Driving along the main coastal highway, on the edge of the main township of Paihia, in the heart of the Bay of Islands, lay the Paihia Beach Resort, an imposing 5-story building, relatively new, and directly opposite the beachfront. Driving in, there was undercover parking directly in front of the reception. I was greeted by Rosie, the front office manager who checked my booking, and switftly attended to the check-in. She was bright, friendly, and helpful on giving advice on what to do, and where in town. I then ventured up to the top floor, to room 401, a large studio directly overlooking the beach, and with panoramic views out over the bay. The room was spacious, well decorated, had a queen size bed, an excellent two-seater lounge, a Sony CD, and tape deck, stereo TV and video player. There was a mini kitchen bar, with cupboards, sinks, and a microwave, and a fridge, which was amply stocked with liquors, confectionary, and snacks. I wasn't asked whether I required a smoking room, and noticed an ash tray, but there were no lingering smoke odours. There was a work bench, but no computer modem, and access through the phone was not possible as the telephone points in New Zealand are different to those I've encountered elsewehere. Nonetheless I did have a connection cord from a previous visit, so I got by. I'm sure the reception would have had a converter if I had needed one. There was a large table in the body of the room, there was crockery and cutlery, and plenty of lighting facilities. There was heating/air-conditioning wall-mounted, however for assistance in operating you needed to contact the reception. It was a little on the cool side, and if there had been controls in the room I would have made an adjustment, but didn't see the problem sufficient to go to the trouble of contacting reception. Adjoining the room was an expansive balcony, with a lazy-boy, and a two-piece dining setting. The views were magnificent. The bathroom had a large 6 foot spa, and included a shower, the granite top bench was adequate, there was hairdryer, and the usual guest amentities. Lighting was good, and the bathroom spacious enough. The hotel is just 200 metres from the main centre of the town, where the shops, restaurants, cafes, and clubs are. I viisited the Roundhouse, which is an excellent tavern right on the water, and includes a very good, and reasonably priced restaurant. I also visited the Swordfish Club, a meeting place for local fishermen, and a general social, and sporting venue, which was quite popular. From Paihia the ferries dock to and from Russell, New Zealand's first capital, an historical town well worth the 15 minute ferry ride.
The hotel features a 20 metre heated pool and spa. Accommodation comprises studios, one, and two bedroom apartments. The property also has a conference room which houses up to 15 people. IA licensed restaurant was added in the of Summer 2003. The hotel is in an excellent location, has great views, the manager and reception staff, the only ones I came in contact with, were very friendly, and helpful. The house-keeping of the hotel I also found to be excellent.
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