Words Josie Steenhart
On the corner of Waterloo Quadrant and Princes Street. Set in that pretty part of the city’s inner edge with peeks of park and historic buildings on one side, city high-rises on another, and stunning harbour views on yet another, and central to a variety of shopping/eating/drinking precinct gems, Pullman Auckland is basically just in a lovely part of town.
With 300 rooms on 17 floors, this 5-star hotel is something of an Auckland institution, and this year has undergone a full soft refurbishment for all accommodation rooms and guest corridors within the main hotel wing.
In a nice, community-related twist, the project start date coincided with the devastation caused by the major flooding in Auckland in late January, so furniture being replaced was placed in the main ballroom where local church groups facilitated collection of items for families whose homes and property were damaged in the floods.
Another cute feature are the three beehives located on the roof of the hotel lobby that have their own dedicated beekeeper, Tom. The bees get their food from nearby Albert Park, which makes the honey (which is harvested once a year in the spring and can be tasted in the hotel restaurant during the breakfast service, and is also gifted to guests) unique to the area.
I stayed in an Executive room, which, while it wasn’t the biggest (other than the bed, which was gorgeously expansive), made up for lost space with a heck of a view over the cityscape out to Waitematā Harbour that had me sneaking peeks and snapping photos at all times of the day and night.
No visit to the Pullman would be complete without heading down the elegant curved stairways to the spa, which, as well as offering dreamy treatments from hot stone massages, body scrubs and wraps to facials, manis and pedis, has an expansive sun terrace, a 25-metre heated indoor lap pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool, cutting-edge fitness equipment, a chill-out zone and a private lounge for group bookings.
As well as being spoiled for choice with a plethora of great local bars, cafes and eateries, on-site options include Tapestry Grill and Bar (led by executive chef Johnny Roullier and featuring small and large plates with an international flavour and local ingredients), Tapestry Bar and Terrace (with more of a loungey feel and a focus on drinks and shared platters), and of course in-room dining (I breakfasted this way both mornings of my stay and enjoyed eggs bene, coffee and smoothies from bed while the morning sun poured in).
THE NITTY GRITTY
Room rates start from $249 (terms and conditions apply).