In Auckland, New Zealand, the luxe Pullman Hotel is perfectly situated for both business and vacation travelers. Located in the city’s central business district, the Pullman is surrounded by pocket parks and trees and walkable to popular restaurant, shops, and the busy marina area. And it offers upscale amenities in a friendly, intimate atmosphere that won’t have you feeling like you’re in just another ho-hum hotel.
RFT Editor Anne Weaver and I stayed at the Pullman Auckland on a visit to the country’s North Island. After a long flight from the U.S., the hotel was a quick 40-minute trip by cab from the airport where, despite our arrival early in the morning, the hotel staff welcomed and invited us into our ready room. We gratefully tumbled into the king bed for a few hours to recoup from jet lag.
The 340-room hotel offers three room classifications: Superior King Rooms, Executive Suites, and Residences that offer up to three bedrooms. Our Executive Suite, in addition to a large bedroom with a luxurious king bed, offered a spacious lounging room with a couch, coffee table, good-sized desk, chair and ottoman, credenza with coffee- and tea-making facilities, and a 32-inch flat screen TV. The extra room was especially nice with two of us, offering both a place to relax and a place to work. The Executive Suite also featured complimentary Wi-fi, something that’s essential when we travel.
The bedroom featured a king bed with high-end linens, duvet, and extra pillows, something I always appreciate. However, I sleep warmly and found the puffy duvet too warm for my comfort. A quick call to the front desk brought a thinner blanket, which was more to my liking.
Our king suite, which overlooked a large green space on the University of Auckland’s urban campus, had both air conditioning and operable windows to allow in fresh breezes. It also had a nice-sized safe where we stored our computers and other valuables we didn’t need.
The bathroom featured plenty of high-end toiletries, fluffy towels and robes, and a bath/shower combo with a height-adjustable shower with a removable, hand-held head.
Pool, Fitness, Ah Spa
The hotel has a heated 25-meter heated swimming pool, spa pool, sauna and steam room, and fully- equipped fitness room. However, we were too busy exploring the city to experience those. I did, however, avail myself of the luxury health club and spa, Spa at the Pullman.
I’d managed to pick up a nasty head cold and between the cold and the jet lag, I was feeling none too perky when I reported for my 11 a.m. massage with Christina. I changed into a robe and slippers and waited for my masseuse in quiet, softly-lit relaxation room.
The next hour was both magical and restorative. Christina massaged out all those all-night-flight knots in my muscles and, even better, relieved, at least temporarily, my cold symptoms. Back in the relaxation area, I sipped water and tea and nibbled on some dried fruit, feeling both peaceful and rejuvenated–and much more ready to tackle my exploration of Auckland and the rest of North Island.
One of the best parts about staying at the Pullman Auckland is its wonderfully convenient location. While its only 40 minutes from the Auckland Domestic/International Airport and 5 minutes by car/10 minutes on foot from Britomart Railway Station, it’s in the heart of the central business district at the top of Shortland Street and within easy walking distance of a range of entertainment, shopping and tourist attractions.
A short walk from the hotel you can explore the Vector Arena, beautiful High Street and Queen Streets or catch a ferry to one of the many islands that occupy the Hauraki Gulf. We walked to the marina for a wonderful lunch at The Food Store, an exciting harbor sail on America’s Cup Sailing, and a fascinating tour at the Maritime Museum. On another evening, we strolled 10 minutes to and from the Pullman for an Asian-inspired dinner at Café Hanoi.
If you bring a car, Pullman Auckland provides guests with a variety of parking options with valet parking for $35. Overnight parking is available (for a fee) at the public car park situated below the hotel.
Real Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in Auckland where you’ll be pampered and be within easy walking distance of all the restaurants, shops, and attractions a visitor needs, the Pullman Auckland is a great choice. If you’re a bit jet-lagged (and even if you’re not), take advantage of their wonderful massage therapists in the Pullman Spa—you’ll be glad you did. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor