I managed to get out of Auckland this weekend. A family birthday lunch was all the excuse I needed to pack up my car and my youngest son, David, and hit the road to Rotorua.
In case you're not aware, I was born in Rotorua, and moved from there when I was 14 years old. So it's familiar enough for me to get around, but I don't know the town super-well. Last week I used Google to find accommodation and booked the City Lights Boutique Lodge on Mountain Road. It was close to the lunch venue, and being elevated, boasted views of the city which is always nice.
We checked in late Saturday afternoon and were warmly greated by Naomi, our host, and her friendly Jack Russell, Jelly. City Lights made a cosy change from the chilly cold of the afternoon. The City Lights website showed the accoommodation well, but it's even more lovely in person. There are only three guest rooms, but they are perfectly formed. Each with a decent sized en suite, and closet of white waffle or pattened silk bath robes, and cosy woollen throws if you want to curl up on your bed and read or watch television. Each room has a wall mounted television, and a tea and coffee making station.
The guest's lounge sports extremely comforable leather seats that recline perfectly, and we plonked ourselves there in front of the television, our plans of going out to dinner abandoned. Jelly instantly claimed David by jumping up onto his lap. He's some sort of dog-whiperer and nice dogs always seek his company. With a boy and a dog and a kids' movie on the television, City Lights was just too cosy to leave. We meed Jim, Naomi's husband, who urged us to make ourselves at home. Judging by my flotsom on the couch, I think it was obvious I felt quite at home already. David and I decided to order in a couple of curries to be delivered from a local restaurant, and we played on my laptop - good strong free wifi - and watch tv all evening instead.
When we finally did retire to our rooms: David to sleep, and me to finish watching The Secret Live of Bees. Everything so comfortable, especially the soft, feather pillows. It was also very quiet. No traffic noise, no animal sounds. Just long, deep, silence. Saturday night was one of the best sleeps I've had in a very long time.
We didn't use the spa pool nor the small gym that is also available at City Lights, but it's there if you'd like to try when you stay. Naomi and her husband Jim have friendliness nicely balanced. Their lodge is purpose built, tastefully decorated, and a wonderful place to stay in Rotorua. I will definately stay again - and in fact, already have fantasies of more weekends away to do some white water rafting during the day, and soaking up the city lights from Naomi and Jim's spa pool overlooking the city.