Sunday, June 14, 2015

Crowne Plaza Auckland



 1. Nightscape  2. Lobby art  3. Lobby chandelier

Located in the very heart of Auckland, Crowne Plaza is the perfect situation for anyone planning a luxurious weekend getaway.  Perhaps your ultimate weekender doesn't include two noisy kiddos (mine doesn't either, for those curious), but even with a busy preschooler in tow, it was impossible not to have a beautiful stay at this central hotel. If you have it in mind to visit Auckland city and wish to feel completely spoilt, I, without hesitation, recommend checking in at Crowne Plaza Auckland.





 4. Reception  5. Checking out that view  6. Surrounding buildings  7. Lobby floor  8. Morning light

The Rooms:  We were really pleased with the decor and layout of our double queen room.  Simple, with appealing adornments and ridiculously comfortable beds.  The room felt fresh and tidy, none of the worn and tired feel of some hotels.  Crisp white sheets and a white tiled bathroom, peachy perfect.

Initially we were booked into interconnecting rooms, but in the end my preference turned out to be a double queen.  Honestly, the kids were asleep about 2 seconds after we got in (from watching the Harlem Globetrotters- more on them soon).  I was feeling a tiny bit overwhelmed by c i t y, and there was a snugness and security to staying all together in the same room.  It's nice to know that both alternatives are perfectly workable, that interconnecting rooms are not a must.  You know, for my fantasy trip to Italy, of course...

I also have a hotel bathroom hot tip for y'all! - - > use the complimentary liquid soap (shower/bath gel works just as well) to make a bubble bath!  We all know that if you take those complimentary toiletries home you're never gonna use them, so you might as well make good use of them while you're there!  








9. Nightstand  10. Cityscape  11. Bathroom  12. R & R  13. Nightscape  14. Bed  15. Complimentaries  16.Morning Paper

The Facilities:  For busy guests, Crowne Plaza really has everything pretty well covered.  They offer express check-out and have a number of different hotel services dedicated to making your stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

If you are happy to sign up for IHG membership (it's free!) there is complimentary wifi for your stay, as well as free late check out.  Boom!  We ended up checking out at the normal time, but knowing we had an extra hour up our sleeves was a massive stress-reducer.   There are other benefits to joining too, just fyi.

They have free sky channels as well as pay-per-view new release movies, which we would totally have taken advantage off except that we fell asleep as SOON as our heads hit those pillows.

Their fully equipped gym is open 24hours and if you're super lucky, you could even bump into a sporting star while you're in there.  Just sayin' (there were three sports teams staying at the same time as us, including two of the FIFA U-20 teams, and the Crusaders... yeah).







17. Lobby  18. Front entrance  19. Pen  20. Nightscape  21. Front entrance  22. Morning view  23. Dude

The Service:  Crowne Plaza really stood out in terms of customer service.  Their staff were so friendly, accommodating and helpful, which made everything about this stay really pleasant.  Every single interaction was warm - even when I had a *tiny* anxiety attack and asked for a lower room, they were super gracious about the whole thing, carrying bags, dropping off extra amenities and checking that we were still really happy with our rooms.  We felt as though the staff were always happy to go the extra mile to ensure that we had the best possible stay, which is such a comforting feeling when you are away from home, with all your familiar comforts out of reach.








24. Elevator floor  25. Wellesley St  26. Front entrance  27. Giapo (on Queen)  28. Superior room  29. Remedy Coffee  30. After hours entrance (via Eliot St)

The Location: This has got to be one of the ultimate features of this hotel.  Located on Albert St, you really couldn't have a more central spot.  Just knowing that you have nothing more to do than press an elevator button and you're dining at Eliot Stables, or grabbing a Best Ugly Bagel (okay, the elevator button doesn't make these things magically appear, but you get my drift, these places are like, very close), is pretty darn comforting.



Within very short walking distance you have an amazing selection of coffee shops, restaurants, cafes, crepe stores, gelaterias, and one thousand other things (especially if you give Queen St a miss and stick to the side streets).  The Art Gallery is on your doorstep, as are the Civic, Aotea Square, Britomart, Wynyard Quarter, Albert Park, Central Library, Imax theatre, Sky City and that random tower thing, and like, every other thing.  If you want to travel further afield there are plenty of buses to board, regularly taking travellers towards Newmarket, the Domain and Museum, Western Springs Park, MOTAT, the Zoo and so on.  Everything just feels close and incredibly easy, which is actually such a bonus when staying in a sprawling city such as Auckland.










 31. Wellesley St  32. Autumn leaves  33. Nightscape (Albert St)  34. Hotel hallway  35. Wellesley St 36. Hotel Lobby  37. Aria Cafe  38. Aotea at night  39. Autumn on Wellesley  40. Eliot St

Perfect for: Couples and groups of friends.  Crowne Plaza felt very child-friendly, but I kept feeling as though we could've taken full advantage of our stay had we travelled sans.  With so many bars and restaurants soooo handy *sigh*.  I am also sold on the idea of booking in for a besties weekend here sometime...  Splitting a double room between four makes this a very affordable weekender, and again, the accessibility of Auckland nightlife and event venues, perfect perfect.  If you do decide to book, definitely make use of this winter discount :-D

Sidenote // elevators are not my favourite, especially when my three-year-old travel buddy acts like a maniac as soon as that little button dings - but the elevators at Crowne Plaza occasionally host sporting celebs, including the odd one or two I've actually heard of.  So you know, keep an eye out.  If you follow me on instagram you would've seen my stalkergram already....  Yeah... I forgive you, elevators...  // as you were.









 41. Wellesley St Barista  42. Hotel lobby  43. Traffic watching  44. Starks  45. Autumn on Wellesley 46. Breakfast at Aria  47. Nightscape  48. Hotel lobby  49. Front entrance

I know that for many of us a hotel stay is a sometimes food (one for the Sesame St fans), and if you're planning on a winter weekender with your family/partner/besties, you need to know that you're gonna love it.  Crowne Plaza felt to me, exactly as comfortable and easy as I want a hotel stay to be.  The service, the decor, the glass panelled elevators offering pretty nightscapes (while you cling to the hand rests and try not to swoon... okay, that's just me).  The location, so perfect, especially if you are without a car and planning to walk or make use of public transport.

Treat yo' self, y'all!




50. Aria cafe  51. Front entrance  52. Breakfast at Aria  53. Albert st  54. Eliot St

We received one night of complimentary accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Auckland.  All opinions expressed here are our own.

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