More about Auckland City Hotel-Hobson St
STAY AWAY !!
Unless it has changed greatly since 2003, stay away from this hotel despite it's price!
It was filthy. The bathroom floor was sticky. The bedroom window was broken. There was no lock on the door except for a simple little push button. The neighbourhood was very dodgy and a long walk - uphill - to anywhere else.
I had reserved it on the internet, via the Budget Motels Chain site. It was the only hotel/motel of my entire 6-week visit to OZ & NZ that was unsatisfactory. They now have an internet site of their own. If the management hasn't changed, the site is highly deceptive.
Arrived at 2300 hours, so had to stay the night. Didn't want to get into that crumpled bed with used sheets, so I sat in a chair all night until first light. Then I left. Absolutely NOTHING redeeming about this place.
Fabulous little hotel!!!
We spent 2 wks in the North Island NZ. We stayed 2 nights at the this hotel upon arrival into Auckland. The hotel is beautifully renovated. The fixtures are tasteful and spa like. The staff was helpful and friendly, esp the reservation manager. Ms Wu answered promptly all of my emails regarding the hotel location, electricty voltage/plug type, etc... The hotel website is also quite user friendly with many of the FAQs available..
The hotel does not have central heating, so it was a bit cold when you first come into the room. But we had no problems thru the night as the portable heater does a good job heating up.
When we returned for our last night in Auckland as our flight was early the next a.m., and since the hotel was fully booked, they upgraded us to a 2 bdrm suite (as a returned customer!).
It is within walking distance to the Sky City, the Waterfront, and shopping / restaurants on Victoria / Queen streets. They are almost complete with adding a cafe to the hotel so breakfast / room service will be available soon...
I'd definitely stay here again... It's a lovely boutique hotel at a great price and in a good location! What more can a traveler want?!?
Clean, Bright, Spacious - A real gem in Auckland's CBD!
A lovely clean, bright, spacious two storey unit (a first for anywhere we have stayed!).
On the first floor is the entranceway, kitchen with dishwasher, microwave etc, laundry (in cupboard) and lounge with two sofas and a flat screen television.
The upper floor consisted of two separate bedrooms (each with a queen sized bed, wardrobe and LCD flatscreen television), and a main bathroom with shower and toilet. There was also another ensuite toilet in one of the bedrooms - however, there wasn't a second bar of soap supplied to use in here so had to use main bathroom for hand-washing!
There were some very "quaint" Asian inspired touches with complimentary slippers, and plastic orchids in various vases!
On the downside I do agree with the other reviews which have made mention of the lack of heating. Our unit had only one small oil-fin heater - not nearly adequate enough for the size of the unit. No electric blankets on the beds - which were freezing to get into as they were fitted with the usual hotel-type cotton sheets. It was difficult to stay warm for the whole night under these conditions!
I would like to make a suggestion that the management either puts electric blanktes on the beds, or supplies more spare blankets, and more room heaters!
Getting a park when you first arrive is a hassle as you have to park on a 5 minute loading zone, and then pay $25 valet fee for your car to be stored in the basement.
The location was perfect for our stay as it is only a 5 minute walk to the SKY Casino, and a 10 minute walk into the middle of Queen Street, although the walk back does require going up a rather steep hill!
I would stay here again (especially in summer when you don't need to try to keep warm!), and would recommend it to others to stay too!
Modern Chic on the Cheap
We stayed here twice - at the begining and end of our 2 week trip. Both times we were impressed with the sleek, modern decor, the comfortable beds, and the adjustable (ie tall!) shower with good water pressure. I loved the eco-friendly lighting (when you enter your room, you place your room key in a slot by the door to turn on the electricity). The staff was overall very friendly, and they have a large room off the lobby to store luggage. The hotel was located just off the main street (Queen St) and it was easy to walk to restuarants, attractions, and the LINK bus. Once I found an Esquire coffee house for my morning jolt, I was set! Also, the skytower was just down the street, so it was easy to find your way home.
The complaints about cold rooms that I saw here on previous reviews are accurate - however - we figured out how to fix it. At night, position a towel (or winter coat) against the door crack. This seems to stop most of the draft, and allows the portable heater a fighting chance! You should only have this problem in the winter, though; while we were there spring arrived, and as it warmed up the draft seemed to die down.
