It's big enough for three times as many guests but only 195 rooms have been built, a moat surrounds the commercial kitchen and details of room design was so important that prototypes were built in Beijing.

Welcome to the first tour inside the new five-star $300m Park Hyatt Auckland on Halsey St, aiming to be New Zealand's most luxurious new offering.

The block being built by Hawkins and China State Construction is looming large on its 100m long by 50m wide site on the city's waterfront, due for completion around the middle of next year, covered in building wrap, the 138 Chinese workers crucial for its finishing now arriving in groups as completion nears.

The Herald was invited on a tour of the building behemoth, given a sneak peek by Fu Wah's South Pacific region area general manager, Richard Aitken. No photos were allowed to be taken.

Read more: Fu Wah reveals $400m 435-unit Wynyard apartment/retail plans

As part of the sustainability standards and because it's built on reclaimed land, the hotel has only 25 valet carparks, so you're most likely to enter via its expansive covered porte-cochere off Halsey St, on the south-west face of the block, an area to be lined with local artwork, greenery, flowers and native plants.

On entering the lobby, the building's most striking feature is the sheer grandeur of its seven-level high internal atrium which creates a void of more than 25m, to be flooded with natural light from lines of roof-top skylights.


Aitken said the building measures around 5000sq m, the equivalent of half a hectare.

How the Park Hyatt sits on Halsey St in relation to ASB North Wharf. Photo / Hawkins
How the Park Hyatt sits on Halsey St in relation to ASB North Wharf. Photo / Hawkins

And he acknowledges the sheer size of the hotel's areas, saying that gave it the international five-star edge.

Read more: Hotel developer Fu Wah International hits out at costs

"A lot of the building has been given over to open space to improve the guest experience. We could put three times as many guests into here but if you want a different experience, this is what you put into it."

Fu Wah's South Pacific region development manager Tony McKee pointed out another five-star feature: "This hotel has single-loaded corridors," he said, referring to the layout of hotel rooms on one side of 2.8m-wide corridors or hallways, not both sides.

The moat is a shallow water feature which runs around two sides of the commercial kitchens on the ground level. Dining areas have been developed on the sunny north-east and north-west faces.

The first floor has all the health, exercise, spa, beauty treatment, hydrotherapy and leisure features, including a 25m-long indoor infinity pool surrounded by 300sq m on the northern face overlooking Karanga Plaza.

The entire building has a mansard roof which houses the rooms on the hotel's top floor. Each has its own external deck overlooking the waterfront and city.

Typical or standard rooms are 48sq m, many with their own private decks, far more spacious than the more standard hotel room of 32sq m, Aitken said. "The additional space is for a separate bathroom with full bath, walk-in wardrobe or dressing area and separate toilet."

Suites on each floor are even more spacious, ranging from 70sq m to 245sq m.

A functions centre has been built on level 7 above the porte cochere, facing Halsey St, and a range of meeting rooms have also been developed.

Mock-up rooms of the Auckland property were even built in China.

"We built two of the hotel room types in Beijing so Fu Wah and Hyatt executives could look at them. This was a massive undertaking and was redone three times to test and improve the design. Each time the rooms were rebuilt we would send six to eight people up from Auckland and bring in the rest of the design team from London and Singapore," Aitken said.

And within the new hotel, a prototype room has also been developed and is already fully furnished, looking like it is ready to occupy, even though it is surrounded by a construction site. No details can be revealed on the interior design.

The hotel was designed by Singapore-based architects AR+D working with New Zealand practice Bossley Architects. Interior design is by Britain's Conran + Partners.

Dark and moody: guest reception at Park Hyatt Sydney and a hint of what the Auckland hotel could look like. Photo / Supplied
Dark and moody: guest reception at Park Hyatt Sydney and a hint of what the Auckland hotel could look like. Photo / Supplied

A chairman's suite will be 183sq m. A president's suite is the most luxurious at 245sq m.

The main lobby's reception desk backs onto Halsey St, with a bank of three guest lifts on the northern edge of that central area.

Aitken said around 500 workers and staff are now at the property and the Chinese workers being flown in to finish the hotel had begun to arrive. They are specialists in fine decorating, wood and finishing trades and are needed due to the labour shortage in New Zealand.

To date around 1 million hours have gone into the building of the hotel, he said.