Auckland may be a great place to live and it’s an even better place to visit for a break or holiday. It has everything as the real jewel in New Zealand’s tourism crown.
It has cool little hills to walk up for amazing views across the city to Rangitoto. The great old yawning pohutukawa brighten up the city among its sleepy volcanoes. I love lazing on the beaches at Mission Bay, Kohimarama, on the Shore and hard out surf beaches such as Raglan or Piha.
Auckland is driving New Zealand’s thriving economy with jobs for Africa, hundreds of incredible restaurants, international concerts and warm weather in winter – day and night. The City of Sails has been named the greatest coastal city in the world by an overseas cruise line.
Chicago Line Cruises has ranked 25 of the world’s greatest coastal cities, with Auckland taking out the top spot, followed by Barcelona, Vancouver, Copenhagen and Singapore. Sydney, Tokyo and Dubai also made the top 25.
Arts and architecture, music, nature, sports and dining were taken into consideration. Auckland is protected by two harbours, beaches and sight-seeing opportunities.
And if there is an Auckland hotel in heaven it is probably the luxurious Langham, Auckland. It is a classy, stylish haven after shopping in Newmarket, sipping latte in Parnell and dining in Ponsonby. It has just been voted the best hotel in New Zealand.
Visitors are clawing to stay there. International visitors to New Zealand grew 18 per cent to $10.3 billion in the year ended June 2016, according to the latest international visitor survey. The demand is high – and no wonder. The Langham is quite a grand old-school hotel with hushed charm and elegance. Its decor has a touch of old world elegance to it. The majesty, grandeur and beauty of this hotel is evident from the moment we were quietly issued into the foyer.
The award-winning Langham suites are grand, elegant, spacious and very well appointed. Beds are huge and have high quality bed linen, as well as soft fluffy pillows. Very romantic! The rooms also have very large televisions, Nespresso coffee machines and the bathrooms are stunning. Gleaming separate showers and large soaker tubs, as well as a complement of Chuan toiletries, comb, talc powder, shaving necessities, toothbrush and tooth paste and much more. We loved the fluffy white towels and sexy robes.
Another nice touch of Ritz-like style is the turn down service – heavy rich curtains closed, bed turned down, chocolate on our pillows, a bottle of water and a glass by our bedside cabinets – and the best part – a pair of slippers waiting for our feet.
My favourite part of the hotel are the heated rooftop swimming pool and Jacuzzi through the Chuan Spa. The locker rooms include divine peaceful saunas. Downstairs, my partner loved the decadent High Tea in the Palm Court. The sumptuous service was first class and the staff professional and engaging. We enjoyed a guest joining us who loved adding chocolate in her drink
The Langham front of house staff and receptionists are welcoming and they made us instantly feel at home. The suites and rooms can only be accessed through the hotel lift with a key card which makes guests feel very safe.
We dined in the hotel’s Eight restaurant – which has eight help yourself restaurants – an amazing concept and the amazing cuisine is to die for. The chefs at each station personally cook and cater to almost anything you want to eat. We loved the curries.
The majesty, grandeur and beauty of this hotel is evident from the moment you step into the foyer.
Heading out for the day or night in Auckland, these are seven of the coolest places:
1 The Matakana Farmers’ market. Bustling and intriguing.
2 Ponsonby. So much great food, cool cafes and shops.
3. The Mezze Bar off Queen Street – great ambience.
4. Non-Solo Pizza restaurant in Parnell.
5. Record vinyl shopping – Marbecks near the Viaduct.
6. People watching – get an outdoor table along the waterfront and sit on a comfy couch outside Botswana Butchery.
7. Take a ferry to Half Moon Bay and follow the Orcas in the shallows.