If you stay in private homes in NZ, you'll find that most Kiwis are impervious to the cold - they tend to open up their windows on all but the most frigid of days, and they'll often leave the front door open for no apparent reason. So breezy accomodations are kind of the norm here in winter.
The only (minor) issue that I ran into was one of the staff - and it was probably due to her inexperience (I hope). I don't usually "correct" staff but I did let her know that I wasn't pleased with her attitude. The rest of the staff was terrific and I really apppreciated their Kiwi friendliness!
Amazing rates - not sure how long that will last - but get 'em while you can. I would expect to pay double for this hotel!
Lovely hotel, friendly staff
We stayed one night in this htel at the beginning of our trip to New Zealand. We were very happy with the immaculate room. It got a little cold but we plugged the heaters in and it was fine.
The bed was extremely comfortable, there was a fantastic TV, and the bathroom was lovely.
We were also very impressed with the staff who let us check into the room early (we'd arrived in Auckland at 9am!).
Did not have a good time staying here!
First of all you have to pay an extra $25 for valet parking yet we ended up having to do our own valeting!!!!!!!
Room was very small & pokey tiny tiny bathroom.
the veiw out of our room was looking onto slum matrix style apartments.
No roomservice, no restaurant, 4 tv channels.for the price,pretty average all round.
Central and nice
This is a great hotel in a central location. It is well located next to lots of good restaurants, the waterfront, skycity tower and the major bus terminal.
I had a double room which was spacious enough. Ok, the shower is on the small side, and plastic so I felt like I was in a boat, but for the price the setup was more than adequate. My only gripe is that the daily clean was a bit average, with the glasses I had used the day before rinsed (rather than replaced) and placed upside down on a tray so they dripped and never dried and left a disgusting wine sludge around the rim. The staff were nice though and promptly fixed the situation for me when I complained.
If you're looking for a reasonably nice room in a good location in Auckland, this hotel is great. But if you want room service, parking facilities, a nice view from your hotel room, or an inclusive restaurant, you'd be best to look elsewhere.
umm it was ok
well i booked this hotel for location and price. it is definately in a good location, close to everything. the price was not bad. the hotel was clean and well kept, the staff friendly. the downfall you have to pay for every phone call out even local calls, they have internet but its 30 bucks a day, they have 4 channels on tv. the beds were really soft and the pillows even softer. you needed 4 just to get propped up a bit. id probably not stay here again unless i couldnt find a better deal else where.
The heating is okay for this time of the year and we found a cheaper parking
Hi all I've given excellent for this hotel based on the great price ( 99 nzd inclusive tax per night) and ideal location (close to skycity and you can walk to the harbour and britomart easily) ( for grocery, it's just across the street). The room was clean and tastefully decorated with sufficient amenities. The staffs were friendly and able to assist our needs.
I understand that there're some concerns about the heating , but during our stay in late September the weather has been kinder ( 10 degrees c at night) and so we didn't encounter any heating problem. There's a small heater in the room should you still feel cold, there's hot water for shower, and there's complimentary hot tea/ cofee.
Another concern might be with the vallet parking. It's 20 plus plus per night and I don't think it's worth it. So, here's what we do.... we park our car at the public garage right across the hotel. If you plan to drive around Auckland and return late ( i think it's 7 pm and above) ,you only need to pay 5 nzd for the overnight parking. Parking in Auckland city itself is plenty so you need not worry. If you plan to go to Mission Bay and Mount Eden, driving your own car will be easier. Otherwise, there's a free shuttle bus that runs around the city.
We went to Kelly Tartlon and we think it's rather costly for what you get to see. It's over rated if you've been to sea world san diego or san antonio. And if it's the penguins that you're after, I'd rather you wait until you're in the South island to see them. You can see penguins in Akaroa near Christchurch or Kaikoura , 2 hours from Christchurch , or maybe at Oamaru and Caitlins.
Oh, and if you plan to have dinner at the skycity, do book ahead. We had dinner at the rotating restaurant and the view was amazing plus you get complimentary entry to the observatory.
