Thanks to the ever reliable Trailfinders, who we booked our New Zealand flights and hotels with, myself and Ms Larsbaby found ourselves staying at the Heritage hotel. We were informed that it was centrally located and of a decent quality. Trailfinders always seen to secure "bonuses" on every hotel we've booked with them. This time it was a room upgrade to superior grade; we were curious to see it all this would live up to expectation.
The Heritage Hotel is right in the city centre of Auckland, on Hobson Street. This is parallel to the main shopping road, Queen Street, which is a couple of blocks away, and hence very close. These is also a branch of Esquires Coffee close by which is open 24 hours a day, as well as a decent microbrewery bar.
The hotel used to be the landmark Farmers department store before it was converted into a hotel. As you walk into the main reception, there is a gift shop in front to the right, with various touristy gifts to browse. The lifts are to the right of this.
The large reception area to the left of the main entrance consists of a polished light wooden floor with big olive rugs, of a large seating area, reception desk and small bar in the left hand corner, which had happy hour deals. The reception desk is towards the back, with Hectors restaurant to the behind right of this. We never went there but it has room for 120 diners and claims it has a reputation for innovative cuisine, although the website doesn't actually tell you exactly what this is and I never thought to look while I was there. The breakfast was served on Azure level 2, but as breakfast wasn't included in our deal, we didn't use this facility at all. The seating area consists of 6 olive coloured sofa & chair arrangements, each enough to sit about six people. All the seats are wooden backed and very stylish, matching the colours and styles in the room. In the middle of each was a small wooden coffee table. Some pot plants were dotted around and a set of newspapers on poles near to the window which overlooked Hobson Street. In the middle of this wall a LCD TV was mounted. Gentle easy listening music played in the background.
The high ceiling room (if you can call it just a room) was, I have to say, huge! The whole thing had a unifying, classy wooden style. It comprised of a kitchenette, living room and bedroom. To the left of the entrance was a kitchenette comprising of a hob, cooker, grill, sink and dishwasher. There were lots of utensils in the drawers including knives, forks, spoons, a can opener, grater, big metal cooking spoons, a drainer, a medium sized metal pot and frying pan and colander. In the right cupboard was a toaster, dishcloths and dishwasher powder, kettle, and fire extinguisher. Over the top were cupboards containing 4 tumblers and wine glasses. 4 big white plates and 2 bowls were on an overhead wooden shelf. In the cupboard to the right were a teapot, 4 cups & saucers, 2 mugs, a glass oven dish, a sugar pot and a cafetiere. To the right was the fridge with some bottles of water but there was still plenty of room to store your own things in here, which we found really useful. It reminded me a lot of the setup in North America, where it was expected that at times you'd cater for yourself. On the kitchen worktop were some minibar items to purchase; wine, Pringles and cookies. Supplied at no extra charge were green, breakfast and camomile teas, coffee and hot chocolate. These were replenished every day which we appreciated.
The room's wooden floor was dark and polished, mostly covered by light brown rugs. The living room area was separated from the sleeping area by a large sliding door. Past the kitchenette to the left was a wooden topped metal desk, with a big mirror in front on the wall. A square metal chair with black leather seating was tucked underneath. A metal desk light was on the desk, with hotel guide, room service menu, phone and Ethernet cable for internet connection. A metal bin was underneath.
Past this was a LCD TV (maybe 28 or 32 inches) with built in DVD player, on top of a wooden cabinet. There were a few TV channels, including New Zealand channels 1-4, Sky Sports 1 & 2, Sky Movies and Box, as well as several pay TV movies. These channels were fine, with a lot of films, comedies and dramas on. The cabinet contained an All Blacks DVD player and a pay movies box.
To the rear of all this was the living area, which comprised of a green striped sofa and two green easy chairs on either side of it, all of which were very comfortable. In the corner, to the left of the sofa was a floor standing light. In the middle of the seating was a oblong black wooden coffee table, with a couple of big guide books about Auckland and New Zealand.
