There is no doubt that there is something truly special about this quirky, quaint, and quintessentially homely hotel. From the outside The Stony River Hotel has all the hallmarks of a beautifully restored cottage to place your head after a day travelling down New Zealand’s Surf Highway. But the moment you walk through the door, you’ll feel every bit a part of the owners family.

Built in 1875 the Stony River Hotel has always operated as it was intended. Despite a few years where it became the local farmers favourite watering hole and 18 months unoccupied, the Hotel was built in such a way that it continues to serve its intended purpose.

In 2011 the building was fortunate enough to be picked up by an Austrian couple – he an award winning chef, and she a woman of loving grandma-esque character. What makes this hotel ultimately special, is the couple who run it.

Cute, romantic, quirky and melt in your mouth sweetness are all over the 7 room cottage. From the baskets of colourful flowers hanging in the entrance complimenting in utterly charming buttery tones of the exterior, through to the handmade pockets from which your dinner knife and fork sit. The moment you enter the cottage you’ll be greeted with a cheerful familiarity where service is delivered both comfortably, and authentic.

At breakfast – part of the room package – the chef politely asks your preference in a way that evokes child hood memories of Dad’s Sunday eggs. Dine in an intimate room complete with centre piece fireplace, radio tunes singing quietly in the background and tea light candles on each table for a dose of subtle romance.

Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand

As if the husband and wife who run the Stony Creek Hotel are not enough to truly platform the cottage into an unforgettable holiday, the dinner menu provides even more value.

You won’t be limited to burgers and fries at The Stony River Hotel Restaurant. A full authentic Austrian schnitzel menu is certain to top off a memorable holiday. Separate ladies and gents portion sizes are available – each priced with value – and an assortment of Taranaki wines to accompany the spectacular view of Mt Taranaki that presents from directly out the windows.

Rooms are equipped with spacious showers in a modern bathroom, and wood panelling lines bedroom walls fitted with quilted furnishings. In the hallway is a help-yourself tea and coffee console cementing the welcoming home cottage vibe.

It might not be entirely what you expected, but you will most certainly leave feeling valued, welcomed, and having had a beautiful holiday to remember. It is places like this that help realise true hospitably cannot be taught, but instead is a natural component stemming from the hearts of those organically passionate about what they deliver.