We stayed in a fairly broad range of accommodation types, and our experience was good - with various levels of 'good'. There was one 'Great' however and that was in Rotorua where we stated at the Best Western Braeside. I chose this place as it was supposed to be away from the general sulphur odour which was something we though might worry Junior Grendel Number One - however the smell didn't seem to worry him at all.
This hotel/motel however is a family dream. They have a small heated pool, a trout stream (feeding only, no fishing!) a small mini golf course and some units have their own four person spa.
The only bath we had in New Zealand (as opposed to the showers we used everywhere else) was here as it was the only one that seemed comfortable enough to bother filling. It was outside in its own screened courtyard and the icy night air was a wonderful counterpoint to the really deep hot water that came gushing from the tap in a seemingly endless flow of muscle-pleasing heat.
Of all the stays in New Zealand this is the one that I will recommend to families. We had our own room and TV and the boys slept in the lounge on one of the best sofa beds I have ever seen - they loved the novelty and we loved being able to watch something other than kids shows!
It is also just across the road from the Gondola and luge tracks, the Rainbow Springs Animal Sanctuary (with Kiwis) and a Maori tourist village.
We took our host Karen's advice and went out to Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. It was a great experience and the Junior Grendels found it much less daunting than some of the more touristy places we had been to. It was a very genuine welcome to a place where a Maori community live daily.
The Braeside Best Western was the first place we stayed in that had reliable free wireless and we made good use of it to catch up on a few emails. We were tired by this stage of the trip and it was great to have a place that allowed us to relax in comfort with a little more space and welcoming, helpful hosts.
I'd have to give it top marks for the trip!
Who: Best Western Braeside Resort
What: Great accommodation and good advice on where to visit
Where: 4 Barnard Road Rotorua
Contact: 64 7 347 9497
When: 28-30 September 2009
Accessibility: Good - some rooms fully accessible
Web: Best Western Braeside
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