that pleased and I am happy to take his cast offs to keep the peace. If you have read any of my previous hotel reviews you will know that I often complain about the lack of overhead lighting in hotels but I’m pleased to say the Regent Of Rotorua got it absolutely right! I never felt like we are sitting in the dark.
The work desk is slick, modern and reminds me of my office at home. Of course the chair is ergo designed for comfort and luggage racks are provided. We usually travel with minimal luggage but the generous allowance on our Emirates A380 first class flight meant that we packed more than normal so the additional fold out luggage stand was appreciated. If you do chose to completely unpack (who does that???), the small closet has you covered and the plush robes hanging inside are perfect for dashing between your room and the pools.
Once of my favourite parts of our room was the snug reading nook. While our two days in town were a whirlwind of activities this was the perfect place to wind down before bed with a good book and a chilled glass of white.
The bathroom was compact and while some might mourn the lack of a bathtub, the generous shower with dual heads was perfect for our needs. I would have liked a little more bench space around the vanity so that I could spread my toiletries around but I made do by utilising the open space underneath.
Coffee and tea lovers are well looked after but I drink neither so it was nice to find a decent size fridge which had plenty of room for copious amount of wine without having to play tetris with the contents. I rarely partake from the mini bar as I find them over priced, but after our drive from Whitianga I had no inclination to go out again so the reasonably priced icy coke on arrival was too tempting. A couple of wine glasses would have rounded out the room inventory nicely but I’m not too posh to drink a fab Kiwi Sauv Balnc from a tumbler 🙂
Sometimes I think that service is a dying skill in today’s modern world but the Regent Of Rotorua nailed it. At check we were greeted warmly while our paperwork was seamlessly completed before being personally escorted to our room. We were offered the porterage service but The Hubs was more than happy to wrangle our luggage up the stairs. Our host took time to inquire about our plans and recommend some local attractions but the icing on the cake for me was the way the staff handled the use of the mineral pool on request to ensure a private soak. Thoughtful surprises abound at the Regent of Rotorua and the cutest little teddy on the pillow was a lovely touch. If you love him too much to leave behind you can take him home for just $15.
The centrepiece of The Regent of Rotorua is the sparkling pool in a private courtyard. The pool is heated to 28°c year round so you can always enjoy a dip. On a sunny day grab a lounge and order a cocktail from the nearby bar.
Rotorua is famous for it’s geothermal activity and the Regent of Rotorua has a mineral pool on site. How cool is that! The water temp hovers around 40c and after a long day exploring the sites it is perfect way to wind down before settling in for the night. My skin felt amazing afterwards.
The onsite restaurant has an innovative menu which has won numerous awards and is sure to appeal to a wide range of tastes. The decor is fresh and in keeping with the hotel’s monochrome scheme. You can order room service from the menu anywhere between 6.30am – 10pm if you can’t bear to drag yourself from your glamorous room. If you do decide to dine in your room make use of the free cable TV. The Hubs sure did and caught up on what was happening in all his favourite sports one night.
The Regent of Rotorua has ample free parking split between two lots on either side of the main building and because they do nothing by halves, even these most functional of areas are a treat with oversized pots and feature plantings. A number of dedicated handicap parking spaces are available for those in need.
There are tonnes of great things to do in Rotorua and the Regent Of Rotorua makes a great base to explore. Centrally located in the heart of Rotorua, it’s just a few minutes walk from the main shopping district. If you are feeling peckish Eat Street is literally a 1 minute walk away and you will find 20 or so eateries clustered in an undercover mall. Try Cafe Ephesus for a great value Turkish lunch like we did. After lunch exit on the other side and walk off your meal around the shores of Lake Rotorua. Keep your eyes peeled for the ‘tree’ made of old bicycle parts and say hello to the resident black swans.
Visiting a geothermal park in Rotorua is a must. You can see a geyser erupt in full glory at Te Puia which is only about a 5 minute drive away. I recommend the Te Pō experience which includes a Māori Hangi feast.
Hells Gate is the place to experience mother nature at her diverse best. And did I mention the mud bath and sulphur pools? Full review of Hells Gate here.
The Final Word
I loved the Regent of Rotorua. The location cannot be beaten and every element of our stay was very hard to fault. The style and glamour particularly appealed to me and it felt like we were staying somewhere very special which is sometimes lacking in larger hotels. Make sure you consider the Regent of Rotorua for you next visit to NZ’s geothermal wonderland. If you are heading to New Zealand for the first time make sure you check of my New Zealand travel essentials post for everything you need to know before you go and study my tips on scoring a bargain flight.
Have you been to Rotorua? What appeals to you about the Regent Of Rotorua? Let me know in the comments below …
Until Next Time …
Disclaimer: The Regent Of Rotorua kindly provided a reduced rate as part of this collaboration. As always, all opinions are my own.
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