Hilton Auckland Review
Due to an extremely discounted ticket, I recently spent 24 hours in Auckland, New Zealand. It was my first visit to Oceania and only third visit to the Southern Hemisphere. There are no Hyatt properties in New Zealand although a Park Hyatt is under construction. There is one Hilton and it is right on the waterfront. To me it was a no brainer to book a stay at the Hilton Auckland. I booked two months in advance for 233 NZD or about $170. August is off season in New Zealand (it is winter there), I imagine the prices go up in the summer.
Location: The Hilton Auckland is literally on the water. It is built on the end of the Princess Wharf at the center of the Auckland waterfront. As it is at the end of the Wharf, it is a bit tricky to find. As I was arriving early on a Saturday morning, the rest of the Wharf was dead and I wondered if I was going the right direction.
If you are coming from the airport you can take the SkyBus to the city center for 18 NZD. There is then a free shuttle that goes to the Britomart. From the Britomart it is a 10 minute walk to the Hilton Auckland.
The ferry terminal is directly next door if you plan on visiting Devonport or Waiheke. The hip Viaduct/Wynyard Quarter are a short walk the other direction. The Sky Tower is about 15 minutes walk away.
Check In: I arrived to the Hilton Auckland at 8:00am and was exhausted from my flight. I knew that they might not have a room available but I figured I could leave my bag and go explore. Perhaps because I am a Diamond elite and had notified the property of my early arrival, there was one room available.
The check in agent was friendly and warned me that the room had two single beds and also had a support post in the middle of it. He said some guests complain about it. However, it did have an upgraded view and he could send someone up to connect the beds into a King size. I was just happy to have a room so I thanked him for it.
As a Hilton Diamond elite I was given two drink vouchers for the bellini bar in the lobby. High speed wireless internet. Turn down service each night (with a bottle of water). Breakfast was also included in the restaurant. There is no Executive Lounge on site.
I headed up to my room but unfortunately my keys didn’t work. They sent someone else with new keys and he arrived at the same time as housekeeping to set up my bed.
Room: I had a Twin Deluxe Harbour View room on the 6th floor — room 616. All of the rooms have balconies but one side looks across the alley to another building. A harbour view is worth the upgrade in my book.
As you first enter the room, the bathroom is immediately on the right. The rest of the room opens up with floor to ceiling windows. The room is not very big but the balcony adds some space to spread out. In the photo below you can see the post that is in the middle of the view from the room. Not a big deal but I see why some might complain.
The furnishings felt recently updated. There is a small glass desk in the corner. There are built in cabinets and closet on one side of the room. A mini bar fridge actually has some extra space if you want to keep your own water chilled.
One universal adapter was provided. Mine did not work very well but I was able to rig it with a rubber band. I am guessing I could have requested a replacement.
Bathroom: The bathroom of the Hilton Auckland was surprisingly spacious. There is a separate shower and tub. Single vanity with plenty of counter space. Two robes and plenty of towels were provided. The only odd thing was that the main light switch for the bathroom was located outside of the bathroom.
The bath products were similar to other international Hilton properties I have visited. A nice touch was a relaxing bath bomb for the tub.
Breakfast: As a Diamond elite full breakfast was included in their onsite restaurant Fish. It is located on the first floor, which I would call the second floor as it is above the ground floor lobby.
The breakfast is a hot and cold buffet as well as egg options made to order.
Pool/Gym: The pool/gym are located at the end of the hall on floor 4. Unfortunately there were people swimming in the pool so I didn’t feel comfortable taking a photo. It is a very small pool (hot tub size) so not good for a lap swim but I am sure it would be refreshing in the summer. No hot tub.
The gym was a fairly standard hotel gym.
Overall: I loved the location of the Hilton Auckland. Staying on the Wharf is a real treat. For the most part the service was prompt and helpful. However I found the service at bellini to be subpar. I ordered a glass of wine and club soda and the waitress took both of my drink coupons. She said it was her first week so maybe she didn’t understand the amenity. Or maybe soda water wasn’t free. I asked for a good local wine and she didn’t know anything about the wine list but said she would ask someone else. She then proceeded to just bring me a glass before giving me a couple of options.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the Park Hyatt opens just down the waterfront. It will not be built on a wharf, but it will be in the hipper area where there are a lot more restaurants. It will definitely be higher end and will draw a different guest, so hopefully it won’t impact the Hilton Auckland negatively. It is a great property and would have no problem staying there again in the future.