The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell
The exterior is Instagrammable enough: long, white double-decker verandas, lined with dining tables, facing a blue-water coastline in historic Russell. But this grand former grog shop, dating to 1827, is even more impressive once you step through the doors. Old-world bones – roaring fires, wood panelling, oil-paint portraits – are balanced with modern touches, such as Anglepoise-style lamps and orange velvet armchairs. Dinner on that veranda, starring tempura-battered Waikare Inlet oysters, is a must.