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“Someone is doing good things in the kitchen”

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The Esplanade Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Devonport
Auckland, NZ
Level Contributor
136 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Someone is doing good things in the kitchen”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

We are locals and our experiences of dining at the Esplanade have been patchy over the years. Many moons ago the restaurant aspired to fine dining but that was discontinued. What followed was often not that good. Our meal there recently was, however, well up to standard and whoever has brought that about is to be congratulated.

We dined midweek and the room was not full. We hope that doesn't discourage the chef. We were made welcome by attentive bar staff who double as wait-staff in the dining area, set up adjacent to the bar.

We began with appetizers of salmon cerviche and a warm beetroot salad. Both were very well constructed and presented. The cerviche was especially good, delicate and tangy with a great contrast of textures achieved against the salmon, from tender radish slices and beans.

Main courses were lamb shoulder and a rib eye of beef. The lamb was slow cooked and simply fell apart under the knife, yet was still succulent and flavoursome. It came with an extraordinary aubergine puree, which was a wonderful smokey and salty partner to the lamb.

The beef was a sizeable portion, grilled to a perfect medium rare and served with roasted mushrooms and shallots and a light bearnaise sauce. We had sides of lemon infused broccolini and an exquisite dish of roasted fennel and pancetta. This was all accompanied by the Quarter Acre Shiraz, which set the meat dishes off very well.

Dessert was not on our minds but the very persuasive waitress coaxed us to try the "potted cheesecake which, she explained, was a deconstructed version of the original. We had one to share and after polishing it off decided that another could easily have been dealt to as well! It was served in a sealable preserving jar and was a surprising and delicious exploration of flavours - very like cheesecake filling but with floating elements of crunchy biscuit base, and fruit. Really very cleverly put together.

The meal of 3 courses (dessert shared) with 3 glasses of wine was NZD168, a very reasonable price for food of this quality.

To the team at the Esplanade Hotel Bar and Grill, keep up the good work. The word is getting out!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GeoMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is a much loved hotel, quite beautiful & well located. Awesome brekky, every service is included (even a lift, a kindness to weary travellers besides being an accessible necessity). Whilst here, visit Megan at Cycle Auckland on the wharf- a tandem was better quality and half the cost of same in Napier. Add a visit to the Head, cinema, either museum and 3 days goes real fast- in a slow way!

Room Tip: Basic room was as well equipped as the suite but only lacked the sunroom.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank driftwood-HB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
101 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

The location is superb, good views of the water and park, right across from the ferry to go to Waiheke or Auckland, and right in the middle of all the great restaurants, bakeries, and shops of Devonport. Grand building with a lovely bar and breakfast room on the main floor. Breakfast was included and was quite good, great coffees. See attached photo. Our room was tired though and the bed terrible,we rolled into the middle - way too soft. Rattan couch and side tables were rough and dusty. The couch was stained and the bedspread faded. Easy to fix if they wanted to. The bathroom was small but well appointed. Fridge and coffee jug in the room. It was missing a good desk too, they had something more like a tv table. If they bought some furnishings - it could be lovely. Nice people. Wish we could give it a higher score.

Room Tip: Choose 104 or 105 which have a separate sun room or 103 a suite. All were better furnished than ours...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DeRiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

Only here for lunch which was delicious with a good menu and food cooked fresh by the taste of it. It's not a fast food joint so don't expect instant food. Good selection of wines too. Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Philtheherp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Level Contributor
87 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2013

We had a meal at its restaurant. The service was immensely slow - a growing problem in New Zealand which is a little confusing. The menu was interesting - "walking chicken", for example, meant "free range". Perhaps it was the long wait that made the food, in the end, seem a little bland. I would really like to want to like this place as it oozes character. But the service, in the end, spoiled it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

I had one night at The Esplanade hotel in mid April. The hotel is directly across from the Devonport Ferry buildings, which is a short 15 min ferry ride from Auckland’s CBD. A return ticket on the ferry will cost $11NZD. If you are driving, it is approx 45 mins from Auckland airport, or 20 mins from the CBD. There is free 24 hour parking opposite the hotel, just down from the ferry buildings but be sure to get in early as local commuters fill the spaces up pretty early and quickly.

The hotel is very grand and has been beautifully restored, standing tall in a prime position on one of Auckland’s most visited districts. Check in was quick and simple and there is a lift to the other floors. My room was the cheapest on offer but it had a large comfortable queen bed and a view across to the park opposite. The room wasn’t overly large, but the bathroom certainly was (almost the same size as the bedroom, if not bigger) and with a rather large bag I ended up using the floor space there for my bag which worked well. Breakfast was included in the price which is a selection of juices and one choice from the breakfast menu. It was nice but as the hotel isn’t cheap I was hoping for something a little more than the single choice.

Perhaps I’m a little biased having grown up in the area, but although it isn’t located in the CBD I think there is a lot more to offer by staying in Devonport as it has an excellent selection of bars, cafes and restaurants as well as numerous attractions such as Mt Victoria and North Head (both extinct volcanoes offering spectacular views of the harbour) as well as the Navy Museum at the base of North Head. The walk along the foreshore is fantastic and the ferry gives great access to and from the city and it’s attractions.

Overall, I would highly recommend The Esplanade hotel but is just lacked a little something. Perhaps offering a full breakfast would have earnt it five stars.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NX622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akaroa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2013

My partner and I spent a night here in March this year. The location is great and the hotel has excellent potential - unfortunately not realised.

Rooms are large but cheaply and tackily furnished - think English B&B of the 1950's.

This could be a wonderful hotel. Hopefully it will be some day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Manuhiri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Esplanade Hotel

Property: The Esplanade Hotel
Address: 1 Victoria Road, Devonport 0624, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Auckland Region > Devonport
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Devonport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Esplanade Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Esplanade Hotel offers Auckland boutique hotel accommodation, right on the waterfront in Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand. Nestled in the heart of Devonport village, just across the harbour from the heart of Auckland City, The Esplanade Hotel dominates the Devonport foreshore and enjoys unrivalled harbour and city views. This boutique hotel was built in 1903, has been elegantly restored and has a character and charm all of its own.It is only a ten-minute ferry ride to downtown Auckland, without the hassle of the inner city. After a busy day sight-seeing or on business, The Esplanade Hotel is a haven to escape to at the end of the day…sit back and relax in the bar or restaurants and watch the Auckland city lights and harbour activity. The Esplanade Hotel has seventeen rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, including the luxurious Blake Suite and the two bedroom ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esplanade Hotel Auckland
The Esplanade Hotel Devonport, New Zealand - Auckland

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