Taupo was our family holiday spot when I was growing up and it still remains one of my favourite places in New Zealand. I'm lucky enough that my job allows me to spend plenty of time there organising luxury holidays and running corporate retreats for our clients. My ideal holiday in Taupo includes staying at a bach close to the lake and unwinding with the family. The ultimate day starts with a morning coffee from the Storehouse followed by a day out on the lake fishing and water-skiing, and finishes by anchoring up in the crystal-clear waters of Mine Bay for a barbecue dinner and swim.


My wife and I had been generously gifted our honeymoon accommodation in Rome. The hotel was located only metres away from the Spanish Steps, and looked beautiful on their website. Upon check-in, we were offered an upgrade, which we gratefully accepted. We proceeded to follow the concierge who led us across the street and around the corner to another block where their "secondary hotel" was located. There were no hotel services, one tiny window and the room was the size of a shoebox - a far cry from the hotel that we had seen online and relative to the price of the room. After realising that we had been conned, we marched, with bags in tow, back to the main hotel and through language barriers described that the upgrade was far from an upgrade. Thankfully, we eventually ended up back in the main hotel in a beautiful room overlooking Rome.


Nick Hill is one of the co-founders of Pure Black, a New Zealand based luxury travel and lifestyle management company specialising in bespoke experiences.