One of THE best rooms I stayed in while in New Zealand. I stayed at this property on the last three nights of my two-week trip here, and it was the perfect place to wrap up my vacation. I thought I would be relaxing in my room working on my laptop for a lot of the time—and the incredibly spacious and comfortable room was ideally suited for just that—however, there were way too many things to see and do in Auckland!
But first off, I was on the 14th floor of the hotel and had great views of the surrounding city skyline with the Sky Tower right down the street. Because I had a corner unit, the two walls of windows were great to let in the daylight. Two twin beds were placed together which was fine with me; they were really comfortable. Nice and quiet even though I was near the elevators. Good lighting; bed tables on both sides; good area to keep the suitcase open; nice work desk area with TV, keyboard for internet (optional to use); two really comfy chairs and small desk for a sitting area; spacious kitchen area off to side with sink, microwave, small fridge, hot water pot, utensils, plates; roomy bathroom with nice sink area, shower stall. There's a sign by the sink that indicates hot water is available for 15 minutes and more after 45 minutes. Thoughtful bathroom lighting starts off at lower wattage then brightens up, giving your eyes time to adjust to the brightness. There's a gym and restaurant, both of which I didn't use. You can also use the computers in the lobby area for your one-hour online access and to print out your boarding pass.
The only two slightly negative aspects of my stay were the constant hum of the heater, which did keep the room warm, and WIFI. Every guest receives free internet access for one hour per day in the lobby; you can also pay 5.00 for four hours in your room (affordable and worth it) or more if you wish. I opted for the 5.00 option, but for some reason I wasn't able to load pages up in my room though the signal was strong. I called the front desk and they tried to remedy the situation quite a few times, even coming up to my room to check the signal. They even gave me free 24-hour internet use. Unfortunately, the solution couldn't be found so I just ended up staying in the lobby for an hour a day. I do give them props for trying.
Regardless, I'm really happy with my stay here. The location is key and so convenient for checking out Auckland, especially if you don't have transportation. It's smack dab in the middle of everything! Just make two lefts out the door and you're on Queen Street for shopping; Sky Tower (with restaurants, Sky Jump, Sky Walk) is right up the street; the North Wharf is about a 15-minute walk away with its incredible array of restaurants, the Maritime Museum, fish market and lots more (check out the cool public bathrooms in the stacked cargo holders and neat buildings just past it). Surrounding the hotel are your choice of shops, services (camera and other), restaurants, cafes, bakeries and so much more. I enjoyed dinner at Elliot Stables on Elliot Street, a quick walk from the hotel, that's an indoor upscale food court popular with local folks after work and visitors; Elliot Atrium has a food court on the bottom and cute boutiques; the Downtown Shopping Centre on Queen Street has NZ gift shops, boutiques, food court; plus so much more. Note: there's a sundry store that you can see from the hotel lobby, but instead, go to Countdown grocery store about three doors down; items are cheaper. Lines are longer after work so go earlier if you don't want to get stuck there.
Your options for transportation to get further afield are also available. Britomart Transport and ferries to Rangitoto and Waiheke islands are on the waterfront on Quay Street (15-20 minute walk). Bus stops to get to attractions and neighboring areas (Parnell Village looks like a cool area) are right outside the hotel. You can also purchase a $40 day-long pass (second day is $20) at the Sky Tower's I-Centre for the Auckland Explorer (hop on, hop off) that takes you to major attractions. I did this and found that you need to start early in order to make the most of it since transport generally ends before 4 p.m. and each attraction takes at least one hour minimum to really enjoy (Auckland Zoo, Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, Auckland Museum, Newmarket Shops, Eden Garden—check it out!—Motat and Parnell Village will all require more than an hour). So your best bet will most likely be the public bus system so you can take your time and not feel pressured to rush.
Transport to and from Auckland Airport is no problem either. I used the Super Shuttle NZ from the airport to the hotel (shared) and the hotel arranged personal transport for me back to the airport ($30 I think). There are other cheaper options as well.
All in all, I would definitely stay at this hotel again. If all you can do is a quick trip to Auckland and don't have transportation, this would be an ideal headquarters.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Modern Apartment Hotel located in the Central Business District, 150 meters from ferries & buses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Auckland Best Western
- Best Western Auckland
- BEST WESTERN President Hotel Auckland New Zealand