NZ makes top hotels list
If you want to go to the best hotels in the country, don't book a flight for Auckland - go to Napier instead.
The city has two hotels on travel website Expedia's list of the best reviewed hotels in the world.
Five New Zealand properties made the website's 650-strong list of "Insider Select" hotels, which it refers to as a "celebration of hotels with superior service and notable value".
Warm, humble hotels from New Zealand's regions came out on top, beating out the flash, inner-city monoliths that usually come out triumphant.
The list was devised by a formula that accounted for expert opinion, overall value, and nearly 2 million verified guest reviews.
A total of 290,000 hotels are bookable on the website - meaning the prestigious "Insider Select" group comprise just the top 0.22 per cent of properties listed on the website.
New Zealanders on the list:
Amross Court Motor Lodge, Christchurch
A picturesque motel in Christchurch's beleaguered city centre was praised for its quaint exterior, which masks large, recently renovated rooms. It's close to the airport and the central city, and reviewers were keen to commend its warmth amidst the destruction that surrounds it.
Rooms from $135
Beachside Resort, Whitianga
Its proximity to both the beach and the township came out tops for reviewers, who saw it as perfectly positioned for those who want to indulge in the delights of the Coromandel coast. It was also praised for its new, clean facilities, its swimming pool and tennis court, and general laid-back atmosphere.
Rooms from $105
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, Queenstown
It's the most expensive of the New Zealand entries, but deservedly so, according to reviewers. Once again, location is key - they remarked on its proximity to the centre of town, the gondola, and perhaps best of all, its close access to cult burger joint Fergburger. Though it's part of a chain, it operates like a boutique hotel, and serves as a warm retreat from the surrounding cold.
Rooms from $372
Quest Napier Serviced Apartment, Napier
With its big, art deco entranceway, the Quest fits the town style perfectly. But it's not an old, crumbly thing - reviewers praised it for being quiet, comfortable, and having close access to the surrounding sights. All in all, it's unshowy, and does the job admirably.
Rooms from $126
The Crown Hotel, Napier
It's slightly more expensive than the Quest, but it offers incredible sea views. Reviewers praised its comfortable distance from town, its great views over the bay, and the generous size of its rooms.
Rooms from $169
Topping the overall list was the Lakehouse Hotel in California, which was praised for its retro chic, bright colours, and its many amenities, including a marina and a championship golf course.
Following in second was the Blue Karma Resort in Bali, a five-star boutique resort with a large pool, a restaurant, and all sorts of minor luxuries you would expect from an expensive holiday getaway.
Third was the Dar Al Masayaf in Dubai, which is described as an "oasis" that harks back to the Arabian summer houses of days past. Like much of Dubai, it suffers a degree of excessiveness - the resort has waterways, elaborate gardens, and even its own traditionally styled marketplace.
Six American hotels rounded out the top 10 - accompanied by Costa Rica's beachfront Cocomar hotel in 6th, and Romania's Epoque hotel, hidden away in the centre of Bucharest, coming in 10th.
The Top 10:
1) Lakehouse Hotel and Resort - San Marcos, United States of America
2) Blue Karma Resort - Seminyak, Indonesia
3) Dar Al Masyaf Madinat Jumeirah - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
4) Homestead Cottages - Ahwahnee, United States of America
5) Apache Casino Hotel - Lawton, United States of America
6) Cocomar Residences & Beachfront Hotel - Parrita, Costa Rica
7) I Hotel And Conference Center - Champaign, United States of America
8) Fairmont Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, United States of America
9) Almond Tree Inn - Key West, United States of America
10) Epoque Hotel - Bucharest, Romania