|Photo by: Tjin/iStock /Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images|
by John Wilmott, The Daily Telegraph, October 20, 2016
One of Auckland’s premier addresses, this large, modern hotel is where dignitaries and celebrities stay. It is luxurious without being pretentious, with plush rooms and all the facilities you’ll need. The most memorable aspect is the staff, who take a genuine interest in guests.
At the south end of Auckland’s city centre, the Langham is about 15 minutes’ walk to downtown, 20 to the Sky Tower and 30 to the revitalised waterfront and ferry dock. A shuttle bus operates every half an hour until about 9pm; if you'd prefer to walk back, it is steeply uphill.
Style & character 8/100
After passing lush plantings at the entrance, liveried door staff create a fine first impression. A few steps from the lobby, with giant a chandelier, is the sunken Palm Court bar/eaterie, which is the focal point. Furnishings in the public areas exude quality and elegance and the impression continues into the rooms. Conferences and weddings create a bit of bustle, but there’s room for all.
Service & facilities 9/100
The Chuan Spa is the place to head after a day’s sightseeing, featuring oriental treatments, steam and ice experiences. The fitness centre is likewise top-rate, with cardiovascular machines boasting internet screens. Best of all, there’s a sizeable heated rooftop pool with terrace and drinks service. Valet parking is available. The Wi-Fi is free in the rooms – not a given in New Zealand. The staff throughout are a pleasure to deal with; super-helpful and knowledgeable. A minor complaint is that the three main lifts can be erratic.
You won’t complain about a lack of space even in the classic (standard) rooms. Plenty of dark and light wood complements the earthy tones. Windows are wide, although only the upper floors get much of a view. Big beds are draped with decent linen. Bathrooms are roomy, with black marble vanity units and excellent showers. Better glazing would help as many rooms will notice some traffic noise.
Executive rooms have access to a business centre, while Club rooms can use an exclusive lounge.
We offer a price guarantee on every hotel booking
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink 9/100
Traditional 'Tiffin' afternoon tea in Palm Court is an Auckland institution; this is also the venue for bar meals and cocktails. Dinner in the main restaurant, Eight, is an event. It gets its name from the number of cuisines it offers, through both a buffet and live cooking stations. Choose your meat – kangaroo as well as lamb – and fill up a plate with oysters while it’s cooked. Return for Asian fare (sushi, dim sum), then leave room for the chocolate fountain. It’s hardly a bargain at 99-109 New Zealand Dollars (£55-£61) but worth the splash. Watch your drinks bill – the wine is expensive. Breakfast, in the same restaurant, is also impressive.
Value for money 8/100
Classic double rooms from 249 New Zealand Dollars (£140) to a 499 New Zealand Dollars (£280) depending on season and availability. Does not include breakfast. Free Wi-Fi. Look out for stay-and-dine packages.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Level access, large lifts and several wheelchair-accessible rooms.
Children will love the pool – but you’ll be making good use of the shuttle bus to avoid the hill.
This article was written by John Wilmott from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.