Picton's Gateway Motel is the best bargain hotel in the country and has better service than the Four Seasons Resort in French Polynesia, according to a popular travel website.
User-review-based international accommodation website TripAdvisor named the motel the No 1 provider in its bargain hotel section for New Zealand and second bargain hotel out of all of the South Pacific in the website's 2013 rankings announced in mid-January.
The motel was also named second-best for service in the South Pacific.
Managers Kent and Marie Stevenson took over the motel about three months ago and were excited to learn they offered better service than the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora in French Polynesia, according to TripAdvisor.
Mr Stevenson said a lot of the competition were top-end providers but it was good to see that caring about customers mattered most.
"What we're concentrating on is promoting Picton and helping the guests have a good time. If you're promoting your area, you're going to benefit from it and that's our philosophy.
"We have so many good walking tracks here, I tell people they should take a look at the track down the snout [Victoria Domain] or above Essons Valley and the dams.
"I like to get people out in the Sounds too; fishing, swimming, but some just come here to relax - maybe they aren't feeling up to the Queen Charlotte Track - so they take in the options."
Mr Stevenson was born and bred in Picton. One of his sisters owns the Beyond the Fringe hairdressing salon in High St and another sister manages the Four Square store across the road from the motel.
"Right here, Picton, this is the jewel in Marlborough's crown."
- © Fairfax NZ News