Location: Roughly 15 minutes drive from the airport, the aptly named King and Queen Suites sits on the corner of King St and Queen St on the lower western side of central New Plymouth.
Style: Rustic distressed wooden double doors flank the entry way of King and Queen and while admiring them I was informed that they had been shipped over from Alexandria in Egypt by the owners. The contemporary Middle Eastern aesthetic continued throughout the hotel with walls adorned with vibrant artworks and striking furniture pieces - like the zebra-skin chairs just outside my room - all hand-picked and shipped over from Northern Africa.
Price: From $204-$489 a night, depending on suite size and duration of stay.
Perfect for: Anyone visiting New Plymouth who wants to stay comfortably in walking distance to all major attractions.
First impressions: Stylish, yet welcoming and friendly. A large modernist candelabra made an impact as I stepped into the foyer, while the reception staff welcomed me with genuine friendliness and ease. Walking to my room I took in the art laden walls and it gave me a rather pleasant sense of deja vu, taking me back to afternoons spent wandering through European galleries.
Rooms: Stepping into my room, I took in the king-sized bed, comfortable couch, edgy leather desk chair and - my personal favourite - the shabby-chic armchair and matching ottoman. I was assured that there were water views from my petite balcony but the weather wasn't letting me enjoy it yet, with heavy cloud and persistent rain. The well-equipped kitchenette had a toaster, kettle, small cooktop and (big points for this one) a coffee plunger and freshly ground coffee from local roaster, Ozone.
Bathroom: The configuration of separate toilet and bathroom was unexpected but would be very handy if travelling with others. The main bathroom featured a step-in open shower with choice of waterfall or detachable showerhead. As a bath lover I was a little disappointed there was nowhere to have a soak, but that's just me.
Food & drink: Part of the buzzing West End Precinct of New Plymouth, King and Queen Suites are affiliated with a wide range of eateries in the area, enabling you to eat out at a number of excellent restaurants and charge it back to your room, or even order it to be sent to your room if you want a night in. Highlights of the food on offer include Meat & Liquor and Social Kitchen for a nice dinner, Ms White's for a casual beer and exceptional pizza, Monica's for breakfast, Ozone for coffee and Itch Bar for cocktails.
Facilities: There is no pool or gym onsite, although guests can use a nearby gym free of charge. There is free Wi-Fi and ample parking. The hotel also offers bicycles and helmets, free for guests to use at any time.
In the neighbourhood: The Govett-Brewster Gallery is a 30-second trip across the road, New Plymouth's popular coastal walk is less than 10 minutes away on foot, Pukekura Park is a short drive or slightly longer walk away, while Mt Taranaki is an easy 30-minute drive.
Accessibility: Fully accessible.
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