Btw, I booked this hotel through booking.com , no booking fees like wotif :P and you pay later on at the hotel.
I Fell In Love with New Zealand
First let me state outright that I am not objective.
I fell in love with NZ; with the country and the people.
The glorious mountains, the bird life, the green of the land, water, water everywhere;
the way of life and the philosophy of life as I met it.
Would have stayed if it had been possible...
Reserved all my hotel rooms in advance. Arrived in Auckland at 2300 hours to discover that the Auckland City hotel was unbearable. Changed it first thing in the morning with the help of the lovely lady from the 1/2 day tour that I had also reserved in advance. Then went out on my first marvelous exposure to the beauty of this country. Was taken to visit the West Coast and the Gannet colony at Muriwai. It really must be seen!
The City Central hotel was right in the centre of Auckland. Lovely wandering around in the evening, seeing the sights. Lots 'n lots of choices for places to eat.
Next day a full day tour; visited the Maori Arataki Visitors Centre, Mt. Eden, the Rainforest with its Kauri trees, the West Coast and the Phia waterfalls.
I was more than a bit overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.
Visited the Museum and walked around the city.
Took an organized tour to the Waitomo Caves that dropped me off at my motel in Rotorua. That evening went on the very, very well done Tamaki Maori Village and Hangi.
Next day took an organized tour of a purposely built Maori village. It is used to educate the young Maori generation in their heritage, to train carpenters that can then make totem poles to depict their history and to develop the artistic talents of young Maori in other skills. In addition of course, it is used as a tourist attraction - and well worth a visit!
The hot springs and geysers were amazing, then a very entertaining visit to see a sheep herding exhibition.
Flew from Rotorua to Wellington - first time in my life flying in a 2-engine prop plane. Amazing experience. Small plane with only 11 seats, on one side of the cabin rows of two seats and the other side single seats.
A couple of slow and easy days: visited the fantastic Te Papa museum, the Botanical gardens, caught up on my e-mail and took a short vacation from my extended vacation :-)
On to South Island by ferry.
On arrival in Picton got on a long distance bus to Kaikoura. Wonderful ride. The driver was just full of information, entertaining and fun! He wasn't an official guide, this was a standard public service coach; he just loved his country and showing it off.
A ride of some 3 hours - all low rolling hills, vistas of distant mountains. Some steepish curves, then down again to the lowlands...agricultural land with some small villages and towns; many, many farms, sheep, deer, sheep, horses, sheep, cattle, sheep, sheep and more sheep :)
The interesting part is that NZ has no native land animals at all. All native life is birds, reptiles and fish. And what amazing birds they do have! Many flightless ground dwellers due to the lack of predators before humankind came on the scene.
"South Island - Kaikoura & Christchurch"
I think that Kaikoura may be my favorite place on South Island...but then what about Te Anau and even Christchurch?? So hard to decide - I shan't! I just loved it all.
Kaikoura a beautiful small town surrounded by snow capped mountains. The people are especially nice. Everyone was friendly, helpful and proud of their town and their country. The populace is mixed - those of European descent and those of Maori descent.
They have in the last few years switched from whaling and sealing to preservation. The local industry is now tourism. Today they make their living off those same animals by showing them off to tourists! Yet the town remains a small one, with local shops that cater to both tourists and residents. They will go out of their way to be helpful.
Somewhat limited in restaurants, there is one great place to eat breakfast right by the bus stop. Dinners were better bought in the local supermarket, cooked and eaten at the hostel. The hostel/hotel I stayed in also had a pub that served decent pub food.
Took some lovely walks along the beach and on the road above it for the length of the town to the peninsula at the end. There is a seal reserve out there. The rocky beach with its towering waves breaking, the thunder of the surf and the quiet of nature...what can be better?
I stayed at the Bluepackers hostel/hotel. Not perhaps for everyone, but I adored it.
Stayed for 4 nights. Would have liked to remain longer, perhaps forever...
Coach to Christchurch.
A small city with good facilities. A funny looking something , can't really call it a statue - perhaps a sort of sculpture - that resembled nothing so much as a giant ice cream cone in the middle of the city square. A church that attempts to resemble an ancient cathedral, a *great* tourist information centre and the marvelous Willowbank Animal Reserve.
