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The largest city in New Zealand on the country’s North Island, Auckland offers some great places to stay, from modern hotels overlooking Britomart waterfront, to boutique art deco establishments on buzzing Queen Street to a family-run former 19th-century villa in fashionable Ponsonby. Auckland is a giant and varied urban area — a 20-minute drive from the city centre and you can stay at an eco-retreat near beautiful Riverhead Forest.
On the corner of High Street and Shortland Street in the centre of Auckland, Hotel DeBrett occupies a building that dates back to 1925. The original structure on this site was the home to the Commercial Hotel, erected in 1841 and one of the first hotels in the city, but it was rebuilt after sustaining damage caused by two fires. Hotel DeBrett has 25 rooms and suites which are relaxed and toned down in their decor, apart from the multi-coloured striped carpets which are the dominant feature. Light-filled DeBrett’s Kitchen sits in a glass atrium — try the braised Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder with anchovy boulangère, black olive crumbs, spring vegetables and mint oil.
Nicholas Grantham contributed additional reporting to this article.