Tag: Auckland

Room review: Hotel Britomart, Auckland – Is NZ’s greenest hotel worth staying at?

The Hotel Britomart is the new kid on the block in downtown Auckland, yet it fits so seamlessly into the area that you might question if it’s been there all along.

We spent the night to see if New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star hotel lived up to the hype around its recent launch.

The Place

It’s a brand new 10-storey building in the heart of Britomart, with 99 guest rooms and five incredible landing suites complete with outdoor terraces.

Hotel Britomart – New kid on the block.

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Hotel Britomart – New kid on the block.

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The ground floor is home to not only the lounge-like lobby, but also kingi restaurant.

The Space

First impressions were great and somewhat earthy. Every detail of the lobby felt meticulously thought out, and there was a tale about most of the features within the space.

There are door handles crafted from Northland driftwood and dipped in brass, 150,000 hand-made bricks lining the walls, and a feature wall made from Muriwai black sand.

5 Green Stars don’t come easily – refillable toiletries, compostable slippers, organic bed linen and a recycling plan for the beds just scratch the surface on the thought behind the rooms alone.

The guest rooms are admittedly small, at 22 square metres, but still manage to fit a custom couch, desk and large basin.

There’s a real sense that the space has been designed to introduce travellers to New Zealand. There are local books, a large Tui wallpaper hidden away, and strictly local treats in the minibar.

The electric blackout blinds, and marshmallowy bed and massive pillows, all made for a deep night’s sleep.

The rooms are cosy at Hotel Britomart.

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The rooms are cosy at Hotel Britomart.

The Facilities

Because of the location in the heart of Britomart, there is no real need for extensive facilities. You won’t find a gym or swimming pool here, but if you’re that way inclined, there are options in the city close by.

The supplied bikes to pedal around town would help with that.

Dining options at Hotel Britomart.

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Dining options at Hotel Britomart.

The Food

Tucked down a leafy laneway on the ground floor is kingi, an all-day eatery that specialises in sustainable seafood. With some of the city’s best restaurants within walking distance, it’s easy to understand why they enlisted the brains behind Orphans Kitchen to take the lead on this one.

While the seafood was delicious, the burrata and wood-fired flatbreads were a stand out for us. A carafe of the in-house Pinot Gris on tap made for the perfect pairing. For breakfast, the oat hotcakes with walnut and raspberry were divine, we’ve already agreed to go back for brunch again soon.

Hotel Britomart is right in the centre of the CBD.

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Hotel Britomart is right in the centre of the CBD.

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What’s Been Happening In The Auckland Hotel Market In 2020

Britomart has seen the Grand Mercure Hotel and SO/ Hotel
both used as quarantine facilities for most of the year,
Meaning there has been a lack of 5 star accommodation in the
area for regular visitors. This has been somewhat alleviated
since the magnificent Hotel Britomart opened its doors
offering superb, environmentally friendly, 5 star accommodation
in the heart of Britomart
.

On Auckland’s
waterfront
M Social has been off the market with as it
too has been used to quarantine returning New Zealanders.
The Hilton has been open for regular tourists throughout the
year. The Sofitel closed its doors, but has taken the
opportunity to reorganise, renovate and plans to reopen when
conditions are more favourable. Auckland’s waterfront
hotel stocks have also been bolstered with the opening of
the Park Hyatt. This has to be Auckland’s
best 5 star hotel
now. The location, facilities and
service are all excellent. The area is about to get two more
hotels with Travelodge
and QT
Auckland
set to open later this year.

At the top
end of town Cordis
has been busy with a major expansion that will make them New
Zealand’s largest Hotel by some margin. Construction is
ongoing with things not scheduled to be completed until
2021. Meanwhile Amora Hotel has rebranded as Parkside
Auckland, and Scenic Hotel Auckland has rebranded as
Airedale Boutique Suites. Grand Millennium and 4 Points by
Sheraton have both been used for quarantine as
well.

SkyCity
suffered a setback with the delay of the new convention
centre caused by a major fire during construction. This also
pushed back the opening of their new 5 star offering Horizon
Hotel until 2021. But The Grand and SkyCity hotel have been
operating all year.

Capstone Hotels have been busy in
Auckland this year taking over management of Delamore Lodge,
Parkside Auckland, and Waitakere Resort (Formerly a Heritage
Hotel).

Auckland Airport
Hotels
have been largely used to rehouse returning
visitors this year with Jet Park, Novotel Auckland Airport,
Holiday Inn Auckland Airport and Naumi Hotel all being used
as isolation/quarantine hotels.

The
Sebel
Manukau has been used as a quarantine facility for
most of the year. While further south construction is
underway on a new Hilton in Karaka of all places. Just off
the southern motorway at the NZ Bloodstock Sale Grounds. On
Auckland’s south east coast the rundown Formosa Country
Club has been purchased by the New Zealand Super Fund and
will reopen as Rydges Formosa Golf Resort will open in late
November offering 50 one bedroom Villas.

With the
America’s Cup almost upon us it looks like our borders
will still be closed to most international visitors meaning
the much anticipated boom will be more of a wet fizzle.
Hotels in the area will be hoping a travel bubble with
Australia has been opened in
time.

© Scoop Media

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