"The icecream cone in Chch is called The Chalice, and it is a reflection of the Cathedral spire, turned by 180°." - Thank you Kakapo2
Christchurch epitomized for me the kind of people that live in NZ. The disabled are not hidden from sight. The buses have hydraulic facilities (they call it "kneeling down") to permit wheelchair access. People with Downs Syndrome are employed in local shops, the city centre is more like a really nice small town. A place that I would be happy to live in.
Had arranged in advance for 2 organized full day bus tours. One was cancelled because there were not enough people. The other, Arthur's Pass with a Jet boat ride included was fun! Used the second day to walk all over the city, climb the tower of the 'cathedral' and get to know people. Am not at all sorry that the organized trip was cancelled!
Visited the Willowbrook Nature Reserve for dinner and tour of the native wild life exhibition. The tour was a revelation. Here I learned the history of the native bird life, saw flightless birds and pictures of the now extinct Giant Moa and a predator, the Giant Eagle. There are cardboard cutouts to give you the idea of their size - awesome! Bought a shirt with pictures of 8 other extinct species and the legend: "Extinction is Forever - New Zealand Cares". There is a great deal of disagreement within the country of who caused the destruction of these species and when.
"Te Anau - Cruises and Walks"
What can I say? Yet another town that I could easily spend the rest of my life in.
The town is small but set up to make life easy for visitors :->)
Lots of small places to eat or buy take out food. Good supermarket. Walkable. Small shops with decent prices. Bought a warm jacket to walk around in the evenings.
Had originally planned to stay at the Lakefront Backpackers, but it was too cold to sit outside to smoke in the evenings, so I spent a bit more money and stayed at a lovely motel, in an individual unit. I now see on the internet that it has upgraded to a 4* hotel. It was a lovely place in 2003, but the rates were a good deal lower - perhaps because it was 'off season' and they had empty rooms. (Tips: Accomodations)
The days were lovely and warm not hot, the evenings quite cool. It rained a lot, but it was a soft, gentle rain in no way interfered with day trips and walks.
From here I walked around a portion of Te Anau lake and visited a native bird sanctuary where they are breeding some of the endangered species. Saw a pair of Takahe. The young are raised for release.
Took a day trip across Lake Manapuri and a cruise on Doubtful Sound (actually a fjiord). See Tips: To Do
Took the Milford Track day walk (wish I had had the time for the 3-day trek!) and a cruise on Milford Sound (also actually a fjiord). See Tips: To Do
Regretfully it was time to wend my way homeward.
Back to Christchurch for an overnight. Visited the Anarctic Centre and took the Gondola to the top of the Port Hills and a walk up there around the crater of an extinct volcano. Marvelous views!
Went up to the top of the Skytower - bloody expensive but what a view!!
Flew home via Bangkok - trip report to follow. Would have spent those 4 extra days in New Zealand if I had only known...
City of Auckland
Sky Tower at night
where to go and what to do in auckland city early in the morning
I'll be arriving in Auckland Airport on 25 March, in the wee hours of 4am. My connecting flight to Christchurch is same day, 3.30pm. I plan to take airbus to city and explore a little till noon before heading back to airport for check-in. But I'm not sure where I could go and what I could do so early in the morning. I supposed most shops and places are not openned this early. So any recommendations and suggestions?
RE: where to go and what to do in auckland city early in the morning
I've been to an aquarium there, not sure what time it opened, check my travel pages for info.
Re: where to go and what to do in auckland city early in the morning
First of all flag the Airbus - it takes ages and for $5 you can get a super shuttle which takes 40 mins.
I would head to Sky City Casino (no, not to gamble but to see the view) they have a tower which looks out all of Auckland, about $12 entry charge I think. Then head down to the Viaduct for breakfast and then hop on a ferry to Devonport for a walk along Cheltnham Beach (rather pretty and you get a good view of the city). Walk up Mt Victoria. Look at the Galleries and shops. Head back to the city on the ferry and pick up some cheap shopping, eat at the Pandoro Bakery on Queen St and get the shuttle to the airport. You can choose where they pick you up from.
Hope this helps.