David Smith checks into the Baycrest Lodge, in Taupo.

Check-in experience:

The best recommendation for any accommodation provider is return visits. We first stayed at Taupo's Baycrest Lodge soon after it opened in 1998. We have since been back for more short stays and never been disappointed. Our recent one-night stay confirmed the motel is keeping up its high standards.

Location: Near the corner of Mere Rd, just 100m from the lake edge, with lake views from the upper units. It is a comfortable walk on the shorefront to the town centre about 1km away.

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Rooms: Our accommodation was a king studio unit on the ground floor. We have always picked ground-floor units for our Baycrest visits because of the thermal tubs in the planted courtyards out front. You can fill the large tubs with fresh mineral water to the temperature that suits you. The studio units (some of which can also be used as interconnecting rooms) follow a typical motel/hotel layout, with parking at the rear leading to an entrance door, after which you have a kitchenette on one side (complete with microwave and stove plates) and bathroom on the other. Baycrest offers a range of units, from studio to fully-equipped family apartments.

Bathroom: A specious area with a full-size shower (with great water pressure), toilet and washbasin. The shower base had a crack in it, though this did not affect its use. Co-owner Simon Cox said the crack had appeared just before the school holidays and he wanted to wait until the holidays were over to have it replaced — as he did not want to inconvenience guests with holiday plans in place.

Room with a view? There's a courtyard, which has the tub, a table and chairs, and offers lake peeks.

Noise: The room was very quiet — we heard sounds from the upstairs room only once and minor noise from the next-door room, when their entry door was open. Facilities: Heated outdoor rock-style hot pool. Poolside bar for guests featuring large-screen TV.

Barbecue available for guests. The motel also offers free Wi-Fi, off-street parking and laundry facilities.

Hosts: Simon and Marise Cox have operated the property since 2010. Simon greeted us on arrival and could not have been friendlier or more helpful.

Contact: baycrest.co.nz.

What we loved: Hot tub, super comfortable bed.

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Suggestions: Extra towels.