When I had to travel to Auckland for work last November, I had initially wanted to stay at the Hilton Auckland since it was closest to where the meetings were going to take place. However, since Accor was running a 40% sale with complimentary breakfast then, I've decided to stay at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour instead - only a 15 minute walk to the Hilton Auckland - and I am glad I made that decision!
I caught an Air New Zealand flight (NZ104) from Sydney into Auckland and got to the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour in the evening. Thankfully, the check-in process was painless (despite having three rooms to my name). If you are a points hunter, remember you only earn Le Club AccorHotels Points for up to two rooms per night under each name! I did not have any Le Club AccorHotels Elite Status at the time of check-in and the hotel was running at full occupancy so there was no chance of an upgrade at all. With that being said, the lead-in room category (Superior Room) was not bad at all!
The Superior Room was not extensive in room size (approximately 35 sqm) but it felt like a lot more - perhaps it was the incorporation of floor-to-ceiling glass windows by the side of the room. My room came with an extremely comfortable King-size Sofitel MyBed and City Views - you can even see the Sky Tower easily from the Juliet balcony!
The room also faces an office building so be sure to draw those curtains when you are thinking about a shower or something more private. Despite facing a massive office building, there is really no traffic and crowd around the property - perhaps because of the size of Auckland?
Despite being only 35 sqm in size, the Superior Room comes with a separate sitting area that is perfect for lounging and work - one that I grew to appreciate! There is also a small changing area where you enter the room and a Nespresso coffee machine can also be found in the room! For your personal enjoyment, you will also find a 32 " LCD flatscreen TV and a Bose Wave Radio in the room. Complimentary high-speed internet (WiFi) is also provided throughout the property so long you are a Le Club AccorHotels member. If you happen to have an American Express Platinum Credit Card (or higher), you will also receive complimentary WiFi here with Boingo.
I love the extensive and generous coffee and tea offering in the room - much better than the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort who charged for illy coffee capsules. These are also replenished on a daily basis and the housekeeping does a great job at refreshing the rooms! A bottle of fancy drinking water is also given during turn down.
The marble bathroom in the Superior Room may not seem like much to begin with but it comes with a marvelous deep-soaking tub and a separate rain shower - seriously, with just 35 sqm of space what more can you ask for?!
Bathroom amenities at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour are provided by the luxurious LANVIN. Due to my mild OCD, the different designs on the bottles did drive me a little crazy though. Other than that, these were also replenished on a regular basis so feel free to empty them into the tub for a great soak at the end of the day.
I also received some welcome snacks by the lounging area when I checked into the room - I thought that this was a nice gesture and honestly, it was much-needed since I was starving after the flight for some reason.
During my stay at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, I took the opportunity to check out the highly-rated Lava Dining since it was located within the hotel. While I did not get to meet Chef Sebastian Hindrich in person during my visit, I was blown away by the food - I ended up returning three times during my four night stay there.
Firstly, pardon the photos since it was really late when I got in the restaurant and I did not want to use a flash or anything to disturb the guests. Visually the dishes at Lava Dining were stunning and if you thought you can't have the best of both worlds, you are most definitely wrong. I thought the seafood were all executed perfectly - the right balance of flavours with great respect for the ingredient itself. The fish was cooked beautifully and those cloudy bay clams were to die for. In fact, they are all I can think about right now as I write this article. I also ended up ordering a bottle of 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Cloudy Bay (yes yes, I know I drink it at the Grand Hyatt Singapore all the time) for a little taste of familiarity.
I got back to the room after dinner and was incredibly pleased with the standard of accommodation. I love the peace around the property and the city too. While I did not particularly adore the fact that my room faces a massive office building, the Sky Tower definitely made up for it.
If you are looking for a nice cup of coffee and you have already tried the famous 21 Viaduct Cafe (located inside the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour), check out Mojo Viaduct Harbour from just across the street!
I really enjoyed my stay at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour and I am glad I've picked this over the Hilton Auckland (despite having Diamond Status with Hilton HHonors). With that being said, the posting of points from this property leave much to be desired. Dry-cleaning and laundry services are excluded from earning points (since it was outsourced to an external provider), my points for another room did not post and I had to chase for it - F&B charges were also excluded. Finally, I have had so many issues trying to reconcile my points with the property that I gave up altogether. I did not receive bonus points for a promotion since according to them, it was my fourth visit to the property - it was my first visit but there were four room under my name for the same date. Will I stay at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour again? Most definitely but would the Le Club AccorHotels status sway my decision? Definitely not.