Fodor's Expert Review Clarence Tauranga

51 Willow St., New Zealand

Dating from 1903, the Edwardian-style building that now houses this stylish, luxurious hotel was originally the local post office, behind whose grand facade (check out the French antique tiles that line the roof) lie some of the city's most luxurious lodgings as well as two excellent restaurants. Accommodations include Queen Executive, King Executive, and King Premier rooms, the main differentiating feature being their size. The restaurants are the Italian-style Bar Centrale and the Clarence Bistro, which has an ever-changing menu overseen by chef Perrin Yates. At Clarence Bistro, try the duck laced with fermented cherry, raspberry, celeriac, and bitter chocolate; or get even more adventurous with a five-course tasting menu known as the 'Kitchen Mutiny'. The hotel is just on the edge of town, about a five-minute walk to the shops and restaurants as well as being handy to the waterfront.


  • friendly, attentive staff
  • espresso coffee machines in rooms
  • free parking


  • road-side rooms can be a bit noisy (no double glazing on the windows)
  • bar sometimes closes early if it's a quiet night
  • air-conditioning in room slightly noisy




Phones: 07-574–8200


10 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals

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