We arrived mid-afternoon, after driving from Waipoua Forest on the West Coast. Roger was busy with maintaining the extensive and very beautiful grounds, but soon appeared to welcome us, and offer a refreshing drink.
The guest rooms are in a separate wing of the architect designed building, and are connected by a covered walkway. There is direct, level access from the car parking space, so unloading/loading was easy. We stayed in the Garden Room which was well fitted out and had an innovative walk-in wardrobe/luggage space which was out of the way yet instantly accessible.
The bed was very comfortable and bathroom was well laid out with a great shower and twin hand-basins. There was a private deck on the East side of the room which overlooked a verdant green lawn with a variety of local fauna. The property is on a river front, so we were concerned about mosquitoes and other bugs, but there was an automatic citronella dispenser in the room and we had no mosquito/bug problems.
The delicious breakfasts were served in the common area in the main building. This is a wonderful open area, with striking curved beams and a magnificent view over the terraced grounds, down to the river.
Roger and Jan were a wonderful source of local knowledge, which they freely shared, and were genial hosts. They strongly recommended that we had a meal at “The Duke” (Duke of Marlborough, in Russell), which turned out to be excellent advice.
WiFi was available, and worked very well, plus there is also good Mobile Broadband coverage in the vicinity As we were staying for four nights, we also took the opportunity to use the washing machine in the common area – as it was sunny we chose to air dry our clothes on a drying rack that Roger kindly provided.
Very enjoyable accommodation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Magical riverside setting, private and tranquil. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- River Retreat Paihia, Bay Of Islands