By Graham Hepburn
Having enjoyed their family home of 40 years in Northcote, Jodi Marley admits she wasn't that keen on apartment living.
But husband Wilf persisted, and eventually Jodi saw the sense of it when they began spending more time at their bach on Waiheke Island.
"Wilf had been trying to get me into an apartment for years but I just turned my nose up at it," she says.
"And then I just decided to give it a go."
Now she has no regrets about selling the family home, and dividing her time between Waiheke and the city.
"I like to spend most of the week on Waiheke but I'll make some appointments in town and come over for them, and of course I have to catch up with my girlfriends."
Because they live at Oneroa, it's an easy walk-ferry-walk journey either way between their Waiheke home and their apartment.
Jodi says she likes the Hotel Grand Chancellor building because of its unusual wedge shape, and having a hotel as part of the building means they can leave messages or keys for friends and family at the front desk. The building also has a swimming pool and gym on the ground floor.
The Marleys bought their 13th floor apartment more than two years ago, then bought a second one, which is now for sale, about a year ago.
"This one came up for sale and we had friends coming over from Wales who come over every two years so we bought it with them in mind and thought it would be good for other friends," says Jodi.
"But we decided with the hotel here we didn't need it because we could just book people a room in the hotel, and when people come over they would rather stay with us at Waiheke anyway."
Jodi says Apartment 801, which has a simple, open-plan layout, had been renovated by the previous owners.
It is north-facing with views of the harbour and its new precincts through floor-to-ceiling windows. The glazing wraps around the northwestern corner of the apartment for all-day sun and wide views.
"These apartments are so warm that we hardly ever have to use the heating," says Jodi.
Backdropped by a wall of fitted wardrobes, the bedroom opens out to the living area and is carpeted like the rest of the space - apart from the kitchen, which has tiled floors.
Near to the front door, the bathroom is tiled as well with a glass shower, storage and a laundry behind cupboard doors.
Stone surfaces and a glass splashback make the kitchen easy to clean, and there is an option to buy it fully kitted out with appliances.
A sliding door opens out to a small balcony, but the prime spot is sitting in front of the wall of windows in the lounge and admiring the view.
Jodi says the location is unbeatable with easy access to transport links and the harbour front, which is being developed with an increasing amount of interesting spaces, venues and eateries.
"This apartment is set up so someone could just move straight in," she says.
"It's really secure and if you want to go somewhere you can just lock up and off you go."