Top ranking for Bay in British Guardian

By Kaysha Brownlie

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The Art Deco Masonic Hotel was described as the key to a full Art Deco experience.
The Art Deco Masonic Hotel was described as the key to a full Art Deco experience.

A British newspaper has ranked the top 10 holiday spots in the North Island and Hawke's Bay has featured three times.

The Guardian's article, Top 10 beach hotels and campsites on New Zealand's North Island, rated the region as one of the three distinct areas with the most enticing beaches.

Bay of Islands and Coromandel Peninsula were the other two popular spots listed, with Hawke's Bay described as "considerably more rugged" than those mentioned alongside it.

Waipatiki Beach Holiday Park, about 30 minutes' drive north of Napier, was described as having a "peaceful, cut-off vibe".

Writer Dan F. Stapleton said cabins were generously spread out with a gently enforced no-noise policy after 10pm.

He warned the sea could be rough but lifeguards patrolled at peak times and there was a shallow stream for children.

The park's owner, Paul Ludeman, said he felt privileged to be included.

"We do have the nice white sandy beaches and the nice bush walks.

"Most people describe it as a tranquil place."

He said numbers dropped in the winter because it was not sunny but they still managed to "kick over".

"We're still steady in the winter, but the eight weeks over Christmas are absolutely chocka."

The beach was also a popular wedding venue with eight already booked this year.

The region was touted as a place that easily filled days with "vineyards to explore, wide beaches, and lush, hilly hiking terrain".

The article said Napier was the centrepiece of the area, touching on the 1931 earthquake which resulted in the Art Deco style rebuild.

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel was featured as the key to a full Art Deco experience and described as one of the finest buildings in town.

Owner Neil Barber said the boutique hotel won Hospitality New Zealand's Award For Excellence Supreme Champion and Best Accommodation 2015/2016.

"Anyone wishing to avoid the hustle and bustle and no competition for restaurant bookings, the winter months are ideal and Hawke's Bay has very mild winters in comparison to other regions."

For independent travellers the article chose The Crown Hotel as best value with free parking and laundry facilities, as well as 42 rooms with optional water views.

Owners of The Crown could not be reached for comment.

The article said cheaper rates could be nabbed outside peak months as visitor numbers dropped, but Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said numbers still remained strong.

"They did traditionally peak during December, January and February with March and April still strong for visitors," she said.

"Events are a major driver in the off-season - and this year we have the Festival of Hockey in April, the Air New Zealand International Hawke's Bay Marathon in May, Winter F.A.W.C! all of June."

Neither Mr Barber nor Mr Ludeman knew they had been included in the British article.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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