Shandelle Battersby checks into Distinction Palmerston North Hotel and Conference Centre.

Getting there:

This 4-star Distinction hotel, one of the best in Palmerston North, is about a 15-minute drive from the airport and in one of the best streets of the city, Cuba St.

Check-in experience: I arrived late but check-in was smooth and quick. It was a Saturday night and I thought things were fairly quiet until the lift stopped on the way up to my room and Bugsy Malone and a few flappers got in - there was a party on my floor which, if the feathers and bits of costume littering the hallway the next day were anything to go by, was a cracker.

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Room: A Tower Superior studio, which had a sofa bed in it and a desk, as well as a fridge and coffee and tea-making facilities.

Price: The cheapest rooms (Heritage Standard) start from $99.

What's in the neighbourhood? You're right in the CBD so shops, cafes, restaurants, the Victoria Esplanade Gardens, Centrepoint Theatre and Te Manawa cultural museum of art, science and history.

Food and drink: On-site restaurant Nosh serves "a blend of local and international cuisine" plus breakfast and high tea. I'd already eaten so didn't partake. There are also two places to have a drink: Bar One7Five is a lounge bar, while Cuban Bar claims an excellent collection of malted whiskeys served in the ambience of an old-world cigar bar.

The bed: Queen-sized.

A room with a view? The rooftops of local businesses.

Bathroom: A shower over the bath.

Noise: None, despite the party on my floor.

Value for money: Yes.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes, and it's unlimited.

Exercise facilities: Nope.

Online: distinctionhotelspalmerstonnorth.co.nz
Perfect for: Ideal for business travellers.