• A-Kahu (Rotorua; tel. 07/347-4148): I had one of the best B&B stays in New Zealand with Kiri Atkinson-Crean and her husband, Nigel Crean - a young, contemporary Maori couple, who will give you a real insight into what it means to be Maori in modern New Zealand. On top of that, their beds and rooms are divine, the food is fantastic, and there is laughter aplenty.
  • Booklovers Bed and Breakfast (Wellington; tel. 04/384-2714): Journalist and author Jane Tolerton is a woman with a passion for history and the astonishing book collection to prove it. Her charming city villa bulges with books and her rooms are large, comfortable, and close to town.
  • Glendinning House (Dunedin; tel. 03/477-8262): Sandy Black and Jocelyn Robinson live in an elegant brick mansion in the nicest part of town. Jocelyn, a former caterer, tempts guests with ongoing edible treats. Rooms are huge and are the perfect place to imagine life as a wealthy colonialist.
  • Pencarrow (Queenstown; tel. 03/442-8938): You'll have to completely revise your benchmark for service and value for money after staying with Bill and Kari Moers. They give a whole new meaning to guest comforts, and I think they should give lessons to B&Bs everywhere.
  • Waiorau Homestead (Wanaka; tel. 03/443-2225): Get a taste of the country in this beautifully restored homestead, where chef Blyth Adams and his wife, Ann Lockhart, will spoil you rotten. Modern comforts prevail against a backdrop of rural history and spectacular scenery.
  • Maison de la Mer (Akaroa; tel. 03/304-8907): If you want to know how a top B&B should be run, visit the experts. Bruce and Carol Hyland have hosted over 14,000 guests during their tenure in the hospitality industry, and their newest Akaroa venture is as luscious as their last. You'd be silly to miss it.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.