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Hotel DeBrett, Auckland  

2 High Street
Auckland , North Island
New Zealand
Tel: 64 9 925 9000
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
A mash of Art Deco architecture, sixties furnishings, and perky service, the 25-room Hotel DeBrett reflects the designer savvy and eclectic lifestyles of this edgy little district of downtown Auckland. Slick black-and-white bathrooms are a throwback to Mod Squad-era polka-dot dresses, and Austin Powers would feel right at home sliding down the two-story loft suites' spiral staircases or spinning vintage vinyl in the cozy drawing room with its record player and mojito bar. The hotel's heart is an airy, art-filled two-story atrium that encloses the restaurant and terrace of the adjacent pub, a place to kick back as Auckland's notoriously fickle skies roll overhead like a time-lapse movie. The food is super-fresh Kiwi culinary fare, like slow-cooked lamb rump with goat's-milk curd and snow peas. The DeBrett doesn't have a spa or gym but will gladly arrange in-room massages or personal trainer appointments, though most guests get their exercise exploring the city, including the boutiques along High Street and the bustling Viaduct Harbour with its waterfront pubs and America's Cup yachts. When to go: Auckland summers (December-February) are especially good for sailing the enormous bay and trekking the city's myriad parks.—2010 Hot List

Which room to book: One-story loft suites feature a small balcony that overlooks the atrium restaurant and lounge

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