The bedroom area was plush, with a big comfy bed with a green cover, a big green pillow thing (big and wide whatever it is!) and a small green round pillow, along with the usual white pillows. We kept on leaving these green pillows on the floor and they took the hint and packed them away, which I thought was good service. There was a wooden bedside table on either side of the bed, with nightlights and a phone on the right one, an alarm clock on the left one. We used the alarm clock so it definitely worked! Behind the bed was a grained wooden headboard.
There was a large space in front of the bed before the wooden wardrobes in front. In the lower left of it were 4 drawers. Above these were big compartment with a rail and a compartment to the right also with a rail and hangers. The left one contained a combination safe and hairdryer. The right one had an ironing board and iron. You could set the combination of the safe yourself, and I used it throughout my stay; a really useful addition that made you feel that bit more secure.
The window was large, with a view of the hotel swimming pool and some of the city. The room walls were cream, with some 3D art coming out of the walls, a sketch like painting and a print.
The bathroom, to the right of the dooras you entered, was quite large. To the right of the entrance was the bath, to the left the shower and directly in front the sink, which had a big mirror in front, on a black mottled tiled floor. The loo was to the left of the sink. The sink surface was a laminated black and white spots effect. Under the sink was a metal towel rail, and a washing line could be hung across the bath. The walls were cream with while tiling, with one row of a mosaic black and brown tile. The bin was under the sink. The shower was pretty good; it was supplied by a mixer tap, which sometimes however took sometime to warm up, as did the sink hot tap.
The taps were those old fashioned Monopoly style 4 bar taps. Supplied in the bathroom were some very fancy Manucha spa branded toiletries; a bar of soap, hydrating body balm, shampoo and conditioner. Aside from this usual stuff, there was a luxury sanitary bag and sewing kits in the bathroom drawers along with laundry bags. None of these seem to constitute any kind of shower gel though, so best to bring your own; sometimes these days fancy hotels just don't get this basic kind of thing right in trying to be too clever. There were 4 bath and 4 hand towels provided on the metal rack over the bath, with 2 hotel monogrammed bath robes also hung up on the door.
Here is a full list of services:
* Rooftop heated swimming pool
* Indoor heated lap pool
* Indoor and outdoor spa pools
* Two well-equipped Gymnasiums
* Gift shop
* All-weather floodlit tennis court
* Ministry of Hair salon (see below)
* The Beauty Space day spa treatments
* Valet parking (cost $30 per day)
* Laundry facilities
* Safety deposit
* Baby sitting service
* Hectors Restaurant
* Lobby bar
* Business centre
* Dry cleaning
* Foreign currency exchange
* 24 hour room service
* Broadband Internet Connection
* WiFi wireless internet connections in all public areas
You can also fill in some details on the website for pre-arrival concierge, for help with things like booking a wheelchair, cars and tours. I note this because in particular the wheelchair request will be of huge benefit to some.
One other thing I noted in the hotel guide was an environmental plan, to use less water and energy, recycle more and waste less to reduce pollution. It was nice that they'd been thinking about these issues, advising you to reuse towels if possible rather than have fresh ones every day, which we actually did.
There was also an Irish bar around the side, next to the side entrance of the hotel, although this didn't seem to be part of the hotel complex.
This was yet another example of Trailfinders serving an ace and giving us a luxurious place to stay on our travels. This really was a first class hotel with a fantastic room and great location. If you can get a decent deal on this place, I would highly recommend it. we got it for £425 for 5 nights for a double room, which was amazing for the price in my opinion.
35 Hobson Street
P O Box 105-326
Phone: +64 9 379 8553
Fax: +64 9 379 8554
Toll free (within New Zealand): 0800 368 888
Reservations email: email@example.com
Website : http://www.heritagehotels.co.nz/Find-a-Hotel/Heritage-Auckland/