Location: Some of the best real estate in all of Auckland, right on the water at Wynyard Quarter on the site of the former Team New Zealand base, overlooking the ever-grown-up skyline of New Zealand’s largest city.
How many rooms? 195 guest rooms across seven-storeys, including six spectacular suites.
How spectacular are those suites? Well, when even the guest rooms start at a generous 47-sqm and with walk-in showers and deep bathtubs, you know the suites are going to be something special. We stayed in the 71-sqm Harbour Suite that sits on the corner of the sixth floor. Add to that an 8-sqm balcony to go with the separate living area and study nook as well as full walk-in wardrobe and large marble bathroom with rain shower and tub. As for the views…
Views: It’s not hyperbole to say that the city-facing rooms from the Park Hyatt could well be without peer when it comes to Auckland hotel vistas, especially when the sun sets and the lights from the skyscrapers shining across the water come into effect. Our views from the Harbour Suite – whether from the bedroom, the bathtub or the balcony – were genuinely stunning. Opening those blinds in the morning for sunrise was a sight to behold too.
What about the other suites? Further to the 71-sqm Harbour Suite, there’s also a 71-sqm Park Suite, a 127-sqm Executive Suite with an added powder room as well as a 14-sqm balcony, and a 135-sqm Executive Rooftop Suite that includes the powder room as well as a complete kitchenette and wraparound balcony.
As for the top two suites… This is where the rock stars, movie A-listers, business high-flyers and elite international sportspeople will stay because the Chairman’s Suite and the Presidential Suite really have to be seen to be believed. Starting with the Chairman’s Suite, you’ve got 141-sqm on the corner of the top floor with a king bed, separate living and dining areas, a full designer kitchen, a marble bathroom with powder room, and this time, no less than 106-sqm of furnished balcony. Outrageous.
The Presidential Suite: But not quite as outrageous as the Presidential Suite which comes in at a whopping 245-sqm with a 125-sqm wraparound, furnished balcony, giving you no less than 370-sqm to yourself. It has all the features of the previous suites but adds a fully equipped designer kitchen, an internal boardroom, VIP access and get this, your own baby grand piano, your own personal gym as well as a secret internal open-air courtyard. I say “secret” because it’s not until you’re in that courtyard and seeing the ‘Park Hyatt’ sign immediately above that’s visible for miles around that you realise exactly where you’re standing.
Artworks: All rooms come with specially-designed Maori tukutuku rugs and panels. Each floor of the hotel houses New Zealand artworks and sculptures in open spaces for all guests, while a striking 8-metre long traditional Maori carving by Dr Lyonel Grant (Ngāti Pikiao and Te Arawa) greets people before entering the lobby.
The Lobby: Ah yes, the lobby. My first impression of the enormous atrium was that it reminded me of large, luxury hotels in Singapore and Malaysia. Then a quick bit of research reveals that the Park Hyatt was indeed designed by Ali Reda from the architects ar+d in Singapore who collaborated with New Zealand’s Bossley Architects.
They’ve done a great job creating something awe-inspiring that was also done with consultation with Ngati Whatua to ultimately feel both international and uniquely New Zealand. There are nautical nods to reflect the harbour-side location, while the use of natural light by way of extensive skylights is both clever and subtle.
Pool, spa and gym: A partially open-air, 25m long heated infinity-pool is a major bonus, especially with views out to the Harbour Bridge at one end and the city skyline at the other.
Adjacent is a large gym which itself joins on to one of the coolest spa complexes I’ve seen in a long time. From massage showers, to sunken lounges, to sauna and steam rooms, there’s a sense of fun as well as sophisticated chic to the Spa.
Dining: There are four restaurants and bars at the Park Hyatt with Onemata the signature dining experience. Onemata’s fresh, locally-driven food ethos is explained as such on the website:
“Our team have travelled the country, to find the creamiest buffalo cheese right here in neighbouring Clevedon, all the way down to Stewart Island to source the country’s finest freshly caught salmon.”
For something more casual, The Dining Room has waterfront views every bit as grand as Onemata’s and is a favourite spot of mine for grabbing lunch with laptop in hand while writing articles.
The Pantry offers excellent pastries and sandwiches as well as drinks. Speaking of which, the Captain’s Bar immediately announced itself as one of the top bars in Central Auckland when it opened last year. An extensive selection of rums may be the calling card, but whatever your tipple, the fireside views across the night lights of Auckland have rarely looked better.
Price: Seasonal, with current midweek rates starting at $299 for guest rooms and from $819 and up for the suites. The Presidential Suite reportedly goes for between $12,000-$15,000 per night.
Would we go back? Absolutely. For a staycation that really makes you feel like you’re somewhere special and exciting, Auckland’s Park Hyatt comes highly recommended.