In a week:

The Lodge at

Kauri Cliffs

, near Northland's beautiful Matauri Bay. I was once lucky enough to stay at sister property Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay, and it was a sanctuary of tranquility and relaxation. I've no doubt Kauri Cliffs would be the same. I'd stay for a couple of weeks of luxury to make sure I was there in time for upcoming event A Food and Wine Weekend with Neil Perry and Dry River Wine (September 9 - 11). The special weekend features a cooking demo from the acclaimed chef, plus dinner matched with some delicious Dry River tipples.


In a month: Continuing my taste for the good life at Tasmania's Saffire Freycinet, named best Australian Boutique Property, Villa or Lodge on Luxury Travel Magazine's 2016 Gold List, and 2014 winner of the world's best boutique hotel. The property is by a deserted beach in the Freycinet National Park, looking out over the Hazards mountains. With only 20 suites on site, it's the perfect place for some solitude . . . with a little pampering thrown in for good measure.

In a year: All this five-star treatment will no doubt go to my head, so next year I'll be off to live out my princess fantasies in Ireland's Ashford Castle. Set on 140ha in County Mayo, the 13th-century castle-turned-boutique hotel was voted No. 1 Best Resort Hotel in the UK & Ireland in Travel + Leisure's 2016 World's Best Awards. Boasting four-poster beds, original fireplaces, and activities including golf, tennis, shooting and falconry, it's a hotel fit for a queen . . . or a journalist with ideas above her station.