Katrina Johns checks into Porters Hotel, Havelock North, Hawke's Bay.
Porters Hotel is right in the centre of Havelock North, a 25-minute drive from Napier Airport. We were lucky enough to be picked up from the wineries we visited on a cycle tour and shuttled to Porters.
How big? Porters is a relatively new hotel that has only been open for two years. It has two floors and 42 rooms.
Check-in experience: A porter met our shuttle and quickly and efficiently took care of our luggage and bicycles — locking them away in the garage — while we wandered into a large, bright lobby. The big couches looked comfy and inviting and there were plenty of magazines and hardcover cooking and art books to flick through — I could have wasted an hour or two right there. Check-in was quick and painless and we were soon in our room.
Room: We stayed in the Royal Suite on the top floor. The room consisted of a kitchenette with a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and a microwave, a small lounge and dining area, the bedroom, and a separate toilet and bathroom — complete with a tub and bubble bath (which was heaven for a person who had just spent the past two days on a cycling tour). The carpet was thick and plush and we slept in one of the largest beds I had ever seen, a super-king. The hotel has a modern luxurious feel throughout, from the decor to the big, fluffy, white robes awaiting you in the room.
What's in the neighbourhood: You are right in the centre of Havelock North, so only a short stroll from all the bars, restaurants and shops. Although you're in the middle of town, not a sound can be heard in the room . I highly recommend a visit to Pipi Cafe for lunch or dinner; it's a two-minute walk up the hill from the hotel.
Price: Rooms range from $230-$355 a night, with the Royal Suite (the one we were in) being $290.
Food and drink: Malo restaurant is on the ground floor of the hotel and does a fabulous breakfast, the perfect thing to set us up for a full day of cycling. Malo has a wide variety of local food on its menu. Room service is also offered 24/7.
Wi-Fi: Unlimited and complimentary.
Perfect for: Business travellers and couples hitting the wineries and cycle trails of the region — as we were.