Porters Boutique Hotel: Where to stay in NZ’s cutest village

My favourite village in New Zealand is Havelock North. It has so much to offer in just a few streets. It’s almost as if you shrank Melbourne to the size of a tiny town and surrounded it with vineyards and orchards.

It even has a luxury hotel. It’s not one of the big chains; Porters Boutique Hotel was created by locals, and its character shows.

The place

The hotel opened in 2016, but the site has been involved in hospitality for more than 160 years.

In 1862, The Exchange Hotel was opened, with a clientele including shepherds. By the 1960s, a tavern was built, before two prominent local families finally developed the hotel as it stands today.

The $25 million development is part of a large precinct called The Village Exchange, which includes the hotel, shops, wine lounge, offices, restaurants, and cafés.

The space

We’re trying the hotel’s top suite, a luxurious three-bedroom top-floor apartment. It’s accessed externally from the main hotel, with sweeping floor-to-ceiling views over the village and out toward the mountainous Te Mata Peak.

This suite sleeps six and is larger than many houses at 189sqm. All bedrooms have ensuites, and the master bedroom even has a luxurious free-standing bath.

The facilities

You don’t need to leave; this apartment has everything you need, including an expansive kitchen, full laundry facilities and a Nespresso coffee machine.

But, the gravitational pull of Havelock North’s eateries will be too much – the hard part will be choosing where to go, with so much on offer just a short stroll away.

The food

At The Village Exchange, where the hotel is located, you’ll find Malo, which is a popular café with excellent coffee. Winemakers Smith & Sheth also have their village cellar door a few steps away.

Outside the complex, you’ve got Japanese restaurant Piku, which is packed with diners each night; Mary’s offers a great all-round menu, and you can’t miss the legendary Pipi Pizza Cafe.

Worth stepping out for

You’re surrounded by world-class wineries and cellar door experiences – with places like Black Barn Vineyards and Craggy Range just a short drive away.

If you’re after a delicious brunch, head to Brother, and if you feel like Asian fusion, make the short trip to Hastings, where you’ll find Funbuns – one of my favourite restaurants in the country.


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First published by Stuff. Click here to read the full article.