The Crowne Plaza Auckland is located on Albert Street in the center of Auckland City. When I travelled down to the City of Sails on Singapore Airlines' Suites Class from Singapore last November, I stayed in The Langham Auckland before moving to the Crowne Plaza Auckland for the weekend - the hotel isn't brand new but moving into a property that is part of a much-larger international chain where benefits are predictable is such a great decision.
I got on an Uber to take me from The Langham Auckland (where I've spent five nights in) to the Crowne Plaza Auckland (where I was going to spend two nights in). I have been rather excited to move in to this property for the weekend since I did not actually manage to see the city much during my previous visit where I stayed in the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour (which is in my opinion, the most beautiful luxury hotel in Auckland). My reservation was made for an Executive Suite which is practically the best room-type you can get at the Crowne Plaza Auckland and these suites are located on the highest floors of the hotel to give you that amazing view from a private balcony that is worth every penny (more on this later!).
In case it is not already apparent, the Executive Suite at the Crowne Plaza Auckland is a duplex-suite that comes with two levels, spanning approximately 70sqm of floor space. On the lower level, you will find the living room, a dining table for four, a half bathroom as well as a small kitchenette.
The almost-floor-to-ceiling windows offer such an expansive view of the city and the harbour that it is truly therapeutic to sink in the sofa to watch the world (and clouds!) go by. Imagine by excitement when I went from a pretty dated club room at The Langham Auckland to this amazing suite at the Crowne Plaza Auckland.
The small kitchenette comes with a massive mini-bar (it does not have a freezer compartment though!), a coffee-making machine (not Nespresso but still very decent) as well as a selection of tea-bags. There is also a sink in case you need it but I've never utilised it much apart from just rinsing my cups. There is also a half bathroom with a sink and a toilet that is located directly across the kitchenette so if you have guests and you do not want them in the master bedroom, keep them downstairs!
The somewhat spiral staircase in the Executive Suite here at the Crowne Plaza Auckland will take you to the second level of your suite where you will find your bedroom, the bathroom and a massive balcony which comes complete with lounge chairs.
The Executive Suite features a huge Californian King-sized bed for your personal indulgence - I arrived in the evening (since I had work in the morning) and have found some mint chocolates placed on the bed (I presume these are from the evening turndown service). Since I was traveling alone, I had plenty of space to lounge about - these suites are extremely spacious and in the event you are still not satisfied, the Club Lounge (which you will also have access to if you book this room type) is located on the same level so it really feels like an extension of the suite.
Consistent to the Crowne Plaza brand standards (something I am really appreciative for amongst international hotel chains), you will find a familiar Room Mist by ELEMIS by your bed (I got the same thing at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport - check it out HERE!). I am not implying that the Room Mist is absolutely crucial in my stay but I really do appreciate consistencies across the same brand (something I have highlighted during my interview with The Straits Times).
You will find another 40-inch TV here in the bedroom (there is another one in the living room) and it comes with a healthy selection of cable and satellite channels - I ended up watching shows on Netflix instead because no one has time for TV anymore. There is also a work desk on the second level where I managed to get some work done (the sofa downstairs was too comfortable to get anything productive done).
Finally, the view from the private balcony which is only accessible via your bedroom is crazy impressive. I was there late November 2016 and the temperature fluctuated between 14 an 20 degree Celsius even though it was supposedly summer. The view of the city and the harbour that you get from level 28 (well technically 28.5 or 29 since it is on the mezzanine level) is truly amazing - you can even see the One Tree Hill (which I walked 9km to) on a clear day!
The Executive Suites in the Crowne Plaza Auckland also come with a small walk-in wardrobe that separates the bedroom and the bathroom. There is plenty of storage space here so if you are lucky enough to be staying here long-term, you definitely do not have to worry about having insufficient space. It is also worth nothing that you get complimentary shoe-shine service as well as two items of clothing pressed daily (non-cumulative). There is also a small dressing area which I did not utilise at all during my stay.
The bathroom itself was simple but it had all the things needed for a great and relaxing stay. The design of the bathroom feels dated but that massive spa bath with jets made up for it - there is also a separate shower, a toilet and a huge glass mirror for all your dressing needs.
Bath amenities here in the Executive Suite of the Crowne Plaza Auckland are provided by Koha Spa which is made in New Zealand. It utilises a number of unique New Zealand ingredients that is representative of each New Zealand Location (e.g. Kelp in Kaikoura).
Evening drinks and canapes are served in the Club Lounge (located on level 28) from 5:30PM to 7:30PM every night - if you are staying in an Executive Suite, you should have access to this unless you got upgraded, in which case, it is best to check with the front desk regarding access privileges. Even though I was staying alone and my room reservation was made for one adult only, I had the privilege to bring a guest in with me to enjoy the same club privileges (the only reason I am saying this is because this is not the case at The Langham Auckland which is truly shocking to me). There was a pretty decent selection of liquor and wines at the Club Lounge but I ended up with a G&T.
The food selection in the Club Lounge during the evening was also decent enough to make for a light dinner - there was a selection of cheeses, bread rolls, sandwiches, cold cuts and a hot food item (spring rolls on one night!) that rotates on a daily basis. During my stay, I was also privileged enough to be entertained by Crowne Plaza Auckland's very own magician (whom I believe works as a lounge staff on a daily basis). Seriously, one of the most impressive magicians I have ever seen - thumbs up to the Crowne Plaza Auckland for encouraging such initiatives!
The Club Lounge at the Crowne Plaza Auckland is not particularly big but as a result of that, you do get a rather private space that is quiet and enjoyable - the staff here is also incredibly friendly and polite. If you do intend to stay at the Crowne Plaza Auckland, you should definitely consider staying in a club room (or go ahead and splurge a little for the Executive Suite!).
I returned to the suite after evening drinks and was pleasantly surprised by the view from the balcony. In fact, if you are nimble enough, you will be able to see the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere - Sky Tower.
Guests with club access will generally be able to choose between having a smaller continental one at the Club Lounge or a full buffet breakfast at the all-day dining restaurant (even though it was not the case at The Langham Auckland where I was given a special rate of just NZD 29.90 to dine-in at the all-day dining restaurant). Buffet breakfast here at the Crowne Plaza Aucklandis served at the Aria Restaurant and Bar from 6:30AM to 10:30AM each day.
Expect to find the usual breakfast items at the buffet spread- there is also a live omelette station here. Diners will also be able to make use of a juicer (not a slow-press one though!) here if you prefer to create your own juice (you literally select and drop in the fruits and vegetables you want).
The Crowne Plaza Auckland may not look as beautiful as the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour but the location of this property is truly superior to any other property. If you look past the slightly dated decor and interiors, you will find a diamond in the rough - I love how homely the property and staff made me feel (especially the lounge staff!). Consistent to brand standards, the Crowne Plaza Auckland is a perfect spot for business travellers especially (I just wish I stayed here for five nights during the weekdays instead) - if you are looking for a city hotel that belongs to a larger international hotel chain, the Crowne Plaza Auckland is quite possibly the best choice!