Bedtime tends to lose its appeal after an age when it becomes unacceptable to use the mattress as a trampoline and the sheet as a fortress. Even the bed itself is predictable; an all-too-familiar humdrum of passive-aggressive nudges over the ratio of occupant to cover, and impossible contortions to accommodate a pet.
Compare this to the excitement of unlocking a hotel bedroom and stepping inside – eyes wide and expectant – drinking up the plush furnishings and a bed that is as plump as it is large. You're now in the presence of exceptional stature and thread count.
How can home possibly compete? Especially for those of us still in level 3 lockdown where we're no doubt spending even more time lazing in our beds than usual.
Next time you find yourself bored of your own bed and yearning to rest your head somewhere a little more remarkable, check into one of these extraordinary NZ-based places.
Ditch the brick and mortar: Safari tents
A camping ground at a lonely beach north of Auckland doesn't seem like the most likely spot for the safari touch, but the luxe lodge at the Pākiri Beach Holiday Park is in a world of its own. Perched beside the bird haven of the lazy Pākiri River (Pākiri is one of the few places where the ultra-rare NZ fairy tern lives) and just a couple of hundred metres from the distant white noise of the sea, this is safari-meets-settler style.
Luxuriate in loveliness: New Zealand's best retreats
Need a health reset or a spot of indulgence to refresh the body, soul and mind? New Zealand is full of spas, retreats and accommodation designed purely to help you rejuvenate from whatever life might be throwing your way...
Digital detox: Switch off at Taumarunui's Te Awa Glamping
Te Awa Glamping is completely off-grid - 100 per cent solar-powered, gas heating, and a natural water supply from a spring that flows into the Whanganui River. You'll arrive at the home of Te Awa's owners, Louise and Tom Donaldson, and one of them will jump in their car so you can follow them down the road to the glamp site. You'll wind along a track through paddocks, around bends and down a steep hill before you get your first glimpse of the tent and I challenge you not to exclaim "wow".
Tee off: revamped golf resorts
Welcome to Rydges Formosa Golf Resort – under new ownership and management – reborn 20-odd years after first finding fame. Formosa is the name Portuguese sailors gave to Taiwan. It's translated as "beautiful island". And when this golf course was opened a quarter-century ago it lived up to the same name bestowed by its Taiwanese owners. Perched on undulating land at the water's edge near Beachlands, with views to Rangitoto, Waiheke and the other Gulf Islands, Formosa jumped into the limelight at a young age, hosting the New Zealand Open in 1998.
Cruise appeal: Six nights on a catamaran
Our 24m, three-deck catamaran, the Fiordland Jewel, is slicing its way through the dark waters of Doubtful Sound, rain and mist shrouding the surrounding peaks, and to port there's an unmistakable interruption to the millpond-like surface.
Bottlenose dolphins. A small pod of them, racing to our boat to ride the wake under the bow. It's the most wonderful welcome to what is one of the most magical trips you are ever likely to experience. They cruise along under the boat for a while, rolling on their sides to eyeball us curiously. Our group of 16 passengers crowds the deck until they're gone, unsuccessfully snapping photos as they occasionally break the surface. We're so enthralled we barely even notice southern Fiordland's winter cold seeping into our bones.
Distant dreaming: Scott Base Hotel for the future
As New Zealand prepares to build its new Scott Base in Antarctica, you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for a high-end polar lodge. The dramatic, wing-like structures to be built on Ross Island have been dubbed "New Zealand's coolest redevelopment" by the project's New Zealand architects, Jasmax. The Green Star 5 Star Design represents a significant upgrade from the current buildings. Some of which have been in place since Edmund Hillary's 1957 expedition.